For most retailers, conversion rate is one of the most important metrics. Depending on your industry and KPI’s, a conversion may be a sale, an email sign up or a download. Whatever a conversion means to you, conversion rate optimisation should be integral to your ecommerce strategy.
You’ve worked hard on building awareness, driving traffic to your site, tested ads, and spent money on both offline and online promotions. Now you want those ads to start paying for themselves and then some. Your traffic may even look good, with the right kinds of customers who fit your target market.
Unfortunately, all that traffic is costing money but not much else. So what’s the problem?
If your conversion rate is looking less than impressive, maybe it’s time to start looking at conversion rate optimisation. While CRO can be a lengthy and on-going process, the rewards make it a necessary one.
What is CRO?
Conversion rate optimisation uses analytics, insight and user feedback to identify ways to improve your website, user experience and the conversion funnel process. Every CTA, on every landing page, should be tested and reviewed to enable you to make improvements that positively affect your conversion rate.
Whether it is removing or adapting conversion barriers, such as introducing a one-page/one-step checkout or, adding new features that make it easier for users to convert, CRO can increase sales and revenue in a few simple steps. Look at introducing an advanced search that helps customers find your products quicker, or features that encourage conversions such as displaying product reviews and customer testimonials.
The benefits of CRO
The most obvious benefits of optimising your website to increase conversions are higher revenue and, more importantly, better ROI. Additionally, converting more existing visitors is more cost effective than acquiring new ones. CRO makes the most of the traffic you are already paying for, rather than paying for even more traffic, which is also good news for your customer acquisition costs.
1: Review your current conversion rate
Optimising your conversion rate starts with reviewing where you currently stand. Conversion rates can vary in each industry, so check the industry standard for your business and see how your current conversion rate aligns. If you are falling below your industry benchmark, it could be a sign that the path to conversion is not clear. Try going through the buying process yourself and see if anything leaps out.
It can be beneficial to examine the two main stages of the customer journey, website-to-cart and cart-to-sale, separately. Examining key metrics from each will help highlight specific problem areas that need the most attention. Your cart-to-sale metrics should be significantly higher than website-to-cart conversions. If not, then it may indicate that your checkout process is the main problem.
2: Use conversion analytics
There is a range of CRO tools available that offer analytics and insights which help to pinpoint problem areas and pages that may be hindering your conversion rate. Setting up goals & funnels in Google Analytics is a great place to start for most retailers who want to test specific areas of their website. Look at behavioural metrics such as bounce rate, exit rate, average session duration and average page depth as a starting point.
Bounce rate reflects the number of people who leave your website after viewing a single page. Depending on the channel, a high bounce rate can be a sign of poor quality traffic and a poor landing page. Review creative and user intent – what were they expecting to find.
Exit rate is a metric that applies to an individual page. This reflects the percentage of people who leave after viewing a page and lets you know the last page a user viewed before leaving. This metric can be a huge red flag and can highlight specific problem pages.
Both average session duration and average page depth can identify problems in user experience. If visitors aren’t sticking around for long or don’t view many pages, this may indicate issues with your content and/or ease of use. Alternatively, if users tend to view many pages on your site and still don’t convert, maybe you need to look at the complexity of your path to conversion.
There are also various heat-mapping tools, such as Inspectlet, that allow you to watch users in action. Use these in combination with your Analytics package to identify problems in the user journey, and more specifically issues with features and sections on your website.
Top Tip: Use Google PageSpeed Insights to test the load time of your website across devices. Slow loading times are a major barrier to conversion can also affect visibility in search.
It can be helpful to have a checklist of common conversion barriers to regularly check and test with analytics. Here are just a few of the things you should be looking to optimise over time.
- Category structure and navigation
- Call to actions
- Product information and images
- Contact information
- Page layout and design
- Loading times
- Shopping cart layout
- Checkout process
3: Optimise with Magento 2 offerings
Once you’ve pinpointed the specific problem areas of your website it’s time to implement some conversion solutions to combat these areas. Magento 2 offers various features that can help improve your conversion rate and address any conversion problems you may have identified.
Elastisearch offers advanced search, enabling users to find products easier and faster. The speed, simplicity and intuition of Elastisearch encourage users onto the product page they’re looking for, bringing them one step closer to conversion.
Visual merchandiser gives retailers the flexibility to drag and drop products to create visually pleasing pages optimised for displaying products. Additionally, customer segmentation in Magento 2 helps you to create tailored content to specific customer segments to help drive conversion rate.
Magento 2 also offers PayPal’s in-context checkout and saved credit card feature to help speed up the checkout process. Enabling new users to check out easily and returning customers to check out quickly can reduce abandoned cart rate and create a positive lasting impression that encourages customers to return.
4: Test and retest
Armed with insights from Analytics and Magento 2 features, experiment and test your CRO solutions. Sometimes this might mean making a drastic change, for example, a lengthy or complicated checkout process may need a complete overhaul.
Start small, making incremental changes and carefully monitoring the effects. Avoid changing everything at once, as you won’t know what has had a positive impact and what hasn’t.
Testing in this way is best done with split A/B/N tests. Split testing enables you to test one design or feature against another simultaneously over a given period, thereby finding the most successful one e.g. testing two different coloured CTAs to find the highest converting design.
Conversely, testing can be vital in making decisions on much bigger changes with cost implications. A good example of this comes from Jenna Warren. Writing for Magento, she recommends testing free shipping if this isn’t already provided, as improved conversion rates and AOVs may justify the cost.
While all businesses are different and CRO is based on user insights and analytics, there are some basic changes you can make to improve your conversion rates:
- Up to date product information with USPs highlighted.
- Good quality product images. Where possible use lifestyle images showing your product in use.
- Be transparent about shopping costs and returns policies.
- Clearly display delivery information, preferably as a delivery date rather than a timeframe.
- Product reviews and customer testimonials.
- Any third party validation with trusted partners if this applies, for example ‘as shown in…’
- Prominent CTA’s
- Offer a variety of payment methods.
- Ensure your website is mobile friendly.
If you want to know more about optimising your ecommerce store and improving your conversion rate, contact one of our team today.