How to maximize your e-commerce revenue using conversion rate optimization (CRO)
So, you’ve built a beautiful website with the purpose of selling your product or service in the online space. The website goes live, traffic comes pouring in and you’re sitting back, watching the number of visitors rise on your Google Analytics dashboard. A few weeks later, you check your sales results and promptly get confused – how come I had a thousand visitors and got only 20 sales? What did I do wrong?The short answer is – nothing.Why?Because the actual average conversion rate, meaning the number of visitors who actually buy something after visiting a website, floats somewhere around 2% in the e-commerce domain (depending on the industry and type of product/service). We know this doesn’t sound like much, but it’s everyday reality for many businesses.Now… What if we told you there was a way to optimize your conversion rate in a manner that will not only directly boost your revenue, but also improve your traffic and continuously scale as your business grows?How?Through cutting-edge conversion rate optimization (CRO).If you want to know the best way to approach this, let us tell you what CRO actually is and how it brings lasting value to your sales funnel.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
To cut a long story short, CRO represents the overall process of making your website better at converting a visitor into a customer. Every business strives to make more sales, and one of the key ways to do this, be it online or offline, is to make your potential customers feel welcome and comfortable when they visit your shop. You want your customers to be able to find all the information they need to make the purchase, and follow the sales funnel you’ve mapped out for them without having to worry something’s going to make them lose interest or stray from the checkout path. Therefore, your focus should be on achieving the best possible user experience (UX) for your visitors and make your website a place they’ll gladly come back to over and again.
The impact of UX on your CRO
The significance of building a great user experience (UX) comes from constantly evolving benefits that you’ll be reaping as your online visitors come knocking – not only does a good UX increase conversion and therefore sales, but it also propels you higher on Google and other search engines. This creates a virtuous circle which then gets you more traffic, improved sales, stronger conversion, and again – better positioning.The UX is actually a product of several different aspects of your website. It takes into account the design and visual clarity, landing page structure and messaging, storytelling, checkout mechanism intuitiveness, blog quality and usefulness, online support (from either a bot or a human), payment options, page speed, and a lot more. This means that you can work on any one of these things individually to improve your conversion if you notice that something is particularly lacking. However, it’s best when these efforts work in sync to create a humming machine that people will want to drive every day.
How to use CRO to save money
It might sound like a paradox at first, but continually investing into conversion rate optimization is probably the cheapest and most cost-effective way to grow your sales. Here’s the math behind this approach:Let’s say you decide to use a Pay-per-click (PPC) strategy to get more people to your website, and you design an engaging PPC campaign. What’s problematic here is that PPC is not an inherently bad tool, but it can often cost upwards of $10 per click. If your conversion rate is still at 2% and you use PPC to drive 100 visitors to your website, you’ll end up burning $1000 and making only 2 sales. If your business isn’t centered around selling extremely high value items with big margins, this will definitely not pay off. Also, once the PPC campaign closes, the traffic drops to pre-campaign levels and your natural conversion rate still remains at 2% for all future visitors.Now, if you spend the same $1000 on boosting your conversion rate from 2% to 4%, this means that even if you remain on the same level in terms of website traffic, you’ll be getting double the results in sales from all of your visitors, organic or otherwise attracted… and like we said, this will improve your Google position and ultimately bring more traffic to you – you’ll have more people coming in and more people buying.
Conversion rate optimization and user insights
An incredibly valuable thing that most companies neglect is that knowing one’s customer often represents the best way to not just secure repeat sales with those customers, but also learn how to quickly and cheaply grow your customer base. How? Because you’ll know exactly what works (and what doesn’t) with your current clients, and you’ll be able to save time when targeting new ones. Also, you’ll be getting faster insight into emerging trends and this will keep your business ahead of the curve.Experimenting with A/B testing, split testing and user segmentation, as well as running surveys and small-scale rapid usability testing helps you understand your target persona much better, which in turn helps you satisfy their needs much more efficiently. Conversion rate optimization naturally rests on you utilizing all of these techniques, and you’ll be able to see how your customers respond to various changes in a very efficient time frame.
How to improve your conversion rate?
Now that you understand how CRO functions and what it can do for your business, it’s time to start developing your strategy and implement it effectively in order to grow your sales. Here’s a list of things which will definitely help your conversion rate optimization efforts:1. Analyze your website’s structure and content from the perspective of your customers and visitors
See what they enjoy and what they’re annoyed by. If you’re not sure how to approach this, simply run a very slick and elegant survey pop-up on the website itself, or on your social media accounts. You’d be surprised to see how many people will give you an honest answer on what would make them happier.
Usability, intuitiveness and overall clarity drive a good UX. Work on refining those dimensions of your website.
Polished pictures and well-structured product pages go a long way.
2. Place smart calls to action (CTA) coupled with authentic testimonials
A good CTA is never invasive, nor unwelcome. Just make sure it doesn’t take away from the product itself, and that it’s written in an engaging copy.
Testimonials or ratings inspire confidence and make people more comfortable. Use this to your advantage.
3. Never neglect your mobile optimization
More and more people use mobile to browse and buy. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you’re actively missing out on a huge number of potential customers – you’ll never convert someone who leaves straight away.
4. Research the current and emerging trends in your niche or market vertical
Who’s your audience and to what do they react best?
What’s the currently popular tone of voice?
Which values do they look for?
5. Be interactive, innovative and engaging
You’ll definitely want to have video materials on your website, as they can easily boost traffic and conversion by themselves, especially If you’re selling to millennials and gen Z customers.
Popups can actually be useful, if they’re offering a relevant message (and are served in moderation, like all good things). This especially goes for things such as “cart abandonment” popups, when a customer wants to leave before finishing their purchase.
6. Email marketing is far from dead, so make sure you use all of its power
Experiment with ways of having your customers leave you their emails so that you can convert them later on, if not straight away.
Finding a cost-effective gift/incentive mechanism that your visitors respond to is a proven way to make them feel more welcome. Tie that in to the previous step and reel them in.
Does all of this really work?
If you’re looking for proof that what we’re talking about here actually brings results, keep in mind that some of the best converting companies in the world spend over 5% of their annual budgets on conversion rate optimization. Ultimately, what’s important is that you see CRO as a strategic objective which will drive your business performance in the long run. Companies using any of the abovementioned tactics and tools have, on average, a 223% increase in ROI.
Can you help me improve my conversion rate?
Of course, if you’re not sure where to start and how to approach this whole process, we’d be more than happy to share our expertise. You can read more on how we help businesses boost their conversion rate, or simply drop us an email and get in touch.