Conversion Rate Optimisation or CRO as we’re going to refer to throughout this article is increasing your conversion rate by encouraging visitors to your online shop to take specific actions such as buying a product, reading a blog, or subscribing to a newsletter.
Its purpose is to optimise your marketing to help make the customer journey sleeker and in turn, increase your sales. We’re going to be talking about the main ways you can optimise your customer journey and marketing to help grow your online business.
Four Principles of CRO
CRO is when you keep the customer front and center of your mind when looking to optimise your online shop. You need to be looking through the customer’s eyes so you will need to understand the four basic principles of CRO.
1. Value proposition
You need to ensure that you have a clear value proposition on your website. This helps the customer understand straight away what sets you apart from your competition – what’s your USP (Unique Selling Point)? Depending on your USP, you’re going to need to highlight it on your homepage in different ways.
For instance, if your USP is that your price is competitive, then highlight that with increased font size and bold tag. If your service levels are your USP, then dedicate your homepage to communicating that with your customers and why buying from you is better than going to a competitor.
As soon as customers know your value proposition and they can see and understand the advantages of purchasing from you this which will help increase your conversion rate.
Incentives are a fantastic way to encourage customers to purchase, but there is more to incentives than just giving away free products or discounts on items. When used properly, incentives will be beneficial both for the customer and for you as the shop owner. Consider offering your customers a discount in exchange for a review or a tagged post on social media. Your business will gain exposure and social proof, and your customer will benefit from a discount on future purchases.
The quality of your information pages such as your ‘About Us’ and ‘FAQ’ can also help the customer make the decision to click through to your product pages. Everything on your online shop, including photos, content, and product descriptions are a way of incentivising your customers to purchase from you.
3. Reduce conversion barriers
The harder you make something the less likely you are to see your customers take action where you want them to. Comb through your online shop and identify where there may be barriers to entry for them. This includes anything from slow page load times, bad user experience, no product images, to checking out off-site.
You’ll want to make the process of any action on your online shop from purchasing to signing up for a newsletter as easy as possible. Here are a few ways you can accomplish this.
- Use on-site checkout
- Make any CTA (Call To Action) buttons clear
- Use clear and detailed descriptive product descriptions
- Use good product photography
- Simplify your sign up forms to only necessary information
Removing these barriers will not only make your customers’ user experience and journey on your online shop more pleasant but will also incentivise them to complete actions.
4. Make the customer feel safe
Lastly, you need to make sure that the customer feels safe, browsing, and purchasing from your online shop. There are still many online shops out there that aren’t responsive, don’t have any trust signals, and overall look a bit dodgy. You want to avoid this at all costs by ensuring that you have an SSL Certificate, a responsive website design, customer reviews where possible, and good branding.
Where do I start?
Optimising your conversion rate does involve looking at the data and running tests for specific things to help you determine what will make your online shop more inviting to customers.
First of all, take a look at your data and establish a baseline and identify what conversions you are wanting to change. Once you’ve identified a few conversions you’ll then need to start running tests on them.
For example, if one of your conversions is to increase newsletter signups you may want to try A/B testing your blog page and showing the signup box in different places. A/B Testing is one of the most powerful tools you can use to help determine how something should look, feel, and work on your online shop. It can provide you with great insight into how your visitors are interacting with your online shop.
UX Designer at EKM Michael said, “What’s great about A/B testing is that you can test small changes to your website and find out the implications of that decision choice before delivering it to your entire customer base.”
Heat mapping can also help you identify what parts of your website are heavily used and which aren’t. It can show you where people are clicking, which links they’re navigating to the most frequently as well as how far down people are scrolling on your online shop. It can help you to identify what areas may need more attention and what areas are not used, that you can remove to make the user experience more simple.
But all of this won’t matter if you haven’t set up conversion tracking on your online shop if you haven’t already. This shows you if and how your customers are converting and will help you when it comes to optimising your website for conversion.