Tag Archives: optimization

How to Leverage eCommerce Conversion Optimization Through Different Channels to Maximize Growth

Note: This is a guest article written by Sujan Patel, co-founder of Web Profits. Any and all opinions expressed in the post are Sujan’s.


“If you build it, they will come” only works in the movies. In the real world, if you’re serious about e-commerce success, it’s up to you to grab the CRO bull by the horns and make the changes needed to maximize your growth.

Yet, despite the potential of conversion rate optimization to have a major impact on your store’s bottom line, only 59% of respondents to an Econsultancy survey see it as crucial to their overall digital marketing strategy. And given that what’s out of sight is out of mind, you can bet that many of the remaining 41% of businesses aren’t prioritizing this strategy with the importance it deserves.

Implementing an e-commerce CRO program may seem complex, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of possible things to test. To simplify your path to proper CRO, we’ve compiled a list of ways to optimize your site by channel.

This list is by no means exclusive; every marketing channel supports as many opportunities for experimentation as you can dream up. Some of these, however, are the easiest to put into practice, especially for new e-commerce merchants. Begin with the tactics described here; and when you’re ready to take your campaigns to the next level, check out the following resources:

On-Page Optimization

Your website’s individual pages represent one of the easiest opportunities for implementing a conversion optimization campaign, thanks to the breadth of technology tools and the number of established testing protocols that exist currently.

These pages can also be one of the fastest, thanks to the direct impact your changes can have on whether or not website visitors choose to buy.

Home Page

A number of opportunities exist for making result-driven changes to your site’s home page. For example, you can test:

  • Minimizing complexity: According to ConversionXL, “simple” websites are scientifically better.
  • Increasing prominence and appeal of CTAs: If visitors don’t like what you’re offering as part of your call-to-action (or worse, if they can’t find your CTA at all), test new options to improve their appeal.
  • Testing featured offers: Even template e-commerce shops generally offer a spot for featuring specific products on your store’s home page. Test which products you place there, the price at which you offer them, and how you draw attention to them.
  • Testing store policies – Free shipping is known to reduce cart abandonment. Implement consumer-friendly policies and test the way you feature them on your site.
  • Trying the “five-second test” – Can visitors recall what your store is about in 5 seconds or less? Attention spans are short, and you might not have longer than that to convince a person to stick around. Tools like UsabilityHub can get you solid data.

Home Page Optimization Case Study

Antiaging skincare company NuFACE made the simple change of adding a “Free Shipping” banner to its site header.

Original

eCommerce conversion Optimization - Nuface Control

Test Variation

eCommerce conversion Optimization - Nuface Variation

The results of making this change alone were a 90% increase in orders (with a 96% confidence level) and a 7.32% lift in the average order value.

Product Pages

If you’re confident about your home page’s optimization, move on to getting the most out of your individual product pages by testing your:

  • Images and videos
  • Copy
  • Pricing
  • Inclusion of social proof, reviews, and so on

Product Page Optimization Case Study

Underwater Audio challenged itself to simplify the copy on its product comparison page, testing the new page against its original look.

Original

Underwater Audio Control

Test Variation

Underwater Control Variation - eCommerce conversion rate optimization

This cleaner approach increased website sales for Underwater Audio by 40.81%.

Checkout Flow

Finally, make sure customers aren’t getting hung up in your checkout flow by testing the following characteristics:

Checkout Flow Optimization Case Study

A Scandinavian gift retailer, nameOn, reduced the number of CTAs on their checkout page from 9 to 2.

Original

nameon-1

Test Variation

nameon-2

Making this change led to an estimated $100,000 in increased sales per year.

Lead Nurturing

Proper CRO doesn’t just happen on your site. It should be carried through to every channel you use, including email marketing. Give the following strategies a try to boost your odds of driving conversions, even when past visitors are no longer on your site.

Email Marketing

Use an established email marketing program to take the steps below:

Case Study

There are dozens of opportunities to leverage email to reach out to customers. According to Karolina Petraškienė of Soundest, sending a welcome email results in:

4x higher open rates and 5x higher click rates compared to other promotional emails. Keeping in mind that in e-commerce, average revenue per promotional email is $0.02, welcome emails on average result in 9x higher revenue — $0.18. And if it’s optimized effectively, revenue can be as high as $3.36 per email.”

Live Chat

LemonStand shares that “live chat has the highest satisfaction levels of any customer service channel, with 73%, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone.” Add live chat to your store and test the following activities:

Case Study

LiveChat Inc.’s report on chat greeting efficiency shares the example of The Simply Group, which uses customized greetings to assist customers having problems at checkout. Implementing live chat has enabled them to convert every seventh greeting to a chat, potentially saving sales that would otherwise be lost.

Content Marketing

Content marketing may be one of the most challenging channels to optimize for conversions, given the long latency periods between reading content pieces and converting. The following strategies can help:

  • Tie content pieces to business goals.
  • Incorporate content upgrades.
  • Use clear CTAs within content.
  • Test content copy, messaging, use of social proof, and so on.
  • Test different distribution channels and content formats.

Case Study

ThinkGeek uses YouTube videos as a fun way to feature their products and funnel interested prospects back to their site. Their videos have been so successful that they’ve accumulated 180K+ subscribers who tune in regularly for their content.

thinkgeek

Post-Acquisition Marketing

According to Invesp, “It costs five times as much to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one.” Continuing to market to past customers, either in the hopes of selling new items or encouraging referrals, is a great way to boost your overall performance.

Advocacy

Don’t let your CRO efforts stop after a sale has been made. Some of your past clients can be your best sources of new customers, if you take the time to engage them properly.

  • Create an advocacy program: Natural referrals happen, but having a dedicated program turbocharges the process.
  • Test advocacy activation programs: Install a dedicated advocacy management platform like RewardStream or ReferralSaaSquatch and test different methods for promoting your new offering to customers with high net promoter scores.
  • Test different advocate incentives: Try two-way incentives, coupon codes, discounted products, and more.
  • Invest in proper program launch, goal-setting, and ongoing evaluation/management: Customer advocacy programs are never truly “done.”

Case Study

Airbnb tested its advocacy program invitation copy and got better results with the more unselfish version.

airbnb

Reactivation

As mentioned above in the funnel-stage email recommendation, reactivation messages can be powerful drivers of CRO success.

Pay particular attention to these 2 activities:

  • Setting thresholds for identifying inactive subscribers
  • Building an automated reactivation workflow that’s as personalized as possible

Case Study

RailEasy increased opens by 31% and bookings by 38% with a reactivation email featuring a personalized subject line.

raileasy

Internal Efforts

Lastly, make CRO an ongoing practice by prioritizing it internally, rather than relegating it to “something the marketing department does.”

Ask CRO experts, and they’ll tell you that beyond the kinds of tactics and strategies described above, having a culture of experimentation and testing is the most important step you can take to see results from any CRO effort.

Here’s how to do it:

Have an idea for another way CRO can be used within e-commerce organizations? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

0

0 ratings

How will you rate this content?

Please choose a rating

The post How to Leverage eCommerce Conversion Optimization Through Different Channels to Maximize Growth appeared first on VWO Blog.

This article is from: 

How to Leverage eCommerce Conversion Optimization Through Different Channels to Maximize Growth

First CRO Certification Course in Italy – An Initiative Supported by VWO

alt : http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ILoveSplitTesting/~5/7jRxHo7WIRI/madri_ok.mp4http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ILoveSplitTesting/~5/7jRxHo7WIRI/madri_ok.mp4

How can you learn Conversion Rate Optimization in a way that you can apply it easily to any project?  How can you make a low performing website to a highly remunerative one without redesigning it from scratch?

Those are just two of the questions that Luca Catania, Director of Madri Internet Marketing & Head of Marketing of Catchi, answered during the First Certification CRO certification Course in Italy supported by VWO.

The course targeted a wide audience—from people with no experience in CRO to experts in the field. Attendees comprised c-suite executives—Entrepreneurs, Head of Marketing, Managing Directors, Consultants, from more than 20 different industries.

The objective of the training was to teach participants an innovative step-by-step approach to CRO, in which participants are guided to learn a system that they can apply to any business to increase conversion rates, increase leads, increase sales online.

Participants got the chance to learn how to optimize their websites in a real-time setup. Using the VWO platform live in the course allowed the participants to understand and experience how the software can help optimize websites and achieve better conversions.

Do you want to improve you CRO skills? 

You can read interesting case studies and find the dates of upcoming courses in Europe/Australasia, following Luca Catania on LinkedIn.

The post First CRO Certification Course in Italy – An Initiative Supported by VWO appeared first on VWO Blog.

Jump to original:

First CRO Certification Course in Italy – An Initiative Supported by VWO

5 test results that made us say ‘A-ha!’ in 2016

Reading Time: 10 minutes

‘A-ha!’ moment (n.): An insight that leads to more substantial revenue lift and profitable growth for your company (e.g. the moment all Optimizers live for).

At WiderFunnel, our mission is create profitable ‘A-ha!’ moments for our clients every day.

Last year, I created a five-part ‘A-ha!’ moments series: Five mini blog posts focused on five of our favorite insights from 2015. Well, turns out 2016 was also full of ‘A-ha!’ moments that were too good to keep to ourselves.

This post explores five of WiderFunnel’s favorite ‘A-ha!’s from the past year. I hope that they inspire you as you begin planning your 2017 experiments!

‘A-ha!’ #1: Using color psychology to increase conversions

If you follow WiderFunnel, you probably know that we are not big fans of conversion optimization ‘best practices’ like “all calls-to-action should be orange”.

Because, frankly, best practices may not be the best thing for your business. They must be proven in your business context, for your users.

That said, this first ‘A-ha!’ moment comes from a color isolation test. But, the ‘A-ha’ isn’t the result, it’s the why behind the hypothesis.

The strategy

One of our clients provides an online consumer information service — users type in a question and get an Expert answer. Once a user asks their question, they have entered a four-step funnel:

  • Step 1: Ask the question
  • Step 2: Add more information
  • Step 3: Pick an Expert
  • Step 4: Get an answer (aka the checkout page)

We have been testing on each step of this funnel, but this particular experiment was on the all-important checkout page, the final conversion.

What can the right color do?

For each WiderFunnel client, we create a customized growth program, however, each program is built with our proven Infinity Optimization Process™. The process cycles between two phases: Explore (information-gathering) and Validate (testing and proving).

Research on consumer behavior, psychological principles, and persuasion techniques is a huge part of the Explore phase. Our Strategists use this research, along with several other information touchpoints, when developing hypotheses.

This past year, one of WiderFunnel’s favorite bloggers and researchers, Nick Kolenda, published a giant piece on color psychology. Kolenda looked at 50 academic studies on color, and compiled his findings. According to him, certain colors can inspire certain actions.

Aha! #1 color spectrum
Can certain colors influence your users’ behavior?

In the case of this client, Optimization Strategist, Nick So, wanted to see if adding a subtle, subconscious visual cue to the checkout page would be more motivational for users. He was looking, specifically, at warm colors.

Persuasion principle
: Warm colors (with high saturation and low brightness) increase arousal because they trigger impulsivity, and tend to increase behavioral responses.

The test: Isolation I and isolation II

In the first isolation, Nick decided to put warm colors to the test.

Hypothesis: Increasing prominence of the checkout area by using a color linked to increasing action and responses will improve visual clarity of the page and increase conversions.

Aha! #1 Control
The client’s original checkout page.
Aha! 1 VarA
Our variation, which emphasized the payment section with a warm color background.

In the variation, Nick removed all other background colors and added a warm orange background to the payment section. And it worked! This variation saw a statistically significant 2.82% increase in conversions.

We wanted to validate this insight across audiences, so Nick created a second isolation for this client’s mobile users.

Aha! #1 mobile
From right to left: the Control, VarA, and the winning VarB.

He tested the Control against two variations: Variation B (the warm color isolation) was built on variation A, so Nick was able to track the isolation properly. In this experiment, the color change was responsible for a 2.7% lift in conversions, almost the exact same increase as in the desktop test.

A-ha!

Nick So WiderFunnel

It’s always amazing how such seemingly subtle psychological cues and persuasion elements can have a big potential impact on user behavior. We are fortunate to be able to have a client that has the traffic, trusts us, and understands testing enough to allow us to run an isolation on such an interesting concept.

– Nick So

‘A-ha!’ #2: Sometimes, all your users need is a clear next step

You may have heard the phrase “if content is king, revenue is queen”…

WiderFunnel Founder & CEO, Chris Goward, wrote, “Content is important for getting people to your site, from search algorithms to social share to links to your site, but content alone doesn’t make you revenue. Content without conversions is just free publishing.

Our second ‘A-ha!’ moment comes from testing we have been doing with one WiderFunnel client: A content site that provides information for the individual investor. This client offers a ton of free resources on its website to help users stay on top of their finances.

Of course, they also offer subscription services, such as their newsletter and professional advisor service, which provides premium stock-picking advice to users. Our goal is to help this client increase profitable conversions.

The strategy

When we began testing with this client, there were many different paths that users could take after landing on an investing article. And there was almost no indication that there were professional services available (which is how this client makes money!)

The WiderFunnel Strategy team did an initial LIFT analysis of the site-wide navigation, which revealed several problems, like:

  • There was not a clear, primary call-to-action in the nav (Clarity)
  • There was a general lack of urgency (Urgency)
  • The menu drop-down for “Stock Picks” had one, ambiguous dropdown (Anxiety)
  • If someone is ready to spend money, it is not clear how to do so (Clarity)
Aha! #2 Control
The original navigation didn’t have a clear call-to-action.

We wanted to test giving users a clear action to take in the site-wide navigation. This way, a user who wanted more would know which path to take.

We tested adding a “Latest Stock Picks” call-to-action in the nav (replacing the “Stock Picks” dropdown); the assumption was that users of this client’s site are looking for stock-picking advice, specifically.

Hypothesis: Creating a clear “Latest Stock Picks” CTA in the site-wide navigation will cause more users to enter a revenue-driving funnel from all parts of the site.

The variations

We tested two variations, each of which featured the “Latest Stock Picks” call-to-action. But, in each variation this CTA took the user to a different page. Our ultimate goal was to find out:

  1. If users were even aware that there are premium paid services offered, and
  2. Which funnel is best to help users make a decision and, ultimately, a purchase?

With variation A, we added the “Latest Stock Picks” CTA in the nav. This call-to-action sent users to the homepage and anchored them in the premium services section. (This is how the functionality of the original dropdown worked.)

This section provides a lot of detail about this client’s different offerings, along with a “Sign Up Today” call-to-action.

Aha! #2 VarA
The winning variation featured a very clear call-to-action, while maintaining the same functionality as the Control.

With variation B, we wanted to test limiting choice. Rather than showing users a bunch of product options, the “Latest Stock Picks” CTA sent them directly to the professional advisor sign up page (this client’s most popular product).

Aha! #2 VarB
In this variation, the CTA sent users to a product page.

A-ha!

Both variations beat the control, with variation A resulting in an 11.17% lift in transactions with 99% confidence and variation B resulting in a 7.9% increase in transactions with 97% confidence.

Interestingly, because variation B was built on variation A, we were able to see that it actually decreased transactions by 3.3%.

So, what does this mean? Here are a few takeaways we plan to explore further in 2017:

  • Users may have been unsure of how to sign up (or that they could sign up) due to lack of CTA prominence on the original site-wide navigation
    • It is also possible that Urgency was a motivator for this client’s users: Changing the “Stock Picks” drop down to a “Latest Stock Picks” CTA increased urgency and led to more conversions. This wasn’t a clear isolation but it’s good evidence to follow-up with!
  • Users prefer some degree of choice over being sent to one product (as seen with the decrease in transactions caused by variation B)

But the main moral of this ‘A-ha!’? Make sure your users know exactly where to find what you’re selling. ‘Cause content without conversions is just free publishing.

‘A-ha!’ #3: The power of proper Design of Experiments

Earlier this year, I published a case study on WiderFunnel client, weBoost. WeBoost is an e-commerce retailer and manufacturer of cellular signal boosters.

This case study explored several tests that we had run on multiple areas of the weBoost site, including a series of design tests we ran on their product category page. Our third A-ha! moment takes up where the case study left off in this series…

A quick refresher

Originally, the weBoost product category pages featured a non-traditional design layout. A large image in the top left corner, very tall product modules, and right-hand filters made these pages unique among e-commerce catalog pages.

Aha! #3 Original
The original product category page layout.

We decided to test displaying products in landscape versus the long, portrait-style modules. According to a Baymard study of e-commerce sites, technical products are easier to compare in a horizontal layout because there is more space to include specs. This was variation A.

Aha! #3 Horizontal
Variation A featured a simple change: vertical modules to horizontal.

In variation B, we wanted to explore the idea that users didn’t need to see a product details page at all. Maybe the information on the category page was all users needed to make a confident purchase.

Variation B was built on variation A, with one isolated change: We changed the primary visual call-to-action from “View Details” to “Add To Cart”.

Aha! #3 Add To Cart
Note the primary CTA in this variation: “Add To Cart”

In a backward ‘A-ha!’ moment, variation A (based on the Baymard study) decreased transactions by -9.6%. Despite our intentions, the horizontal layout might have made it more difficult for users to compare products.

But! Variation B, with the add-to-cart focus, saw a 16.4% increase in transactions against the control page. It turns out that many users are actually comfortable adding products to their cart right from the category page.

Variation B moved more users further through the funnel and ultimately resulted in a large uptick in transactions, despite the negative impact of the horizontal layout.

After comparing variation A to variation B, WiderFunnel Optimization Strategist, Michael St Laurent, estimated that the “Add To Cart” call-to-action was actually worth a lift of 28.7% in transactions.

The follow-up (and subsequent ‘A-ha!’)

We knew that the horizontal layout led to a decrease in transactions and we knew that the horizontal layout plus the isolated CTA change led to a sizable increase in transactions.

So, we ran the obvious follow-up experiment: We tested a variation featuring the vertical module design with the add-to-cart focused call-to-action. We expected to see at least a 29% increase in transactions. We used variation B from the previous test as the Control, following proper Design of Experiments.

Aha! #3 Final
This variation reverted to the vertical modules from the original page, and featured the “Add To Cart” CTA.

As predicted, when we tested the “Add To Cart” call-to-action on the vertical modules, we saw a whopping 38.1% increase in transactions (more than double the 16.4% increase we observed with the horizontal layout, and 9 percentage points more than the estimate).

A-ha!

It never gets old to see isolations at work. The ‘A-ha!’ moment here is that no test ever has to be a ‘loser’. If you structure your tests using isolations, you will be able to track the potential impact of each change.

Michael St Laurent WiderFunnel

This entire time, we were assuming that users needed more information to make a technical product selection. We were focused on making the specs easier to compare, when there was an entire segment of the audience that was ready to put the product in their cart without more investigation. Sometimes you have to challenge your assumptions. In this case it paid off!

– Michael St Laurent, Optimization Strategist, WiderFunnel

‘A-ha!’ #4: De-emphasizing price reduces user anxiety

One of our clients is Vital Choice, a trusted source for fast home delivery of the world’s finest wild seafood and organic fare, harvested from healthy, well-managed wild fisheries and farms.

Our fourth ‘A-ha!’ moment from 2016 came out of the testing we did with Vital Choice on their product detail pages and revolves around de-emphasizing price, in favor of value proposition points.

While the results may not be surprising, the WiderFunnel Strategy team would not have prioritized this particular test if they hadn’t done extensive user research beforehand. Because we took the pulse of Vital Choice users, we were able to reduce anxiety and provide more motivation to purchase.

The strategy

Let’s say you wanted to order a few organic, grass-fed American Wagyu beef patties from the Vital Choice website. You would have eventually landed on a detail page that looked like this (the Control in this experiment):

Aha! #4 Control
Note the prominence of price on the original detail page.

As you can see, price is displayed prominently near the ‘Add To Cart’ call-to-action. But, during the Explore (information gathering) phase, WiderFunnel Optimization Strategist, Dennis Pavlina, identified several common themes of barriers to conversion in user survey responses, including:

  1. Price: Users love Vital Choice and the excellent quality of their products, but they often mention the premium they are paying. For many users, it is a ‘treat’ and a ‘luxury’ to buy from Vital Choice. Price-related themes, such as discount codes or coupons, also came up often in surveys.
  2. Shipping: Users often express concern about how frozen perishable items are shipped, particularly in warmer climates in the U.S.

If we could reduce user anxiety in these two areas, we believed Vital Choice would see a surge in conversions.

The test

Hypothesis: Adding relevant value proposition points that justify the price and quality of the product, and adding copy to reduce anxiety around shipping in close proximity of the order area on the product page, will increase conversions.

With our variation, we wanted to address the following barriers to conversion on the original page:

  • It was unclear what users would receive in their shipment i.e. how it would be shipped to them, how long it would take, etc. (Anxiety)
  • There were no prominently displayed value proposition points to justify the price of the product. (Value Proposition)
  • There was a lot of emphasis on the price of the product. (Anxiety)
Aha! #4 VarA
This variation addressed user anxieties by de-emphasizing price, and reassuring users of shipping guarantees.

A-ha!

This variation led to a 3.3% increase in conversions and a 2.7% increase in average order value, resulting in almost $250,000 in estimated additional annual revenue.

Conversions were up for almost every goal we tracked: Visits to checkout (step 2), visits to checkout (step 3), visits to checkout (step 4), total visits to cart, and average order value. But they were down to unique visits to cart.

Dennis Pavlina WiderFunnel

The most interesting part of analyzing results was noticing that, although unique visits to cart were slightly down, there was a large increase in total visits to cart. It’s a surprising pattern. We hypothesize that users may have been more confident and willing to purchase more items at once, when anxiety was reduced.

– Dennis Pavlina, Optimization Strategist, WiderFunnel

The fact that de-emphasizing price worked for Vital Choice users isn’t what made us say, ‘A-ha!’. But, the proven power of listening to, and addressing their users’ stated concerns, did. When in doubt, ask your users.

A-ha! #5: Quick view, long delay

A-ha! number 5 comes from testing we did with another one of our clients, a large retailer of sports goods, footwear, and apparel. We have been working with this company for more than a year to optimize their e­-commerce experiences, with the goal of increasing transactions.

Like on many e-commerce sites, users on this client’s site could view product details directly on the category page, using a Quick View functionality. When a user hovered over a product, they would see the product details in a Quick View window.

In our final ‘a-ha!’, we explore what (so often) happens when you test a common practice.

The strategy

Distraction is a very common barrier to conversion; often, there are elements on a client’s page that are diverting visitors away the from the ultimate goal.

For Michael St Laurent, the Quick View option on this client’s category page was a potential distraction.

Michael St Laurent WiderFunnel

The more visual cues and action options your visitor has to process, the less likely they are to make a conversion decision. At WiderFunnel, we have found that minimizing distractions such as unnecessary product options, links, and extraneous information will increase your conversion rate.

– Michael St Laurent

So, he decided to put his theory that the Quick View is an unnecessary distraction to the test.

The test

Hypothesis: Disabling the Quick View functionality will result in reduced distraction and ultimately, more conversions.

The Control in this test was the client’s original category page, featuring the Quick View functionality.

Aha! #5 Control
The original Quick View functionality.

In the Quick View, users could quickly move from product to product on the category page without going to a product page itself.

We tested this control against a variation that removed the Quick View functionality completely.

Aha! #5 No Quick View
In our variation, we eliminated the Quick View functionality entirely.

A-ha!

It turns out the Quick View functionality was, indeed, distracting. Disabling it resulted in more product exploration as well as more transactions; transactions increased by 4% (a big lift for a high-traffic company like this one!)

If your site has a functionality, like Quick View or a rotating banner, you should probably test it! While ‘flashy’ functionalities are…well…flashy, they are rarely what your users want, and may be preventing your users from actually purchasing.

At the end of every month, the WiderFunnel Strategy team shares their favorite ‘A-ha!’ moments from the past four weeks. Sometimes, the ‘A-ha!’ is an exciting result and big lift for a client, sometimes it’s a twist insight, sometimes it’s a ‘losing’ test that inspired a winning test.

As Chris Goward explains,

There’s no downside to communicating what you’ve learned from every test. If you view your optimization program as a strategic method for learning about your customers and prospects – for truly understanding their mindset – rather than a tactical tweaking program, you can take a broader perspective and find the gains in every test.

I hope that these ‘A-ha!’ moments inspire you to do the work, structure your tests properly, and learn constantly in 2017. And I encourage you to share your favorite ‘A-ha!’ moments in the comments section below.

The post 5 test results that made us say ‘A-ha!’ in 2016 appeared first on WiderFunnel Conversion Optimization.

Link to article: 

5 test results that made us say ‘A-ha!’ in 2016

15 Conversion Rate Experts Share Why to Step Up from A/B Testing to Conversion Optimization

A/B testing and conversion rate optimization (CRO) are not synonymous, but often confused.

A/B testing is exactly what it says—a test to verify different sets of variations on your website. Conversion rate optimization, however, is much more than just testing.

Conversion optimization is a scientific process that starts with analyzing your business’ leaks, making educated hypotheses to fix them, and then testing those hypotheses.

Conversion optimization is a process that needs to be repeated, but A/B testing is a technique. A formalized conversion optimization process can advance somewhat like this:

  1. Tracking metrics and identifying what parts of the conversion funnel need fixing
  2. Analyzing why visitors are doing what they are doing
  3. Creating and Planning your hypotheses for optimization
  4. Testing the hypotheses against the existing version of the website
  5. Learning from the tests and applying the learning to the subsequent tests

vwo-is-evolving-into-a-conversion-optimization-platform1

To further clear up the air around the two terms, we got in touch with the top in line conversion rate experts and picked their brains on the same. The experts tell us about their experiences with A/B testing and conversion optimization and why you should switch to the latter.

Quotes from Conversion Rate Experts

Chris Goward, Founder and CEO, WiderFunnel

Back in 2007, I could already see that a huge gap was developing among companies that are perfecting a process for conversion optimization and those that are following the easy advice of so many consultants.

Instead of selling top-of-mind advice, I focused WiderFunnel on refining the process of continuous optimization for leading brands. For each of our client engagements, we run a holistic CRO program that builds insights over time to continuously improve our understanding of their unique customer segments. The results speak for themselves.

Ad hoc A/B testing is a tragic use of your limited traffic when you realize how much growth and insights structured optimization program could be delivering. In an example that we published recently, a structured CRO program is exactly what this company needed to double its revenue two years in a row, over the ad hoc testing it was previously doing.

Brian Massey, Founder, Conversion Sciences

The most effective conversion optimization program seeps into the bones of your organization. Decisions that were once exclusively creative in nature gain a data component. Much of the guessing drains from your online marketing. We call this “rigorous creativity,” and it marries your best marketing work with insights about your visitors. It cannot be accomplished by running a few tests, but comes from asking daily, “Do we have some data to help guide us? If not, can we collect it?” The rigorously creative business is good at finding and creating this data and using it to maximize visitor satisfaction and business profit.

Rand Fishkin, Founder and CEO, Moz

Without a strong CRO strategy that encompasses the experience visitors have discovering, using, exploring, and hopefully eventually converting on your site, you’ll always be plugging holes in a leaky bucket rather than building a better container.

The best opportunities to improve conversion usually aren’t from changing individual pages one at a time with a multitude of tests, but rather by crafting a holistic, thoughtful experience that runs throughout the site, then iterating on elements consistently with an eye to learning, and applying knowledge from each test to the site as a whole.

Karl Gilis, Co-founder,  AGConsult

An AB test should come at the end of your homework. If you’re just AB testing, you’re probably gambling. Your tests are based on things you’ve read on the Internet, gut feeling, and opinions. Some of your tests will be winners, most of them losers. Because you’re shooting blanks.

The homework is data analysis and user research. This will reveal the problem areas and why your visitors are leaving or not doing what you want them to do. The better you know the dreams, the hopes, the fears, the barriers, and uncertainties of your users, the better you’ll be able to work out a test that will have a real impact.

In case you’re in doubt, impact seldom comes from design changes. Don’t change the color of your button, change the text on that button. Not randomly, but based on what users want and your knowledge of influencing people.

Don’t focus too much on the design. Focus on your offer, your value proposition, and how you sell your stuff.

Don’t sell the way you like to sell. Sell the way your customers want to buy.

André Scholten, SEO and Site Speed specialist, Google Analytics

Create a strategy that makes your clients happier and don’t focus on the money. Single non-related tests on the conversion funnel follow each other up, based on abandonment rates, judged on their influence on revenue. That’s not a strategy but more an operational process where test after test is conducted without vision. You should create a test culture within your company that tests everything that will make your website a nicer place for your customers. Give them feedback possibilities with feedback or chat tools to learn from these. Take their wishes into account and create tests to verify if their wishes are met. Create a test strategy that focuses on all goals: not only the money, but also information-type goals, contact-goals, etc. It will give you so much to do and to improve. That’s a holistic approach to testing.

Kathryn Aragon, Content Strategist & Consultant, Ahrefs

“Winging it” may work for musicians and cooks; but in marketing, any decision made outside of a holistic CRO program is a bad one. Only through testing will you find the right message, the right audience, and the right offer. And only after you nail these critical elements will you see the profits you need. It doesn’t matter how small or new your business is, take time to test your ideas. You’ll be glad you did.

Joel Harvey, COO & Conversion Optimization Expert, Conversion Sciences

To say an online business is great due to AB Testing is like saying a Football team is great because of their stadium. It is the entire team framework that leads to winning. An optimization framework integrates A/B testing as one component that includes the team, the brand, advertising, and a solid testing strategy. This is how industry-leading websites win year after year.

Rich Page, Conversion Rate Optimization and Web Analytics Expert

Many online businesses make the mistake of thinking that A/B testing is the same as CRO and don’t pay enough attention to the other key aspects of CRO. This usually gives them disappointing results on their conversion rates and online revenue. Web analytics, website usability, visitor feedback, and persuasion techniques are the other key CRO elements that you need to frequently use to gain greatest results.

Gaining an in-depth visitor feedback is a particularly essential part of CRO. This helps you discover your visitor’s main needs and common challenges, and forms high-impact ideas for your A/B tests (rather than just guessing or listening to your HiPPOs). Gaining visitor insights from usability tests and watching recordings of them using your website is particularly revealing.

Peter Sandeen, Value Proposition and Marketing Message Development Expert

Just about every statistic on A/B test results says that most tests don’t create positive results (or any results at all). That’s partly because of the inherent uncertainties of testing. But a big part is the usual lack of a real plan.

Actually, you need two plans.

The first plan, the big picture one, is there to keep you focused on testing the right parts of your marketing. It tells if you should spend most of your energy on testing landing pages, prices, or perhaps webinar content.

The second plan is there to make sure you’re creating impactful differences in your tests. So instead of testing two headlines that mean essentially the same thing (e.g. “Get good at golf fast” and “Improve your golf skills quickly”), you test things that are likely to create a different conversion rate (e.g. “3-hour practice recommended by golf pros”). And when you see increased or decreased conversion rates, you create the next test based on those results.
With good plans, you can get positive results from 50–75% of your tests.

Roger Dooley, Author of Brainfluence

Simple A/B testing often leads to a focus on individual elements of a landing page or campaign – a graphic, a headline, or a call to action. This can produce positive results, but often distracts one from looking at the bigger picture. My emphasis is on using behavior science to improve marketing, and that approach works best when applied to multiple elements of the customer journey.

Jeffrey Eisenberg, CEO, Buyer Legends

Conversion rate (CR) is a measure of your ability to persuade visitors to take action the way you want them to. It’s a reflection of your effectiveness and customer satisfaction. For you to achieve your goals, visitors must first achieve theirs. Conversion rate, as a metric, is a single output. CR is a result of the many inputs that make up a customer experience. That experience has the chance to annoy, satisfy, or delight them. We need to optimize the inputs. Ad hoc A/B tests cannot do this. Companies that provide a superior experience are rewarded with higher conversion rates. Focus on improving customer experience, and you’ll find the results in your P&L, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow statements.

Jakub Linowski, Founder & Lead Designer, Linowski Interaction Design

Thinking beyond the individual A/B test as optimization is a natural part of gaining experience. We all probably started off by running a handful of ad hoc tests and that’s okay—that’s how we learn. However, as we grow, three things may happen which bring us closer towards becoming more strategic:
1. We become conscious of ways in which we can prioritize our testing ideas.
2. We become conscious of the structure of experiments and how tests can be designed.
3. We think of a series of upcoming tests which may or may not work together to maximize returns.

Here is one example of one test strategy/structure: The Best Shot Test. It aims to maximize the effect size and minimize the testing duration, while doing so at the cost of a blurred cause-effect relationship.

Naomi Niles, Owner, ShiftFWD

Running basic A/B tests based on best practices is okay for a start. But to really get to the next level, it’s important to see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. This gives us a better understanding of what exactly we’re testing for and reach for results that fit the specific goals of the organization.

Kristi Hines, Certified Digital Marketer

Depending on your business and the size of your marketing team, you may want to go beyond just testing your website or a landing page. You may want to expand your A/B testing to your entire online presence.

For example, try changing your main thing (keyword phrase, catch phrase, elevator pitch, headline, etc.) not just on your website, but also on all your homepage’s meta description, your social media bios and intros, your email signatures, etc.

Why? Because here’s what’s going to happen. If you have consistent messaging across a bunch of channels that someone follows you on, and all of a sudden, they come to your landing page with an inconsistent message (the variant, if you will), then they may not convert simply because of the inconsistency of your message. Not because it wasn’t a good message, but because it wasn’t the message they were used to receiving from you.

As my own personal case example, when I change my main phrase “Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, business blogger, and certified digital marketer.” I don’t do it just on my website. I do it everywhere. And I don’t do it for just a week. I do it for at least two to three months unless it’s a complete dud (i.e., no leads in the first week at all).

But what I usually find is when I find a good phrase, I’ll start getting leads from all over the place. And usually they will say they went from one channel to the next. Hence, don’t just test. Test consistency across your entire presence, if possible. The results may be astonishing.

Jason Acidre, Co-founder/CEO, Xight Interactive

I do think that Conversion Rate Optimization as a marketing discipline goes beyond just a series of A/B and/or Multivariate tests. As external factors such as your brand and what other people say about the business (reviews and referrals) can also heavily impact how a site can perform in terms of attracting more actions from its intended users/visitors.

For instance, positive social proof (number of people sharing/liking a particular product or a brand on different social networks) can also influence your customer’s buying process. And improving on this aspect of the brand involves a whole different campaign – which would involve a more holistic approach to be integrated to your CRO program. Another factor to consider is the quality of traffic your campaign is getting (through SEO, PPC, paid social campaigns, content marketing, etc.) The more targeted traffic you’re able to acquire, the better your conversions will be.

Your Turn

A full-fledged conversion optimization program goes a long way and is a lot more beneficial than ad hoc testing.

So what are you waiting for? Let stepping up to conversion optimization be your #1 goal in the new year.

cta2

0

0 ratings

How will you rate this content?

Please choose a rating

The post 15 Conversion Rate Experts Share Why to Step Up from A/B Testing to Conversion Optimization appeared first on VWO Blog.

Source: 

15 Conversion Rate Experts Share Why to Step Up from A/B Testing to Conversion Optimization

User Flow Optimization: The CRO Strategy No One Talks About

A/B testing works… sometimes. But more often than not, you’re simply “moving deck chairs around the Titanic” as Larry Kim puts it (making small changes that only generate small returns). Instead, the ‘unicorns’ – or the A/B tests regularly topping 10% conversions – are focused on overhauling their offers and restructuring the flows and funnels through their website. Here’s the step-by-step process my company used to optimize a website’s user flow to deliver 166% increase in leads after three months. Why A/B Testing Isn’t Always That Great A/B tests are awesome in theory. You barely have to lift a mental…

The post User Flow Optimization: The CRO Strategy No One Talks About appeared first on The Daily Egg.

Credit – 

User Flow Optimization: The CRO Strategy No One Talks About

Why and How Should Enterprises Adopt a Culture of Optimization

Every organization abides by a set of values and beliefs, which prompts the culture within the organization. This organizational culture can be seen as the way in which its members relate to each other, their work, and the outside world in comparison to other organizations.

An overwhelming 84% of participants in the Global Culture & Change Management Survey conducted by Strategy& said that culture is critically important to business success.

Great companies like Apple and Google have been known to benefit greatly by investing in their in their culture. On the other hand, companies like Blockbuster and JCPenney lost their focus on culture and paid a heavy price.

So what type of cultural values should an enterprise invest in to be successful?

What Type of Organizational Culture to Adopt?

Company owners and decision-makers should invest in a culture of innovation and optimization during their business lifecycle.

Innovation, as they say, is the hallmark of entrepreneurship. In the early stages of development of a company, creative ideas and innovation alone bestow promising results. After that stage is crossed and you find a product-market fit comes the need for optimization. This is because when a product is reaching maturity, it needs to sustain itself and still keep earning profits.

Sachin s Copy for Review Optimization Post Google Docs
Source

Why to Adopt a Culture of Optimization?

Optimization, by dictionary meaning, is “an act, process, or methodology of making something (as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible.”

For a mature and well-run product organization, the concept of optimization should be applied to every business process to gain optimal benefits. Whether it is your team, funnel, or website that you’re optimizing, you can be sure of making a bigger bang for the buck.

For instance, by optimizing your website, you can get more conversions for the same number of visitors. By optimizing your team, you can grow manifold the productivity and output of the same team members, and so on.

A culture of optimization is geared toward incremental, consistent, and risk-free improvements coordinated across company’s platforms to meet executive targets.

Tim Eyre, COO of a renowned digital marketing agency Big Leap, aptly puts it thus:

“Establishing a culture of optimization really starts with having an attitude of never being satisfied. For us, it means that we believe we can always improve the results we provide for our clients, whether through content pieces, paid search optimizations, or website optimization, including a heavy dose of conversion rate optimization. We strive for excellence in our work, and we have found that one of the quickest ways of approaching excellence is through testing”.

Now that we’ve established the importance of having a culture of optimization, let’s look at how to incorporate it within your organization:

How to Incorporate a Culture of Optimization

Be Data-Driven

Before you begin optimizing your business processes, it is imperative to take stock of the current standing. You need to assess how you are placed currently and set benchmarks for improvements accordingly.

A good optimization program would be rooted in in-depth data and research of what we are optimizing and for which end goals. When your employees start questioning subjectivity and validate their decisions with both data and insight, it ultimately makes your organization a more efficient one.

Craig Smith, Founder and CEO of Trinity Insight, believes,

To facilitate a culture of testing, every aspect of an operation must have a unique data point that can be optimized against. We firmly believe that all areas of an organization, from personnel, to processes, to traffic and content, need to have a core KPI that can be measured for future improvement. Doing so creates a deeper level of accountability and a more proactive culture for experimentation and trying new approaches to do better.”

Get Top Management Buy-In

Like a waterfall, culture too flows from the top to the bottom. To inculcate a healthy culture of experimenting and optimizing, it is imperative that the top management complies.

If the top management is on the same page, it’ll realize the need for optimization and allocate sufficient budget for it. This will make it easier to execute any optimization program.

The idea of optimization can be sold to the top management by highlighting its key benefits. You can show how the returns on efforts outweigh the investment, and strengthen your pitch. Here are some key ways to influence your top management:

  • Highlight potential improvements.
  • Present a competitive analysis.
  • Showcase the ROI.

If you’re looking to optimize your websites in particular, you can read this post on getting the top management buy-in for CRO.

Get the Team Involved

While the top management provides resources for an optimization program, the success of the program also depends on the understanding and acceptance of the approach by the team members.

Get everyone involved and teach them enough so they can contribute. You can hold information sessions or talks to review the basics of optimization.

Michael Heiligenstein, Director of SEO at Fit Small Business:

“If you want to incorporate a culture of Optimization, you need to allow and encourage anyone to challenge or at least question the data or ask how you could test an idea. But when someone says or asks something, be sure to ask them to back up their claim with data. They need to be able to validate any of their claims or thoughts, or at least give reasons for them.”

To make it motivating and straightforward for the team members, you should also take time to establish rules and incentives up-front.

You can also start a weekly ritual like a meeting or a report, something that will both analyze the progress of your optimization program and encourage its prosperity.

Invest in the Right Tools

To unroll the culture of optimization, you’d also be required to invest in the right tools. Having a tool in place can channelize and simplify your efforts manifold. Now the type of tool you should invest in depends on your optimization activity.

For instance, if you want to optimize the hiring process of your organization, you may want to invest in a good recruiting tool. To optimize your website for conversions, you should invest in a wholesome A/B testing tool.

Getting the right tools could eventually help you automate some of the optimization processes.

On You

Do you invest in a culture of optimization? Is there anything else that you do differently? We’d love to hear from you.

cta

0

0 ratings

How will you rate this content?

Please choose a rating

The post Why and How Should Enterprises Adopt a Culture of Optimization appeared first on VWO Blog.

Visit site:  

Why and How Should Enterprises Adopt a Culture of Optimization

How Agencies Should View Conversion Optimization | An Interview with Paul Rouke

This post is part of the CRO interview series by VWO. These were the previous two interviews:


This time around, we got an opportunity to interview the Founder and CEO of PRWD, Paul Rouke. PRWD is a leading UK-based conversion optimization agency and has worked with some big clients such as Moss Bros, Bensons for Beds, and Schuh.

Paul Rouke, Founder and CEO of leading UK-based agency PRWD

Paul provides actionable insights for agencies who are pitching a CRO program to their clients and ways to run it efficiently, as well as tips for enterprises to hire a good CRO agency.

Introduction to CRO

1) How important is Conversion Optimization in comparison with traffic acquisition efforts (PPC, Social, and others)?

Conversion Optimization, I think, is absolutely crucial. Many companies/agencies haven’t yet realized the importance of CRO and haven’t invested in this area. Alternately, companies that invest in this area have a better return on the acquisition spend.

It’s understandable that digital agencies, media agencies, and search agencies are all looking to offer conversion optimization to their clients, as it is a popular and high growth area. But my advice to any agency that wishes to take up CRO as its offering would be to take it seriously.

Agencies should make a commitment to practice CRO intelligently by putting the right people and processes in place.

2) Why aren’t enough large enterprises running sophisticated conversion optimization programs?

This is because most large enterprises have a fixed mindset. They always do things in a certain way, and it is extremely difficult to change the culture within these large enterprises. For them, it’s mostly about acquisition and driving traffic to the digital experiences rather than converting those visitors. There is a significant mindset shift that needs to take place with these large enterprises to recognize the importance of truly becoming customer-centric.

For that, first, they need to invest in really understanding the behavior of visitors, customers, and potential customers. Next, they need to change the culture within their organization, that is, embrace a “test and learn” mentality.

3) How can the CRO agencies lead to a cultural transformation in large organizations?

I think to influence the culture, an agency needs to change the mindset of decision-makers within the business.

Because ultimately, it’s these people who are running the business and making the strategic decisions on where to invest money. If they don’t have any real understanding and appreciation of intelligent conversion optimization, then they won’t put the resources behind it.

One of the effective ways through which we have delivered the start of this cultural change within large enterprises is by doing a detailed research on their website’s visitors. After we have the video evidence (or visitor recordings) of people using their website, then we give these videos to the decision-makers of the business. By watching these, the decision-makers realize all the issues, challenges, and barriers that the consumers are having on their digital experience. This works as a huge wake-up call for them.

The agencies should also be able to make them realize that they really do need to start becoming customer-centric and why it is important.

4) What factors do enterprises look at before hiring a CRO agency?

In terms of enterprise businesses, ultimately it’s a few things that they’re looking for.

First, they’re looking for credibility and specialization. They want to know about the track record of the agency and how they have been working in the industry with similar competitors or businesses over the last few years.

They’re also looking for the visibility of the agency as well. They want to know if it is a black box-type agency where they don’t know what they do, or is it a collaborative and transparent process that the agency is delivering.

In addition, companies are also looking for a clearly defined process and methodology behind the optimization program.

On top of that, particularly for international and enterprise clients, typically what we’re finding is that they’re looking for agencies with international capabilities because they’ve not just got the UK presence to optimize, they’ve probably also got Germany, France, US, and other countries. The big enterprises, if they’re looking to work on a global scale, are more often than not looking for ways to have more of a global optimization program, ideally delivered through one central agency.

Kickstarting a CRO Program

5) What are the things you need in place from the client’s end before starting a CRO program?

I think first of all it’s the key to have someone from the client’s business to lead the responsibility and be the the champion and internal leader for conversion optimization. Without this person, as an agency, we can do great work and try making an impact in the business, but ultimately, we’ll be limited with our impact on the business.

What also is needed from the client’s side is an openness to think differently. Going back to the “cultural transformation” part, the business needs to be willing to start to become truly customer-centric. It needs to have the mindset changed to be thinking of more iterative ways of improvement rather than maybe doing a full website redesign (that takes months) and then waiting for the next redesign till anything major happens.

A whole mindset change that conversion optimization isn’t just about iterative testing with buttons, headlines, or using the WYSIWYG editor from the testing platform, but much more than that. It ultimately allows businesses to help test their value proposition, to help test their perception with their customers, and to test introducing some new feature or functionality. So the willingness and open-mindedness to think differently is pivotal.

6) What is the composition of a CRO team in a full-service agency?

We have a multidisciplinary team with people who can work across different disciplines and different areas. The composition of a CRO team needs to be a full suite of people. In no particular order, you’d need:

  • Strategist: Someone who can think about or work on a strategy and a long-term optimization program for the growth of the business.
  • User Research Specialist: Someone who can conduct and moderate user research.
  • User Experience Design Specialist: Someone who can remove egotism from the design, and put their design concepts in a test and learn environment to see whether or not their new designs have a positive influence in user behavior.
  • Copywriting Expert: Someone who has a background in copywriting, persuasion, and psychology.
  • Development resources: Both front-end and back-end developers
  • Project Management: Someone who can coordinate and prioritize the entire process of CRO.
  • Data Analyst: Someone who knows the importance of data and can configure and improve the configurations of google analytics.

In the end, all these people should work together so that there is complete clarity and accountability of the tests that we want to run and the impact they’re having on user behavior—both from qualitative and quantitative perspectives.

7) Which tools do you think are essential for CRO?

I’ll start with a tool that comes absolutely free and one that companies most often than not fail to recognize the importance of. It’s not a classic tool that you may be thinking about, but it’s the tool called people’s brains. Companies often invest in the tools and technology for optimization, but fail to invest in the right people to run these tools.

If we were to talk about the classic tools or the actual technology to do conversion optimization, of course, there is the analytics platform, like GA, not just in place but correctly configured. Correctly configuring the analytics tool is the key here, as it is one thing having the tool and another to have it configured properly.

Then obviously you will need a testing tool. There are a range of tools available, but companies need to make a smart choice. They need to focus on getting the right process and people in place with a tool that facilitates testing rather than jumping into the enterprise level tools with the advanced features and functionality. One should always get a tool that facilitates quick testing which is also powerful and scalable.

From the budget that you would have invested in an enterprise level tool, you should look to invest in a tool that provides continuous feedback on user behavior via session recordings, feedbacks, and so on. To really power your CRO programme, you can align such a tool with a remote user testing tool such as whatusersdo.

In addition, what we’ve continued to do at PRWD is one-to-one moderated research. This isn’t a tool in itself, but a technique to understand behavior and facilitate a wide range of iterative, innovative, and strategic testing.

CRO Process

8) Do you have a documented CRO process? What is the CRO process you follow?

Over the years, we have continued to refine our methodology just by the very nature of working in this industry. Although I can’t share our complete process, our basic methodology is a growth methodology, which has its foundations in getting these four pillars right:

  • Strategy and Culture
  • Tools and Technology
  • People and Skills
  • Process and Methodology

A good CRO strategy involves going beyond developing some hypothesis and running some tests, but developing an intelligent methodology instead.

9) What are the common mistakes in CRO that enterprises/agencies often end up making?

The biggest mistake enterprises make is to jump into conversion optimization too quickly.

The mindset of not doing any CRO to investing in the best tool (because it has the credibility, client base, feature list), is often an enterprise business’s biggest mistake. Commonly, this decision doesn’t yield them any impact or value (not knowing how to get the most from their expensive tool), and this often results in the decision to reduce the budget for optimization, thinking that CRO isn’t for them due to the poor results they have. It is a vicious, and damaging, cycle.

For agencies, thinking that CRO is easy and would be just one of the services in their arsenal is their biggest flaw. It requires dedication and upskilling to be able to provide sustainable and effective CRO, and the agencies who are excellent at CRO are the ones who take it seriously and invest in intelligent optimization.

10) How do you analyze the results of a CRO campaign? How do you share the same with the clients?

Primarily, the core performance when running a test/campaign whether it is iterative, innovative, or strategic is looking at the primary growth metrics of the business. It cannot only be about increasing the revenue but also about increasing profitability.

Gathering any real understanding on the quality or the credibility of the test you want to run can be termed as vanity metrics. This can help if you want to make a volume-based approach and only think about how many tests we can do in a month or an year.

What I much more advocate is the sanity metrics in conversion optimization—alongside measuring the impact, month-to-month conversion rate, and how to influence it. It also measures the percentage of success rate and qualitative insights from people.

11) When you face a number of failed A/B tests, how do you still convince clients that CRO delivers results?

First, when an agency speaks to a client and starts working with them, they should talk about a cultural change and focus on influencing business change and mindset. From a business point of view, the business leaders and the decision-makers who are looking for an investment in conversion optimization need to understand and appreciate that every test is not going to be a success. So if they are not set up for that and are expecting everything to be a success, then it’s a failure of the agency for not educating the client in the right way.

For this case, if we run 10 tests and 8 of them fail, then the first thing I will do is look at the people who were responsible for developing the hypothesis for these tests.

Unless you’re an extremely mature business with a high velocity of tests, the reason for failure will most likely begin and end with the hypothesis.

The likely cause could be that there wasn’t an intelligent thought behind the tests, or maybe the design execution or persuasion wasn’t in place. A failure of a test (or several) does not mean that CRO can’t deliver results.

What do you Think?

Have any thoughts or suggestions on this interview or on how agencies should work with enterprise clients in general? Do share with your thoughts in the comments below.

cta2

The post How Agencies Should View Conversion Optimization | An Interview with Paul Rouke appeared first on VWO Blog.

Excerpt from – 

How Agencies Should View Conversion Optimization | An Interview with Paul Rouke

How “Your Tea” Boosted Revenue by 28% Through Structured Conversion Optimization

An increasing number of companies and agencies are following a structured approach to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Presently, we will be looking at how a tea eCommerce website increased revenue using conversion optimization.

About the Company

Your Tea is an online tea eCommerce site serving health and lifestyle-focused consumers. Tiny Tea Teatox is one of their largest sellers in their diversifying everyday tea product ranges.

Your Tea signed on We Are Visionists (WAV), a digital agency that partners with eCommerce agencies and startups, to help solve their clients’ digital problems ranging from paid advertising to conversion rate optimization.

We got in touch with Joel Hauer, founder at WAV, to know all about their successful optimization exercise that resulted in a 28% improvement in revenue.

Onboarding Your Tea

WAV pitched CRO as part of a raft of complementary services, including SEO and PPC, to improve Your Tea’s online presence.

Joel says, “It made business sense and so it was a straightforward decision for Your Tea. If you can create an uplift in your revenue by improving your product page, why wouldn’t you? We were able to make projections based on anticipated improvements to the site, and those projections were what got us over the line. We are lucky to have such a pragmatic client!

Process of Optimization

What WAV wanted to do was to insulate Your Tea’s revenue stream against any potential declines in traffic and maximize revenues in the periods of high traffic.

While doing so, they decided to follow a formalized approach to CRO, that is, researching their website data and visitors’ behavior intently to create hypothesis and running A/B tests that would impact revenues the most.

The Research Phase

To begin with, they analyzed their website data using Google Analytics (GA) to understand the journey of the visitors. They detected a large number of drop-offs on the product pages of the website, that is, a lot of people were landing on the product pages but not adding anything to the cart. They discovered that the Tiny Tea Teatox product page in particular was attracting the largest amount of traffic, and decided to optimize it first.

On further research on that page, they found that more than 50% of visitors were browsing through mobile. This information compelled WAV to closely analyze the mobile version of Tiny Tea Teatox. They found multiple optimization opportunities. For instance, the CTA was not prominent, there was no detailed description of the products, and more.

Here’s how the original page looked:

A/B test Control

Hypothesis Creation

Since a majority of traffic was coming from mobile in particular, WAV decided to optimize both the desktop and mobile versions of the Your Tea website. They hypothesized that adding a more prominent CTA, along with a detailed description of the product and user reviews would increase add-to-cart from the product page.

Using Visitor Behavior Analysis, they were able to develop their hypotheses further. For instance, by looking into heatmap analysis, they realized that visitors mostly browsed the product description and its benefits.

A large number of visitors also visited the reviews section, thereby making it clear that they were looking for trust elements. WAV decided to add more product information and benefits, along with credible “before and after” images and testimonials to the page. WAV also conducted website surveys and user testing sessions, which confirmed their hypothesis of adding more “credibility proofs” to the page.

The Test

WAV concluded that a full redesign of the product pages could yield better results than a series of incremental improvements from smaller tests. Such a massive redesign required heavy technical work, and WAV used VWO’s Ideact service to create a variation. Below is the screenshot of the control and variation:

Your Tea Control Variation Here’s how the Before And After section in the variation looked like:

Here’s the Why Buy From Us section in the variation that aimed to improve the website’s credibility :

Credibility Proof in the VariationResults

With the tests, they tracked two goals, that is, the add to cart conversion rate and the revenue.

The improvement in add-to-cart actions led to an impressive 28% increase in the revenue. In terms of add-to-cart conversions, control of the test was yielding a conversion rate of 11.3% in contrast to the variation which emerged to be the winner with a conversion rate of 14.5%.

Road Ahead

To capitalize on these higher conversions, an optimized checkout experience is required.

The agency could identify that the checkout pages were receiving multiple views from the same visitors. Users were getting stuck in loops around the checkout page. After they identified what to look for, the data from analytics supported it. Currently, they are testing to optimize the mobile experience on parameters such as anxiety and trust signals.

When asked about his biggest learning of the test, Joel responded: “One thing that came out of this test was learning more about the checkout experience—particularly on mobile.”

Experience Using VWO

Joel remarks, “The work of VWO’s Ideact team in setting up the tests on the technical front to help us record users through the checkout experience was invaluable.”

“We loved working with Rauhan and Harinder from VWO. The willingness to go the extra mile and help us get the maximum insight from our tests was fantastic. Having spoken about the features in the pipeline, we’re excited to see what’s to come.”

What Do You Think?

Do you have any similar experiments to share? Tell us in the comments below.

cta

The post How “Your Tea” Boosted Revenue by 28% Through Structured Conversion Optimization appeared first on VWO Blog.

Read original article:

How “Your Tea” Boosted Revenue by 28% Through Structured Conversion Optimization

Key Pillars of a Successful CRO Program | Latest eBook by VWO

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) has gradually become a known concept across enterprises, in recent years. The popularity of CRO can be owed to its ability to have a direct and significant impact on the bottom line.

However, application of CRO in most organizations has been far from optimal, which inadvertently causes them to leave money on the table. This money can be reclaimed by having a structured approach to CRO. Further, suboptimal optimization programs lead organizations to draw wrong conclusions, or statistically unsupported decisions, from their A/B tests and damage what’s not broken. Add to it the time and resources that are spent on CRO, and the real cost of an ill-structured CRO program begins to pinch where it hurts—ROI.

An optimal or structured CRO program requires certain key elements that ensure its success. The elements include tools, skills, processes, goals, and culture.

VWO’s latest eBook “Key Pillars of a Successful Conversion Optimization Program” covers all these elements in detail. This eBook features insights from industry experts and provides actionable takeaways to help you set up a CRO program or improve an existing one.

Key CRO Pillars eBOok Landing Page CTA

The eBook contains the following chapters:

1) Culture of CRO

The culture of CRO can be established in an organization with a two-step process. It starts with getting complete buy-in for a CRO program from the top management. Next, the process involves acceptance of the CRO approach by teams across the organization.

The chapter offers the following takeaways:

  • How to get top management buy-in for a CRO program
  • How to ensure that CRO is accepted by multiple teams in an organization

2) Competent Tools

A big part of the success of an organization’s CRO program depends on the set of tools being used. The tools that are essential for a CRO program can be clubbed into the following:

  • Website Analytics
  • User Behavior Analysis
  • A/B and Multivariate Testing

The chapter lists these tools and explores how they can be used to their full potential.

3) Key Goals

The effectiveness of a CRO program is heavily dependent on the goals you set. Without proper goals, a CRO program can lack direction.

This chapter offers the following points of learning:

  • The importance of different goals in a CRO program—micro and macro conversions
  • The appropriate time to use micro or macro conversions as the goal of a CRO campaign

4) People with the Relevant Skill Set

A CRO program involves a wide range of tools and activities. It demands a team of professionals that can coordinate effectively and make the most out of available resources.

This chapter highlights the following:

  • The skills that are critical for proper functioning of a CRO program
  • Job descriptions of different members of a CRO team

5) Documented Process

Last but not the least, a successful CRO program requires a well-defined process. It helps enterprises in identifying the most critical issues in their conversion funnel and treating those issues on priority.

This chapter offers insights on the following:

  • Setting up a long-term calendar for a CRO program
  • Prioritizing A/B testing hypotheses based on key attributes
  • Building a knowledge repository of learning from the past CRO campaigns

Conclusion

For a CRO program to be successful, it needs to be structured and process-driven. There are different key elements that contribute toward it—people, tools, process, goals, and culture.

When all these elements need to be fully optimized, a CRO program can run at its full potential.

Key CRO Pillars eBOok Landing Page CTA

The post Key Pillars of a Successful CRO Program | Latest eBook by VWO appeared first on VWO Blog.

Continue reading here: 

Key Pillars of a Successful CRO Program | Latest eBook by VWO

Have You Registered for CRO Day 2016?

CRODay blog cover image

Remember when you were a teenager and you wanted to get your [insert body part here] pierced because, “literally everyone is doing it”? And your mom was all, “Oh come on, [insert your first name here], would you jump off a bridge because everyone was doing it?”

Well, in most cases Mom was right. Trends are called trends for a reason: they come, they go and they might leave you with an undesirable extra hole in your head.

There is an exception, though: conversion rate optimization (a.k.a. CRO).

CRO Google Trends graph
Google Trends report for Conversion Rate Optimization over the past 10 years.

Everyone’s doing it — even the presidential candidates. And if you’re not doing it — or you’re not doing enough of it — you could be letting conversions, and thus sales, slip through your fingers and into the hands of your competitors.

So what’s a savvy marketer to do but trawl the internet for posts on “How to Conversion Rate Optimization”? (Please don’t search for that, it’s not English.)

Enter CRO Day.

What is it? CRO Day is a full day of online events for conversion-driven digital marketers. Events include five webinars, two panels, one Slack workshop, one AMA… and a five-second Landing Page Showdown.

When is it? Thursday, September 29, 2016.

Where is it? Your couch, your office, wherever you are most comfortable learning all things CRO. All Unbounce-hosted CRO Day events are 100% online.

Who’s gonna be there? You. And me. But also: Andre Morys, Talia Wolf, David DarmaninPeep Laja and many, many more.

What are the highlights?

  • The Five-Second Showdown. Join 10 conversion experts and host Oli Gardner as they dissect and improve CRO Day attendees’ landing pages based on the ol’ five-second test.
  • An epic panel discussion featuring Joanna Wiebe, Joel Klettke and Kira Hug. The topic? How to Write Killer Copy Without Being Shady.
  • Some of your most burning CRO questions answered, like “I have all this data, but what do I do with it?” and “How can I get more conversions out of your traffic?”
  • Community events! If you’d like to host a webinar or in-person event to celebrate CRO Day or if you want to join in on an existing event, check out our Community Events Agenda on Inbound.Org

Don’t miss out on the online digital marketing event of the year. Register today!

Continue reading: 

Have You Registered for CRO Day 2016?