If you are running your eCommerce business you know that Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is crucial. You probably thought about the process, and like many others, were overwhelmed by the information and the process. So, let’s start with the basics.
Where can I see my Conversion Rate?
On Shopify or Shopify Plus you can easily see this on your dashboard or analytics section. According to Shopify data, the benchmark is 1.75%. Larger stores have pushed this to 1.85%, and if you are more than 2.8% you are in the top quartile. The highest conversion rate we’ve seen on Shopify is 8%.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
CRO is the practice of raising your conversion rate to get desired actions, in this case, conversions.
Even though our focus is mostly on sales, it’s important to say that purchase isn’t the only conversion. For example, filling out a lead form or signing up for an email newsletter can also be considered a conversion, depending on your goals. The goal is to turn the visitor into a paying customer. In shaping the customer journey, the CRO is one of your best friends/tools.
The first step in any successful CRO process is the audit.
For a successful audit and finding the best practices, you have to decide who is your ideal customer, what they want, and what you can do to provide them with the best experience. To create an ideal customer journey, you have to provide them with the perfect path. For high CRO, your website has to follow best practices that are relevant to your targeted audience. How will you find them? CRO audit is going to give you answers.
The simple definition of a CRO audit is everything that impacts how the visitor sees your site and visitors’ behavior. Some may confuse Conversion Rate Optimization with SEO, but in reality, CRO covers much more than SEO. The UX/UI is very important and sometimes even small improvements and fixes can make a considerable difference. Its end goal is to optimize your marketing process, and if that is optimized, your conversion rate is higher.
CRO Audit Process
Here at Thails, we like to split the auditing process into three main phases:
At the first stage, we begin by installing data analysis tools, if you don’t have them yet. A manual evaluation by one of our experienced CRO specialists is performed on your full purchase funnel of the store. The purchase funnel depends on your store and where most of your traffic is landing, but usually, this purchase funnel is:
Homepage -> Product Page -> Cart -> Checkout
We tailor the focus depending on your business and input, but we manually analyze each purchase step with our experience as well as for analytics data (Google Analytics and a heatmap software), in order to provide you with data-driven recommendations.
One of the most common issues is page load speed – if the website takes too long to load, the visitor might leave your site. Retail sites take on average 6 seconds to load, and if your store has a longer load time, you need to make that no.1 task on your list. What affects your load speed? Images that are not optimized, disabled compression, long server response time, unused JS and CSS, and many others.
Another common issue is not optimizing the purchase experience for both desktop and mobile. The Mobile version is where most of the traffic is going. This trend is increasing every year, so this should be one of the main things you need to be optimized. For example, according to Shopify statistics, this Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales had 67% of sales made on mobile devices versus 33% on desktop.
If your eCommerce business is well-established, then your brand design is already set, but that doesn’t mean that you have an optimized UI/UX experience. You want the visitors to have a smooth experience, and your conversions will increase. Don’t forget the call to action, and make sure you have a CTA that will lead your customers down the path you want.
With the insights and recommendations from your analysis phase, we create a prioritized roadmap for us to strategically execute. Everything that was discovered in the first phase of analysis will be implemented and worked on in the second phase.
After you have analyzed everything, the next step is an examination which is part of both, analysis and implementation. By identifying high impact areas – the biggest issues that are decreasing your rate, you know where to improve, and have significant revenue jumps as a result.
There is no single technique or best practice that works for everyone, that’s why analysis is such an important step. You will know exactly what your issues are, and with defined goals, implementation will be easy and be unique to your website, bringing you the results you wanted in the first place.
Over time we review the implemented efforts and evaluate additional changes that can be done to increase your conversion rate. After the second phase – the implementation, you will have more than enough data to review and analyze to see if the first two phases were successful. Of course, this isn’t the end, you need to do checkups on your CRO every now and then.
Don’t forget the A/B testing which is a necessity, but don’t see it as your only option. You should review usability testing, customer journey mapping, personalization tools, and many more. Never limit the possibilities of your website.
When doing a CRO audit, you have three options:
- DIY audit – if you did it before, you know what to do. But, if this would be the first time to do it, you might want to check out the next two options.
- Individual contractors – many contractors specialize in Conversion Rate Optimization, and that might be the thing you need, especially when you are just starting.
- Agencies – agencies usually put multiple CRO experts onto your audit, and each of them will do what they are the best in, to provide you with the most detailed audit.
What’s next? Execution! You will probably get easy tasks done right away, and some will take a lot of your time, but it’s all worth it. Whatever you decide, make sure you have things ready: ideal audience, what you want to achieve, and don’t miss anything.
At Thails we fully focus on Shopify and Shopify Plus websites and have worked on eCommerce stores generating above €20M yearly. If you’d like to find out if we can help you, book a consultation call with us below: