CRO – The tool of the future
Focusing on bringing the leads, KPI, increasing the daily, weekly and monthly amount of website visitors, we often forget what’s as important as engaging the new customers – making them stay.
When we think about various conversion tools, it’s easier to picture the importance of the CRO described this way – imagine there’s a pot we have to keep being filled with water. The pot holds a particular type of plant that dries out losing a set level of moisture. It’s a good quality vessel, but it has some minor holes in various thinned out places that force the liquid to bleed through. To keep the water at the same level we keep pouring more on top – frequently, and relentlessly if we are aiming to keep the liquid intact.
That’s a crucial part of the process, but imagine how much more effective keeping the water would be if we managed to close some of the holes. Way fewer efforts and energy spent, right?
Now to uncover the described analogy – the pot is our website. By wanting to maintain or increase our sales we keep pouring more water – that’s our marketing bringing more leads. Now when it comes to keeping those leads, we might want to focus on plugging the holes – and that’s exactly what CRO is all about.
Defining Your Metrics
In the ocean of all the information available, it’s easy to lose track of which pieces of collected data will really contribute to the growth of your business. To obtain the best results in your Conversion Rate Optimization, it’s crucial to define your website’s performance goals and criteria for their achievement.
The first step on the way of doing so is choosing the right Key Performance Indicators to guide you in the whirl of the collected data. To assist you with your mission, we suggest three main KPI’s you should monitor in order to increase your website’s performance.
1) Number of visits to a completed sale
Measuring this indicator allows you to define how many visits it takes in order to result in a complete purchase. For some no-brainer products like accessories or small gifts, it might take only one visit to result in a sale. When other, more sophisticated, or luxury-segment products or services might require more consideration going into each completed transaction.
To utilize this metric you will have to set a reference point on the number, new customers visit your website before they make their first purchase.
2) Customer Lifetime Value
This KPI represents a prediction of the total value your business will derive from the entire relationship with a given customer. Due to the differences, presented by each product category, the number will drastically vary in each specific situation. If you specialize in winter outerwear, it might result in your customer returning 5-6 times during his lifetime. When offering lingerie, on the other hand, will bring your customers to your website each quarter.
To find this metric, subtract the cost it takes to acquire and serve the customer from the customer revenue. Add the findings together over his lifetime.
3) Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
Since it’s no tea party to engage your target customer, bring him to the website and inspire him to make a purchase, one of the most important indicators you can track is the shopping cart abandonment rate.
This KPI describes the percentage of visitors who’ve decided to add a chosen product to a shopping cart but left the website without completing the purchase. Since it’s the closest your visitors come to performing the main macro action, i.e.sale, you should pay special attention to fluctuations on this metric.
To calculate your website’s shopping cart abandonment rate you should divide the total number of checked-out purchases by the number of shopping carts left unattained. Subtract your result from one and multiply the obtained number by a hundred.
Top 3 Best Practices
Conversion enhancement is an ever-changing process, and with the evolution of the e-commerce industry, web-platforms and online shopping in general, it becomes more crucial to stay up-to-date with the website you are presenting. By working on the factors described above, we can drastically improve our visits-to-sales ratio.
To do so, let’s review the next steps in increasing an e-commerce website conversion rate:
1) Reducing the number of visits to a sale
To reduce the number your e-commerce store visitors have to keep returning to the website in order to make their mind regarding their purchase, make sure you leave them as little room for doubt as possible.
Firstly, pay attention to your descriptions. Keeping in mind that your customers don’t have the ability to assess the product in real time, make sure your description of the aftercare, fabric composition, sizing differences etc. is comprehensive and as close to the real product as it gets.
Secondly, make sure to include high-quality pictures from various angles under each product description. Including a video demonstration for products is an excellent way of reducing your visit-to-sale ratio, as it showcases your product in a true light, making an average visitor spend 88% more time on your pages.
2) Increasing the Customer Lifetime Value
When describing your items with text and visuals, the most important part after assuring they display high quality is making sure you don’t over-describe them. Polishing your products is always a good idea, as long as they represent the exact template of an item your customer would get. Using photoshop to upgrade your clothing fit might bring you a couple of orders, but if they don’t correspond to the real deal, your customers are not coming back.
To increase the customer lifetime value, build the trust with your consumers by being as transparent as possible. Include remarks about garments being able to bleed throughout the first couple washes, or mention the requirement of being handled with care and special cleaning detergent. For example, the fast-growing market of high-end previously used bags grows so rapidly mostly thanks to the resellers being completely honest about every dent and every scratch a branded purse possesses.
Allowing their visitors to see all the in-and-out of the product, merchants build a trust that lets their customers come back again and again, drastically increasing consumers’ lifetime value. Include remarks about garments being able to bleed throughout the first couple washes, or mention the requirement of being handled with care and special cleaning detergent. For example, the fast-growing market of high-end previously used bags grows so rapidly mostly thanks to the resellers being completely honest about every dent and every scratch a branded purse possesses.
By allowing their visitors to see all the in-and-outs of the product, merchants build a trust that lets their customers come back again and again, drastically increasing consumers’ lifetime value.
3) Reducing the Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
Decreasing your shopping cart abandonment rate might seem multilevel and complicated if you don’t know where to start. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are a number of specifically developed tools to resolve this issue. They target only those users who have added items to their shopping cart and shared their email address before leaving.
They do so by automatically sending a follow-up email to the visitor, offering help with completing their purchase along with various convenient ways of contacting your e-commerce store. Another feature among the said software, that is shown to have great proven results, is sending a coupon code along with the email, enticing your customer to proceed with their purchase.
Befriend your CRO
Websites are a lot of work – designing, building, and maintaining an online presence is a comprehensive task with a thousand little subtasks within it. And so is bringing the visitors to finally review it, so the last thing you want is to lose them by missing out on enhancing their user experience.
Building your CRO is the fastest, most efficient way of increasing your sales without much effort. At the end of the day, if you are selling a product or a service the number of daily visitors does not translate directly into the cash flow. The number of visitors who performed an action – bought in, booked or reserved your services does. And the Conversion Rate Optimization helps transform your website into a comfortable purchase zone for every one entering.
Because the truth is – it was never about the traffic. It’s about how much traffic you can convert into a sale – and this is exactly what CRO is made for. Due to the nature of the industry, optimizing your conversion rate is a constant work in progress. Websites design, interface and user experience evolve with the speed of light, – and so is the number of practices you can adopt to enhance them.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that for them to be effective it is crucial to perform in-depth research of performance indicators against sale goals and develop a corresponding strategy based on existing and potential clientele.