CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) consists of continuously optimising the performance and user experience of a website or mobile app.
It forms part of a more overarching sales and marketing approach that allows an organisation to test different journeys and marketing messages in order to learn more about audiences and engage them more effectively (by personalising the journeys and messages offered). Above all, this methodology aims to achieve long-term improvement in the conversion rates and macro/micro performance indicators of a website.
Indeed, why invest large budgets in traffic acquisition if you don?t have a website or mobile app that can convert visitors into customers or at least prospects? Given that 68% of users leave a site due to a poor experience, understanding irritants and optimising the UX represents a valuable growth driver for every company.
The CRO approach draws on CEM to analyse user behaviours further up the line and therefore modify a website (in terms of usability, user journeys, the content provided, etc.) based on the issues identified.
Different types of KPIs can be optimised: conversion rate, quotation requests, newsletter registrations, drive-to-store, average basket value, number of downloads of white papers, etc.
Once thought has been given to which performance indicators to improve, all you need is to have the right testing and analytics tools to monitor and analyse the actions put in place.
The CRO approach, therefore, draws on digital marketing tools and techniques such as A/B testing or split testing, multivariate testing, personalisation and ergonomics/user experience to apply optimisations identified in CEM.
THE MAIN PRINCIPLES OF CRO
To implement a useful and relevant CRO strategy, it isn't enough to launch tests blindly. To obtain good results and achieve a substantial impact, four key stages need to be followed:
What are you trying to achieve? What actions do web users want?
If it's about downloading a white paper, the objectives are assessed in terms of number of downloads over a given period. If the goal is to reduce the number of baskets abandoned, the idea will be to increase the number of users moving to the next stage, etc. Each business objective will result in a suitable CRO strategy.
In all cases, defining a business objective that you want to achieve is an initial key stage in a CRO approach.
What optimisations need to be developed? Depending on the objectives set and the desired actions, it is necessary to define and prioritise (using a CEM approach) a roadmap of improvements to test: pop-ups or CTA, changes to content, simplified purchase funnel, etc.
It's crucial to effectively prioritise in the roadmap in order to maximise the "positive" tests that will be launched (the opinion of an expert from outside the company can be a valuable tool).
Preparing tests involves producing alternative versions of the original (using an editor provided by the AB testing tool or directly by developing, in the case of more complex changes).
The tests then need to be set up: configuration, targeting, traffic modulation and validation (the test must display properly on all browsers and smartphones).
An appraisal is conducted after the tests to measure the results, confirm the winning versions, extract key learnings and define the next tests.
The most effective variations can be rolled out (initially applied to 100% of traffic via the A/B testing tool, then developed directly on the site).
Near-continual optimisation enables increasingly effective conversion rates to be achieved.
Indeed, the CRI forms part of a continuous improvement process: this means you must never stop after a test (positive or negative) but instead draw on each test's various learnings to provide input for subsequent optimisation campaigns.
This introduction is an extract from the chapter dedicated to Customer Rate Optimization CRO in the Yearbook 2019 (LineUP7) ; click below to download the long version:
Resources on Customer Rate Optimization CRO
Video of the @Berlin2019 conference
The Conversion Rate Optimization solutions (CRO) market is growing fast. The study will compare the main European players and will provide an overview of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions.