The landscape of online commerce has evolved. While the ability to sell your product is ultimately determined by the quality of your product, we live in an age of information inundation. With this new age comes new challenges for online marketers–optimizing their websites, digital storefronts, and buyer funnels for the most conversions.
Conversion Rate Optimization
As the Internet rose to a place of dominance, most companies have now established and continue to maintain an online presence in order to sell products to people all over the world. For most companies with an online presence, their primary goal is to have visitors convert into customers.
While a company may be able to sell, say, thousands of electronics to customers in a given day, there is still revenue to be gained from online shoppers who considered purchasing an item, but for one reason or another, did not and dropped off. For example, if a company sold to 800 users in a day, but there were 10,000 unique visitors that day, then their conversion rate is 8%. How can this be increased?
This is where Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) techniques come into play. The conventional way to increase the rate of conversion is to make your website more user friendly. By adjusting the layout, design, and call to action buttons on the site, you can make it easier and more natural for a customer to convert, therefore increasing online revenue and ROI on your digital budget. Traditionally, marketers used A/B testing to optimize their websites, however for complex multi-page buyer funnels, A/B testing is neither efficient nor effective in producing the best results. Hence, AI-powered CRO platforms like Sentient Ascend have become a favorite for marketers looking to optimize their website funnel, since it vastly outperforms A/B testing in terms of testing velocity and the ability to test a variety of ideas at the same time.
So how can you apply CRO tactics to spur the growth of your company? Below are five industry use cases for CRO.
Traveling in itself can be a hassle, but planning travel arrangements can be half the battle. Travel booking agencies compete to attract travelers to their services and keep potential customers on their websites instead of drifting away to those of their competitors. As a result, travel agencies have begun adopting CRO tactics to optimize their users’ experience.
When a customer begins their journey through an agency’s booking process, they encounter a multipage funnel. This consists not only of choosing flight dates, times, and airlines but also entering personal details on landing pages as well as added features such as extra baggage options or upgrade packages. By employing CRO methods such as multivariate website testing, travel agencies are able to make a user’s experience through this (typically stressful) funnel easier and more pleasant as a whole.
Purchasing a home is a massive investment, and finding the perfect home takes a lot of effort. Luckily, the home buying process has evolved with the aid of technology: in 1981, 22% of home buyers read newspaper ads to find homes, but in 2016, 44% looked online first. However, the process of purchasing a home is still onerous: 24% of individuals find the paperwork to be the most difficult step of purchasing a home, and 17% found understanding the process to be the most difficult step. Of course, 52% found choosing the right property to be the most difficult step.
Ultimately, having consumers fill out their personal details in forms and scheduling appointments with realtors is the end goal of real estate websites. To this end, a full funnel optimization is necessary in order to have users convert and fill out these forms. By employing multivariate testing, a real estate website can become more user friendly, and in turn ease the process of not only finding the perfect property, but connecting with the realtors who will finally close the deal.
Purchasing a new car is no small task for a consumer. According to AutoTrader, car buyers spend about 55-60% of their time researching their decision online. Small changes to your website might help guide your users to the end of the shopping experience. For instance, if you wait until the end of a “build and price” process to show the actual price of a car, more visitors might complete the journey and ultimately purchase a vehicle.
Consider the case of Classic Car Liquidators. Their goal is to sell classic cars directly to consumers with no middleman. Sentient Ascend determined that the optimal site change was one in the site’s banner: with a red instead of blue button, a picture of just the car, larger font, and a more specific call-to-action (CTA) button, the conversion rate of CCL increased 434%.
Most car purchases don’t happen online. Websites, like Newcars.com , connect visitors to car dealers. Like real estate websites, conversions for automobile websites come in the form of filling out forms and scheduling appointments with partnered dealerships. The prospect of filling out a form is always a chore for a potential customer, so websites like NewCars.com could employ CRO tactics with the end goal of making the process as convenient as possible. To this end, car websites benefit most by implementing user-friendly designs, and with the endless possibilities of website design, these websites utilize multivariate website testing paradigms like Ascend to achieve an optimized, easy to navigate interface.
With the ever-growing landscape of affiliate marketing comes even fiercer competition online. The role of affiliate marketers is to supply their clients with the highest number of clicks, downloads, purchases, or filled out form as well. Affiliates are a kind of digital marketing middleman if you will, working to increase leads in just about every digitized industry from online retail, to loan applications, to car insurance, and even home buying. As a result, affiliate marketers do well to adopt the latest advancements in marketing technology to ensure they come out on top in terms of conversions.
As an affiliate marketer, you want to broadcast your content to the proper audience to maximize conversions. AI-powered approaches allow marketers to segment cohorts and predict which of these cohorts would be most receptive to certain targeted ads. Moreover, these AI-powered technologies can be used to learn which which publisher sites offer the most potential and the most powerful results when it comes to driving relevant traffic. In doing so, these technologies both relieve marketers of manually sifting through this data and determine the optimal cohorts and publishers.
Ad placement optimization is also a key new area of research among advertising platforms. This research focuses not only on ad placement, but also optimization of targeting, headlines, and imagery. This use of CRO in affiliate marketing reduces overhead costs while simultaneously determining the best ad configurations. For more CRO tactics in affiliate marketing, check out our blog post on affiliate marketing.
With technological innovation has come the evolution of shopping. No longer are individuals forced to travel to the right store that sells exactly what they’re looking for — they can unlock their phone and find the item they want online in under a minute. This ease of access has been the catalyst for the staggering growth of Ecommerce: 23% year-on-year according to Big Commerce.
Ecommerce takes on an entirely different form from traditional stores. The advancement of AI techniques has enabled Ecommerce retailers to take into consideration a visitor’s name, location, age, and ultimately their preferences. Using multivariate testing paradigms, retailers can quickly determine the ideal shopping experience for any given cohort, which can greatly improve sales. This confluence of cohort analysis and website optimization gives rise to the ability for online retailers to tailor a personalized experience for every customer who visits their website.
These personalization techniques open the doors to new possibilities. Not only can retailers personalize the interface of the website, they can personalize offers and products that cater towards each individual. Moreover, retailers can personalize search results, so that the items a visitor is most likely to purchase are at the top of the search results page, increasing the chance that a user will purchase that item. These AI-powered solutions have not only made the shopping experience pleasant for users, but have increased revenues by 6-10% according to The Boston Consulting Group.
Are you ready for CRO?
These five industry cases serve as examples for how you can use CRO techniques in your online business today. Many of these techniques can be generalized and applied to almost any industry to increase conversions, and ultimately increase revenue. As businesses vie for the attention of potential customers more and more each day, these techniques become essential for success. Not to fear, though — armed with this knowledge, your company can get ahead of the curve and begin to see gains in revenue by implementing these techniques today!