Top 4 Methods for Finding Test Ideas for Your eCommerce Store

Are you looking to continuously improve your eCommerce store? If so, you’ve probably wondered whether changes you want to make to your store will help, hurt, or make any difference at all in your store’s performance. In fact, not even the most experienced marketers and designers can perfectly predict if a particular change will improve…

Are you looking to continuously improve your eCommerce store? If so, you’ve probably wondered whether changes you want to make to your store will help, hurt, or make any difference at all in your store’s performance. In fact, not even the most experienced marketers and designers can perfectly predict if a particular change will improve your conversion rate.

This is where A/B testing comes in. It’s an amazing method that makes it possible to prove—with data—if a particular change has an impact and whether it’s positive or negative. In an A/B test, you can split your traffic between your page or element versions, and even define the audience that gets to view the variation. The version that gets the best results is the winner.

Top 4 Methods To Find Test Ideas For Ecommerce

Once you know that you can test changes on your store before making a decision, it seems like a no-brainer to use that method moving forward. This can be a process of endless improvement.

Getting started

So where should you start testing? How do you come up with ideas to test? 

You may have some ideas—probably even a document full of possible changes based on your opinions and experience. But that may not be the best way to come up with your tests.

Collect Insights With Vwo

I’ll show you a better approach—where to focus your attention and how to find tests that will increase your chances of getting meaningful, positive results. 

The following process removes the guesswork and moves you closer to those great results you’re looking for.

Where to focus your attention

Google Analytics won’t tell you what to test, but it does indicate where you should focus your efforts, that is, which part of the funnel to test. Google Analytics provides a Funnel Visualization Report that shows how many visitors are dropping off your store at each stage of the funnel.

Every eCommerce store is different depending on the industry it’s in and other factors. But a funnel visualization combined with some benchmarking lets any eCommerce store owner know which part of the funnel is the weakest link. Once you know the most problematic step, you can improve it by performing tests aimed at it.

GA Funnel Visualization Report
Screengrab of Build Grow Scale’s funnel visualization report

For example, in the image above, you can see that a lot of people abandoned the checkout. From 466 people that started the checkout process, only 131 people completed it. This indicates that you may have to work on your checkout. And because that’s a step where a lot of people abandon your store, improving it could yield the biggest results.

In the Dorado Fashion case, VWO found that there was a high drop-off on the checkout page. To address this and increase the Average Order Value, the VWO team tested a cart page variation that incentivized additional purchases for users who already had an item in their cart. This variation had a notice that said – “You are 1 product away to get Extra 30% Off”. The test ran for 26 days and the variation won with a 14.14% increase in clicks to the Thank You page. You can read the full case study here.

On the other hand, if you already have a very good checkout conversion rate, it’s harder to get significant improvements there.

Visualize your funnel as a leaking bucket. The more water you can keep in the bucket, the more money you get. By fixing the weakest steps of the funnel, you are effectively fixing the biggest holes in the bucket.

After fixing the big holes, concentrate your efforts on the medium holes and so on. To apply this to your online store, you want to find out which is the biggest hole and work on it.

Google Analytics helps you find the “what”—the step of the funnel that isn’t working—but it won’t tell you why it’s not working. You can determine why by using heatmaps, session recordings, polls, user testing, and other methods to help develop solutions to the problem.

Where to focus your attention for A/B testing

What to test

Choosing what to A/B test is one of the most important decisions you can make:

  • You can avoid wasting time you would otherwise spend testing things that make no difference.
  • You can gain valuable insights that can then become test ideas. 

Methods

I suggest you use a mix of methods to get the best results possible. Typically, the findings from one method overlap those from others. That’s a clear signal that you’re on the right track.

I’ll introduce four methods that employ these tools:

  1. Surveys and polls
  2. User testing
  3. Competitors and other big eCommerce stores
  4. Customer service logs

Surveys and polls

Asking questions that uncover concerns is one of the best ways to identify what you need to address on your eCommerce store. Posting surveys and polls on your store is a very effective method for gathering those insights. By asking your current and potential buyers multiple questions, you can collect very valuable responses. The value comes because these users are experiencing the store as would any real customer, so their insights are very pertinent.

There are multiple places to conduct surveys and polls. You can place a poll on your product page or homepage. You can also send surveys via email to people who’ve already bought from you. You can add an incentive to encourage them to answer.

My preferred method is to place a poll on the thank-you page. This placement is very powerful because users have just gone through the entire buying process just seconds before, so, if they have any questions or concerns, those will be fresh in their minds.

Each location in which you place a survey or poll can give you insights about different parts of the funnel.

Questions to ask

The best questions are those that uncover fears, uncertainty, and doubts (FUDs). Technical issues are relatively easy to find in your store. However, FUDs are the main factor in people opting not to buy from your eCommerce store. Here are a few examples:

  • They may fear that your product isn’t of a high enough quality (for example, they’re looking for a specific grade of aluminum, but you don’t list which grade you use).
  • They may be uncertain about a specific characteristic of your product (for example, they wonder if it’s waterproof, but there’s no mention of this on the website).
  • They may have doubts about your warranty and returns policies.

Addressing FUDs is one of the most effective ways to increase your conversion rate. After discovering which FUDs aren’t addressed on your website, create tests that aim to solve those FUDs.

In the Moho case, for example, VWO improved Moho’s revenue by communicating their offer of a 2-year guarantee on the product. The primary web store of Moho is Horloges.nl, which they use to sell watches from various manufacturers. This guarantee increased user trust and improved the Average Order Value by 6%. You can read the full case study here.

Vwo Onpage Surveys

Examples

You can place a very simple poll—even a single question—on just about any page:

  • “Do you have any questions you can’t find the answer to?” Place this on a product page to tell you which information users feel is missing (doubts) or don’t find clear or detailed enough (uncertainty).
  • “Was there something that almost stopped you from buying from us?” This poll question on the thank-you page has produced amazing insights. By definition, everyone who answers this is your target customer because they just bought from you, so their opinion matters.

Another way you can gain useful insights is to ask your customers why they bought from you. You may think you know your unique value proposition (the quality or qualities that set you apart from your competitors), but your customers usually know exactly why they bought from you.

If you can find out why people buy from you instead of the competition, you’ll have good content to apply to your store. Sometimes you’ll even discover unique value propositions you didn’t know you had (e.g., your product is of a higher quality than the competition’s or maybe you have the best prices overall)! Use these valuable insights to develop test ideas that better articulate your value proposition and increase your conversions. 

Examples of surveys and polls
Image Source: [1]

User testing

User testing shows you how visitors perform particular tasks in your store. It’s especially useful because you get to see, first hand, how users navigate your store, revealing friction points in the user journey as well as store usability issues. Use these friction points and usability issues to develop solutions you can try in an A/B test.

User testers are often asked to navigate a site and add a product they like to the cart. Observing this process, you’ll see what path the user takes: maybe they use the filters, the search functionality, and/or the collections. It opens a whole new world because you are navigating an online store through the eyes of someone else. User tests can help you identify biases.

For example, your cart page may be confusing enough that some people don’t know how to continue to checkout. However, because you browse your site daily, you know how to take that step, so you think it is easy. The new perspective you gain from a user test can show you the barriers your users may encounter and help you brainstorm test ideas to address those barriers (e.g., you can A/B test a simplified cart layout that makes it evident to users how to continue to checkout).

User Testing

Competitors and other big eCommerce stores

This one is controversial because you don’t know if your competitor’s store is performing better than yours, but I like looking at competitors’ sites. Look for interesting things you could bring to your store, like fit finders, money-back guarantees, comparison charts, wizards, and the list goes on and on depending on what you sell!

You don’t know if these have been tested by your competitors or if the concept will work on your store, so you get to test it on yours. Sometimes competitors find ways to solve customers’ problems, and you lose nothing by trying those out in your store. I’m not suggesting you copy your competitors’ websites. I am suggesting that you look for potential issues that your competitors have addressed that you have not.

What’s important here is that you do your research and find improvement opportunities for your store. Approach your research the way a customer does: they often compare products in multiple stores before buying. As a business owner, you should do the same and always assess how your eCommerce store stacks up against your competitors’.

You can also look at the big eCommerce websites such as Amazon. Because almost everyone uses those websites, chances are good that your customers are already comfortable with that format and functionality, so something similar might work on your store. For example, trying out high-level changes (such as updating product page layouts, offering swatches, etc.) could be beneficial.

Ideas From Amazon

But, of course, not everything that Amazon does will work on your eCommerce store. Make sure your approach takes into account the unique context and particulars of your store. For example, Amazon can’t talk about the unique value proposition of a particular product or brand on the homepage because it offers so many brands. But, on your homepage, you probably should talk about your unique value proposition.

As always, these are all just ideas to test. You will know for sure if it works after you test it!

A/B Test For Ecommerce

Customer service logs

Customer service logs are one of the best places to find FUDs to address. They’re very valuable because these are your customers directly reaching out to you and telling you their FUDs. This is one of the most direct and honest forms of feedback you can get.

There are multiple methods for collecting, organizing, and getting insight from your customer service data:

  1. Gather all customer service interactions and put them in one format. 
  2. Categorize every interaction by topic.
  3. Determine which issues come up more often than others.
  4. Address those issues in your A/B tests.

Sometimes the main concern for potential customers is the warranty. If that comes up for you, that’s a strong sign that making your warranty more prominent or revising it in some other way would be a good thing to test, something that will yield results you can use.

On the other hand, if nobody is asking or complaining about the warranty, then maybe you shouldn’t focus your efforts on that area.

Conclusion

Good tests that yield useful results come from good ideas backed up by research and data. Focus on the weakest links of your funnel and the biggest points of friction in your user’s journey.

The methods described above can help you find those weak links and provide great insights so that you can develop meaningful tests to improve your metrics.

How to Use Visuals to Increase eCommerce Conversions

You probably already know the human brain is far more quick to grab a visual (picture- or video-based) message than reading through a text-based one. But have you considered the same for improving your eCommerce conversion? Let’s back up here a bit and see what research has to say. For one, science confirms that visuals…

You probably already know the human brain is far more quick to grab a visual (picture- or video-based) message than reading through a text-based one. But have you considered the same for improving your eCommerce conversion?

Let’s back up here a bit and see what research has to say. For one, science confirms that visuals communicate information 60,000 times (!) faster than text(1). And here’s another interesting piece of research: brands using visual content tend to see 7 times higher conversion rates than those that don’t(2). To figure out which visual content works best for your brand, you can rely on A/B testing solutions like VWO.

It’s all coming together now, isn’t it? You need to up your visuals game to increase your eCommerce conversion. Not only will these visuals catch your target buyer’s eye, but they’d also show what’s under the hood, which helps you gain their trust.

Use Visuals To Increase Ecommerce Conversions

So, in this post, you’ll learn how you can use visual marketing to your advantage in your retail sales channel strategy[3] and the eight different types of visuals to use for boosting conversions. 

Ready to grow your sales? Let’s get started: 

1. Start off with high-quality, clear pictures

To begin with, you need high-quality pictures of your products. This means you’re going to have to say goodbye to stock images or pictures that you pull out from free internet sources. Why? Because those images don’t reflect what you sell and do very little to gain your buyer’s trust.

If you don’t believe us, you can A/B test this and check for yourself. Create a variation of your landing page with your product images on it, and measure its conversion rate against your original page that contains stock images or other pictures from the internet. You will be able to notice a tangible difference between the two.

AB Test With VWO

Worried you can’t afford a photographer at this point in your business? Don’t worry. A picture from your phone[4] still triumphs stock imagery as it instills trust. 

Sticking with stock photos, on the other hand, leaves a potential buyer suspicious as they think that the lack of product images is because there’s something to hide. 

Hence, a simple to-get-started task for you: replace all stock photos on your website, newsletter templates[5], and other places with product images. You can even use these high-quality photos in your website chatbot[6] and more.

Already using product images? Great, follow the next tip. 

2. Use larger pictures that let users zoom into the details

How many times have you caught yourself zooming in on the details of a product you’re planning to buy? Chances are several times. Your prospects are the same. 

Buyers don’t call the final shots in favor of your product unless they can see the details. Small images fail to offer sufficient details though. If anything, they instill the you-have-something-to-hide thought. 

Large images, on the flip side, offer clarity and a scoop into product details. Hard to believe? Here’s proof: a case study in VWO concluded that larger product images can lead to a 9% increase in sales. Optimics, a CRO agency, ran an A/B test for their eCommerce client Mall.cz with the goal of increasing sales. They created two variations:

The first had slightly larger product images and the second had larger images with descriptions showing up on mouseover. Control had the original size of product images along with text description.

Variation 2 with the large images and product description viewable on mouseover was the winner. It resulted in a straight 9.46% increase in revenue for Mall.cz.

Optimics Case Study

So, a big shout to large images on your eCommerce site for an upward bump in your sales. Plus, here’s an example from Zugu Case that details its features to help inspire action:

Zugu Case
Image Source: [1]

3. Capture your product from various angles

When it comes to product details, buyers can never have enough of them. If anything, they need to know how the product looks from the left, right, back, and every other angle. 

Since buyers can’t hold and inspect the product when it comes to online shopping, the least you can do is share product shots from various angles. Not only is doing so trust-winning but also comforting for the buyer. 

But you don’t have to display all of them at once. Show one picture, followed by the rest given in thumbnails. Here’s what Cutter & Buck does to give you an idea. They display the picture of a model wearing their product with thumbnail images on the side.

Cutter & Buck
Image Source: [2]

There are a variety of different ways you can utilize these photos as well, from social media ads to presentations and even punch cards[7] for return customers.

4. Show your product in context or in use

This sets the mood. 🔥 By showing your product in action, you make it easy for the prospect to understand how it works or how they can use it depending on what you sell. 

Generally speaking, there’s a marketing tactic: don’t ever talk about your product features. Instead, talk about your buyer or how exactly your product can help improve their life. This way, your marketing message shifts its focus from being product-centered to customer-centered. 

Do the same with your visuals by showing your products in context. 

For example, if you sell handbags, a plain picture of a handbag would do little to attract your buyer. However, a picture of your handbag on a cozy couch helps capture the prospect’s imagination. Or, a model carrying the handbag can give your potential buyer an idea of how the handbag would look on them. 

Look at this picture from H&M and see how they’ve taken a product shot with the model comfortable in their hoodie:

H&M
Image Source: [3]

5. Add 360 degree rotating pictures

These are ones that are widely available on social media, particularly, Facebook. Essentially, 360 degree product images are a series of still product images from various angles. They’re photographed in a sequence on a 360 degree photo turntable that rotates so you can cover the sequenced angles. 

But are they any good for your eCommerce business? You bet they are. DueMaternity.com introduced these image types on their site and saw their conversion rate go north by 27%(8).

Use VWO’s powerful A/B Testing for your online store. Take a free trial and try it out for yourself!

6. Introduce product page videos

Videos are kind of having their aha moment presently. Whether used for a link-building software[9] or on a product page, they tend to increase the conversion rate. Why? Because videos are what your buyers want. 

Numbers tell the truth: 55% of consumers watch videos for making their purchase decisions(10). And, 73% of visitors who watch product videos will end up making a purchase(11). The reason video content[12] sells so well is simple: they give buyers a better sense of product specs.

In fact, a case study by Treepodia learned that fashion industry retailers witness a 134% increase in their conversions by including product videos(13)

Interested in making product videos? Here are some bright ideas for you: 

  • Create videos showing your product in context. Someone modeling a dress that you sell is a good idea, for instance. 
  • Send over some of your products to influencers in your industry and ask them to review by creating unboxing product videos. 
  • Request happy customers to film a video of them using your product or, even, unboxing it. 

If you’re still double-minded about creating videos, you can try creating product GIFs instead. These make awesome social media[14] content for the eCommerce business and aren’t tough to make as well. 

If anything, you can use an animated GIF maker[15] to DIY creating product GIFs. The best part? You don’t need to make them from the scratch. Simply grab a template[16] and customize it to create your own GIF in minutes.

You can easily schedule these visuals to go live on your social profiles using Facebook marketing tools[17] and other social media schedulers.

7. Create 3D images

3D images are those that create an illusion of depth in a picture by manipulating the 2D image into a three-dimensional format. 

Again, this image format gives your audience a good peek into your product while removing dust specks and smudges that are all too common in typical pictures. Besides, 3D images help capture a unique angle of your product. This explains why iPhone’s visuals tend to be 3D-natured:

iPhone 3D image
Image Source: [4]

8. Leverage augmented reality in your visuals

Lastly, you can leverage augmented reality[18] to deliver buyers a personalized shopping experience and, therefore, increase your sales. How? Let’s explain with the help of examples. 

One: Sephora Virtual Assistant[19]. It lets buyers try on makeup so they can better understand what suits them and shop accordingly. 

Sephora Virtual Assistant
Image Source: [5]

And, two, Warby Parker’s virtual try-on app[20] that lets buyers try on glasses.

Warby Parker
Image Source: [6]

In both cases, augmented reality makes life easy for buyers. They can see what goes with their face by virtually trying on products. Naturally, this can help boost eCommerce conversions by adding an element of personalization and improving buyers’ experience.

Wrap up

Excited to grow your sales? Here’s hoping these eight ways to use visuals for your eCommerce business have left your brain buzzing with ideas. 

If you want to track results to see how taking a (visual) step increases your conversion rate, consider conducting eCommerce A/B testing for the visuals you add to your site. 

And, remember: it all boils down to improving your buyer’s experience by giving them adequate details of your products so they can decide easily.

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8 Tips for Optimizing Your eCommerce Homepage for Success

In 2020, the pandemic forced consumers to shift from making offline purchases to making online purchases. As consumers continue to avoid making in-store purchases, the eCommerce market will see additional growth in the coming years(1). In the long run, eCommerce is predicted to grow by 11% between 2019 and 2024. But now that more consumers…

In 2020, the pandemic forced consumers to shift from making offline purchases to making online purchases. As consumers continue to avoid making in-store purchases, the eCommerce market will see additional growth in the coming years(1). In the long run, eCommerce is predicted to grow by 11% between 2019 and 2024.

But now that more consumers are turning to eCommerce, competition on the business side is stiff. You’ve got to stand out from the crowd and capture a visitor’s attention within seconds of them coming to your website — this is where the homepage comes in. You need to make sure your homepage is drawing in and converting visitors.

How do you know what will attract and convert your target audience? Continuous experimentation. You can perform A/B testing on your website copy, navigation, design, forms, and calls-to-action to make your homepage the best version of itself. 

Use VWO's A/B Testing Capabilities

Why focus on optimizing your homepage?

It only takes 10 seconds for someone to form an opinion about your website(2). In that short amount of time, they’ll decide if they’re going to stay and look around or leave. Websites are swiftly judged, so making a good impression right off the bat is important.

Also, your eCommerce homepage affects all aspects of your marketing strategy: website traffic, search engine rankings, conversions, sales numbers and so much more.

So if you’re ready to do it right and make a homepage that no one will navigate away from, we’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to optimize your homepage for success, and cover how and why to A/B test to make sure what you’re trying is working.

Tips For Optimizing Ecommerce Homepage

8 Steps for optimizing your online store’s homepage

Let’s take a look at eight steps you can take to create a homepage that converts.

1. Employ an SEO homepage strategy.

Get a headstart on your SEO efforts by working on your homepage. You want your homepage to be optimized for search engines and users.

When a visitor comes to your site, they should be able to see who you are, why they should buy from you, what you sell and how to find the products — all at a glance.

When a search engine crawler comes to your homepage, they need to pull information about your business, its products and its address.

Here’s how you can satisfy both of these needs:

Include the most important information above the fold

The content on your homepage that’s “above-the-fold” is visible before any scrolling occurs. The content at the top of the webpage will be the basis of a user’s first impression, so it’s got to be good. Putting the wrong content above the fold may result in a high bounce rate and a loss of customers and revenue.

Here’s what you should have above the fold: Branding and logo, contact information, navigation and search bar, current promotions, shopping cart, and calls-to-action.

Take a look at Ice Jewellery, for example(3).

Ice Jewellery Homepage

At a glance, you can see they have branding and a logo, contact information, navigation and search bar, current promotions, shopping cart and calls-to-action — all above the fold.

Optimize your homepage title tag, meta description and images

Taking the time to optimize your homepage title tag and meta description does two good things for your website. It updates your snippet on the search engine results page (SERP), and it communicates to search engines what your website is promoting.

The title tag should be approximately 60 characters and include your brand name and location (if necessary). Consider using words that will get attention, such as free shipping, sale, money-back guarantee and free returns.

Let’s take a look at the SERP snippet for the Woodland Hills Wine Company:

Woodland Hills Wine Serp Snippet

They have the business’s full name, plus a little bit about their products and why you should purchase from them.

Also, don’t forget about optimizing your images. Images are vital to an ecommerce website because potential customers want to see what they’re buying. But images on your homepage can slow down your website speed, which turns customers away. On top of that, images that aren’t optimized don’t help your SEO efforts.

You can prevent these issues by resizing your images; make them the actual size you want them to be. Resizing your images will reduce the file size and help your web page load speed.

Next, add ALT text. ALT text should describe what’s in the image, which helps search engine crawlers. You can also add a caption below the image that contains a description of what’s in it and any additional information helpful for users.

Let’s take a look at B-WEAR Sportswear’s homepage images(4):

B-Wear Sportswear Homepage

The images have been appropriately resized, so the page loads quickly, plus they have ALT text and descriptions.

Unfortunately, you can’t perform traditional split tests on SEO efforts. Several factors go into a website’s ranking, and it would be impossible to have two identical websites for an A/B test. However, you can still test and measure your homepage SEO. 

For example, measure your site traffic and page conversions for some time. Then, make the change you want to test, such as updating your meta content. Next, measure your site traffic and page conversions for the same amount of time as before. Was there a difference? Run this test twice and compare the data.

You can measure your ROI on SEO efforts by tracking your branded and non-branded keywords and connecting them to revenue.  

Testing SEO efforts is more complicated than traditional split testing, but it can be done. It’s all about testing one item at a time and creating as stable an environment as possible.

2. Include primary calls-to-actions.

Believe it or not, people want — and sometimes they need — to be told what to do. Use calls to action (CTAs) to direct visitors where to go next. Effective CTAs can help users navigate your website better and increase conversions.

What types of CTAs are adequate for your target audience? A/B testing can narrow your options. Some common CTAs include “Schedule a Demo,” “Begin Free Trial,” “Learn More” or “Buy Now.” 

In general, CTAs should contain verbs to encourage the visitor to make a move. Keeping it simple is a good rule of thumb, but you can try adding and removing words in a split test to see which performs better.

The CTA button color also makes a difference. Hubspot ran an A/B test to compare a red button with a green button, and the red converted more users by 21%(5). Many companies use a color that stands out from their brand’s color palette and includes white space around the button to draw the eye to the CTA. 

The location of the CTA is also something to consider. Many CTAs are at the bottom of a section of text. Perhaps it would perform better in the middle of the text or above-the-fold. You can also test what works better — having one CTA or multiple?

Take a full-featured 30 day free trial with VWO to try this out yourself!

Your homepage should have primary and secondary CTAs, so visitors know what to do next. These CTAs should be guiding users through the buyer’s funnel, step-by-step.

Let’s take a look at the homepage for SOG Specialty Knives(6):

SUG Specialty Knives Homepage

All of the homepage images are linked and have CTAs such as “Shop Now” and “Learn More.”

3. Think about the mobile experience.

More shoppers are interacting with brands from mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. For instance, in 2020, U.S. mobile retail revenues are expected to amount to $339.03 billion, up from $207.15 billion in 2018(7).

To reach customers on mobile, you have to prioritize the mobile experience. Prioritizing the mobile experience means that it should be easy to see and navigate when a visitor is looking at your homepage from a mobile device. Avoid any flashy, complicated design that will only get in the way.

As many as 85% of adults believe a website, when viewed on a mobile device, should be just as good or even better than its desktop website(8).

Although using a mobile device to look at websites and make purchases is on the rise, it’s still relatively new compared to the internet’s lifetime. As a result, practices that convert mobile users aren’t as widely known as they are for desktop efforts. 

For mobile sites, A/B testing is that much more critical. But A/B testing for mobile isn’t as clear-cut as for desktop because shoppers may use mobile as a touchpoint in their shopping journey. For example, customers may see something they want to buy on mobile, but they go to their desktop to complete the purchase. You’d see the conversion on the desktop when the mobile site converted the customer. 

Before you begin any split testing on your mobile site, make sure you understand how your customers use mobile. From there, you can test individual elements of your mobile site or app, just as you would on the desktop version.

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Plain Jane has a mobile homepage that’s clean in design and easy to navigate(9):

Plain Jain Homepage

The hamburger menu on the upper right side is a classic mobile optimization tactic. It allows users to see the entire homepage and see the full navigation when exploring the site. Plus, the CTA buttons are large and easy to tap.

4. Provide contact information.

Users are becoming more aware of false websites and phishing attempts, which has them on the lookout for suspicious sites and shops. One thing that can assure visitors is displaying your contact information.

As many as 44% of website visitors will leave a company’s website if there’s no contact information or phone number(10).

Not only does displaying your contact information help build trust, but it can also create a better user experience when someone needs to contact you. Different customers prefer specific contact methods, so leave as many options as possible, including social media channels, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.

Solo Stove displays a contact button right within their website navigation(11):

Solo Stove Homepage

When a user clicks “Contact us,” a message box pops up within the site and has room for text and any necessary attachments.

5. Offer a personalized experience.

Today’s customer expects personalized shopping recommendations from ecommerce sites. Utilize a customer’s purchase and browsing history to show them items that may be of interest.

You can also remind customers of items from their abandoned carts and upsell products from items they’ve purchased in the past. You can also show related items to things they’ve looked at.

As many as 34% of consumers are more likely to make an unplanned purchase after receiving personalized content(12).

A personalized shopping experience can lead to additional purchases, but it can also increase a customer’s lifetime value and customer engagement. Customers satisfied with their experience at your store means there’s a higher chance they’ll return.

Bliss World Related Products

Bliss World makes shopping easy when they show related products as you browse(13).

Also, do not forget about personalizing customer experience by using a live chat. Many of your customers want to get specific information about the products they consider buying.

Research indicates that eCommerce sites with live chat report up to a 40% boost in conversion rates(14). Talk to your site visitors in real-time to recommend the best products, up sell,  increase average order value and make them fall in love with your customer service so that they keep coming back!

6. Feature your best products.

Even though most of your products will live on internal product pages, you can show off your best products right on the homepage. Featuring your best products gives customers an immediate idea of what to buy.

Over time, you can test which products do best on the homepage. You can also try displaying bestsellers, seasonal items, or new products on the homepage.

TRUE Linkswear Homepage

TRUE Linkswear displays its bestselling golf shoes on its homepage(15). The photos link right to its bestsellers page.

7. Demonstrate site security.

Hacking and identity theft are becoming more common, and online shoppers want assurance that you’ll keep their information safe and secure. If you can show visitors that your website is secure, you’ll be more likely to convert customers.

Display widely-recognized trust seals and badges on your homepage. You can link these symbols to your security provider, so they can research as they wish. These can go in your footer.

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to get a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. Otherwise, the browser will flag your website as “not secure,” and often, it won’t even display your site.

Any sign of an insecure website makes a poor first impression that will likely turn someone away for good. No one wants to turn over payment information to an unsecured website. Get an SSL certificate and reassure customers that their data is safe on your site.

The Kettlebell Kings have their trust badges displayed in the footer of their site(16):

Kettlebell Kings Homepage Footer

Their homepage also displays its Google Reviews, which would reflect any issues regarding site security. Plus, they list the experts and publications that have tested and approved their products, which adds credibility.

8. Highlight sales.

Everyone loves a sale, and it’s wise to display any current promotions on your homepage. You can also have a clearly marked and easily accessible sale section on your website.

For example, you can promote seasonal sales on your homepage and have a standing sale section within your site’s navigation.

Yumi Homepage

Yumi is using their homepage — above the fold — to entice buyers with an end-of-year sale(17).

Getting started with optimizing your homepage

Now that you’ve got several to-dos for optimizing your eCommerce homepage, you can begin making the updates. Here’s how to get started:

1. Conduct an audit.

No matter what the project is, it’s always best to take a look at the current situation and evaluate it from there. In website terms, an audit is an excellent place to begin. 

An audit helps you see things from the customer’s perspective. It’s a methodical way to objectively look at your site and make improvements to grow your business. 

An audit can cover several different areas of your business, including content, SEO, conversion rate optimization, site performance and eCommerce platform analysis, among other things.

The more topics you decide to examine in your audit, the more findings you’re likely to discover. You may choose to do the entire audit at once, break it up into chunks, and create an audit schedule. 

Make a checklist for your audit. Here are some of the items you should put on it:

  • Are all of the pages and images loading correctly?
  • What is the page load speed?
  • Do all of the links go to the correct destination?
  • Does the navigation work across all devices?
  • Does the site load and work on different browsers?
  • Are there any grammatical or spelling errors?
  • Is all of the content up-to-date?
  • What does your 404 error page look like?
  • Have 301 redirects been appropriately implemented?
  • Are the search results for in-site queries correct?
  • Do the product pages have thin content?
  • Is there a robust system of internal linking?
  • Are the right related products showing up during browsing?
  • Are the product images high-quality?
  • Are your abandoned cart triggers working correctly?
  • How much time does your team take to reply to a customer question?
  • Is the customer service team effective at resolving the issue?

Once you complete the audit and note your findings, you can prioritize what to fix and update. 

It would be best if you made audits a regular part of your marketing strategy. It’s easy to stop updating your website outside of adding new products or adding new content to your blog, but customers will notice when things break or go stale. If you get into an auditing routine, you’ll likely fix problems before they become too severe and stop sales.

2. Identify strategies you can implement.

There will always be recent trends and strategies on the horizon in an ever-changing industry, such as ecommerce. When these new ideas come around, you’ll have to decide if they’re suitable for your business. 

Not every idea is worth jumping on because it won’t fit with your audience. Other ideas may be great but too expensive to implement correctly. 

Here’s how you can evaluate strategies that come your way:

  • Keep an eye on industry influencers and trusted publications.

Keep up-to-date on industry news in your particular market segment. Staying up-to-date on relevant information will help you see the bigger picture and how a strategy works for another business.

  • Look at the numbers. 

Pay attention to industry research and reports. What are the numbers showing?

  • Continue to collect and analyze data. 

You know your customers best. Keeping a close eye on the data from customer interactions with your brand will help you assess whether or not a strategy is right for your business.

  • Follow search engine trends.

Are you staying abreast of Google’s search engine algorithms and what you can do to increase your organic traffic? Remember, blog posts generate the most traffic and bring users to your product pages. You need to learn how to start a blog the right way with effective content marketing and link-building tactics.

  • Get customer feedback.

Collecting feedback and customer service interactions can give you another set of insights that data cannot.

  • Look at your competitors. 

If your competition has tried a new strategy lately, is it working for them? How would you implement the idea differently?

3. Test. Test. Test.

Once you evaluate a strategy and decide to implement it, you’ll want to run tests to see if it was your business’s right choice. The type of tests or measurements you conduct will depend on the strategy you implemented.

Types of tests to run

VWO - Type Of Tests

Let’s take a look at some of the tests you might consider performing:

  • A/B Testing: Also called “split-testing” or “bucket testing,” this type of experiment looks at two versions of something containing one variable. By isolating the variable and comparing otherwise identical items, the data shows which variable meets the goal.  
  • Split URL Testing: You can test different versions of your website by using two different URLs. A website visitor unknowingly is shown one of the versions of your site to see which one performs better. VWO recommends performing split URL testing when considering a significant change such as a new checkout flow or a diverse menu.  
  • Multivariate Testing: This type of experimentation looks at several changed elements at once — instead of individual parts — and determines the better option as a whole piece. VWO recommends using multivariate testing when you want to change several items at once, such as a headline, body copy, and a CTA, instead of just a single thing.

Tools for testing

As you may have gathered, testing parts of your website can be cumbersome. Performing tests should be a regular part of your marketing strategy because eCommerce is continuously changing. Customer expectations and shopping habits evolve, as do search engine algorithms. Using a tool to manage your testing and experimentation can be helpful. Here are some trusted tools to consider:

  • VWO: An all-in-one, cloud-based A/B testing and conversion rate optimization platform that enables you to run multiple tests on campaigns, products, features, apps, and websites.
  • Adobe Target: An enterprise-level tool that integrates with Google Analytics for A/B testing, UX testing, and marketing campaign comparison.
  • Optimizely: A popular A/B testing tool and CRO platform made for enterprise clients. Run experiments across websites, messaging services, and apps. 
  • Google Optimize: Run A/B tests, multivariate tests, and split URL tests with Google Analytics data. Google Optimize is suitable for testing beginners, while Optimize 360 is more robust.

There are several testing tools with various features and pricing models. To see additional options, take a look at this post on the VWO blog.

How to run a test

Once you’re ready to run a test, the right tool can help you along the way. Start by doing your research. Understand how your website or a specific page, such as the homepage, is currently performing. 

Next, use the research to form a hypothesis. For example, if the investigation shows your website visitors are not scrolling on your homepage, your hypothesis might be: Placing a CTA above-the-fold will lead to more conversions.   

You can utilize key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to ensure your hypothesis is measurable. KPIs you might consider include website traffic, time spent on site, social media followers and average click-thru-rate (CTR). 

Once you have a hypothesis, you’ll create variations based on it. For this example, you could place your CTA above-the-fold in one version. If an A/B test doesn’t work for your needs, consider multivariate testing. 

After you run the test for a set period, look at the results with an open mind. If there is an evident variation that did better, you can launch the latest version. If the numbers don’t show an obvious winner, you can perform additional tests.

Wrapping up

It’s easy to see how an ecommerce homepage affects every angle of your marketing strategy. It impacts website traffic, is a factor in search engine rankings, makes or breaks conversions, and affects sales numbers. 

Focus on the areas that make sense for your business, have patience, get in a routine of auditing your site, testing individual elements, analyzing the results, and updating as needed. Once you do, there’s no doubt that your homepage can stand out from the crowd.

Free Trial Of Vwo For Ecommerce

4 Ways Virtual Reality Can Optimize eCommerce Business Conversions

When someone mentions “virtual reality”, the first thing that comes to mind is gaming conventions and people furiously swinging a joystick in the air wearing space goggles. But, virtual reality (VR) is more than just a headset that gamers use to play computer-generated simulations. VR has the ability to provide a variety of business opportunities….

When someone mentions “virtual reality”, the first thing that comes to mind is gaming conventions and people furiously swinging a joystick in the air wearing space goggles.

But, virtual reality (VR) is more than just a headset that gamers use to play computer-generated simulations. VR has the ability to provide a variety of business opportunities. The ever-expanding technology is being adopted in multiple sectors, from healthcare(1), and real estate, to eCommerce. Here are some statistics(2) about VR:

  • The VR industry will be worth almost $34 billion by 2022.
  • Over 26 million VR headsets will be sold every year by 2023.
  • Nearly 19% of US consumers will be utilizing VR by the end of 2020(3).
  • 71% of customers believe that brands that use VR are forward-thinking.
How Virtual Reality Can Optimize Ecommerce Conversions

Related to VR is Augmented Reality (AR). This technology has the ability to enhance reality by superimposing computer-generated images. In this article, we will be looking at the potential of VR and AR and how it can be used to optimize your eCommerce business’ conversion rate.

Conversion Rate Optimization
Image Source: [1]

Testing if VR is right for your business

Just like any other good business decision, deciding whether your ecommerce website will benefit from VR/AR technology, needs to be backed by research and data. VR can optimize your conversion rate and grow your business, but first, you need to identify if it will help your specific company.

Conversion rate optimization requires a significant amount of research to determine your website’s most suitable and effective features. This can include finding out which colors, fonts, and pictures resonate the best with your audience. Finding out if VR/AR is for you is no different.

The first step is understanding your target audience. Who is it that you want to attract and convert? Or, more importantly, who is it that you’re not converting? Conducting surveys, questionnaires, and releasing polls about how your current audience feels about VR/AR being implemented are great ways to collect useful data. Here are a few data points you can consider gathering:

1. What is the main source of audience traffic?

2. How long do they spend browsing?

3. What are their major concerns with the ecommerce website purchasing journey?4. What are their feelings about VR/AR?

You mustn’t miss out on these steps. A big conversion rate optimization mistake many businesses make is guessing. Collecting data and making decisions based on this insight is far more cost-effective.

Alongside surveys, there are other analytics tools you can use to collect behavioral data on your site visitors. The likes of Google Analytics and VWO Insights are invaluable in helping you understand your potential customers, and how VR/AR may improve their user experience (UX).

Such data also ensures that valuable marketing budget isn’t wasted on ventures your audience never wanted or required in the first place.

You can collect visitor behavior data and glean useful action points with VWO Insights. Take a free trial today!

1. Testing

This leads us to the next point. Testing what your audience likes and wants. As we mentioned above, creating the best eCommerce page that increases your conversions requires finding out what resonates with your audience. After choosing which VR/AR options will benefit your business conversion rate (we will discuss these options in more detail below), it is important to test the different variants.

One of the most effective testing methods used to optimize business conversion rates is A/B testing. This is the process of creating two or more variants of a specific website feature, for example, a VR element, showing it to your audience, and measuring which variant performs the best. The conversion rate of each variant is measured, and the one with the higher conversion rate is used.

Let’s say that you are considering implementing a VR marketing video onto your website, but you are unsure of which one to use. In this scenario, because the videos feature multiple elements, testing to see which one resonates more with your audience is known as multivariate testing. This testing technique is beneficial when you are observing two very different features.

The most important aspect of testing is learning from your errors. To ensure you optimize and continue to optimize your business conversion rates, it is vital that testing is constant and ineffective elements or features are removed.

Use VWO To Test VR Elements

2. Optimize your conversions with customer service

Good customer service is at the core of a thriving company. 84% of consumers said that customer service is a key deciding factor on whether or not they will do business with that brand(4). In fact, 68% of customers are happy to be charged more as long as they are receiving good customer service.

An example of a company using VR to improve their customer service is Fidelity Investments. Fidelity has used VR for employee onboarding and training. This included VR team building, socializing, and most importantly, customer service training scenarios. This was particularly useful during the pandemic where only remote work was possible.

Fidelity also used VR to put their customer service teams in the position of the customer. This has helped the teams to better understand what their customers go through. Promoting  customer empathy is a great way to improve customer relationships, and VR makes it easy.

Technology can improve many parts of the customer experience – for instance, many eCommerce websites have implemented the use of an AI chatbot.  The latest up-and-coming innovation looks set to be AR. Live chat or chatbots have been proven to increase eCommerce conversions by up to 20%(5)

In some situations, customer support teams need to troubleshoot the issue over the phone or through contact center services. This is very common in industries like IT. Often, the customer service team member will require the customer to describe the issue over the phone. This can lead to multiple issues:

  • Lack of understanding between the customer and support staff.
  • Poor or inaccurate descriptions by the customer.
  • Increased frustration from the customer.

Using AR in these customer service situations is useful as it can provide staff with a visual representation of the problem and allow them to assist the customer in a shorter period of time.

Not only that, it can show the customer exactly what the staff is doing to help and it can teach the customer to troubleshoot the problem for themselves in the future. Providing customers with efficient support will optimize ecommerce conversion rates. Statistics show that good customer support can increase conversions by up to 156%(6).

Using VR In Customer Support
Image Source: [2]

3. Optimize your conversions with user experience

Having the ability to test and try a product is an advantage for a consumer. Statistics show that customers are 58% more likely to buy a product or service if they have tried it out(7). This, however, can be difficult in an online setting. VR and AR showrooms allow eCommerce businesses to bridge the gap between online products and physical in-store items.

It’s not just conversions, either. The average user visits a website for less than 15 seconds(8). VR/AR showrooms have the ability to engage customers for longer. Websites with some form of VR have higher visitor retention and their websites are viewed 5-10 times longer(9)

A VR showroom allows the customer to immerse themselves in a digitally created environment. For retail, this means that shoppers can pick up and examine objects, open drawers, and even try on clothes.

An AR showroom, however, allows customers to superimpose your products into their own reality. For example, let’s say you’re working from home. You’ve upgraded your internet speed and invested in a virtual office service. You also want to buy a new desk for your home set-up, but you’re worried about how it might look and whether it would be too big for the room. AR will allow you to view how the desk would fit into your home.

Use VR For User Experience
Image Source: [3]

 This is beneficial for both your company and your customers. Here’s just a few of the benefits VR/AR showrooms can bring:

  • Customers aren’t required to wait in changing room queues to try items on.
  • VR/AR reduces the number of returns because customers observe exactly how the products will look like on them and in their homes. For example, Macy’s has reported that product return rates have reduced to less than 2% since the introduction of AR(10).
  • VR applications can be used to collect analytics such as most tried items, style preferences, and customer behavior. This data can then be converted into actionable insight that will help to manage your business.

All of these benefits will optimize your eCommerce conversion rate. In fact, over 60% of online buyers prefer purchasing products on websites that use VR/AR showrooms. Also, 35% of buyers state that VR/AR showrooms encourage them to purchase more often(11).

 4. Optimize your conversions with marketing

Good marketing is a crucial component of ecommerce success. Consider this scenario. You’re a company that provides interactive voice response systems. You use social media marketing and take advantage of conversational marketing. But, you’re unsure about delving into the VR marketing world. Here’s why you definitely should.

VR marketing has the potential to immerse customers in a world created by your brand that normal video marketing can’t replicate. It can be visual and it can even be multi-sensory depending on the device that is used.

The key selling point of VR marketing is increased customer engagement. Right now, customers use ad blockers or quickly skip commercials, but with a VR experience, there is a higher possibility of consumer interaction. In fact, research shows that 360o adverts have an 85% completion rate compared to 2D adverts that only have a 58% completion rate (12). This increased engagement will increase traffic and improve your conversion rate.

AR marketing is also an option. It’s not as expensive as you might expect, either. Features like Instagram AR filters and Apple’s ARKit have made creating AR marketing campaigns a possibility even for small businesses. 

Using these novel marketing techniques is a great way to drive traffic to your ecommerce website and convert potential customers into paying ones.

Examples of great VR marketing campaigns

Merrell Trailscape VR was an experience created by Merrell to support the release of their new hiking shoe(13). It took customers on a dangerous hike through mountains and unstable wooden bridges, whilst they were ‘virtually’ wearing the new shoe.

A less action-packed but equally effective approach was Patron’s “The Art of Patron” VR campaign(14). The Tequila company used VR to tell their audience the story of how their product is made. They begin in an agave field and end at a glamorous night event.

One of the most important aspects of using VR marketing in eCommerce is the opportunities for emotionally compelling narratives.

Research(15) has found that:

  • VR creates an almost 30% increase in emotional engagement when compared to a 2D environment.  
  • VR users are emotionally engaged for 34% longer when compared to a 2D environment. 

You might be thinking how does this relate to you, your business, and the modern workplace?

Creating an emotional connection with visitors to your website is one of the most effective ways to increase conversion rates. Brands that aim to emotionally connect with their audience outperform competitors by 26%(16). Creating a compelling experience that your audience will remember is something all eCommerce businesses should aim to do, and VR makes this easier.

An emotionally engaged customer is three times more likely to re-purchase and recommend your product or service. They are also over 40% less likely to seek alternative brands. It’s important for you not to just use VR as a technology but a tool to tell a story with.

Understanding your audience and engaging them emotionally is an effective tool for conversion rate optimization. In fact, emotional targeting can increase conversions by up to a staggering 1000%. 

Use Vr For Marketing
Image Source: [4]

Conclusion

Creating a synergy between online and physical experiences is the essence of VR and ecommerce businesses have a lot to gain from the VR world. When implemented correctly, this technology has the ability to exponentially improve the customer experience and boost ecommerce sales.

Also, VR is enabling brands to connect with audiences in a way conventional marketing and advertising cannot. Leveraging VR and harnessing its immersive capabilities is something eCommerce businesses should be doing or should look to do in the near future to improve their conversion rates.

Why Communication Is Key to the Success of Your CRO Program and How You Can Improve It

If you’re new to CRO, there’s one aspect of it that can prove to be challenging for you – maintaining consistent communication between teams during the different phases of the program. Let’s understand this with an example. Suppose you are the business head of a supermarket located in a busy area. One fine day, you…

If you’re new to CRO, there’s one aspect of it that can prove to be challenging for you – maintaining consistent communication between teams during the different phases of the program.

Communication For CRO

Let’s understand this with an example. Suppose you are the business head of a supermarket located in a busy area. One fine day, you decide to interchange the grocery aisle with the dairy products to check if it has a positive impact on the sales. Meanwhile, your store manager, customer service representatives, and your area sales manager are totally unaware of this change. 

How do you think this change will work out for them?

  • The store manager will find it challenging to keep an eye on the inventory as a frustrating amount of time will be spent in locating the stock.
  • Your customer service representatives will be dazed and might not be able to assist customers towards the right aisle to collect grocery or dairy items.
  • And, if the sales figures nose dive after the experiment, you’ll have a tough time convincing your area sales manager about the untimely change.

Did you see what happened here? Your idea was good and your intentions positive, but the lack of communication made the whole experiment a train wreck.

The result is quite similar when there is no communication between the teams while running a CRO program. Your website or landing page is like a virtual shopfront for the visitors. This is the same virtual shopfront where marketers work for higher conversions, sales teams work for getting more leads, designers work for keeping the user experience upbeat, and developers code for hours to keep the store running.

Any change that you’re planning to bring via A/B testing, by gathering insights from heatmaps, or session recordings, will have an impact on the visitors. It’s therefore pertinent that you have a strong communication strategy to keep all the teams sailing on the same boat. 

How To Communicate In Your Cro Program

In this blog, we will be covering the steps that you should follow at different stages of running tests in your CRO program to have clear communication with your teams.

Stage 1: Before running the test

When your plan is still in the blueprint stage, it’s a great idea to give a heads-up to your team. This will ensure that there is higher engagement and active participation in the subsequent stages.

Here are the top three steps that you can follow to get started –

Train the teams

You might be a CRO expert, but not everyone in the team is expected to be the same. Start with training the team. Begin with the basics; like what a hypothesis is, what a baseline is, what multivariate testing is, and so on. Of course, you don’t want to bulldoze them with all the CRO glossary, because then it will work to the contrary. Keep the training light and relevant to the initial few tests. Tell them about customer experience optimization, and while you’re at it, procure the right testing tool for your tests, and train your team to get comfortable with the same. This is significant because going forward you don’t have to face a crowd of blank faces.

Set goals

This is where you give direction to your ship. Communicate the goals that you’re planning to achieve with your experiment. Are you planning to increase the dwell time of the visitors? Or, are you trying to identify user behavior with two different versions of the home page? Be clear with your plan.

Once you’re done with this, discuss with the team to create a roadmap. Tie up the goals to the business objectives and individual KPIs so that team members can look at their impact and also be motivated to participate. Decide a duration and milestones that you’re planning to hit at different time intervals. If you do this right, this will save you a lot of time from having multiple meetings with different teams just to decide the timeline of the activity.

Follow up

Follow up(1) is a great way to check if the idea has deep-seated among all the members of the team. With busy turnaround times and cluttered project boards, it’s natural for them to forget or misinterpret the ideas and goals as time passes by. However, before you get all nosy with other’s work commitments, decide on a schedule, and a communication medium for following up with your colleagues. This way you can keep the conversation going without making it irksome.

Stage 2: While running the test

Alright, your ship has set sail. Now, it’s time to decide how often and through which medium you’re best positioned to communicate with your team.

Communication In different stages of CRO

Decide a medium and frequency

Too many online meetings can cause Zoom fatigue(2). Too many emails will cause email overload(3). The decision of working with different teams for running a CRO program is to create a harmonic environment for discussions, and not to make them abhor it. To make sure that you don’t end up spamming your teammates, decide the best communication tool for reaching them, and the frequency.

Do they want synchronous discussions like video calls and online meetings?

Do they want to keep it asynchronous with emails and chats?

Or, do they prefer the middle road – a combination of email and video-like screen recordings?

Since you’ll be exchanging a lot of information with your team, this step has a significant weightage on your communication strategy.

Stage 3: After running the initial few tests

You’ve come a long way from where you started. But, was your ship able to withstand the tidal waves, or were there a few casualties on the way? It’s time to share the results and get feedback.

Share results

You might get all geared up while sharing the results of the tests. After all, you want to show the world the returns from your months of planning, discussions, and reviews. However, there are some pointers that you need to consider. 

What

Your results will have a lot of numbers. You can’t go along filling hundreds of sheets with every number that you come across. Keep it precise. Make a list of the most crucial statistics that you want to include in your report, show comparisons, trends, and charts so that it takes minimal time to assimilate the information.

When

The frequency of sharing the results is significant here too. If you’re running multiple tests simultaneously it’s wise to spread them across the time timetable so that there is no overlap. This will give your team and senior management sufficient time to evaluate the performance of each test.

How

Spreadsheets, meetings, or presentation slides? Choose the one that works best for your team. Alternatively, a screen recording tool can also be great for sharing the performance of the tests.

Ask for feedback

Feedback helps us grow. A good feedback session with the team will be great for implementing corrective actions and avoiding mistakes in the future. To make this idea more effective, you can take the initiative by sharing your lessons with the team. What did you learn from the test, and what are the areas you personally think can be improved? This will be a welcoming gesture, and it will open the gates for an active session of sharing feedback.

In summary 

If your CRO program is the ship, your teams are like the sails. Without the active participation of your teams, your CRO experiments can fall flat on the ground.

To fire up the communication between teams, it’s a smart idea to split your communication strategy into three stages – before, during, and after the tests. This will give you a good idea of which aspects you need to emphasize at each step.

Start by training the teams and deciding the goals with them. This will definitely boost the camaraderie which in turn will make it easy for you to follow up with them without being a nuisance.

While the tests are in the running phase, review the performance with the team. If you had overlooked an aspect, this activity will prove to be life-saving. Also, ensure that you have discussed what communication medium will suit them the most and what frequency they are expecting.

At the final stages, think of the numbers that were most effective for the tests and include only those in the reports. A lot of the results at this stage will be shared with the senior leadership team, so this part gets even more significant. Once all the reports are shared, ask for feedback, and discuss the roadmap for upcoming experiments.

Build A Robust Testing Roadmap With Vwo

Budgeting for CRO: Why You Need To Set Aside a Budget and How To Create One

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is still under-prioritized at many companies and is often the last, sometimes even neglected, marketing investment. However, omitting CRO from your marketing strategy means you’re assuming that acquiring new users is more geared to ROI as compared to maximizing your existing base – whereas, in reality, your user base is already…

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is still under-prioritized at many companies and is often the last, sometimes even neglected, marketing investment. However, omitting CRO from your marketing strategy means you’re assuming that acquiring new users is more geared to ROI as compared to maximizing your existing base – whereas, in reality, your user base is already available for conversion to actual revenue.

Even though the outcome of SEO and Pay-per-click ads can be quantified more easily, and the true impact of CRO only shows over time, CRO should be prioritized. This is because not optimizing your website could eventually push back your SEO and PPC efforts too. If you cannot convert your visitors into customers, you are not doing justice to your brand and traffic spend. Without CRO, you also run the risk of focusing on vanity metrics and lose money due to lost opportunities and conversions. Besides, your decision-making around website updates, if not conversion-focused, can end up costing the company too. 

Rutger Kühr, Head of CRO at Pricewise, says,“CRO is not just about getting the golden nugget of a 20% uplift, but also about preventing bad ideas from going live”.

Rutger believes that while it could work differently for different companies, without CRO, any change in eCommerce is basically a gamble.

Despite this, many companies still do not set aside money specifically for CRO. Also, those starting to understand its importance might not know how to budget for it. If they spend on CRO at all, the funds are likely to be drawn from a shared marketing pot. Having worked with thousands of brands, at VWO, we’ve realized that many companies struggle to transition from this shared budget, where CRO is not a priority. Hence, we want to demystify the CRO budgeting process for you.

Accelerate Your Growth With VWO

In this guide, we share our findings providing an actionable framework with real-world insights.

Budgeting for CRO

What are the benefits of creating a dedicated CRO budget?

Budgeting for CRO generally means you are looking at either hiring an agency or investing in bringing CRO in-house. 

Here are some common benefits of creating a separate CRO budget:

  • You can hire dedicated staff or an agency to run tests. Dedicated staff can coordinate with other departments allowing for a CRO strategy that aligns better with overall goals.  
  • If you have the budget to hire a dedicated CRO Manager, you can create a robust CRO testing roadmap.
  • You are not fighting for funding against other marketing functions.

“To us, it’s just as important to spend on CRO as it is to spend on our advertising or our creatives”, says Harry Cederbaum of Twillory eCommerce company. 

Rutger from Pricewise puts forth the perspective of flexibility to this. Though a staunch advocate of CRO, he does not agree on attaching a specific number to it.

“If you put aside a fixed amount for CRO, you’re probably missing out on potential opportunities outside of that amount”, he says. 

What constitutes the budget for CRO?

Here are four of the main categories that you must consider within your CRO budget:

Human capital

Human capital is likely to be the highest cost as a proportion of your budget. Human capital costs include the cost of your existing staff spending time on, or any new team members hired, to meet your CRO objectives. It also includes fees for external consultants or agency teams, if you’re using them. 

Building an in-house team (it is unrealistic to combine all required skills into a single role) usually costs a lot more than outsourcing your CRO program to an agency. If you do opt for building a team of experts, you would ideally need at least one specialist each in the area of project management, strategy, UX design, data science, and front-end development. Even a conservative estimate of the team’s total compensation would fall at nearly half a million dollars annually(1).

Hiring a digital marketing agency to run your CRO program can cost you in the range of $3k/month up to $9k/month. If you choose to get a freelance CRO practitioner on-board, you tend to pay them $10/hour to $400/hour, depending on the level of expertise. The other alternative is hiring a specialized CRO firm – the top ones can cost you around $16k/month, but you can also find some of the smaller ones charging approx. $3k/month to $5k/month(2).

Tool cost

Tool Cost

Alongside staff costs, you’ll also need to consider the cost of any tools or equipment you need. Tool costs will depend on the providers you use and the features you require.

On average, companies spend nearly $2,000 a month on CRO tools(3). The tools available in the market can be evaluated based on your requirements at each stage of the CRO journey – research, hypothesis, prioritization, testing, and learning. If you’re a beginner in CRO, there are free tools with basic features that can give you a headstart. Depending on your level of CRO maturity, you can also choose a single, integrated tool for all your optimization needs.  

Harry from Twillory explains how decisions around acquiring a new tool are based on reviews in their company. 

“If we are considering a new tool like VWO, for instance, we have a review for whether we want to invest in it. We are a bootstrapped company and don’t have VC money to spend, so our decisions are usually based on reviews”, he says.

Opportunity cost

Opportunity cost refers to revenue lost as a result of the choices not made. 

CRO helps you identify the best call-to-action (CTA). In the period when your website runs with the lower performing CTA, you are incurring an opportunity cost. 

For example, if you decide to use CTA Option 1, you lose the potential sales you would have gained using CTA Option 2. If Option 1 is less successful, you have incurred an opportunity cost during the period CTA 1 was run. 

Once a winning variation is identified, it takes time to deploy it on the website. There is a cost associated with the time lapse between testing and implementing a winning idea.  What you need to bear in mind though, is that A/B testing is an important part of the CRO process. What it essentially does is prevents you from making changes to your website that don’t improve conversions and implementing ideas that could potentially damage conversions.

Request a demo with VWO and start A/B testing your website for improved conversions.

Experimentation regret

During any test, one version will perform better than the other, however small or sizable this difference may be. If the variation performs better than the control, the overall performance of your website will be better than the status quo. Experimentation regret, on the other hand, is if the variation happens to perform worse than the status quo, therefore resulting in an overall decreased website performance. 

When you create your CRO budget, aim to strike a balance between highlighting potential issues and focusing on the potential benefits.

Does a CRO budget fit into your current needs?

How A CRO Budget Fits In Your Current Needs

Before you go any further, consider whether a budget is right for your needs at this time. 

According to Rohit Dey, Optimization Consultant & Sales Head North America at VWO, clients start thinking about budgeting for a CRO service when typically one of these two things happen:

  1. They’ve started acquiring traffic through paid mediums and they understand the composition of this traffic along with the conversion rate for each of these traffic mediums. Now they want to see an ROI on it.
  2. They are reiterating their design philosophy i.e. taking major design decisions that they need to validate and make sure that they impact conversion rates positively. 

Rohit also believes that a lot of organisations are realizing that analytics, by itself, is not enough.

“Analytics gives the answer to ‘what is the problem on your website’, but does not explain the ‘why’ of it. Getting to the solution for the problem requires a hypothesis, which in turn needs research and data. Organizations look for CRO services for this”, he says.

How to prepare your CRO budget

How to prepare your CRO budget

If you’re preparing a budget for CRO activities, it means you’re convinced that these activities will impact your bottom line positively. But you need to convince your management on this too (more on how to do this in the coming sections). If everyone is on-board with the idea that the resources required are worth the end-goal, budgeting should be a smooth process for you. 

Start with calculating your lead value. If your average lead value is $5, and you’re generating 5,000 leads every month, you know you can set aside less than or equal to approx. $25,000 for setting up CRO tools, and a team. As your lead value increases, you can consider increasing your CRO budget too. Likewise, if an A/B testing tool costs less than the lead amount it generates, you can go ahead and purchase it. 

Rutger from Pricewise says, “It depends on the tool you’re using and where you’re storing results. For instance, client-side testing can be done in-house with developers but would be more expensive for us than using a tool”.

There could be some tools and talent already within your organization that you could maximize for CRO. It’s a good idea to scope the projected use of these in your budget. 

Set conversion goals in your budget that circle back to quantifiable, profitable returns for your company. Calculate your present conversion rate to determine a baseline and set benchmarks for the tests you’re committing to in your budget. 

According to Alan at ClickThrough Marketing, it typically takes 10-14 months to see a good ROI and actionable learnings from CRO experiments. So you’d want to start with an annual budget that allows you sufficient time to test your ideas and analyze the outcomes.  

Based on your specific reason for investing in CRO, you can create a budget and build a CRO test-case that aligns with your goals.

What you need to be mindful of is that demonstrating value early on in your CRO journey is very important. Without that, getting a budget sanctioned in the future may not be possible. To get early results, make sure you scope for and focus on experiments that don’t require a lot of development work or occur on low-traffic pages, hence slowing down your testing velocity. VWO’s Bayesian-powered stats engine, SmartStats, enables you to conclude tests faster and more accurately.

Take a free trial with VWO to improve your testing velocity.

How to decide if you should use an agency or an in-house team

Should You Use An Agency Or Build An In House Team?

One of the most significant decisions you will make as you draw up your budget is whether to hire a CRO agency or manage your campaign in-house, and the right choice will depend on your company and your needs. There are numerous considerations. 

First, consider the skills and capacity within your existing marketing team. How much do they know about CRO? Companies with a strong marketing team that already understand CRO might consider directing existing staff time towards the process rather than hiring a new person or bringing in an agency.  However, this may not be a good idea in the long-term. The skills needed for nailing CRO are wide and deep, and many marketing teams might not have the required knowledge of say, statistics, psychology, or user research. The question then would be if you’re willing to spend considerable time to upskill your existing pool of resources, or use an agency. 

You can start with a smaller budget focusing on those low-cost, high-reward options we mentioned earlier. Just keep in mind that CRO can fail if you don’t have the right person for it in-house. Something as simple as not knowing when to conclude a test can damage your position to get further buy-in for CRO from the management. 

Also, hiring is expensive. As mentioned before, putting together even a small team of specialists would cost more than what many companies, particularly smaller businesses can afford. 

For this reason, it may make more sense for small businesses and newer companies to start out by working with an agency. 

Here are some of the benefits of working with an agency: 

  • Shorter project-initiation times. Hiring a new team member and getting started can take weeks or months, whereas a project with an agency can be initiated in a matter of days. 
  • Greater flexibility.
  • Smaller upfront budget commitment.
  • Shorter-term financial burden.
  • Strategic experience in experimentation and building a testing culture so you get the ROI needed to convince stakeholders.
  • A wide range of expertise in different areas that would prove very expensive to achieve in-house.
  • An unbiased approach to conducting research. 

Working with a CRO agency can cost anything from $5,000 to $16,000 per month as mentioned earlier, depending on your project’s size, complexity, and the velocity of testing you opt for. 

Another option for companies is to start their CRO journey with an agency and transition in-house when the timing is right. Agencies are equipped to help companies build and run an in-house program. Also, your CRO program does not end when your contract with the agency ends, it makes sense to use the agency when extra resources are needed or for help to resolve specific challenges. Therefore, the options need not necessarily be mutually exclusive. 

Here are some benefits of bringing CRO in-house: 

  • An in-house team will be focused solely on your business, as opposed to having multiple clients. 
  • An in-house team can work out more cost-effectively if you are dedicated to CRO as a permanent business function. 
  • In-house staff can get to know your business best. 
  • Stronger opportunities for collaboration between teams. 

The team associated with each business unit works closely together to share best practices, monitor progress, and fix anything that isn’t working. With CRO specialists entrenched in the company, they can operate in an agile fashion, planning on a month-to-month basis with an eye on the long-term goals and overall KPIs.

An in-house CRO team can be structured around 3 models depending on your company size, CRO budget, and metrics: centralized, decentralized, and center of excellence (COE). Centralized teams focus on developing long-term optimization strategies and have localized expertise within the team. Decentralized teams have responsibilities distributed among team members across departments. The COE model utilizes a combination of centralized and decentralized approaches. Each model has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so figuring out which one works best for you is important. 

One final aspect that you might consider as you make your decision around hiring is your average order value. 

Alan at Clickthrough says, “if the average order value for a website is high, then [an agency’s] capability to get that return on investment is much greater”.

Creating a proposal and making a compelling case for CRO

Before you begin constructing your proposal, there is some critical information you will need to gather. 

  1. What is the current conversion rate on your website and how is it being measured?
  2. How does your company currently define conversion? Which important actions is it aiming for visitors to perform?
  3. What is your maturity level compared to others in your segment? 
  4. Which tools do you currently use to manage your website and analyze its performance?
  5. Who are the important stakeholders, and who are the people you need to liaise with on an ongoing basis for the CRO program to work effectively?

Once you have this information in place, create a proposal that incorporates the following:

  1. Your explanation of what CRO means and how it will improve the business. 
  2. Your conversion goals and how you will measure them. 
  3. The process you will follow to achieve the goal in terms of audit, action, and reporting. 
  4. The existing resources that you will need access to; both tools and talent.
  5. The cost of planned CRO activities bundled in an easy-to-consume package.
  6. The expected outcome and ROI.

If you’re bent towards hiring an agency, you will most likely receive such a proposal from their side. If you’re considering CRO in-house, you will need to create one. 

In either case, each of the proposal elements should focus on the company’s benefit. The proposal should clearly articulate how the CRO goal of getting more visitors into the sales funnel will be achieved.  Rohit from VWO explains that an agency’s focus during the proposal stage is to help the client understand that CRO is a process, it would take 6-12 months for a successful CRO program to yield results, and what a projected uplift in conversion rate would mean for the client in terms of say, gross sales or number of leads.

Request a proposal from the experts at VWO Services and leverage VWO’s insights, testing, and deploying features.

“We focus on the ROI, and then justify the investment in the CRO program. We also focus on learnings – we don’t say every experiment will be a winner but there will be a learning in each experiment”, Rohit says.

As a follow up to the proposal, many companies also present a business case to the senior management highlighting specific financial details of the budget. For instance, considering your current traffic and conversion rate, how much an X% increase in a particular metric could drive in terms of revenue, how it could make paid campaigns more profitable, or allow you to spend an additional X amount of money into ads to scale your business.

Navigating the proposal process

The proposal process is likely to include the following steps: 

  • Generating buy-in from relevant team members. 
  • Getting support from the Head of Marketing (or equivalent). 
  • Running test-cases and gathering data. 
  • Creating your proposed budget. 
  • Presenting your proposal to the Board or C-suite. 
  • Answering questions about your proposed project. You’ll need to show you have thought through the possible risks and taken steps to manage them. 
  • Possibly refining your proposal or providing more information, if required. 

If you use a financial justification for CRO, present specific numbers and robust data at every stage of the process to support your case.

“Associate CRO to one lever in the organization – whether it’s UX, financial, or operational. Explain what an un-optimized form means for say, an insurance provider. What does the loss of conversion look like in terms of revenue loss?”, Rohit from VWO explains.

Often, focusing on the negative can get you the buy-in you need. You could stress on something like – CRO will get you a 10% uplift (which is very tough to predict in the first place) – or you could show how bad UX will create a negative brand image. The latter could prove to be more effective.

How to design an initial test case that builds buy-in

Test Case For CRO

A test case is a set of actions designed to prove a hypothesis – in this case, that CRO matters and is worth the investment. Your test-case should be low risk and high reward. In other words, the investment cost in time or money should be minimal, while the outcome will help either decrease cost or increase earnings.

You will need to design a simple experiment and establish a framework of trackable KPIs to demonstrate the outcome. Focusing on compound annual earnings when measuring success can help. In other words, how much additional revenue are you likely to generate for the next year based on the results of a successful test?

For example, let’s imagine that you design a test case based on changing the layout of your sales page to improve the customer experience. Now let’s further imagine that this change brings in a 5% increase in conversion rate. That number might sound small, but project it out over the next one year. What does that small increase in conversion rate mean in terms of annual revenue?

A great test-case should have the following characteristics: 

  • Low cost – both in terms of the financial cost and time.
  • Easy to implement.
  • Easy to replicate or re-run if necessary.
  • Controlled for other variables. For example, don’t run your CRO test on Black Friday when your revenue increase can be easily attributed to the sale instead of your CRO efforts.
  • In addition, you should consider the long-term potential (or lack thereof) for a test and result. Alan at Clickthrough told us about a test he ran using the “dark mode” on Apple’s iOS system. Though the initial results were promising, he noted that they likely wouldn’t last. “Those results are likely to be short lived because dark mode was a trend”, Alan says.  

There are numerous test-cases you could run, but the important thing is to start with research or user insights and identify the low-hanging fruits. Based on your observations, you could formulate a hypothesis around some of the examples mentioned below : 

  • Changing the wording, color, or placement of your call to action. For example, in one test VWO ran for a client, a simple change to the CTA button yielded a 62% increase in conversions
  • Improving product image quality. 
  • Adding customer reviews or testimonials to your sales page. 

If you ensure your test case meets all the criteria we outlined above (low cost, easy to implement, easy to re-run if necessary, and controlled for external variables) and is based on user insights gained from research tools like heatmaps, you’ll ensure that you present a results-oriented and detailed case for CRO budgeting. If this sounds tricky, you can always get in touch with our experts at VWO for a detailed audit of your website.

Common problems that might sink your budget (and how to avoid them)

With any project, things can go wrong. If you’re the person in charge of the project, the blame will land at your feet. The best way to avoid this is to be aware of the areas that could cause your CRO project to go over-budget or identify tests that might fail and mitigate those risks.

Some of the most common budget-sinking problems you should be aware of are:

  • Delays. Preventable delays are the biggest cause of project overspend. 
  • Testing ideas that are based on gut rather than user data; which is likely to lead to failed experiments.
  • Incorrect prioritization of hypotheses i.e. the high impact ideas are not tested first.
  • Lack of patience to see the first (and regular) “successful” tests.
  • Inability to interpret test results correctly, so you don’t know what to do with them – implement or take learnings
  • Incomplete buy-in/support from management/relevant teams you want resources from.

The best way to manage these strategies is to have a clear plan and be aware of what you want to achieve. For instance, you can avoid delays by creating a clear and realistic timeline for the project, with numerous smaller deadlines and check-in points along the way. 

In addition, when an experiment fails, or you don’t see the results you wanted, ensure you take the time to learn from them. Every failure teaches you something that will enable you to increase revenue, improve customer experience, or streamline your processes next time. 

Experiment the right way with VWO. Take a free trial to leverage all available features

How to strategically scale your CRO program and increase your budget

CRO is still undervalued in many companies, with senior executives preferring to use their budget for traffic acquisition rather than increasing conversions. To overcome this, you need to demonstrate the value CRO can add. Low-risk, high-reward tests, and a strong project proposal and budget, are the tools that will allow you to do this. 

The trick to a scalable strategy is to build a company culture that values experimentation and sees the value in CRO. 

You need to be forewarned with the knowledge that CRO investments tend to go down the path of diminishing returns if not treated wisely. A boost from 1% conversion rate to 2% will generally cost less than a boost from 2% to 4%. You then need to adapt your strategy as your website gets optimized – test bolder ideas and test more broadly throughout the business.

As Alan from Clickthrough Marketing says, “CRO is not cheap, but if you do it well, it pays more dividends than you can hope for. You need to be open-minded and think long-term”.

Build A Culture Of Experimentation With Vwo

How Seattle Southside RTA Increased Visitor Guide Conversions

One of the most common challenges for a destination is accurately capturing a visitor’s intent to visit and ensuring that a personalized experience leads to both clicks and goal conversions. Visitor Guides, often referred to as Travel Planners, are an essential way to track intent to visit.   Like many other destinations, Seattle Southside Regional Tourism… Read More

The post How Seattle Southside RTA Increased Visitor Guide Conversions appeared first on Bound.

One of the most common challenges for a destination is accurately capturing a visitor’s intent to visit and ensuring that a personalized experience leads to both clicks and goal conversions. Visitor Guides, often referred to as Travel Planners, are an essential way to track intent to visit.  

Like many other destinations, Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority’s Travel Planner requests remain a critical goal in tracking website engagement.  In Fall 2019, the Seattle Southside RTA team saw a decrease in their Travel Planner request conversions, both year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter. Furthermore, the team found that the gap between their Targeted and Default audience increased, highlighting that this goal had become a more challenging conversion point for audiences.

With the intent of increasing Travel Planner conversions, the Seattle Southside RTA team decided to refresh their content with a seasonal focus on their imagery.  They first created two versions of Travel Planner content, both with gorgeous Fall scenery highlighting the region’s colorful season.  

Launching the content as an A/B test, the Seattle Southside RTA team was amazed at the increased engagement.  Within the first few weeks, this new content saw an 8% increase in Click Through Rates (CTRs) over their regular Travel Planner content.  Better yet, the team saw a 15% increase in Travel Planner conversions within the first month of the new content running.

Encouraged by this initial response, the team continued to run the seasonal content until the last few weeks of the year.  Quarter over quarter, the team saw a 26% increase in conversions, with a year-over-year increase of 43%!  Using the new Goal Dashboard, the Seattle Southside RTA team was able to further breakdown the conversion rate for each of the new content pieces allowing them to see that the new content pieces not only had higher CTRs, but also much higher conversion rates vs their original content. The team found a 79% increase in conversions for their Desktop content, as well as a 63% increase for their Mobile content.

Inspired by the results of their A/B test, Seattle Southside RTA plans on launching more tests for goal related content with seasonal imagery.  Knowing that the new Goal Dashboard allows for a deeper level of insight into their testing, the Seattle Southside RTA team is better equipped to deepen their visitor’s personalization journey to increase goal conversions and engagement.

Congratulations to Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority for a job well done!

 

Interested in increasing your conversions?  Personalization can help you get there.  We’d love to chat with you more about making it happen!

 

The post How Seattle Southside RTA Increased Visitor Guide Conversions appeared first on Bound.

A Well Balanced Content Personalization Diet: 3 New Years Resolutions to Increase Goal Conversions

Happy New Year, travel marketers! The beginning of January always brings its own kind of magic with resolutions and the opportunity to both reflect on the past year and look towards the next.  It’s also a time that, if I can be honest, is a little overwhelming with the pressure of setting life-changing goals. And… Read More

The post A Well Balanced Content Personalization Diet: <br/>3 New Years Resolutions to Increase Goal Conversions appeared first on Bound.

Happy New Year, travel marketers! The beginning of January always brings its own kind of magic with resolutions and the opportunity to both reflect on the past year and look towards the next.  It’s also a time that, if I can be honest, is a little overwhelming with the pressure of setting life-changing goals. And it’s not only personal goals! Working within the digital marketing space I feel that every other content piece is focused on “new year, new marketing strategy” resolutions that couldn’t be easier to implement – or so the articles read…

At Bound, we’re big believers in starting where you’re at, especially when it comes to personalization and your marketing strategy.  That’s why one of our resolutions this year is to focus on something that we know has an impact: optimizing our goal conversions

When it comes to our monthly content reports, few things give our Customer Success Managers more joy than seeing an increase in click through rates on goal related content pieces.  But as fun as these increases are to see, we are even more thrilled by increases in the goal conversions themselves. As we’ve become increasingly aware of the important relationship between clicks and conversions – and the very different stories each can highlight when they don’t align  – we’re excited to share our new Goal Dashboard and highlight three resolutions on increasing your conversions in 2020:

Read More (into your A/B tests):

When in doubt about your content, run an A/B Test!  While click through rates can certainly highlight your audience’s preferences for the imagery, copy or CTA, how do you account for the content’s impact on the actual conversion?  Within the new Goal Dashboard, you can now compare conversion rates against your campaigns, segments and pieces of content, allowing for a deeper level of insight. We recently took a closer look at an eNewsletter related A/B test we have been running with a DMO.  Month over month, we found that one content piece had consistently less clicks than the other. However, in comparing the conversion rates between the two pieces, we saw that the content piece with a lower CTR had a considerably higher conversion rate. This comparison helped us see the value of a content piece we might have otherwise removed and will help inform future A/B tests.

Exercise (your understanding of your Mobile and Desktop visitors differences):

As we’ve written about before, there are many things to take into consideration when creating content for your Desktop and Mobile visitors.  Goal conversions are no different, especially given that our Mobile visitors are often less likely to convert. Within the new Goal Dashboard, we can now dive into the conversion rates for our different segments across campaigns, allowing us to compare, for example, fly-ins served to desktop visitors and banners served to mobile audiences.  Layering in this insight can help us develop content best suited for each of our unique visitors groups.

Spend Less (time guessing how your content is performing):

Over the past few years, we’ve increasingly become fans of thoughtful “abandonment” content and the way these direct CTAs can increase conversions for visitors who have initiated, but not completed, a conversion goal.  While we often see this content with high CTRs, it can be challenging to determine how exactly this content contributes to the overall goal. Thankfully, our new Goal Dashboard takes the guesswork out of content creation and helps us see exactly which Abandonment content is best contributing to the goal. 

Our hope for your 2020 is that your conversion related content is directly increasing your goal conversions (leaving you with more time to increase engagement for your ad visitors!)   Knowing that goal conversions are a vital piece to understanding your visitors intent to travel, we’re excited that our new Goal Dashboard will bring new awareness and insight this year.  Cheers to you and your increased conversions!

Want to learn more about the Goal Dashboard or personalizing to increase your conversions?  We’d love to chat with you and hear all about your 2020 marketing resolutions!

The post A Well Balanced Content Personalization Diet: <br/>3 New Years Resolutions to Increase Goal Conversions appeared first on Bound.

How Denver Increased Engagement for Ad Visitors

With the launch of their “always on” regional “Reclaim the Weekend” ad campaign, VISIT DENVER faced the challenge of how to keep their main landing page relevant. The regional effort, which promotes visiting Denver for a long weekend, targets a wide variety of personas that change monthly. Instead of creating multiple new landing pages every… Read More

The post How Denver Increased Engagement for Ad Visitors appeared first on Bound.

With the launch of their “always on” regional “Reclaim the Weekend” ad campaign, VISIT DENVER faced the challenge of how to keep their main landing page relevant. The regional effort, which promotes visiting Denver for a long weekend, targets a wide variety of personas that change monthly. Instead of creating multiple new landing pages every month, VISIT DENVER used personalization with Bound to match the hero slideshow content to the appropriate persona.

VISIT DENVER developed and rolled out three waves of ad personalization within their first year with Bound:

Wave 1

The first step was to personalize the slideshow for visitors coming to the landing page directly from the ad. This involved not only showing the appropriate group of slides but also starting the slideshow with the content targeted to that persona. While these visitors only had a 4% increase in clicks specifically on their persona-targeted slides, overall page engagement was significantly increased. Compared to other visitors, the ad persona segments had a 53% increase in visit duration and a 45% decrease in bounce rate when entering the site through the Reclaim the Weekend landing page.

Wave 2

The second step was to use Bound’s Media Optimizer tool to personalize the slideshow for visitors who were exposed to the ad. The pixeling capabilities of Media Optimizer allowed Denver to target Reclaim page visitors who had seen, but hadn’t clicked on the ad, as well as visitors who came back to the site after their specific persona campaign ended. Not only did these pixeled visitors have great page engagement, but they also had a 100% increase in clickthrough rates on the slideshow and were 28% more likely to click specifically on the persona-targeted slides. With this information, Denver had the data needed to show that visitors were still interested in persona-specific content even if they had not clicked on the ad. 

Wave 3

The third step was to build on the learnings from the first two phases of personalization and launch a fly-in campaign. The fly-in targeted visitors exposed to the persona who had never clicked on the ad or otherwise reached the Reclaim page. Using the fly-in, Denver was able to successfully direct 2% of these visitors to the page and continued to increase website engagement. Visitors exposed to the persona fly-in had a further 23% increase in visit duration and 18% decrease in bounce rate.

By identifying visitor interests based on ads, even if those visitors never directly engaged with the ad, Denver has been able to increase views on their key ad landing page and continually increase their landing page engagement. This has increased overall site performance and has allowed Denver to optimize the experience for these high-value website visitors. 

Want to learn more about personalizing for your targeted ad visitors? 

The post How Denver Increased Engagement for Ad Visitors appeared first on Bound.

E-commerce Abandonment Rates

There are few key performance indicators that everyone focuses on for an e-commerce store: conversion rates, average order value and the number of monthly visitors. These metrics translate into money…

Please click on the title to read the full artic…

There are few key performance indicators that everyone focuses on for an e-commerce store: conversion rates, average order value and the number of monthly visitors. These metrics translate into money...

Please click on the title to read the full article!