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Conversion rate optimisation has always been integrated into every campaign we deliver for our clients. It can significantly help to not only improve the performance of our managed media channels but deliver long-term value to our clients and their customers for many years to come.

I also like CRO as I’m a total data geek and love nothing more than analysing heat maps, tracking customer interactions and highlighting potential friction points that haven’t been seen before.

CRO is a long-game strategy

As with SEO, there are no quick wins that will suddenly increase your conversion rates within a few days. Instead, it is a structured process to provide incremental gains, small improvements which over time will make a huge difference to both your revenue and your customers.

A great example of this is a recent CRO campaign we are working on for our client Beerhunter. Through our analysis, we observed that a high proportion of customers were exiting the cart page, and we wanted to see if we could make that page work a little harder.

Our heat map and visitor recording data highlighted two potential issues which may have been making an impact:

  • Interaction with the primary ‘Proceed to Checkout’ button was lower than we expected, CTR was actually less for that button than many other elements of the page
  • A scroll map indicated that there was a 90% drop off below the primary CTA, this section of the page happened to include the fantastic reviews score the client had achieved

Our hypotheses

Based on these observations we built two hypotheses that we wanted to test:

  • If we delivered a more ‘obvious’ primary CTA, would we get a better CTR and conversion rate?
  • If we moved the reviews widget, would the conversion rate to the next page improve?

There was only one way to find out… FIGHHTTTT!!

Making it obvious

The cart/basket page is the very start of the customer’s ‘investment’ period when they are just about ready to commit to purchasing and are therefore in a ‘delicate’ frame of mind. One small point of friction can put them off, resulting in increased cart abandonment and low ROAS.

One key challenge I see a lot with e-commerce sites is that the primary call-to-action is not the most obvious part of the page. As such, when a customer finally begins the purchase process, it’s not abundantly clear what it is we want them to do next.

A great solution to this is to provide steps; use numbered stages at the top which help them to understand where they are and what happens next. But, one of the most common friction points is that the primary CTA button doesn’t jump out, making it less obvious what they need to do next.

In the case of our client, their CTA was small and on-brand, meaning it was the same colour as all of the other buttons, so it didn’t stand out.

Therefore, we tested a new colour for the primary CTA, running an A/B test against the control to see what happened. Over a two week period, our variant helped to increase overall conversion rates by 4%.

The power of social proofing

Our client had already established a strong review score on reviews.co.uk and we had a number of widgets on their site to help push this message. However, due to their placement, we were concerned that they were not visible enough on some of the primary conversion pages.

Social proof can have a powerful impact on a site’s conversion rate. Why? Customers love the fact that many before them have had a positive purchase experience and that their orders were delivered safely and on time.

There are many review widgets available, but we have found reviews.io to be one of the easiest to integrate into many e-commerce sites. Additionally, our client’s score was 4.9/5 from over 190 unique company reviews (many more at a product level).

We wanted to shout about these new scores to help ‘encourage’ the customer to continue with their purchase. Our A/B test pushed the reviews widget to the top of the cart page and this variant helped to increase overall conversion rates by 7%!

The monkey is closer

So, we utilised two simple tests, focused on one of the most critical pages of any website, and helped to provide an 11% increase in conversion rates. Though this is a small increase, it actually equates to over £4,000 per month in additional revenue and took the developers no longer than two hours to test and implement our recommendations.

This small increase wasn’t a quick win, though. Overall, we invested more than 20 hours of analysis, testing and coding work into both tests, an investment that will provide a significant return on investment for our client.

Both small changes are now live, and these improvements will be seen across every channel for a long time to come. It is by no means the end of our testing, either, in fact, we have a lot more tests on the purchase funnel and product/category pages to come. God, I love my job!!

Take care

Steve