Four Trends Driving Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Amanda Mulquiney-Birbeck
Amanda Mulquiney-BirbeckDigital Marketing Manager
04 Nov 2018


The decline of high-street retail and the rise in Ecommerce is a trend that is due to intensify. This is leading to Ecommerce becoming increasingly competitive where driving traffic to a website and achieving a conversion is vital in the quest to acquire and maintain your share of the market and ensure longevity.

Fully utilising the latest Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) techniques to get the conversion that a business needs is more important than ever. There are widely practiced CRO techniques to get a user to complete a desired action on a website be that filling in a form or completing a purchase. However, as technology develops and customer expectations grow, Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) techniques must change to adapt with the evolving landscape. So, what are the trends driving CRO in 2018?

1. Changing Habits

With many CRO practitioners spending their time re-examining standard Ecommerce site components such as product titles, content descriptions, and buttons, CRO may be viewed as going ‘back to basics’.

With a trend toward website personalisation, CRO specialists now need to work on optimising the overall customer experience. Transactions are no longer the only event considered a conversion because immediate results are 'not necessarily an indicator of long-term value.' As a result, CRO techniques are now being used to optimise 'points of engagement' on websites as well as what is traditionally thought of as a conversion.

2. Data Detectives

CRO practitioners need all available customer data to do their job as they look for issues and solutions. This includes 1st and 3rd party data as well as customer and industry benchmarks which help them learn from other industries and organisations.

CRO specialists still have a specific job to do, and that is to improve business results on their website. Doing so remains difficult as few companies have the data necessary for a single view of the customer.

Obtaining a single-customer view is still a challenge, as customer data is siloed because of:

  • Conversion channels – there is a lack of solutions to sync offline with online data 
  • Technology – The inability to find the right vendor to solve all the business use cases
  • Business units – CRO specialists are not given access to the customer data that is accessed by Marketing, customer service and Ecommerce teams.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions - may eventually help CRO practitioners join up and make sense of the complicated, cross-channel data necessary to do their job.

3. Attribution Conversion is a Problem

Attributing a conversion to marketing channels is a key requirement of CRO. Some pure-play Ecommerce companies, are making progress with attribution modelling. Others, such as omnichannel retailers, find attribution is a political issue at their organisations and, as a result, there are different KPIs for online and offline channels.

For those focusing on online conversion, 'last-click' attribution is still the most widely-used model but it is not ideal. CRO specialists are aware of the limitations of the model (i.e. that it doesn't take into account any of the previous consumer touchpoints), but are not sure how to address the issue. 

B2B marketers face additional challenges as they have less data to work with than B2C marketers and they often suffer from inaccurate data for real-world customer interactions (e.g. sales reps have multiple meetings with one prospect and not properly recording the interactions).

4. Testing Is Gaining Traction

Optimising using A/B testing is now very-well understood among CRO practitioners and is being used extensively. A/B tests are not always conclusive as the performance of the 'B' variation is often similar to the original 'A'.

Some companies lack a unified testing methodology across the business. This has reduced the amount of time, resources and budget allocated for A/B tests and impacts their ability to optimise across the site.

There have been positive changes at companies with regards to CRO. A 'test and learn' approach is now a fundamental part of Ecommerce, the next step is to extend the optimisation mind-set across the rest of the business. It's clear CRO is a constant analytical process requiring continuous monitoring and evolution. However, fixing basic problems for example facilitating a more holistic view of the customer - is a good place to start by consolidating data across the business, and sourcing the right technology.

When the audience that a business interacts with is fully understood, a more personalised experience can be delivered. An experience that is reactive and dynamic - achieving the results CRO sets out to accomplish in the first place.

This article was originally posted on Magento’s blog.



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