Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with new links and examples for you to use!
When you sell services, products, or platforms online one of the most important metrics is your website conversion rate. It tells you what percentage of your site visitors are converting to customers.
Despite the importance of a website conversion rate, in our experience, the metric can get overlooked.
For Tuff, website conversion rate is one of the first places we turn – whether you’re a subscription-based business converting Free Trial Users to Paid Subscribers, a brand selling your product online, or a SaaS platform looking to grow – we undoubtedly will look at the percentage of customers converting.
The reason: you don’t need to increase your ad spend to convert more. You just simply need to know how to optimize your conversion rate. At Tuff, a tactic called Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is at the heart of everything we do. From constantly testing paid ad campaigns across the internet to figuring out why more leads aren’t turning into customers, CRO is at the forefront of our learning and results.
eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization
For eCommerce businesses we typically look at the eCommerce Conversion Rate to tell us how traffic is interacting and converting through the eCommerce sales funnel.
When our eCommerce clients at Tuff ask us how they can grow their online business without increasing their budget, we usually take a deep dive into what’s driving their eCommerce conversion rate.
For starters, take a look at the table below showing how much you can increase revenue when the only metric that is increased is eCommerce Conversion Rate.
|Average Order Value||$1,143.96||$1,143.96|
In the above example, our client can increase revenue by 110% by simply optimizing their conversion rate from 0.19% to 0.5% (a 163% increase).
That’s a $120,115.95 revenue increase from pure optimization – no additional resources or ad spend needed!
Website CRO Test Sprints
To increase your conversion rate you will need to learn what factors contribute to your existing CVR.
At Tuff, an analysis we might use to learn more about your current CVR is to find out what percentage of your website visitors are getting to your checkout conversion funnel, which traditionally has three stages:
- Added to Cart
- Initiated Checkout
By analyzing your checkout funnel, we can use our analysis to make a series of hypotheses about what is preventing a higher conversion rate – we then use those hypotheses as frameworks for our tests. Maybe there are frictions in your checkout process that stops visitors from purchasing or maybe it can be increased with a different type of product or service page or completely different user journey.
Let’s pretend this is your checkout funnel for a month’s worth of visitors.
|Visitors||% of Total Visitors|
|Added To Cart||544||2.25%|
Based on this data, we know that a low percentage of total website traffic ends up adding a product to their cart, which will effectively produce a low number of conversions.
In addition, the amount of visitors decreases by 10% between Added To Cart and Initiated Checkout stages in the funnel. Between Initiated Checkout and Purchase, the decrease is 20%.
Therefore, hypothetically a solution for us to increase the conversion rate with the above metrics is to increase the initiated checkout percentage.
Now that we have our hypothesis, we must find a way to test it.
Developing a Test
Our hypothesis is – if we increase the number of visitors adding to cart then we will increase the conversion rate.
A simple way to find out if this is true is to run a test that gets more people adding to cart by providing users with a discount code in exchange for information that is valuable to you.
For many eCommerce websites, a piece of information that is extremely valuable is an email address.
To find out if our hypothesis is correct, a lean and easy to implement 72 hour CRO Sprint test would be to ask for an email address (or other desired action) in exchange for an offer code.
This type of test’s results are easy to track because you can see how often the promo code is used through your eCommerce platform. Removing this test is also easy should you find that it’s not working or is causing more problems than it’s solving in your customer checkout funnel.
Implement The Test
To implement, the test needs to contain a time-sensitive offer, which will increase the likelihood that the offer is used at a faster pace than one that is not time-sensitive.
Here are two examples of time-sensitive offers:
- 15% off your purchase when you order in the next 10 minutes.
- Limited Time Offer: Free 2 Day Shipping Today
Create the pop-up through your email service provider (ESP) so that it is triggered when a visitor has been on a specific product page for more than 50% of the average page session duration.
If your average product page session duration is 30 seconds then the offer should open at 15 seconds.
Do not set it to trigger when someone lands on the homepage. You want the visitor to be more qualified than a unique visitor.
The offer should contain an email signup field and clear copy that compels the potential customer to use the offer within a specific amount of time.
Be advised that a best practice for this is to provide the promo code to the customer on the form after they provide their email address and click submit. You can provide it in a separate email as well, but you want to make it as easy as possible for the customer to get the code and continue on their customer journey.
Once you have the test launched, then set it to run live for 72 hours, but don’t just forget about it.
You’ll need to closely monitor it. You must make sure that the test is either perpetuating your average conversion rate or increasing it. If it decreases your conversion rate then you will want to abandon the test and return the variables back to their original flow.
Once your split test is complete then you can take your learnings and create a new test to run. Remember, you only want to run one test at a time or else you risk changing too many variables at a time and not being able to point to what works. Realistically, you don’t want to run more than 2 tests per week.
Website CRO Test Templates
Here are a list of 7 more website CRO tests you can do to increase the percentage of visitors converting to customers:
- Landing Page Offer
- Navigation Header Menu Organization
- Homepage copy change
- Homepage creative change
- Increase Site Speed
- Exit Intent Offer Popup
- Referral Widget
If you’re curious to learn more about our process, or want to chat about your CRO potential, schedule a free strategy session with our team. Our team will analyze your marketing, website, and business and present your top CRO opportunities in a PDF.
John is a Growth Marketer based in Denver, Colorado who has years of experience growing eCommerce Brands and working with consumer-focused organizations. He also has experience working in the Tech, Outdoor, and Travel spaces. When he’s not optimizing website conversion rates or launching influencer marketing campaigns, you will most likely find him on a bike or in his kitchen.