Make 2023 the year where you don’t just see your brand attention grow…but your customer conversion and loyalty skyrocket too.
In this AMA, Andra Baragan, Founder @Ontrack Digital, will give you the hacks you need to not just gain attention, but actually, convert your audience🔥
With 8 years of running Ontrack Digital (a conversion rate optimization agency), Andra Baragan has:
💎Been labeled as one of Converts 26 CRO experts to follow in 2022
💎Won the Rising Star award at the Experiment Nation Conference
💎Generated 6-7 figure growth for hundreds of e-commerce businesses
🗣️: What is the future of CRO for e-commerce businesses? anything we need to pay attention to for 2023?
💬 Andra: Great question and thank you for kicking this off! 🙂 One thing that I think is overlooked by CRO professionals and brands right now is the compound effect of testing and optimizing at each step of the funnel. Each page on your website serves a role and you should optimize towards that.
Referring a post I did yesterday, actually, on this:
The homepage is meant to inform and get users to take the first step toward the collections pages or to one of the featured products.
The collection pages' sole purpose is to take users to a product page.
The product page should show relevant information on the product, enough of it that will make the user say "I love that, let me add it to my cart"
The cart is to review the order and to send users to the checkout
The checkout is to get all the needed details from users so that you can charge their payment method and send over the products.
The order confirmation page is to confirm the order, get some qualitative feedback and, why not, some social media engagement from that user.
It might seem like a very obvious truth but why is it so many are still judging each test by its impact on the sales or AOV when the purpose of the page is to get users to click to the next page? There are so many steps involved in a purchase and you want to optimize each accordingly. It all adds up in the end and, although it may not seem like much right now, endlessly chasing for that test that will deliver a 20% uplift in sales might make you lose out on all the smaller tests that would bring a 40% uplift when they're compounded and you have a cohesive strategy throughout your funnel.
In terms of what's coming this year, who knows! It's such a strange time now, with inflation at an all-time high, a looming recession, and all, it might be that brands will need to focus on retention and getting more out of their existing customers, rather than new customer acquisition. But we'll see!
🗣️: What are some factors that affect my conversion rate?
💬 Andra: Of course, there are many factors that are affecting your conversion rate but the top to look out for would be:
The quality of the traffic you're receiving - you can have the most beautiful and optimized website in the world but if you're only getting users that are not your target audience in any way, your conversion rate will suffer
Not having social proof elements on your website - 80% of users are saying that reviews play a critical role in their decision-making process so make sure to make the most out of your reviews, UGC, testimonials, press releases, anything like that
Not being transparent about either the full cost of the product or its features. The truth is nobody likes to have hidden costs just popping up at the last step of the purchase, you feel somehow cheated into the order so make sure you mention shipping terms and fees somewhere on the PDP that users can easily access. Play around with the position and display of this until you find the right formula
Not having good quality product photos - an image is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a thousand images 😅 Try to present your products in the best light possible and imagine what a user would look at in a physical store when deciding whether to purchase that item.
🗣️: What should I look into before hiring a Conversion rate optimization agency or consultant?
💬 Andra: I would definitely ask about their process and how the CRO project will unfold in the first three months. They should always start with a thorough research, including both quantitative and qualitative analysis. They should be interested in your business objectives and the CRO program should follow those.
Also, I wouldn't go necessarily for those that promise the bigger uplifts as much as for those that have a good process in place.
Ask them how they declare a winning test and make sure they always take into consideration:
enough sample size
sufficient testing duration
reaching the needed MDE (minimum detectible effect).
🗣️: What are your Conversion rate optimization best practices?
💬 Andra: If there's one big advice I would give anyone looking to tackle CRO, it would be to get good at asking the right questions as answers will come a lot easier after. So you want to properly identify the issues on your website and the obstacles in the shopping journey.
Create optimization tracks for your CRO project -> You'll want to increase sales CR, AOV, and new subscribers rate, let's say. And then you will group testing hypotheses for each problem you are trying to fix and then reiterate on those ideas. Even if a test didn't win, it doesn't mean that the idea behind it wasn't good, you might just need to execute it differently.
You need to get good at analytics to do good CRO because then you can really dig deep in the data and see drop-offs and patterns in the user behavior, that you can further investigate with qualitative research.
You don't need to test every single thing, apply experience and logic to prioritize the tests that are addressing the biggest issues and that have a high potential for uplifts.
Have a look at this framework for asking the right questions and coming up with winning testing hypotheses.
🗣️: How do you identify the changes you will make on a page with a low Conversion rate?
💬 Andra: We start any optimization program with a conversion audit. That's where we go through analytics and heatmaps, then analyse session recordings, user tests, customer surveys, UX analysis, review mining, competitor research etc. and we come up with all the testing hypotheses. Basically, you want to understand what's keeping users from buying and what would motivate them to buy as well as who's your target audience.
🗣️: What's the usual timeframe you recommend for testing the Conversion rate?
💬 Andra: Run tests for a minimum of 1 week and up to 4 weeks maximum. Make sure you look at MDE first, you can use this calculator here and go to pre-test analysis. It will give you an estimate on how long you need to run a test for.
🗣️: We've experienced getting a lot of engagements for our Ads on Facebook. But converting less to none. -- What do you think will be the best action for this or what's the general problem (not sure if it's Ad content cause we are getting the engagements).
💬 Andra: Are you getting engagements with the ads but not with the website/landing page? The first thing I would look at would be to check that the landing page is relevant to the ad - is it very obvious to users that they're in the same place that they wanted to be after clicking the ad? You can run a quick site poll on the landing page to ask users what's preventing them from purchasing/adding to cart/signing up etc. You can set it up for free (for a limited number of answers) through Hotjar or another qualitative analysis tool. But definitely, I would look at the users' expectations and how it connects to the content on the landing page.
🗣️: What department/team should we have focused on conversion rate optimization? (our business provides IT services btw) -- or do we outsource this?
💬 Andra: If you provide IT services, I think it's great to outsource to a CRO agency or freelancer at least in the beginning, until you really understand the process and inner workings. Otherwise, it would probably be in the marketing/business intelligence department but if they're new to CRO, it's best to get someone who knows their stuff and offer training. There are tons of resources out there to learn CRO.
🗣️: And we have this business that provides product, we do manage to bring traffic. Let's say 900-1,000 sessions in our store per week. But having trouble converting. What should we be looking at to address the issue? Or are we not bringing enough traffic on this situation?
💬 Andra: 1000 sessions per week is not really enough to get a good understanding of the performance of the website. However, you can try running some user testing and site polls to see how users perceive the business and product and identify any obstacles there.
🗣️: We have a client who’s a very good add-to-cart rate yet loses a lot of people in the checkout process. The checkout process is very smooth with a slide in add to cart etc. what do you think it is? Missing crucial information on the landing page?
💬 Andra: Are there any unexpected costs at the checkout? Like taxes, shipping costs, or anything like that? Also, you need to keep in mind that many users are using the cart as a wishlist so they might come back to convert at a later point in time - if it's fresh data, you might want to give it another week or two.
I think the landing page might be ok if it's getting users to add to the cart but make sure that the product delivers on the promises and there are no unexpected costs or requirements once they want to complete their order.
🗣️: What are the benefits in doing a Conversion project - will there be an increase in revenue?
💬 Andra: The main benefit would be an increase in profitability as you would be able to get more sales with the same traffic. Revenue can increase in many ways but it wouldn't necessarily mean that you would be left with more money at the end of the month.
There are multiple benefits, including offering an improved user experience on your website, being able to scale faster as your cost of customer acquisition would lower, you would get increased average order value, and so on. The idea is that through CRO you can identify the problems/obstacles on your website and then, through testing, you can find the exact solution for those problems - no more relying on intuition or what competitors are doing.
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