Higher conversion lays the foundation for success

Your online shop’s conversion rate must increase. Rather than making a series of changes, first look for better insights. Doing so requires the investment of time and money, but it ensures better long-term results. Check out these 4 options.

#1. Do A/B-testing

A/B testing serves some of your site visitors with a different variant. Let’s say: show picture A to 50% and picture B to the other 50%. That way, you can measure what converts better. It’s important to make a maximum of one change per test – for instance, the price, layout or button colour. Otherwise you can only guess the difference in conversion.

It is a well-adopted method that online shop owners can use to gain more insights into the behaviour of their site visitors. However, it’s certainly not a solution for every online shop, warns Timo Stegman. Timo is a CRO Consultant at ClickValue, a conversion optimisation agency.

Investment is needed

“Firstly, A/B tests are quite expensive because different specialisations are required. For example, you need a developer, a quality manager who monitors if the test has been correctly set up, and someone who can draw the correct conclusions from the results”.

There is also something else to consider – not every A/B test yields a result. For example, you may spend a few thousand euros on a test without it leading to concrete results. You should also account for population. “There are free online tools you can use to calculate your sample size. But to rule out coincidences, you need a large population anyway, from around 10,000 visitors. Many online shops have nowhere near that number”.

The conclusion? An A/B test can make the difference but consider whether you have the money or visitor numbers to justify the investment.

#2. Set up a buyer’s survey

Fortunately, there are other ways in which you can discover where your conversion leaks are hidden: simply ask your visitors. That can be done with the Hotjar Buyer Survey, for example. Stegman calls this option ‘low effort, high gain’. “Our own research has shown that few visitors are willing to complete a survey during the ordering process. That changes if you offer that option on the ‘thank you’ page, when your customer has already bought something. People suddenly seem much more willing to answer a few questions”.

How to do it

A mini-survey could ask a few questions like the following:

*Thanks for your purchase. We will start preparing your order immediately. Would you like to help us out by answering a few questions for 2 minutes?*

*1. Why did you buy from us (motivation)*

*2. Did you have any doubts? (friction)*

*3. Do you have any other tips for us? (trigger)*

“This setup is based on BJ Fogg’s Behavioural Model and examines the three most important aspects of behaviour: motivation, friction and triggers. You can improve your online shop even further if you know how to find this information”, said Stegeman.

#3. Combine Google Analytics with user recordings

You already know Google Analytics. You can see how visitors click and when they drop off by creating a conversion funnel. Now combine Google Analytics with so-called user recordings, from Hotjar for instance. It’s a golden opportunity.

“User recordings are anonymous videos of the paths your visitor takes. Everything is recorded from every mouse movement to click, and can be seen in these recordings”, said Stegeman. “However, anyone that has to watch 100 videos will go crazy quickly. So it makes much more sense to combine this with your conversion funnel in Google Analytics. Just follow the data from Google Analytics and turn on user recordings in places where there are many drop-offs. What patterns do you see? What is everyone doing wrong? You can fix the leaks with these new insights”.

#4. Find the bugs

Your greatest impact has yet to be made. And for that, the great thing is that you don’t need a tool, data analysts or developers. The biggest conversion gains are to be made in repairing functionalities that are broken. You might be working on a huge screen in an office, with a fast internet connection and using Chrome or Safari. But that story doesn’t hold true for all of your customers. They might be using Internet Explorer, an outdated version of Edge, or – more often than not – the mobile phone’s small screen.

“The question is whether your online shop will work flawlessly in every conceivable browser, and on different devices. We know that’s not often the case, just from our own experiences. That’s why it’s good to block-off a whole day to test your online shop’s functionalities every now and then. Of course, you should use all browsers on desktop, tablet and mobile. You will achieve the greatest conversion profits imaginable if you know how to kill all the bugs. No tool or data analysis can beat that”, said Stegman.

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