Sarah LachapellePrincipal UX Designer
12.07.202210 mins read
Before I explore the reasons conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is so powerful and important for digital channel growth, I want to first explain what we mean by CRO. In simple terms, CRO is a continuous method to ensure that the number of visitors to a digital product or service takes a desired business action - whether that is making a purchase, completing a form, requesting a call-back from an agent, or clicking on a link to download an app. A well-executed CRO method will improve the likelihood of a completed sale if you are an eCommerce company. However, to implement CRO, we must first understand what makes real people take any of these actions. What is it that moves a consumer from awareness and interest to purchase?
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) aims to increase the number of users who take a desired action
Why is CRO important?
In 2022, over half a billion people are forecast to shop on the internet in Europe, purchasing everything from health insurance to fashion to their next weekend getaway. Most people begin their search by going to Google; there are over 70,000 Google searches every second. People also engage with brands and purchase on other social platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest for endorsement, validation, and peer reviews, but overall, Google "owns" the search functionality.
As of March 2022, there are over 1.93 billion online websites, with hundreds of thousands of new sites launched monthly. With numbers like this, it is hardly surprising that a new site's launch often fails to meet expectations. In one report, data shows that just 4% of pharma's digital product launches are commercially successful. The default is usually to spend on digital media, advertising, and pay-per-click (PPC) to drive traffic. However, consumers are somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer number of ads and pop-ups that appear while browsing. By some estimates, we are exposed to between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day. In 2021 Google's ad revenue amounted to a sizeable sum of $209 billion. PPC ads can get expensive, so brands need to be careful or can end up spending a lot on traffic acquisition and get minimal actual business sales in return.
Another aligned tactic to paid advertising is to ensure every part of your digital presence is framed to assure search engine optimization (SEO), a process whereby you make your site better for search engines organically. It's about making sure that the words people use in their search are part of your site copy. SEO is an essential part of any digital strategy as it allows sites to be indexed by search 'naturally', thus potentially reducing the cost of paid search. So assuming your paid advertising is appropriately 'tuned' and your website is fully optimised for search, what happens once consumers arrive at your site, and what can you do to ensure they engage?
And it is that is the crux of this piece, how can you ensure that once someone finds your site, they will complete the desired action that benefits them and your brand or eCommerce site.
One solution is to adopt a more customer-centric approach and invest in conversion rate optimisation and associated research to harness the traffic that is already coming to your site.
How All human drives digital performance
All human has created a unique type of CRO process. We call it Digital Performance. It involves extensive and focussed user research and testing combined with data and analytics to understand what drives human behaviour, intent, and psychology and discover new insights to inform winning digital products. The rigour of our process strips out the guesswork. Our design decisions are never based on assumptions. Instead, we have created new digital growth and revenues for clients by putting the user at the core of our thinking and validating our ideas through experimentation and iteration.
Conversion Rate Optimisation involves extensive user research and testing
Many of these brands and other successful digital companies fully understand that real online success requires a commitment to optimisation and performance over time. There is no silver bullet. It's a mix of Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours and the sporting analogy of the 'percentage game', where continuous marginal and incremental gains are the pathway to success. The British cycling team adopted this philosophy to win 16 gold medals over two Olympics, and seven Tour de France wins in eight years. We adopt a similar method of 'sure-footed' incremental and measurable improvement at All human.
There are a number of stages in the All human ‘Digital Performance’ CRO process:
- Discovery Phase
- Research & Insights
- Test & Measure
All human invests time with our clients to agree on what success looks like in quantifiable terms. We decide on key performance indicators (KPIs) like online sales, cost reduction, or new customer acquisition and how we can record them as digestible information to inform business decisions. We also use this time to identify any constraints - technical, product propositions, and compliance- so we have a complete understanding of the limitations and barriers to success.
Research & Insights
CRO is also about knowing why people behave the way they do. So we conduct extensive qualitative and quantitative research to get to know the user, the product, the concerns, the issues, the goals of people looking for this product or service, and how they interact with existing digital products to understand the pain points and the user experience. Such research usually elicits valuable insights or ‘the gold’ to inform site improvements, build loyalty and increase conversions. This is how we help brands win and differentiate online.
Our research generates hypotheses that we can test against a measurable set of results. We then use an objective prioritisation model to order these ideas based on what we expect will impact the KPIs most. For example, if we change something as simple as the wording on a ‘call-to-action’ button, what is the level of impact on the desired outcome? Do more people click on the button, and if so, how many of them also complete a purchase?
Test & Measure
We relentlessly validate our hypotheses through testing. We can test and learn from several ideas within weeks, avoiding long drawn-out development cycles.
By testing our ideas instead of directly implementing them, we ensure only successful tests are implemented, reducing risk to the business and avoiding unnecessary digital investment. This creates efficient use of time and resources, providing only designs that are proven to improve the user experience and increase conversions will go live. Interestingly we often learn more from those tests that have failed than the ones that were deemed a success.
All human’s CRO process
Our Digital Performance team has a proven track record of growing strong conversion metrics for clients such as Fáilte Ireland, Ireland's national tourism agency. Recently its website DiscoverIreland.ie, which we designed, built, and produced, won a Spider award for best website. Some highlights include a 435% increase in referral conversion rate from articles and an increase in referrals sitewide by 38% year on year. We've also seen an increase in overall user engagement with 191% more mobile sessions and a 254% increase in repeat visitors compared to 2020.
For Irish Life Health, another All human client, the numbers speak for themselves. Its site was ranked as the top eCommerce site in Ireland above Revolut, Three, and many others in a 2021 BearingPoint Report.