cro and your ecommerce store

by Amba Wilkes

As an eCommerce agency, it’s our mission to help you get the most out of your Shopify store. We believe in always providing a proactive service that propels your eCommerce success. But, to get even more from your Shopify store, we regularly join forces with our specialist connected agency, equation - home to a team of CRO specialists. Take a read to find out more.

As an eCommerce agency, it’s our mission to help you get the most out of your Shopify store.

We believe in providing a proactive service – both during your project and after your website has launched. Our research and the recommendations we provide form a solution that consistently supports you in meeting your eCommerce ambitions.

As part of this support, we focus on UX-led improvements and use conversion rate optimisation (CRO) to gain further insight and test the impact. CRO helps form a deeper understanding of your shopper’s pain points and what they really want from your brand when shopping online.

in this blog…

In this blog, you’ll find out all about:

  • our approach to ux-led improvements
  • how CRO can help you make the most of your Shopify store
  • the four step CRO process our clients follow

But first, what do we mean when we talk about UX-led improvements?

ux-led improvements.

Workshops, focus groups and user data are regularly used to analyse onsite behaviour. Translating this research into recommendations can inform improvements to the information architecture (IA) and UX design of your website.

Changes and additions can then be implemented to make your Shopify store even better. Whether that’s to your design or functionality, Shopify Flow automation, content placement, USP promotion, navigation or signposting.

Taking this approach to your website allows us to take a proactive support approach and implement UX-led improvements. But, to get even more from your Shopify store, we draw upon the expertise of our specialist connected agency, equation - home to a team of CRO specialists.

user experience and cro.

Driving a high volume of relevant and targeted traffic to your eCommerce store is important, but it’s only half the battle. It doesn’t matter how many users you attract if you have a poor conversion rate. You need to convert that traffic into customers.

We regularly see brands spend time and money building an impressive looking website, only to find their conversion rates are still low.

While engaging graphics and high-quality imagery create a visually pleasing site, they don’t always translate to a good user experience. Regardless of how your site looks, it really comes down to what your customers want.

what is cro.

The CRO concept is to convert as many of your users as possible by making sure each part of your store is curated to maximise conversions. In its simplest form, CRO is designed to optimise your eCommerce website for sales.

Implementing an effective CRO strategy helps to make your website more targeted towards your audience to capture the attention of those high intent buyers.

why invest in cro.

CRO helps you get the most from your eCommerce investment. Not only can it influence how many people convert, but also their shopping journey, what products they may be interested in and their average order value.

There are number of reasons why you may want to invest in CRO including:

  • increase cross sell opportunities
  • improve average order value
  • reduce cart abandonment
  • optimise product pages for conversions
  • optimise the checkout process
    Or, quite simply, because you just want to sell more!

The insight gleaned from our UX and CRO services can be used to improve the overall performance of your eCommerce store, allowing you to make informed decisions on future changes.

the impact of cro on ecommerce.

Numerous factors can contribute to conversions. But a major one is how well your customers understand your store and what you are selling. This is one of the biggest cons of eCommerce stores when compared to brick-and-mortar.

Shoppers can’t physically see, feel and inspect your products when browsing online. It’s your responsibility to make them want to shop with you through an intuitive, frictionless and simple user journey.

As more and more users have flooded online to get their shopping fix, creating high performing eCommerce experiences has never been so important. CRO technical account manager at equation, Luke McDermott, shared insight into some of the eCommerce features that have become even more important in the last year:

“There are a few things we’ve seen become more important over the last year. Firstly, transparency. Customers want information to help them make their purchasing decision. They’re on your website for a reason so make it easier for them to buy from you by sharing delivery times, USPs and stock updates.

Another key point is that images are important, but they’re not everything. On a large percentage of product detail pages tests we’ve ran, we found that reducing image sizes by 20%-30% and filling this space with other elements such as price and delivery times helps to improve performance. Big images aren’t always the answer!”

CRO is a proven technique. If you want to optimise your website for more conversions, there are a number of strategies that can be used for different areas of your site. When applied correctly, these tactics can create a positive impact on your bottom line:

example one.

Wanting to increase their online sales, a renowned British furniture retailer used CRO to improve their user experience. In a test example, a filtering and colour tiling system was introduced to make navigation of certain product pages easier.

The result? A 67 percent increase in conversions over a 50-day period.

example two.

A leading contemporary furniture brand known for quality designs wanted to test landing page optimisation on specific products in a bid to:

  • Increase online furniture sales
  • Generate new revenue opportunities
  • Improve product page conversion rates

CRO was implemented for five product landing pages which focused on dimensions and usability, use of colour, default images, page length, CTA and recommended products. Two variants were created to measure efficiency and a 350 percent increase in conversions was seen.

what does the cro process look like.

We spoke to Luke McDermott, CRO technical account manager, to learn more about the equation way to CRO.

Their four-step process is commercially driven to make the most of your website, optimise traffic and increase conversions. Here are the four key steps they take clients through:

1) identify.

Where are the opportunities to increase conversion rates? During the first phase, research is conducted to identify exactly how you can increase your conversions.

A range of quantitative and qualitative research methods are used to generate an understanding of why customers do what they do on your site. This then allows us to spot barriers that are preventing them from making a purchase. Research methods include:

  • heat and scroll maps: Illustrate the most and least engaged with parts of the website.
  • session recordings: Highlight the user journeys onsite to spot UX and technical issues.
  • user testing: Gather real-time feedback on popular topics and categories.
  • api reporting: Report on key page engagements.
  • cross-device analysis: Analyse performance on different device and operating systems.
  • google analytics: Report on one-to-one metrics.
  • bespoke reporting: Report on metrics and functionality tailored towards client needs.
  • demographic data: Analyse demographic data and the impact on AOV, sessions etc.
  • biometric testing: Gain greater insight into how users interact with specific web elements.

Exclusive to our connected CRO agency, equation, is their Landing Page Opportunity (LPO) tool. This tool algorithmically identifies where CRO could generate performance uplifts by analysing where bounce rates, conversion rates and sessions are underperforming. Often, the LPO tool highlights key opportunities for page restructure and redesigns to improve conversion points.

2) create.

These wireframes are designed to strengthen the weaknesses that were identified on your website and are tailored to opportunities identified by our UX specialists. Once created, they are shared with you to show exactly how the improvements will look and provide an opportunity for feedback before development.

Our aim is to test the impact of the improvements before lasting changes are made. Once the designs are approved, the next step is to develop your landing pages.

3) test.

We’re big on learning and improving. During the test stage, multi-variant testing is used to find the optimal layout, check device compatibility, operating systems and browsers.

Detecting learnings from each test, we continuously optimise your web pages based on this insight and measure the impact. This process ensures every user has a positive experience no matter how they’re interacting with you.

Through a test and learn approach, we can make faster decisions backed by data. A/B testing on landing pages is also used alongside real-time reporting to show how your conversion rates are being improved.

Before the improvements are even deployed on your website, you can be confident they’re going to make a positive impact.

cro and your ecommerce store.

Your website is a fundamental part of the conversion process. No matter how a user finds your site, whether it’s through social media, email, search or ads, the website is where the conversion will take place. Don’t waste time and money driving traffic only for your site to let you down at the final hurdles.

Whatever you want to do, whether it’s iterative changes to your website or a full redesign, CRO can be beneficial to the process. In some cases, these strategies can actually save you money. Through extensive research and testing, you may find you don’t need a full store overhaul and instead, targeted improvements backed by data will remove conversion barriers.

how can statement help?

Our roots are in retail, and this sets us apart. As a team founded within an eCommerce business, we struggled to find an agency partner who was truly proactive. So, we became that partner for others ourselves. It is these roots that guide how we operate and the services that we offer. Our focus is on adding value and driving results for your business as part of an ongoing partnership.

Taking learnings from your user behaviour and combining this with what we know works, we can provide value-adding UX recommendations on an ongoing basis to always get the most from your Shopify store. Our UX-led improvements support your ongoing success and are identified using a number of methods, including:

  • ux audits
  • remote user testing
  • onsite surveys
  • competitor review
  • business growth recommendations

Find out more about our approach to proactive support in our blog: proactive support for your ongoing success.

Backed by a team of ex-retailers, our in-house UX strategists work closely with our CRO specialists. Having worked for leading brands including John Lewis, Selfridges and La Redoute, they bring a wealth of commercial insight to every project they work on.

If you want to find out more about how CRO can help you make the most of your eCommerce investment, get in touch with our team of Shopify specialists. Or take a look at previous projects where we’ve joined forces with equation’s CRO experts including Lights4Fun and Taylors of Harrogate.

what to read next.

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