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Our approach to Conversion Rate Optimization is controversial because instead of focusing on the whole site we focus on just a few key items, which we cover in this article.
Here’s a quick recap of what we don’t focus on along with an explanation of why we don’t focus on it:
1: We don’t make design or layout changes. Why? Few reasons– it’s actually fairly complicated to A/B test design changes. It can also cause the flicker effect with the A/B testing software. Finally, and most importantly, clients are emotionally attached to their design, this makes sense, so it’s quite a battle to get them to agree on a new design. And even if you can build a case for a design tweak test the back-and-forth slows the testing process, and speed is everything. Remember we’re playing with a 90-day window.
2: We never test any offer tests.
3: We don’t do any user research at the start of the project.
3: We don’t change site functionality.
4: We don’t help clients improve their average order value.
5: No A/B testing of ad creatives driving traffic to the site.
6: We also don’t work on the homepage, category page, or checkout flow.
7: We don’t think at all about repeat buyers. Instead, we focus 100% of our energy on first-time buyers (explained below).
To appreciate why we don’t do the items listed above we should explain the bigger context.
We believe the optimal time to prove the effectiveness of a marketing approach is 90-days. This number is perfect for a number of reasons:
A: It’s long enough for us to fail a few times and still discover the winning formula.
B: It’s short enough that the client doesn’t feel all their eggs are tied to one crazy idea.
C: It forces us to be laser-focused.
We’ve thought about this a lot and 90-days is a wonderful time horizon.
Now, that laser focus mentioned above has a cost– it means we need to take things off the table. And this is why we don’t do the 7 items mentioned at the top of this article.
Our Approach to CRO
So this is what we focus on:
– Focus on first-time buyers.
– Using words to convince and convert the shoppers.
We get into great detail about why we focus on first-time buyers here but the summary is that if you look at your Google Analytics data you’ll find that most visitors to your site are new. And having tested across 100s of eCommerce sites we’ve discovered that first-time buyers (irrespective of what product is being purchased) behave in remarkably similar ways.
Similarly, the reason why we don’t focus too heavily on design or creating new video content is that words are the most malleable to work with. This means as a marketer I can very quickly change the tone of the copy or the Selling Angles being emphasized and quickly see the impact on conversions.
But in order to understand what’s going on inside the heads of first-time buyers and to influence them using the awesome power of words we need to deeply understand what’s going on inside their heads, we need to understand their buyer psychology.