To be a conversion rate optimisation expert you need to have the right knowledge. To gather that knowledge, you need the right tools.
Fortunately, a lot of valuable CRO tools are free to use, so you can make a start on boosting the conversion rate of your Ecommerce platform without undergoing any costs at all. That said, there are also several paid tools worth knowing about that will let you make the process much further.
How does CRO work?
Conversion rate optimisation is a set of practices that increases the percentage of users performing a certain action on your website. In Ecommerce, it typically revolves around the all-important checkout button – since that’s usually what we mean by conversion rate. However, alongside the number of visitors making purchases, there might also be further activities worth focusing on, like completing a form, signing up to a newsletter or hitting some other CTA button.
Conversion tools aim to locate any and all blockers that are preventing your site’s visitors from taking the chosen action. These blockers will be unique to your business: what works perfectly for one Ecommerce site can be disastrous for another. In order to identify them, you need to know your audience.
Free assets that can help you understand your audience
The secret of any good business, especially one that involves selling, is that – while the customer may not always be right – it’s always vital to understand and listen to them. In Ecommerce, you don’t have the luxury of a physical connection to your customers, but there are still plenty of ways to hear from them, and you can learn a lot by doing so.
- Monitoring reviews to see what visitors are saying (ignoring the nasty remarks, but not if the same complaints keep recurring)
- Examining the comments you receive on social media
- Working closely with your customer service team
Those methods can be a helpful first step, and they’ll usually draw your attention to any glaring problems your platform might have. However, if you seriously want a boost to your conversion rate, it’s time to go more in-depth.
Must have cro tools
The process of conversion rate optimisation can be best understood when split into multiple stages.
Each of these steps requires different CRO tools.
- Gathering data about user behaviour (traffic, bounce rate, assisted conversions)
- Analysing the data to better understand the stats
- UX testing
- A/B testing
Here are the very best conversion tools for each step in the CRO process.
Google Analytics: The best CRO tool for gathering data
Google Analytics is an incredible CRO tool. It’s easy to use, and it can provide you with a treasure trove of data on how your site is used. Bounce rates, session numbers, the ratio of new to returning visitors, dwell time – all this and more can be at your fingertips.
You can also find out plenty of details about the users themselves. You can work out where your traffic is coming from – both in terms of organic versus paid search etc and in terms of actual geographical location, as well as what proportion of your traffic is on mobile.
Even something as granular as the most common screen resolutions on appliances that visit your platform can be recorded – handy, as you can then assess how well optimised your site is for those resolutions.
One function particularly useful for Ecommerce is the horizontal funnel view, which lets you see at what stage traffic drops off. You can also modify the results to show particular locations, devices etc, which will help pinpoint specific errors.
Best of all, most of this functionality comes in the free version. That said, the premium version, Google Analytics 360, is a must-have conversion tool for large Ecommerce businesses since it removes all data restrictions and allows you to slice up your stats in new ways.
While top-notch for gathering information, the main downside to Google Analytics is that it doesn’t offer advice. When it comes to interpreting the data and deciding next steps, you’re on your own.
Which leads us to…
Hotjar: The best CRO tool for interpreting data
Calling itself a ‘product experience insights tool’, Hotjar operates on the basis that it’s easy to know how users are behaving on your site, but it’s quite another thing to know why. Hotjar takes the information you receive from conversion tools like Google Analytics and converts that cold, hard data into something a bit more relatable.
It also has plenty of unique functionalities of its own. For instance, heatmaps will show you where users click and scroll, where the mouse lingers – what they take notice of and what they ignore. You can also view anonymised recordings of user sessions to get a real snapshot of user activity.
Alongside this, Hotjar also includes plenty of ways to collect quick feedback from your users, giving you an opportunity to ask questions, which should net you more useful responses with more specific information than social media or review pages will garner.
All in all, Hotjar is an excellent CRO tool for figuring out what your customers are interested in, the kind of information they are looking for, and what they want from your website or products.
Userbrain: The best CRO tool for UX testing
User testing is a crucial part of conversion rate optimisation, and Userbrain is a great way to find out what’s working for your website and what’s leaving people cold. This CRO tool gives you access to a worldwide pool of over 70,000 quality assured UX testers, and you can select preferences based on your own user demographics.
It’s easy to use and can be set up in minutes. After that, it should only take a few hours before you start receiving a wide range of insights concerning design, overall experience, usability, as well as how your site stacks up against competitors.
The best CRO tools for A/B testing
Once you think you’ve pinpointed changes that need to be made, A/B testing is a great way to assess the likely outcome of an alteration before making a major commitment. Plus, the data it provides is very straightforward and actionable. There are a number of A/B testing tools we’d recommend.
Affordable and versatile, VWO gives you access to a wide range of tools, separated into five categories: Testing, Insights, FullStack, Engage and Plan. It’s popular due to ease of use and its all-in-one nature: it enables you to build several variations on a webpage, track several different conversion targets and also provide analysis of the data it collects, in a format that’s easy to parse.
Google has its own A/B testing tool and, as with Analytics, it has a free and a paid version. As before, the free version will take you far, providing multivariate and split URL tests alongside A/B testing. It’s extremely easy to use and assuming you’re also using Analytics, integrates with the data you’ve already collected – so you’ll have a much faster and easier integration if that’s the case. The paid version may be a better option for some businesses, as it allows unlimited tests to be run simultaneously and also enables greater personalisation.
Allowing you to run multiple A/B experiments at a time, with good third-party integration and the option to set unlimited conversion goals, you can’t go too far wrong with Optimizely. This A/B testing conversion tool also has the advantage that its measurements are user-based rather than session-based, so its results may be that little bit more accurate since it won’t count the same person twice.
And that’s your lot. Make good use of some, or all, of these conversion tools and they will enable you to make real improvements to your Ecommerce business. CRO is so valued because it’s one of the best ways you can make gains without having to undergo significant costs.
Try it out for yourself and see if it works for you!