What is CRO?

Brendon Peters

September 24, 2021

Conversion Rate Optimisation, or CRO, is the process of optimising your website to increase the number of sessions that have a conversion. A conversion occurs when a user responds to a particular call to action or event. This could be anything from purchasing a product, to creating an account, submitting a form, signing-up for emails and more.

At its most basic level, CRO is finding out why visitors aren't converting and solving the problem. By identifying the issue, breaking down barriers and simplifying the user journey, you will effectively be enhancing your website to improve your conversion rate.

How to Calculate your Conversion Rate

You can calculate your conversion rate by dividing the number of conversions (whether that be transactions, button clicks, sign-ups or any tracked event) by the total number of sessions on your website and multiplying by 100.

For example, if in one day you had 1,200 visits to your website and 15 transactions, your conversion rate would be 1.25% ((15/1,200) * 100).

Conversion Rate Formula

What is a Good Conversion Rate?

The truth is conversion rates vary from industry to industry. What may be considered a strong conversion rate for a business that sells office furniture may be below average for a fast-fashion brand. A typical conversion rate will sit between 1.5% and 4%. However, this number is influenced by a number of factors from how well your channels are performing, how new or well-known your brand is, whether or not your products are a more considered purchase or the current situation in a given state or country.

The Pattern Ecommerce Benchmark Report that was released earlier this year reported an average conversion rate of 2.18% for FY21. This conversion rate is based on data amalgamated from a number of ecommerce sites from varying industries across Australia. This result was +18% year on year, driven by the impacts of COVID-19 and lockdowns with customers shopping from home.

Part of a good CRO program includes benchmarking your own:

  • Website traffic (sessions or visits)
  • Average transaction value
  • Current conversion rate

Other key metrics such as time-on-page may also need to be identified based on your CRO goals. Once you have benchmarked key metrics, you will now know which of these levers can be pulled to improve performance and aid in achieving revenue targets.

Can I Perform Conversion Rate Optimisation Myself?

The short answer is yes, but how effective it will be is yet to be determined. The process of CRO involves identifying how users navigate your site, what actions they take and what is stopping them from converting. This process is time consuming and would benefit from a dedicated consulting resource to analyse, test, review and report on their findings.

Recruit some support from another department or a staff member unfamiliar with your website that can look at the user journey with a fresh set of eyes. Challenge them to find a certain product and make a purchase while screen recording their behaviour. Being familiar with the website experience can often camouflage issues that customers experience regularly.

Some conversion rate optimisation best practices you can initially consider are:

  • Are your call to actions easy to find and use?
  • Can your users quickly and easily find what they're looking for on your website? If they use the search function, are they displayed the correct results in a well curated order?
  • Do your category listing pages allow the customer to filter and sort by price, popularity, features & benefits, and colour? Can your users filter out products based on availability?
  • Do your product display pages clearly describe the product with adequate care and size/fit instructions? Are you displaying all your payment and shipping methods?
  • Do you have customer reviews and testimonials visible for users to read?
  • Do you clearly display your privacy policy and communicate your users security is your top priority?

The above recommendations are by no means a comprehensive list and may or may not be relevant to your site but can quickly help you hypothesize what conversion blockers may exist on your website and help you to understand if you are capable of performing CRO yourself.

How Do I Start CRO?

In its most basic form, a CRO program can be broken down into 3 steps.

  1. Gather
  2. Test
  3. Repeat

Once you have established a baseline conversion rate and set achievable growth targets, it's time to start gathering your data.

1. Gather Data

Start by gathering quantitative and qualitative data to understand the ‘what’ and ‘why’ to your CRO problem. Free tools such as Google Analytics allow you view the customers journey in a funnel and identify at what stage of the journey your users are dropping off. Paid software such as HotJar, WVO and Crazy Egg are cost effective and easy to implement, allowing you to view heatmaps of what your users are clicking on and viewing, watch recordings of your customers browsing and how they use your site, and also allow you to request feedback through pop-ups.

Use this data to develop a clear sense of what is happening on your site and what changes can be made to improve the Conversion Rate.

  • At what stage of the browsing journey do your users drop off?
  • What are customers saying about your website and brand?
  • Are there any website interactions that can be easily enhanced?

2. Test

The most effective way to test changes on your website is through split testing or A/B/C testing. Split testing is comparing two versions of the same page against a control group to see which produces the strongest result. After a period of time you can take these learnings and implement them for all customers. Split testing requires a high volume of traffic to ensure you generate statistically significant results. Tools like Optimizely or Convert can be used to test different variations of your pages.

Some split tests that are often run on product pages include:

  • Changing the position, size and colour of the add to cart button
  • Adjusting the position of the size guide button
  • Adding pop-ups that offer to take the customer to the checkout after adding to cart
  • Comparing on-model vs. ghosted imagery.

3. Repeat

A CRO program should be considered as an always-on activity. It's an ongoing process to help you learn more about your users and improve your conversion rate. Set yourself a realistic goal and continue testing until you reach it, and then start again.

Try not to test pages that are dependent on the same results, for example testing an alternate location or colour of your ‘add to cart’ button at the same time, as you will be unsure which change is driving the result. Test one element at a time to help narrow down which aspect is improving or reducing the conversion rate.

There is only so much you can do to identify barriers and solutions in the customer journey without the aid of experts or technology. If you would like some help identifying opportunities to improve conversion rate or to determine whether a Conversion Rate Optimisation program is suitable for you, get in touch with our industry-leading consultants at Pattern now.

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Sept 20, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 20th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to raise pay and add extra work benefits for delivery drivers Following the rise in fuel prices and protests by Amazon workers, the ecommerce giant is raising its delivery drivers’ pay and adding more work benefits. Amazon has mentioned that it will be investing $450 million into rate increases along with an education program and a Delivery Service Partners program. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/amazon-to-raise-delivery-drivers-pay-and-add-more-work-benefits/) Amazon announces it will give away shipping software to merchants at no cost Amazon has recently announced that it will be giving ecommerce merchants free software to manage shopper orders on and off its platform as it extends its reach. The ecommerce giant will be ending monthly costs for sellers using Veeqo, a shipping software it recently acquired and instead offer to them a new, free shipping software. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/amazon-to-give-away-shipping-software-to-merchants/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Walmart unveils new virtual fitting rooms In an effort to drive clothing sales, Walmart has launched virtual fitting rooms while competitors reduce spending amid the cost of living crisis. The virtual try-on tool can be used by Walmart customers to virtually measure the clothing items and see how the products would look on them. Shoppers will now be able to see how over 270,000 clothing items on Walmart’s ecommerce site would look on their bodies. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/walmart-launches-virtual-fitting-rooms-to-drive-clothing-sales/?utmsource=Retail+Gazette+Subscribers&utmcampaign=2da7f0f8f8-EMAILCAMPAIGN202209150742&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0d23e2768b6-2da7f0f8f8-61040615) THG slashes sales and profit expectations The Hut Group has slashed its forecasts for 2022 as rising interest rates, inflation and energy costs take a toll on consumers. Previously, THG estimated its sales growth to be between 22-25% but after a recent evaluation, has lowered this prediction to between 10-15%. Initial predictions did not take into account the negative effects of ceasing sales in Russia and Ukraine along with the impact that the cost-of-living has had on consumer spending. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/thg-slashes-forecast-as-cost-of-living-crisis-hits-consumers-wallets/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- DHL and Post Office team up to provide click and collect services Through a partnership between delivery company, DHL and Post Office, a new click and collect service is to be tested at Post Offices before rolling out to over 1000 branches across the UK. Online shoppers will now have the option of choosing their local Post Office as a collection point, and DHL will fulfil the delivery aspect, opening up networks for both parties. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/post-office-partners-with-dhl-express-to-provide-click-and-collect-services/) US consumer watchdog plans to further regulate the BNPL sector The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has raised concerns regarding the collection of consumer data and the fast-growing nature of the BNPL sector, which includes companies such as Affirm and Klarna. The CFPB is worried that these companies could be negatively impacting consumers’ financial health and aims to put better regulations in place to ensure consumers are safe and empowered. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/us-consumer-watchdog-to-start-regulating-bnpl-sector/) Japanese ecommerce market estimated to grow by 6.9% in 2022 The ecommerce market in Japan, largely dominated by domestic online retailers including Reakuten and Mercari, is set to reach $194.3 billion USD in 2022, after seeing an annual compound growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2021. This makes Japan the fourth leading ecommerce market globally, following China, the US, and the UK. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/13/japan-ecommerce-market-to-grow-by-6-9-in-2022/) Ecommerce brands are spending more on TikTok ads TikTok may soon be surpassing Facebook and Google as the most lucrative advertising channel, with ecommerce brands spending 60% more on TikTok ads in Q2. Facebook is still ahead as the top choice for ecommerce advertisers but only grew by 5.6% from Q1, while Google grew 20.5% in Q2, and Snap declined 10.8% in Q2. [Read more on SearchEngineLand](https://searchengineland.com/ecommerce-brands-spent-60-more-on-tiktok-ads-in-q2-387876)
Sept 20, 2022

4 Ecommerce Consultant Must-Haves

Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces. 

Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.

So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.

Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products. 

What is an Ecommerce Consultant?

An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.

An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.

Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.

1. Brand Obsession/Specialization/Passion

At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services. 

2. Proven Results

It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.

3. Wide Range of Marketplace Expertise

It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.

4. Network of Resources

The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.

Achieve Your Ecommerce Goals With Pattern

Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces. 

With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.

Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.

Sept 15, 2022

The 3 Tmall Metrics That Every Brand Needs to Know

If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.

At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.

What is Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR)?

Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.

Why DSR Determines Success on Tmall

DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.

Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.

DSR Score Elements

1. Service

Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.

So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.

2. Delivery

Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.

So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.

3. Content

As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.

The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).

Expand Internationally With Pattern

As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter. 

It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.

Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.