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 27, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)
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 13, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 13th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon scales back on US warehouse facilities Amazon is shutting down two facilities with 300 employees, discarding plans for 42 facilities, and delaying plans to open a further 21 buildings across the US. The ecommerce giant is scaling back on hiring as well as the expansion of its vast delivery network, as it was left with an excess of space following its rapid expansion during the pandemic. [Read more on Business Insider](https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-closes-2-facilities-scraps-plans-42-new-buildings-report-2022-9?r=US&IR=T) --- Other Marketplace News --- JD.com is ‘betting’ on ecommerce grocery market Amidst a slowing economy and a decline in ecommerce, Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com has increased its urgency to seek new growth engines. The company is looking to boost its online grocery business through offline partnerships and expansion into lower-tier cities, where it may be able to unleash more consumption power. [Read more on The Star](https://www.thestar.com.my/tech/tech-news/2022/09/08/chinese-ecommerce-giant-jdcom-bets-big-on-online-grocery-lower-tier-markets-amid-slowing-economy) Shopee shuts operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico Sea’s ecommerce arm, Shopee, has shut local operations in some LATAM countries but will continue to maintain cross-border operations in a few markets. Latin America is Sea’s most important region following South-east Asia, accounting for close to 19% of its revenue in 2021. The move away from these countries is largely due to increased levels of macro uncertainty and rising interest and inflation rates, and rather putting a focus on its core operations. [Read more on Straits Times](https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/seas-shopee-shuts-operations-in-argentina-chile-colombia-mexico-sources) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Instagram scales back in-stream shopping elements Instagram is re-examining its approach as it hasn’t been able to make ‘fetch’ happen. ‘Fetch’ in this context being the online shopping trends which have become all-consuming in China, and what Western social platforms have been hoping to add into their apps to make them more addictive and revenue-generating. Consumers have not been swayed by the latest shopping tools on TikTok and Instagram, leading to Instagram scaling back its in-stream shopping program. [Read more on SocialMediaToday](https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/instagram-scales-back-in-stream-shopping-elements-as-it-re-examines-its-app/631276/) FedEx Express supporting the growth of cross border ecommerce FedEx express has expanded its international commerce shipping service to four more markets across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region in an effort to support the strong development of ecommerce in this region. Three of the fastest growing markets, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam are leading Southeast Asia’s ecommerce sales, which is set to reach $100 billion by 2023. [Read more on Post & Parcel](https://postandparcel.info/149889/news/e-commerce/fedex-express-supports-the-growth-of-cross-border-e-commerce-within-the-amea-region/) India ramps up hiring as companies prepare for shoppers Ecommerce companies are getting ready for the festive season by rapidly expanding their temporary workforce. As ecommerce in India grows, the country is predicted to have 372 million online shoppers by the end of 2022. The festive season this year, running from October to December, is expected to see a two-fold increase in logistics and delivery alone. During this period, companies are predicted to add 20% more to their existing workforce base, with a 8-10% higher pay scale compared to last year. [Read more on Business Insider India](https://www.businessinsider.in/business/ecommerce/news/the-great-indian-festival-of-hiring-e-commerce-companies-gear-up-for-indias-shoppers/articleshow/94000346.cms)