What Is a CRO Test
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Test refers to the different types of testing methodologies used in CRO processes to identify the best possible version of a specific eCommerce site (the best possible version being the one that brings in the most valuable traffic.)
You can later convert this traffic into leads generated from the eCommerce website. The process of improving this conversion rate is called Conversion Rate Optimization.
The primary objective of a CRO test is to identify and implement changes that can create more meaningful and compelling user experiences.
With a better experience come better conversion rates, as people tend to favor convenience above all else.
A CRO test involves testing different variations of elements on a webpage, such as headlines, call-to-action buttons, forms, images, and layout, to determine which combination produces the best results.
The test is usually conducted by dividing the website traffic into different segments and exposing each segment to a different variation of the element being tested.
The testing can mean A/B, where two versions (A and B) of a webpage are compared, or multivariate testing, where multiple variations of different elements are tested simultaneously.
The performance of each variation is then measured and analyzed based on predefined key performance indicators (KPIs), such as click-through rates, bounce rates, or conversion rates.
The data collected from the test provides insights into user behavior and preferences, allowing businesses to make informed decisions about optimizing their websites or digital platforms.
By continuously running CRO tests and implementing the winning variations, companies can refine their websites over time, leading to increased conversion rates, improved user experience, and, ultimately, higher business revenue.
CRO tests are an integral part of digital marketing strategies as they enable businesses to make data-driven decisions and maximize the effectiveness of their online presence.
It emphasizes the importance of understanding and meeting the needs of website visitors, ultimately leading to a more engaging and satisfying user experience.
Types of CRO tests
If you’re looking to expand your testing repertoire, you’d be happy (and intrigued) to learn various CRO tests can help you unlock the full potential of your website.
Let’s check out the most popular (and effective) ones:
The A/A technique involves conducting an experiment comparing two identical or nearly identical webpage versions or user experiences.
The purpose of this technique isn’t testing changes or improvements but instead assessing the natural variability in user behavior and outcomes.
This assessment helps understand the inherent variability in user experience and allows you to differentiate between natural fluctuations and the impact of actual changes introduced in A/B or multivariate testing.
Also commonly referred to as split testing, this CRO test compares two separate versions of the same website to find out the version that brings the most qualified leads.
To conduct an A/B test, your traffic will be equally directed to the two variants.
It is then statistically analyzed which versions brought in the most converted leads, and the test results are measured against set metrics.
This conversion rate optimization test modifies several variables on the same page to test a particular hypothesis.
While using the different variables, the Multivariate test reveals the best combination of all elements used.
The total number of variations tested is always a product of the number of variations in element A and element B.
Personalization testing goes beyond playing with the on-page copy & design, creating customized experiences for different segments of website visitors.
These experiences are based on users’ characteristics or behaviors.
In this CRO strategy, different segments will see versions of a webpage (or specific content elements).
Users’ responses are then measured to determine the most effective personalized experience.
This type of test focuses on optimizing a series of pages or steps in a conversion funnel.
It involves tracking user behavior at each step, identifying bottlenecks or areas of improvement, and testing changes to the funnel structure, messaging, or design to increase conversion rates throughout the process.
If you want to read more about Funnel Testing, check out this article.
Usability testing involves observing and gathering user feedback while interacting with a website or specific features to identify usability issues.
By understanding user behavior and pain points, you can tweak your website to improve the user experience and, consequently, your conversion rates.
Why Is It Important?
CRO tests allow marketers and CRO Strategists to uncover the best possible options with the potential to bring in the most favorable conversion rate.
CRO testing also allows businesses to save quite a bit of money that can be lost if they implement an ineffective conversion method on their website.
That was the tl;dr – now let’s move on to a more comprehensive showcase of the importance of CRO testing.
Simply put, CRO tests empower you to make the most out of your website or landing pages.
These tests lead to better conversion rates, which means getting more visitors to take your desired actions (such as purchasing or signing up for your service).
First off, CRO tests help you increase your conversion rates.
By using testing tools and studying how users behave, testing different elements on your site, and making data-driven improvements, you can make your website more appealing and boost the chances of visitors converting into customers.
Even a slight improvement in conversion rates can lead to a significant increase in revenue, making CRO tests a total game-changer for your business.
Another awesome thing about CRO tests is that they improve the user experience.
When you understand how users interact with your site, you can:
- fix any issues
- make your pages easier to navigate
- create a more enjoyable experience for visitors
People who find your website user-friendly and visually appealing are more likely to stick around and convert.
Plus, a better user experience also means happier customers and more loyalty to your brand.
CRO tests are all about using data to make intelligent decisions.
Instead of relying on guesswork, you collect data, run tests, and make changes based on objective evidence.
With a data-driven approach, you minimize risks and keep improving your work: optimize your marketing strategies and make the most out of your resources.
Want to stand out from the competition?
CRO tests can give you an edge.
When your site is top-notch, you’ll attract more potential customers, increase your market share, and build a strong brand reputation.
Minor improvements can lead to great results without breaking the bank.
Instead of spending tons of money getting more website traffic from social media, you can focus on making the most out of your existing visitors through CRO tests.
That makes CRO tests an excellent option for businesses of all sizes, from startups to small companies.
One important disclaimer:
CRO tests aren’t a one-time thing but an ongoing process.
You’ll only be able to stay ahead of the game if you’re willing to continuously test, optimize different elements of your site, and adapt quickly to changing trends.
How to perform a CRO Test
Now, let’s walk through the CRO process meant to optimize your website for maximum conversions.
Step 1: Define Your Goals
First things first, you need to define what you want to achieve through CRO.
Do you want to increase sales, generate more leads, or improve user engagement?
Initially, you must set specific, pragmatic goals matching your general business objectives.
Step 2: Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Next, you need to determine the metrics that will help you measure the success of your optimization efforts.
These are your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Conversion rate, average order value, bounce rate, and time on site are some examples of KPIs that can give you insights into your website’s performance.
Step 3: Conduct User Research
Understanding your target audience is crucial for an effective CRO.
Conduct user research through surveys, interviews, and by analyzing a CRO tool such as Hotjar to analyze user behavior data.
This will help you uncover pain points, motivations, and preferences that will inform your testing hypotheses.
Step 4: Generate Hypotheses
Based on the insights from user research, it’s time to create hypotheses.
These are statements that articulate the changes you believe will improve conversion rates.
Use data-driven reasoning and prioritize hypotheses with the highest potential impact.
Remember, backing up your hypotheses with evidence and aligning them with user needs is essential.
Step 5: Design Test Variations
Now comes the fun part—designing the variations for your tests.
You’ll create different versions of elements such as headlines, calls-to-action, layouts, or forms.
Follow best practices for design, usability, and accessibility to ensure a positive user experience.
Step 6: Set Up A/B Testing
To compare the performance of your variations, you’ll need to set up A/B testing.
This involves splitting your website traffic between the control version (the original) and the variation(s).
Make sure you have a statistically significant sample size and run the tests for a sufficient duration to capture different user behaviors.
Step 7: Analyze Test Results
Once your tests have run their course, it’s time to analyze the results.
Use statistical methods and data analysis tools to determine if the variations significantly impacted your chosen KPIs.
This clarity will help you validate your hypotheses and understand the effectiveness of your changes.
Step 8: Implement and Iterate
If your test variations prove successful, it’s time to implement the changes on your website or landing page.
Document your findings and use them to create new hypotheses for further testing. CRO is an iterative process, so keep refining and optimizing based on the insights you gain.
Step 9: Monitor and Scale
Continuous monitoring is critical to long-term success in CRO.
Keep an eye on the performance of your optimized elements and track the impact on your KPIs.
When you find successful changes, scale them across your website or apply the learnings to other business areas.
CRO Test Examples
Here are some real-world examples of CRO tests commonly used in the eCommerce industry:
- Button Color Variation
Testing different colors for call-to-action buttons, such as red vs. green or orange vs. blue, to determine which color drives more conversions.
- Headline Testing
Trying out different headline variations to see which resonates better with users generates higher click-through rates or conversions.
- Product Image Placement
Experiment with placing product images on the page, such as above the fold vs. below the fold, to see how it impacts user engagement and conversion rates.
- Pricing Experimentation
Testing different pricing strategies, such as using odd vs. even numbers, displaying discounted vs. original prices, or offering tiered pricing options, to find the most persuasive pricing approach.
- Checkout Process Optimization
Making changes to the checkout process, such as simplifying the form fields, adding progress indicators, or implementing guest checkout options, to see if the abandonment rates drop.
- Trust Indicators
Adding trust signals such as security badges, customer reviews, or social proof elements builds trust with visitors and increases their confidence in purchasing.
- Free Shipping Threshold
Testing different minimum order values for free shipping to find the optimal threshold that encourages users to add more items to their cart and reach the free shipping threshold.
- Product Description Testing
Experiment with product description variations, such as longer vs. shorter copy, using bullet points vs. paragraphs, or highlighting key benefits vs. technical specifications.
- Mobile Optimization
Optimizing the mobile experience by testing responsive designs, mobile-specific layouts, or simplified navigation to ensure a straightforward user experience on mobile devices.
- Social Media Integration
Testing the placement and visibility of social media buttons or sharing options to encourage users to share products or content with their social networks, potentially driving more traffic and conversions.
- Exit Intent Pop-ups
Implementing exit intent pop-ups that offer discounts, special offers, or email subscriptions to capture users about to leave the website and entice them to stay or convert.
- Shipping Options Testing
Offering different shipping options, such as expedited shipping vs. standard shipping or local pickup vs. delivery, to gauge their impact on conversion rates and user preferences.
These are just a few examples of CRO tests used in eCommerce.
Remember that you must start with an audit before generating any hypotheses.
The audit means analyzing various aspects of the website, such as user flow, navigation, design elements, product descriptions, checkout process, and any existing data on user behavior and conversions.
Your goal is to identify areas causing friction or hindering the conversion process.
Every business is unique, so it’s essential to tailor your CRO tests to your specific audience and goals.
Frequently Asked Questions about CRO Tests
CRO testing empowers you to make data-driven decisions that improve the effectiveness of your website or landing page in converting visitors into customers or achieving desired actions.
It allows you to identify and implement changes that can lead to higher conversion rates, improved user experience, and increased revenue.
Some common ways to measure CRO include measuring the conversion rates, conducting A/B tests, using heatmapping tools to visually analyze user behavior, send out user surveys, or utilizing Analytics Tools to track relevant KPIs.