Let’s take it from the top.
What Is CRO and Why Is It Important?
CRO isn’t just another acronym in the business world. If customer engagement and retention are essential to you, you should not underestimate the significance of CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization). It is in short, the process of creating an experience for your website visitors that’ll convert them into customers.
CRO aims to increase the percentage of visitors who will take the action you desire them to take on your site. What kind of process will increase your ability to connect with customers, engage with them and increase the probability that they visit your website again and take the action you need them to take?
It’s a Process of Understanding Your Ideal Audience
As a business owner, you will need to understand the journey your customer undertakes to get to your website and to take the desired action. If you are looking to optimize your conversion rate, you need to understand the following:
- The steps which were made by your audience while they are visiting your website.
- Their movement through your website. Did your potential customers, for example, enter your site at its homepage and immediately “bounce” because they didn’t find what they were looking for, or did they stay and browse? On which page did they stay longer, and what kind of actions did they take?
- Also, look for possible reasons which may have prevented your customers from fulfilling the goals of your website or blog. According to Neil Patel, one of the main reasons why most landing or sales pages are not converting is a weak call to action (CTA) with no sense of urgency. You can, in this case, optimize your conversion rate by creating an end date for a special sale, or by creating a free trial period.
If you want your customers to take a particular action on your site, you must understand who they are and make them and their priorities number one. That way your ideal audience will focus on your business, buy your products, and return on a future date to purchase from you again.
Now that we have a better understanding of CRO, we can focus on the other side of the coin.
What Is UX?
UX, aka User Experience, describes the interaction between a user (your customer) and your website. It almost sounds the same as CRO, right? That’s why UX and CRO are so interconnected
Ken Norton, who used to work for Google, indicated that “UX is focused on the user’s journey to solve a problem.” The “journey” Mr. Norton is referring to is what we call the “buyer’s journey,” which consists of three stages:
- The awareness stage. This stage is where the buyer or client realizes that they have a problem (for example, a person is looking for some shoes to buy for a particular event).
- The consideration stage. The buyer who has realized he or she has a problem in the first stage of the journey defines their problem and researches various options to solve it.
- The decision stage. The prospective customer has now decided upon the resolution of their problem. For example, they have made a list of e-commerce stores that sell the kind of shoes they are looking for, and your store may be at the top of the shortlist.
Now we get to the core of UX. Various factors influence UX. Peter Morville noted that for users to feel that they had a valuable experience on a site, the information they find on the website (remember that they want to solve a problem), must be:
- Useful, i.e., your content must fulfill the need that they have identified (solve the problem);
- Usable, which refers to the ease of use. Your site must be easy to navigate and take users to where they want to be.
- Desirable, i.e., the design elements of your website, blog, or online store, must evoke emotion and appreciation with users. You can, for example, accomplish this goal with stylish images.
- Findable, in that the content which you have created needs to be navigable and locatable both on and offsite.
- Accessible. People frequently forget that there are users who are disabled, who may be interested in purchasing products or services from your site. There are various guidelines under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 that will guide you in making your website accessible and compliant.
- Credible, i.e., users must be able to trust and believe that what you tell them is correct.
The goal of improving UX is to be so aware of your visitors’ needs that you make their visit as simple, pleasant, and seamless as possible. By improving UX, your visitors may not only return to buy from you again but may also refer family and friends to visit your online store as well. By improving your UX, you will invariably boost the CRO of the website as well.
Good UX design has the potential of increasing your website’s conversion rate by 400%!
Examples of the Influence of UX on Business
- ESPN increased revenue by 35% by redesigning its homepage.
- The browser, Firefox, increased downloads by 15.4% by reducing the load time of a web page to 2.2 seconds.
- Time.com reduced bounce rates of visitors to their site by 15%, by adopting continuous scrolling.
- Evernote increased user retention by 15% just by adding intuitive and helpful features to its website.
- Walmart Canada increased revenue by 13% by tailoring their customer experience to their customers’ actual needs.
UX Trends for 2020:
- Device synchronisation. I don’t know if you have noted it yet but for example, Microsoft already offers synchronization of its services such as Outlook, Word, and more across devices. What you see on your desktop computer, you also see on your laptop, tablet, and phone. The same goes for all the major internet browsers. Your search history, tabs etcetera, are all synchronized across devices. These are only some of the benefits of Cloud Computing.
- Virtual and augmented reality. AI and UX may share the same goal. The design of both of these systems enhances the interpretation of human behavior and what someone will do next. The process of creating a better UX comes down to AI algorithms. AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a powerful asset to have and its machine learning-based systems can be used to track and evaluate various UX metrics such as the devices which users are on when they visit your site, session time, pages visited, user flow and more.
- Chatbots and AI/Ml (Machine Learning). Chatbots (chat robots) are evolving at an incredibly fast pace. It can, in short, be defined as an artificial conversational entity that can leverage text-based signals and pre-calculated user phrases to stimulate interactive human conversation. These bots are the most popular way in which businesses can improve UX with AI.
It doesn’t matter if you have a large, medium or small business, you need to be able to reach your customers in person and online. You must also be able to not only connect with them but build their trust and foster their loyalty. By using both sides of the same coin (CRO and UX), you will be able to accomplish these goals and grow a successful business.