7 Conversion Rate Optimization Case Studies to Learn FromBy Avinash Nair on August 2, 2017
Reading Time: 13 minutes
Marketers have been keenly interested in ‘Conversion Rate Optimization’ (CRO) for quite some time now. For those who are new to this term, “it is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage.” According to a report by Venture Beat, the average ROI on CRO tools is 223 percent.
If you are an online marketer who is looking for ways to optimize your website for better conversions, you’ve come to the right place. Mentioned below are some amazing conversion rate optimization case studies that have been released by fellow marketers. The tactics mentioned have worked wonders for them and can help you improve your website’s conversion rates as well.
1. Website Re-Design Results in Increased Conversions
An outdated website is never of any good use to anyone. It neither attracts attention nor encourages people to connect with your brand. Redesigning your website can be helpful to increase conversions. Take the example of RTS Cutting Tools, Inc., a manufacturer of blueprint special cutting tools. The biggest challenge for them was acquiring new customers. Their website was almost 17 years old and lacked appeal.
What the Company Did: The company introduced a new and attractive website design, which was responsive and incorporated an online product catalog. The development was done in five phases and cross-browser testing was performed to ascertain that it offered an equally stellar experience on all browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari).
The Result: The website redesign resulted in an increase in conversions (measured in quotes delivered to prospects) by 470 percent.
Takeaway: If you are struggling to improve the conversion rate for your business, take a long hard look at your website design from the customer’s perspective. Does it excite you? Does it give you a reason to engage with your business? If the answer is no, then it is time to give it a facelift.
2. Images Work Better Than Videos
If you ask marketers about that one thing that attracts user attention immediately, you are most likely to hear ‘Videos’ as the answer. However, images have the potential to outperform videos. This is exactly what the example of BrookdaleLiving.com teaches us.
The website offers various community living services for senior citizens. Their initial website design was plain and simple, and displayed limited information in an unattractive manner. It had no appeal and did nothing to encourage visitors to convert. Take a look.
What the Company Did: Upon realizing that something was not right with their website, Brookdale partnered with Fathom, a digital marketing company and planned a complete makeover. Fathom created two new versions of the website – one with an image of an elderly woman and another with a short video of elderly people talking about their wonderful experience with Brookdale. Everything else on the newly created webpage remained same.
Version 1 (with image):
Version 2 (with video):
The Result: After testing the three versions (the two new versions and the original one), the one with the image outperformed the other two. The design with the image saw an increase of 3.92 percent in conversions (and an additional revenue of $106,000), compared to a mere 0.85 percent increase in the video version.
Takeaway: Videos work well with some websites, but can act as distractions on others. You need to study your audience before including videos in your website. Moreover, since this website targets senior citizens, it is important to realize that their audience may not use high-speed connections. An image works better than a video in such cases.
3. Including Live Chat Increases Conversion Rate
By offering high-level customer service, you can keep your audience engaged and encourage them to stay connected with your brand. Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, did exactly this to improve their conversion rate. The company found that their customers were usually upgrading out of frustration after learning that the product they bought originally wasn’t fully equipped to satisfy all their needs.
What the Company Did: Once they realized the need to offer their customers appropriate solutions before they get frustrated, the company introduced a solution earlier in the product buying funnel. By using testing software, Intuit found that the “Review Your Order” and “Product Comparison Pages” had the highest purchase intent, and they can help customers make the right choices by connecting with them on these pages. Intuit included a live chat solution from Liveperson on the pages where customers would require help or have questions about the best choice for them.
The Result: Pages with the live chat option saw an increase in conversion and the number of calls from frustrated customers reduced significantly.
Takeaway: If it is possible, add the live chat option to certain web pages to allow your visitors to get in touch with you as soon as they need help. If including live chat is not feasible, then offer options to help customers get in touch with you in an easy and quick manner. For instance, provide them with a helpline number or conduct occasional Live Q&A sessions on Skype or Google+. The idea is to stay connected with your customers and offer help whenever required.
4. Display Products in a Clutter-Free Manner
Marketers think that offering a lot of information helps customers make better purchase decisions, but this is often not true. Too much information can distract and confuse customers. Let’s consider the example of a website that is an affiliate store for college textbooks. The target users are college students looking for books at cheap prices.
The original product pages were cluttered with loads of information and multiple buying options. Here is a view of one of the original product page:
For students looking for cheap books, this was too much information, which left them confused.
What the Company Did: The company implemented a redesign and removed the clutter to make the pages more product-focused.
The new page was a far cry from the conventional e-commerce product page. It had no product information, the ‘Buy Now’ section only listed retailers offering the lowest prices, and other distracting features such as ‘Sell This Book’ were removed.
The Result: The new product pages achieved an increase in conversions by 15.3 percent.
Takeaway: Instead of sticking to traditional concepts and designs, it is always best to offer what the target audience is looking for. For the above website, the focus was on offering books at the lowest price. Take a look at your product and determine the level in the marketing funnel at which your customers belong and decide how much information needs to be conveyed accordingly.
5. Change the Position of CTA
Do you have a clear CTA placed on your landing page, but are still not seeing the expected number of conversions? This could be due to its placement. Placing the CTA at the right place (where visitors can see it clearly and take the intended action) is as important as the CTA text.
Take the example of Nature Air. The company’s website had a number of landing pages, but none converted the way the company expected them to.
What the Company Did: The company ran A/B tests on each landing page and depending on the findings, moved the CTA to a more noticeable location. The ones in which the CTA was moved to a more prominent position saw improved results.
The Result: The conversion rate increased from 2.78 percent to almost 19 percent – a whopping 591 percent increase!
Takeaway: If you have an exciting offer for your visitors, make sure they see it as soon as they land on the page. Placing the CTA above the fold has often proved to be gaining maximum attention. However, use A/B tests to see which position works for your visitors the best.
6. Provide Guarantee for Better Conversions
When people invest in exclusive and expensive items such as branded watches, they are often concerned about the guarantee of the product. By adding a guarantee, you can also increase your sales dramatically like Horloges.nl, a Netherlands-based online watch retailer, did. The biggest challenge for the company was to win customers’ trust and persuade them that they sell authentic brands only.
What the Company Did: The company made some modifications in the banner on the landing page for the Casio G-Shock line of watches. The original banner looked like this:
The text on the banner translates as:
Official G-Shock dealer
Tomorrow at Home (Next-Day Delivery)
Their modified banner looked like this:
The text on the banner translates as:
Free shipping – Familiar with PostNL
Tomorrow at home – Place Order before 16:00
Official Dealer – 2-year guarantee on watches
The Result: Only a few tweaks in the design, some additional details and a two-year guarantee improved conversions significantly. The average order value improved by six percent and the turnover on visitors visiting the G-SHOCK page was 41 percent more (on a 95% significance scale).
Takeaway: If you deal with exclusive or expensive items, then adding trust-building elements can help in increasing the conversions. Your customers trust your brand and feel more comfortable making the purchase. Offering guarantee on products and using reliable payment gateways are some ways to earn customers’ trust.
7. A Preview of the Newsletter Improves Conversions
Getting email sign-ups is a big challenge for many companies. The same was the case with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The organization wanted more subscribers for its monthly newsletter. However, instead of following the best practices, they did something different and were massively successful in their endeavor.
What the Company Did: The organization made simple tweaks to the layout of the landing pages. For instance, the CTA (‘Sign Up Now’) became larger and much clearer, the visitors were clearly informed about what to expect from the newsletters (even before they entered any information), and a preview of the newsletter gave the visitors an even better idea of what the newsletter was about. Moreover, the organization also addressed users’ FUDs (Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts) about disclosing their mobile number, which helped them win trust.
The Result: The number of sign-ups went up by a whopping 83 percent.
Takeaway: Instead of just telling visitors what to expect, show them a preview so that they can better understand what they can look forward to. Address visitors’ FUDs to win trust, especially when asking for their personal information such as credit card number, mobile number, address, and so on.
The above case studies have been taken from various sources and industries. In order to get the maximum number of lessons out of such case studies, you need to find the ones that are most applicable to your business. However, testing and tracking are two important aspects of implementing any change to your website or landing page.
Teams need to work together to make things happen. For instance, the marketing and design teams need to work in collaboration for a successful website redesign. Using project management tools is important to ensure effective communication and success of your projects. Workzone, for example, is a tried and tested project management tool that helps teams collaborate successfully and stay abreast of developments in a specific project. It is designed to suit the needs of companies of all sizes. By testing and tracking projects successfully, companies can increase conversion rates significantly and achieve their business goals easily.
Making changes to your website and landing pages on a regular basis is important to ensure they are relevant to your audience. Since preferences and behaviors change constantly, you need to understand what your visitors/customers are looking for and make the changes accordingly.
To start with, find a case study that addresses problems similar to yours and do some in-depth research about how the company (used as an example in the specific case study) implemented the changes. Research their testing and tracking phases, and implement the takeaways on your own business website/landing pages.
Remember, implementing changes hastily can do more harm than good. So create a plan before implementing the changes and track how the change impacts the conversion at every stage.
If you have an interesting CRO case study to share, we will be happy to hear it. Share it now!