You leave money on the table when you choose the wrong e-commerce conversion rate optimization software. No pressure or anything.
Choosing the right CRO software is an important decision. You need to find a solution that fits your product, your customers, your current tech, and your growth strategy. At the center of all of these constraints
So how do you get from thinking about CRO software to reaping the benefits of higher conversion rates?
7 Steps to Get the BEST E-Commerce Conversion Rate Optimization Software for Your Company
By following these seven steps, you can make sure you end up with the best CRO software for your business needs.
Step 1: Involve the relevant stakeholders early
E-Commerce optimization software typically involves nods from several decision makers within your company. It’s a collaborative decision between your marketing, product, design, IT, and finance teams.
Getting everyone on the same page early will do two things:
- Streamline the decision-making, implementation, and review processes
- Reduce the chances of internal roadblocks along the way
You will need to Identify who will have an interest in the CRO software decision and who will need to sign off on it. How many stakeholders need to be involved will depend on the size of your company and the number of levels of approval.
Then conversations with these stakeholders to let them know that this is a priority and why. (Why? Because you want to cost-effectively raise revenue!) Then listen to their input and take this into consideration as you move forward. Examples of information to get
If you do this early on, you’ll have a chance at understanding the perspectives of other departments and better hone into what is right for your whole company, not just your department.
For example, imagine you are working on an e-commerce team and are measured directly by conversion rates. You’ll look for CRO software that promises uplift. After talking to the finance team, you’ll know that budgets need to be spent by Dec. 31 and this will speed up your decision-making process. After talking to your developers, you learn they have concerns about the website’s speed, and so you will know to consider the weight of your software on page load time.
Getting buy-in and input early on will guide you in the right direction and reduce the chance of derailment later on.
Step 2: Review your current conversion rate optimization strategy, technology, and challenges
The next step involves an internal review of what is already being done within your company. Get a better understanding of your status quo, so that later you can quickly judge if a software is able to help you solve an existing challenge or fill a gap you have in your current strategy.
Chances are you already have software and strategy in place to serve CRO and other e-commerce needs. Check the capabilities of these systems to see where additional software can help.
You should review:
- Each step of the sales funnel
- What is working well
- Current conversion rates
- Friction points
- Software, platforms, and other technology currently in use
- The full capabilities of your existing technology
- Internal processes that use or are dependent on your technology
Let’s look at a couple examples to see how a review could affect your decision:
Status Quo: Your current e-commerce platform already has a functioning form capability that customers are delighted with.
Action: Choose a CRO solution that can work in tangent with your existing e-commerce platform and compliments your stellar forms.
Status Quo: The existing e-commerce platform’s form capability offers limited customization and is a frequent drop-off point in the sales funnel.
Action: Choose a CRO software that allows you to enhance or replace your forms without disrupting current internal processes for handling customer information.
One problem you want to look out for is resistance to change. Companies often rely on outdated systems, only because the challenge of change is too daunting. The system may be deeply rooted in processes and procedures that are hard to change. And yet, they’re not able to improve past these systems. Don’t let this get in the way of choosing what is best now. In some cases, it is better to walk away from the outdated system, endure the short-term burden of big changes, and reap the long-term benefits of higher conversion rates.
Step 3: Clearly define your objectives and resources
Once you have a better understanding of your status quo, it’s time to define what you want to achieve and what resources you can dedicate to this goal.
Refrain from setting goals.
Examples of objectives are:
- Improve bottom of the funnel conversions
- Make use of existing data for CRO
- Automate A/B testing
Next you need to define what resources you can put towards the rest of the process. This includes the process of shopping, buying, implementing, and reviewing. The worst case scenario here is that you invest in a technology that then goes unused or underutilized.
You can avoid many potential pitfalls by figuring out—in advance—what resources, financial or otherwise, are available to you and on what timeline. Holiday schedules, quarterly budgets, and prioritized projects are just a few examples of factors that could make or break your efforts.
Tip: To make the most of step three, don’t skip or skimp on steps one and two. Your objectives and understanding of available resources will be more accurate if you get input and thoroughly review early on.
Step 4: Shop for solutions that meet your objectives within your resources
Shopping for software begins with research. Most services you encounter will have just enough information online to understand their value proposition. If this matches your objective, reach out for more information.
You’ll get a lot more information once you hop on a call with the software provider. You should walk away with a better understanding of how their technology works and how it can work for your business.
The crucial part of this step is asking questions. Use your time on the phone with the software provider to gauge if the service can actually meet your objectives and if you can do so with the resources you have.
Good general questions to ask are:
- How does your technology work?
- How does your company ensure we achieve our objectives?
- How much input do we get to contribute to the way it functions?
- Does this software integrate with our current systems?
- If so, how is our business enhanced by doing so?
- Does this software not work with any of our current systems?
- What does this software cost?
After you have gathered enough information about potential CRO software, it’s time to decide who the serious contenders are.
Step 5: Get a demo or proof of concept
By step five, you should only be in contact with your final CRO software candidates. This is the time to bring your stakeholders back into the process and test your options.
Companies that believe in their product should be more than happy to let you see it in action—take advantage of that. If a company pressures you to commit before you see a sufficient demonstration of its capability—take that as a red flag.
Use the demos and proof of concepts to gain a clear picture of what the relationship between your company and the CRO software will look like. Your stakeholders will likely have granular questions that can shed further light on your options.
For example: If you are on the e-commerce team, bring in developers to ask about the technical aspects of the software.
Step 6: Choose and implement
By this point, you have all the information you need to make a decision. Bring together your stakeholders and hash out which CRO software will get you the furthest towards your goal.
Once the decision has been made, it’s time to implement. The software implementation period will depend on the technical requirements of both your company and the CRO software.
It’s important to be prepared with whatever resources are necessary to get the most out of your choice.
General best practices suggest working incrementally. If your CRO software will affect a large number of factors, it’s better to implement first on a small number, learn from this process, and then do a larger rollout.
Other options use the proof of concept period to test and learn, making it possible to roll out immediately upon implementation. So this part of the process will vary depending on your choice.
You also need to set KPIs early on during implementation to make sure you are gaining your expected ROI. And by communicating your KPIs with the CRO software team, they’ll be able to do what they can to ensure your success.
Step 7: Evaluate the impact
Of course, since you set KPIs, you need to review how the CRO software measured up. Ask:
- Did you meet your goals?
- Why or why not?
- Is this something that can be improved?
But this is just one aspect that is worth reviewing. In most cases, your CRO software operates in the “ecosystem” of your other systems, processes, products, and customers. Ask questions that dig into its larger impact.
A few questions you can ask are:
- Did it improve customer experience?
- Does it reduce internal workload?
- Is it worth more dedicated resources?
- Does it reveal other areas of improvement?
- Can it be used to improve other areas?
After a thorough review, you’ll need to decide if the software is worth keeping, expanding, scaling back, or complementing with additional solutions.