The thing about growth is that it has a formula to it, if you’re smart. Scattergun marketing is weak and expensive. Marketing is about testing. Successful tests grow businesses.

At Zest, we focus on three absolutely core beliefs:

  1. Driving quality traffic to your landing pages will grow revenue
  2. Increasing meaningful conversions will grow revenue
  3. Traffic and conversions are the only metrics that truly matter

For one of our clients, we ran a controlled test to determine whether or not we could increase the number of meaningful conversions – number 2 on the list.

This Conversion Rate Optimisation test contributes to the two holy metrics that we impact; more visitors in, and more customers out.

One rule of ecommerce is that, if nothing else, you should look to improve your ‘money’ pages. These are your homepage, product pages, product category pages, and checkout funnel pages, typically. These are the pages where your user decides on whether to hit that magic ‘add to basket’ button.

Analysis

We determined that the click-through rate from product category page to product page was lower than desired.

There was also room for improvement with the checkout process.

Observations

We observed two potential areas for improvement;

  1. Product category pages
  2. Checkout and cart abandonment

It’s worth noting that for this test we only carried out #1 from start to finish. We also supported our client with the analysis, observations, and recommendations for #2.

Observations are where we look for patterns and points of interest within the visitor data of a website. We can look for tell-tale signs such as large drop-offs in engagement, stalling points where the user might appear confused, and more.

Here is what we observed:

1. Product category pages

The following observations were made as part of our initial analysis:

  1. Consider images which can help provide context around the product. An aspirational property with the front door in place helps to give a product context.
  2. Display ‘Download Brochure’ call to action on product pages only. This content is in-depth, detailed and supports the user later on in the buying decision. Bringing it forward is a distraction.
  3. Creating more visual contrast between the ‘View Product’ and the ‘Compare Product’ option to make create a clear primary action that we want the user to take (we want them to view).
  4. Introduce a card/grid layout to the products, displaying 3-4 products per row. This visual change brings more products towards the top of the page.
  5. Reducing the content at the top of the page to a single key message, again bringing product content higher up the page.

2. Checkout and cart abandonment

During our testing of the checkout and cart, we observed a 39.2% conversion rate from the basket page to the order confirmation page. This meant that more customers were abandoning their shop as opposed to completing it.

In addition, there was a 48.7% drop off from the basket to the checkout page and a further 23.5% of visitors to the checkout page did not complete their order.

Ecommerce checkout funnel analysis

Our team analysed goals, funnels, heat maps, and user recordings, to make recommendations as to how to improve the checkout funnel and increase conversions.

On mobile we discovered a much lower conversion rate – 36.6% lower than than found on desktop.

Mobile ecommerce checkout funnel analysis

Although this could be put down to intent, at this stage in the shopping funnel you would expect a user’s intent to be significant enough to complete the order. This seemed more typical of something more fundamental such as user experience.

Hypotheses

1. Product category pages

We created the following hypotheses based on our observations above:

  1. Remove video to reduce distractions
  2. Reduce content at the top of the page
  3. Introduce grid layout
  4. Remove download brochure link
  5. Create visual contrast between “View Product” and the “Compare product”

2. Checkout and cart abandonment

We recommended three suggestions for our client to focus on:

Move the checkout button higher up the page

Observing users looking at products via mobile, we found that 33% of users did not view the “proceed to checkout” buttons.

We believed that this was because it is displayed below the “products you maybe interested in” section on mobile.

We would recommend moving the “products you may be interested in” section below the checkout button.

Make it easier for users to click the ‘calculate shipping’ anchor link

We found that some users on mobile were unable to click on the “calculate shipping” button. A portion making multiple clicks trying to select the anchor link. This can be easily rectified by increasing the padding around the anchor to allow for touch devices.

Give users the option to return to their basket

On multiple videos we have see users selecting shipping price, pause and then close the browser. This implies that users are using the basket to calculate the total costs; potentially for upcoming work.

Adding the functionality to link users back to their basket could increase return purchases. A simple, email yourself your quote option may help users to easily return to their basket and will be a constant reminder in their inbox.

Tests

Our team created one A/B test for the product category pages to test what bringing more products higher up the page would do for assisting purchases and conversions.

AB Split Test

When testing, the Control is what you currently have in place. The Variation is the new design that you are testing against the control to see if you can achieve a better result (or validate that the control is, in fact, the stronger design).

A test can have multiple variations, but for this simple test we ran just one variation.

Results

To respect our client’s privacy, we cannot reveal exact figures but will share the highlights with you. The Variation design showed a clear improvement, driving a 3.71% increase of users through to the individual product pages.

At the current conversion rate to sale, this small improvement will drive a compounded result of 102 additional sales for our client.

This doesn’t include the improvements that could come from the improvements to the checkout funnel, which we are soon to discover.

What our client had to say about it

As expected, more sales = a happy client. 💰😁

Here is what their head of marketing, Nick, had to say about working together on this project:

“We were very excited to get started digging deeper into how we increase our conversions. While we already had plenty of thoughts and speculation, we needed hard data to back these up and see what could be improved.

We picked a category to try the CRO testing on, following a discussion with Zest on some of the ideas we had. We optimised a test category to show a different layout to 50% of site visitors.

What can i say? The feedback from the test was excellent. It supported quite a few of the theories we already had, and also added more suggestions into the mix that we hadn’t thought of.

The reports were very thorough and walked us through the findings in a clear manner. They also suggested we could see a 6% increase in conversions and an additional 102 sales moving forward from the changes.

Nick continued, “all in all i’m very pleased with the outcome of this CRO project, which provided us with the data we needed to point us in the right direction and showed us how we can increase conversions and revenue moving forward.”

That’s what we DO 💪

Take action

If you’re not achieving outstanding results through your digital marketing, then use this as a prompt to do something about it.

Nick did, and now they’re capitalising on 102 additional sales for this year alone. Next year that figure is not going to simply reset back to zero, so they can look forward to a year-on-year increase from ONE test.

If you want to see what an improvement to your conversion rate can do for your revenue growth, head over to our interactive Growth Calculator and input your key metrics. The rest is an interactive sliding scale that will show you visually the compounded improvement that our work can deliver for your business.

If you just want to speak to someone, strike up a conversation right now with our new partnerships team and we’ll guide you through the whole process.