Top-6 Challenges in Conversion Rate Optimization and Proposed Solutions

If you think investing in a rock-solid CRO strategy is not worth the effort, think again. The following statistics will force you to rethink:

  • Widespread adoption: On average, companies are spending as much as $2,000 a month on CRO tools.
  • Analyzing performance: Around 57% of B2B marketers claim that conversion rate is the most useful metric for analyzing landing page performance.
  • Over-the-roof ROI: Another study by VentureBeat claims that the average ROI of using CRO tools is 223%, according to 3,000 marketers who participated in the survey. 
  • Accelerated growth: Finally, the global Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) software market is poised to reach USD 1,932 mn by 2026

Clearly, if you are not engaging in CRO, you could be negatively impacting your bottom line, paving the way for an unhappy customer base, or worse, losing your edge among stiff competition.

In this blog, we’ll look at the major challenges of CRO and how you can solve them. Let’s get the ball rolling.

Top-6 Challenges (and Useful Solutions) of Conversion Rate Optimization

Challenge #1 – Cultural Issues that Stem from Professional Relationships and People

When it comes to driving effective CRO, organizations need to keep in mind three critical components:

  • Skills
  • Mindset
  • Interpersonal relationships between the leadership

However, building a conversion optimization culture becomes challenging when people in the organization don’t possess the necessary skills, talent, or knowledge needed to drive better CRO or when decision-makers prioritize personal opinions and biases over hard data and facts. According to research, resistance within the organization is a major challenge organization face with respect to CRO:

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Another key point of contention is when your talent pool is asked to multi-task without the right training or knowledge. In fact, a lot of times, UX graphic designers are asked to multi-task and drive advanced A/B test changes such as layout modifications, improvising on cart flows, etc.

Additionally, you could buy-in and purchase all the latest tools, but if you cannot find the right resources to work on those tools, all that effort will be a waste. Or your royally under-resourced and under-staffed CRO team pushes for a change without A/B testing it, potentially costing your organization millions.

All in all, you need specialized CRO professionals–adept at being creative and analytical–to work on different strategies instead of asking designers, content writers, coders, etc., to double up as CRO experts, costing your organization time, effort, and of course, money. These are the kind of cultural issues that need to be tackled while setting the right optimization culture (and expectations) and getting rid of the political challenges along the way.

Proposed Solutions: 

  • Hire the right people: A CRO professional dons many hats–from a psychologist and copywriter to a marketer and statistician. They should also be masterful communicators and have basic coding knowledge. 
  • Drive data-driven conversion optimization: Make sure that your team understands “why” it’s important to drive a scientific-based CRO process. Additionally, you should use data from various touch-points to do a competitive analysis and show where your organization is lacking, in terms of CRO approach and strategy. 
  • Do your homework and be prepared: In order to convince top leadership, you’ll need to demonstrate why your enterprise needs to engage in CRO in the first place. You should research by looking at real-life examples across case studies, webinars, support forums, Twitter, etc., to understand how brands are winning from on-point CRO and apply the learnings to your process.

Challenge #2 – No Real-Time Support for On-The-Go Interaction

Most organizations don’t understand the value of providing real-time support to their users–a big mistake. Today, customers want to interact with organizations of all shapes, sizes, and forms on-the-fly. They want real-time, instant interactions, which address their issues immediately, thereby boosting the chances of conversion.

Proposed Solutions:

  • Enterprises need to invest in live chat software that allows them to interact with their customers in real-time and offer meaningful feedback on-the-go. 
  • Evaluating and investing in the right kind of tools can enable enterprises to meet their business goals and deep-dive into unique business problems more quickly and efficiently. To that end, enterprises will need to strategize on which tools that can help accomplish specific objectives, within reason (and budget). For instance, you may need tools for driving on-page surveys. You may also need intuitive live chat tools for building a connection with your target audience or using hotjar for heat maps, and so on.

Challenge #3 – Need for Better Processes for CRO and a Clearly Defined Structure

According to the 2020 State of Conversion Optimization Report, which highlights CRO experts’ challenges after the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for better processes emerges on the number one spot as the major challenge marketers face:

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This makes sense as defining a structure that supports CRO can become a herculean task. Often times, organizations struggle with answering critical questions such as:

  • Is it prudent to hire a dedicated conversion optimization team? Or should its responsibility solely rest on a single individual?
  • Would setting up a clearly-defined CRO team require additional investment? 

In addition to this, most organizations make the mistake of isolating the CRO team, without encouraging active and collaborative communication among all stakeholders such as the Marketing team, finance team, sales team, etc. Ultimately, what happens is that no one is directly held responsible for driving CRO efforts.

Proposed Solutions:

  • If your budget allows, build a well-structured internal conversion optimization team that comprises an analyst, designer, marketer, and project manager. These members can allocate their time and switch between carrying out their core jobs and driving CRO to make the most of their skillset. 
  • Make sure that there is active and consistent support from top leadership for CRO initiatives. 
  • Create a fool-proof CRO model that includes key aspects such as an organization’s culture, processes, and structure, as well as an individual’s skillset and accountability for optimization effectiveness. 
  • Empower individuals with a CRO platform that they can use to view all activities that are planned. The idea is to reinforce a collaborative culture where everyone is contributing to CRO initiatives based on data.

Challenge #4 – Incorrect Budget and Resource Allocation

Did you know that as per a study, around 53% of respondents do not have a specifically defined CRO budget? To top it off, most organizations club their CRO budget with their marketing spend and call it a day.

Inappropriate funding and resource availability are among the top-most concerns for CRO professionals today. In fact, the irony is this: Most enterprises are increasing their budget allocation for CRO, albeit for the wrong goals. Most organizations allocate a sizeable amount in enterprise technology but completely turn a blind’s eye to allocating budget for investing in training their people, who will ultimately use those tools–a fatal mistake. This lack of skill set and knowledge is ultimately preventing organizations from fully realizing the benefits of CRO.

Proposed Solutions:

  • The need of the hour is to lay the groundwork for optimizing your CRO spend, analyzing the ROI, the goals, and the actual gains while engaging in accurate resource allocation. You can take the help of the ResearchXL model, which comprises six key elements:conversion rate optimization 2

These are:

  1. Heuristic Analysis: Allows you to analyze “areas of interest” from the point of view of relevancy, motivation, and friction.
  2. Mouse Tracking Analysis – Helps you to leverage heat maps, click maps, scroll maps, and user session video replays
  3. Web Analytics Analysis – Enables you to engage in an analytics health check, outline your KPI measurements, and figure out leaks in your funnel.
  4. User Testing – Throws light on functionality and clarity issues
  5. Qualitative Surveys – Helps you to drive qualitative customer surveys, web traffic surveys, while providing information on live chat logs and interviews
  6. Technical Analysis – Allows you to conduct cross-browser testing, cross-device testing, and speed analysis
  • Moreover, organizations need to focus on spending on Human Intelligence to gain a competitive edge. 

Challenge #5 – Incompetency in A/B Testing

As per research, 58% of marketers are using CRO tools for A/B testing:

conversion rate optimization

However, most organizations fail at driving A/B testing that actually delivers powerful results. Some contributive areas to incorrect A/B testing, where most organizations fall short, include:

  • Absence of user research in developing test hypotheses
  • Poor-quality innovative and strategic testing
  • Lack of an intelligent and robust optimization methodology  

Proposed Solutions:

  • Enterprises should engage in in-depth research to identify the main pain-points, understand the “why” behind user behavior, and leverage the data extracted instead of hurrying into the process of A/B testing.

Here’s a four-step process enterprise should follow:

  1. Research the existing data and find gaps in the conversion funnel.
  2. Plan and develop testable hypotheses.
  3. Create test variations and execute tests.
  4. Analyze tests and use the data in subsequent tests.
  • Instead of driving A/B tests based on opinion and intuition, enterprises should get rid of the ‘guess work’ and use data as the foundation to come up with ideas that can address the user’s true pain-points.
  • Enterprises need to adopt a data-driven, systematic, repeatable, and teachable methodology to the A/B test hypothesis and get the most bang for their buck.

Here’s a real-life example of a brand to get you inspired. Clarins wanted to boost customer retention and personalization via A/B testing. They gamified their EMEA website by adding a wheel spin which housed interesting offers, gift, and promo codes to reel the users in and pave the way for a great user experience (especially on mobile):

conversion rate optimization The testing was such a success that it was replicated on websites of other countries as well, according to E-store Project Manager Anaëlle Thomas. She says:

“We systematically test on all our sites to see how each country reacts according to the local culture. So we shared the success of this experiment with the other countries. South Africa was particularly interested and launched its own version in December. The United Arab Emirates also ran the test during the 4 days of Black Friday.”

The results? It led to an 89% increase in conversions, +145% add to baskets, and 5x reduced time spent.

Challenge #6: Lack of CRO Knowledge

According to industry experts, the most common form of CRO knowledge source is blogs. Additionally, most CROs end up making common mistakes such as:

  • Not archiving their results
  • Not tracking the lift per successful experiment or the percentage of winning tests
  • Not having a standardized stopping point for A/B tests
  • Not having a proper source for understanding optimization know-how

Proposed Solutions:

  • Engage in qualitative and quantitative conversion research to review opportunities and remove friction.
  • Prioritize identified opportunities based on two critical factors: impact and ease of fix. For problems that need to be tested, create a hypothesis first.
  • Always opt for driving an A/B test if your website garners enough traffic. The more often you test your hypothesis, the more productive your results are bound to be.
  • Keep conducting the test till you get a representative sample size. Make sure to capture the results and learnings, and don’t ignore the failed hypotheses, which can act as a treasure trove of information (later on).

Wrapping Up

There is a growing acceptance of conversion rate optimization, but the challenges stated above are preventing organizations from leveraging the 360-degree advantages of CRO. The roadblocks organizations face are diverse in nature–ranging from cultural inadequacies and unstructured processes to inadequate A/B testing and improper budget as well as resource allocation.

Long story short, enterprises need to stop having tunnel vision and embrace a more holistic approach to maximize their CRO efforts. They need to build a dedicated and well-qualified team, and drive CRO as a collaborative and immersive effort, bringing value to one-and-all stakeholders involved.

 

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