How to Experiment With Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

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What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?

I like to think of this in simple terms. A rough gauge of CRO is to look at your website and ask yourself if each aspect is fulfilling its role. Is your landing page directing leads to product pages? Are your products making it into customers’ checkout baskets? Is your checkout page getting prospective customers to commit to an order?

It’s crucial to understand these techie concepts on the ground first. Although analytics is a superb method of running and growing your company, a lot of online business owners become so detached from what they wanted their business to achieve in the first place. Overanalysis paralysis is a term that perfectly describes the pitfalls of treating your business like an algorithm, solely focusing on figures and statistics.

At Elkfox we want your Shopify store to thrive, and that requires a balance of logic and creativity. CRO is an excellent tool, but the ideas need to come first. It’s a beautiful method of A/B testing how different campaigns and designs are working at engaging your store’s browsers.

Why is CRO important for your eCommerce store?

Be the boss of your store

Of course, you already are, but competence and confidence come from understanding your store and its presence within the market.

Build brand awareness

It works because of brand bias. A great example of this is Gymshark, a fitness and apparel brand that seems to have come out of nowhere. Gymshark markets closely with Instagram fitness gurus to create the perfect brand image. Considering it’s one of those markets that is almost impossible to break into when you’re competing with the likes of Nike and Adidas, they've done incredibly well.

The reason a lot of businesses are slow to invest in brand awareness is that they either can’t envision the long-term value, or they lack the analytical insight to adapt and tweak their process to build recognition and trust.

Maximise return on marketing costs

You’re not going to turn away from CRO after learning this: it doesn’t require any investment. It’s all about analysing your current marketing campaigns and making sure they’re meeting targets and converting customers.

Reduce acquisition costs

The George Foreman of marketing techniques: make your acquisitional costs lean using CRO. Improve your bottom line by reducing any frivolous, ineffective marketing costs.

How do you calculate CRO?

It’s a simple equation. CRO shows how many of your site’s visitors convert into sales.

If you had 4,000 visits to your store last month and achieved 200 sales, then your conversation rate would be: 200/4000 x 100 = 5%

The benefit comes into play when you look into increasing your conversions. Let’s say that you want to drive it up to 7%. Your average order value is $65. By changing your conversion rate by 2%, you will push your overall sales from $156,000 to $218,400: an increase of $62,400!

What are some essential conversion metrics?

There are a whole lot of conversion metrics out there, so we’ve compiled some of the most important ones to help you get started. Once you get to grips with these, you’ll begin to incorporate them more naturally.

Individual visitors

How many visitors are you getting over a specific time frame? Also, take note of the ratio of direct visitors (via URL), search visitors (via a search engine) and referral visitors (via link).

New vs returning visitor ratio

This is another ratio that shows how well different areas of your marketing are converting. A high ratio shows that you are growing your new customer base, and may need to work on attracting unique views whereas a very low ratio may indicate the opposite.

Page value

This metric isn’t talked about enough! You want your users to receive value from each page they visit. The fewer pages they visit before you can get them to convert the better.

Bounce rate

When CRO was first rolled out, bounce rate was what worried online retailers. However, the way we interact with sites has changed now, and as long as your visit rate or page rates aren’t decreasing, I wouldn’t be too worried. You can learn more about eCommerce bounce rates here.

How do you analyse your conversion metrics?

What platforms can you use to analyse your conversion metrics?

Conversion analysis is also essential to track purchase behaviour. Your Shopify Overview dashboard is an excellent place to start. Here, you’ve got you’ve got the basics; from store visits to sales, you can see bottlenecks in your sales funnels.

While Shopify’s analytics is a great place to start, I’d recommend using Google Analytics to further your conversion analysis. Using Google Analytics, you can start creating goals, compiling data and narrowing down specific blocks in conversions. We’ve got an article here showing you how to increase sales and cut costs in your quest to becoming a Google Analytics guru.

Bonus Read: A Crash Course In Getting Started With Analytics

Another good fit for Shopify stores is getting your hands on a data visualisation platform that uses graphics to form concise, real-time insights of every aspect of your store’s operations. Utilising this breed of software for CRO instils a realistic and actionable approach to future marketing campaigns. A great data visualisation tool you can use is Databox.

What are the most important factors for ecommerce conversion optimisation?


Have you ever entered a website and actually said ‘woah’ out loud? One site that did this for me was Mikiya. Unique designs can bring a store to life and make the products all the more enticing. Read more about the importance of design here.

Simple user web flow

Make it simple for the customer. Whittle their clicks to the end purchase down to an absolute minimum.


Your calls to action are super important for mastering CRO. The testing process will lead you to a place where you are an expert at enticing without forcing a sale. Want more information on crafting the perfect call to action? Click here.

Responsive web design

With 52% of internet users now accessing sites via smartphone, you’d do well to have a site that caters for smaller screens. Here's an article on the importance of having a mobile-friendly website.

Ease of navigation

Your store’s navigation should be a smooth, intuitive process. If your customers can’t find what they’re looking for easily enough, it’s likely they’ll ditch your site altogether. Find out more about why navigation is so important here.

How to experiment with conversion rate optimisation

It’s best to have conversion goals in place before you start fiddling with your website to figure out what you want to achieve. Begin with setting goals. You’ll never be ‘done’ with optimising your stores for conversions, and there will always be new targets that you’ll want to hit. These goals are split into two categories.

Micro conversions vs macro conversions

Micro conversions indicate success whereas macro conversions equate to success.

Let me explain.

Suppose you take the lead further down the sales funnel or increase subscribers to your mailing lists. As valuable as these achievements are, you cannot presume that they will improve sales figures. These are known as micro conversions.

A macro conversion would be an email campaign that uses a discount coupon to entice shoppers. You can measure the success of this conversion by the number of transactions using this code.

Quick tips for experimenting with CRO

Here are a few tips to help you get started. This is the fun part - you get to be creative, test the waters and see what works!

Use testimonials

Garner trust by incorporating genuine product reviews into your site. You can read more about the benefits of having embedded product reviews on your online store here.


There’s a lot you can do in this department. Categorising your products, segmenting your emails and incorporating product recommendations into the buyer journey are just a few of your options. You can read more about personalisation tactics here.

Product pages

This could mean using high-quality product images, showcasing product reviews, and incorporating humour and metadata into your product descriptions.

Optimise your checkout process

The global cart abandonment rate is at 75.52% and rising. Combat this trend by adopting prefilled customer fields, send abandoned cart emails and keep the click-throughs to an absolute minimum. Want some more tips? Read this.

Let’s get started!

Ready to experiment with CRO on your online store? If you need any further guidance, we’re here to help, so get in touch. We want your Shopify store to be the best it can be.