How do UX professionals view conversion optimisation?

A Matter Of Interpretation? Conversion Optimisation According To The Pros

UX conversion optimization rate

Conversion Optimisation or, Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is everywhere at the moment – in an age where more and more of our commerce is moving online, the race is on to turn those browsers into buyers. You’ve probably read a few articles and blogs on the subject of CRO but, do they tell you the full story? 

We’ve found that, from business to business and, from marketer to marketer, the Gospel according to CRO can vary widely.

In a bid to get to the bottom of this topic, we took to the streets (or, rather, the UX departments) to find out how our execs see the world of CRO.

We asked: What is Conversion Optimisation?

It’s all about making sales

A large number of the executives we spoke to assured us that the goal – and only goal – of CRO is to improve sales by turning more visits into checkouts.  More sales mean more profits – which is the purpose of pretty much every business in existence. 

It’s about securing more customers

We were told that CRO is primarily used to get more people to sign up to newsletters and other sales-point marketing. CRO is a great way of increasing a site’s profile in order to lure customers onto the site and to sign up for offers and discounts as well as news. 

It’s about increasing profile

A fair number of our respondents assured us that the point of CRO is to make the product and, therefore, the brand, more visible.  This lends itself to more people liking and sharing posts on social media, which leads to more customers. 

Most common myth: CRO is used only for short term gain.

We asked: How should CRO be accomplished?

By scientific strategies

Many felt that the entire CRO process needed to be a structured, data-led way of improving business to ensure a less random result.  

Target the right personas

There is a fairly strong theory that the only way to improve conversion optimisation is to get relevant people in front of your product.

We asked:  Where does Conversion Optimisation fit into a business?

A subset of UX

Most of the people we spoke with agreed that CRO naturally goes hand in hand with UX.  The fact that UX covers the entire spectrum of a business’s activity suggested to the majority of our respondents that CRO should be an integral part of that activity.  

The Technical Department

A small number of executives feel that, as CRO relates to website traffic, that this should be the domain of the technical department who have the qualifications and the tools to measure and analyse results. 

The Product Manager

Interestingly, some felt that the buck should stop with the Product Manager when it comes to CRO. 

As the person responsible for creating the product or service, it should naturally fall to him or her to make improvements in order to increase sales. 

UX and CRO

Although there were a few conflicting ideas in terms of what CRO is for and, how it should be implemented, it became clear that the overwhelming opinion is that UX and CRO belong together – kind of like cheese and onion or Ant and Dec. 

This does make a lot of sense as, it’s hard to argue against the fact that a better user experience will tend to lead to more satisfied customers and, therefore, increased sales.

We’re sure that, as Conversion Optimisation tightens its grip on the way we do business, we’ll see dedicated departments being set up to deal with it but, for the time being, the responsibility is slightly scattered between the marketing, tech and product departments; with each claiming a stake in its future. 

The one myth that does need to be debunked is the idea that Conversion Optimisation is useful only for making short term improvements to profits.  In reality, CRO should be an integral part of a business’s strategy for long-term growth and should be monitored and updated regularly for the best results.