Why CRO Should Be Replaced with Customer Journey Optimization

– Conversion rate optimization (CRO) should be replaced with customer journey optimization through reduced friction and higher clarity.
– Testing should focus on reducing friction in the customer journey, rather than solely on increasing conversions.
– Marketers should prioritize talking to customers and gathering insights to create a clear baseline before conducting any testing or hypothesis creation.Talk to customers regularly to understand their needs, preferences, and pain points in order to optimize the customer journey and improve conversion rates.Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, needs to be eliminated as an acronym. What it really is, is customer journey optimization through reduced friction and higher clarity. It’s a shift from the company’s journey to the customer’s journey. Now, I know that everyone wants more conversions and revenue in eCommerce, but that is the result of reducing friction in the customer journey. If you consistently do a bunch of small things well, good things will happen as a result. You should test, but not the things you think. Running a test with already poor baselines is foolish. Yet, that’s what most brands consider CRO and what they are sold, because most brands have poor baselines. It’s not about mining insights from reviews, running tests constantly, or any of the other fancy hypotheses out there. A test run today might fail a month from now or show different results because your brand and the audience coming to the website might and should change if you’re doing a good job. I like the concept of testing and believe in testing, but it’s not all tied to conversion. Sometimes there are goals that exist to get someone closer to conversion that aren’t realized within a testing timeframe. The true test of anyone in CRO is actually talking to people constantly and being able to take a step back and ask questions from a customer perspective across every possible touchpoint. Then, make adjustments to influence an outcome from the highest quality audience capable of bringing you profit. A lot of tests result in false positives because it’s easy to influence human behavior and sometimes easier to influence the behavior of people who are bad fits for your brand. You have to talk to people. Most marketers are too scared to talk to people. Someone wants a refund? Get on the phone to understand why. Someone purchased a second time? Call them to thank them. Someone needs help? Make time to talk to them. For three years, I blocked time on Thursdays and Fridays to talk to customers and help them with problems they were experiencing. I learned why they bought the products, I learned about their experience, I learned about what they wished was easier. Before you do any testing, hypothesis creation, etc., you need to have a clear baseline of what’s going on from your customers. Create a list of questions that benefits both you, the company, and the customer at the same time. What do you enjoy the most about our products? What do you wish was a bit better? Do you have friends that own our products? What other products do you love in the [lifestyle] space?Where/how did you research before you purchased? Ask customers to help you do your job better. Remember everyone thinks they can do marketing 😉If you’re humble, the good nature of people is to want to help others improve. Leverage it. #marketing #ecommerce #crohttps://www.linkedin.com/in/jivanco

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