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5 Best CRO Software Tools & How to Choose One

Finding the right CRO tools that work best with your eCommerce site can be a challenge. We’ve rounded up five that are currently dominating the marketing and boast vital conversion rate optimization features.

The modern customer journey can be a long and winding road. On average, customers now have six to seven interactions with a brand before purchasing. For eCommerce businesses, that means six to seven more chances to lose that sale if the buyer isn’t satisfied with their experience.

That’s where conversion rate optimization (CRO) becomes of the utmost importance.

Think of conversion rate optimization (CRO) as the process of improving individual customer touchpoints to enhance the entire customer journey and generate that desired conversion faster and at a higher rate.

In that regard, conversion rate optimization tools help you eliminate any detours that prevent conversions – and they ease the twists and turns on the path, making the customer journey as smooth and seamless as possible.

Features to look out for in a CRO tool

A data-driven foundation

Understanding the customer journey shouldn’t be a guessing game. Finding a tool that leverages your existing data and makes it easy to parse and understand is essential for effective conversion rate optimization.

And with more channels and devices than ever, there’s more data to analyze regarding each customer’s journey. Using tools that help you map your customer journey will give you an understanding of things like the mobile experience and the channels users might be navigating via to get to your site – a crucial first step toward optimizing for conversions.

CRO tools: customer journey mapping is a key tool
Customer journey map examples

Effective segmentation

How do different parts of your user base behave? For instance, are certain users filling up their shopping cart, but abandoning this cart before checkout? Finding a CRO tool that segments based on this behavior is the first step towards personalized marketing that delivers relevant messaging at the right time.

Maybe once you segment those users who abandon their cart before converting, you can instead deliver a special promotion to them that helps encourage a conversion – turning cart abandoners into paying customers.

Behavioral segmentation will also help you focus your efforts, as some visitor segments will be worth prioritizing over others. For example, while your returning visitors might be less numerous than your new ones, on average they have the highest average order value:

CRO tools: look for behavioral segmentation capabilities
Source: Meet Your Visitors

Seamless A/B testing

The best conversion optimization tools make A/B testing a seamless process. If, for example, you’re running a test where the A group sees your existing landing page and your B group sees a new landing page that features adjusted graphics, you don’t want to be tying up IT resources to build and launch this new page.

Continuous improvement and analysis is a cornerstone of a successful eCommerce marketing program – allowing you to make decisions based on scientific data, learning constantly about what makes your customers click, sign-up, or buy. It allows you to zero in on elements of the customer journey and optimize the key touchpoints, conversions, and micro conversions by showing the right message to the right person at the right moment, all of which is knowable with good data.

Using CRO tools that enable you to quickly tweak your UX helps you uncover valuable insights about your customer journey at a faster rate so that you can launch improvements in no time.

Mobile focus

Any CRO tool you use must understand the modern customer experience. This journey is mobile-driven and non-linear – so your CRO tool must give you the insight needed to make such a modern journey as frictionless as possible.

The linear path belief likely springs from the outdated information of mobile’s poor conversion rate. Because mobile historically converted at a lower rate, it wasn’t worth our attention. It was a starting point in the journey and unthinkable for anyone to convert on such a small screen.

It’s certainly true that whilst traffic continues to increase across mobile devices, conversions aren’t keeping pace. But here’s the important thing: mobile conversion rates are increasing, and will only continue to do so as the way we shop develops further.

CRO tools: look for mobile focus
Share of conversions across mobile, desktop and tablet in 2018

Fast and easy personalization

Once you’ve gained an understanding of your visitors, mapped their journey, and prioritized your target audiences it all comes down to the execution.

One of the top CRO tactics in any modern marketer’s arsenal is personalization. But personalization has always been kind of a drag – most platforms take months to get up-and-running and then demand hours upon hours of skilled time in order to execute. In fact, 30% of marketers rate personalization among their most difficult executions (it’s up there with machine learning).

When assessing your CRO tools, take into account the involvement needed from your IT team, as this will have a big impact on the velocity of your CRO program. The more you can launch and test, the faster you’ll be able to improve your customer journey (and your conversion rate). Look for tools that can integrate easily with your current stack, and deliver on personalization without the fuss.

5 Best CRO tools on the market in 2021

Tools for behavioral analysis: Hotjar

With the increasing number of marketing channels and more devices than ever, there’s more data than ever to analyze regarding each customer’s journey. Sounds overwhelming, right? Enter: Heatmapping and website recording tools.

Mapping tools break down the data from each customer’s journey through your site and present it visually, so that you can see exactly how users are interacting with your website.

Having this behavioral insight is key. You will see how users interact with your CTAs, whether they’re scrolling past your content, and where the hottest touchpoints of your site are. They’ll also give you an understanding of what the mobile experience is like, and which channels visitors might be using to get to your site.

All of these factors can be combined to optimize necessary page elements for the highest conversion rate possible.

Ecommerce merchandising tools - Hotjar

Hotjar is a behavioral analytics tool that will record user behavior on your site so that you can watch it back. It will also produce a heatmap so that you can see which pages generate clicks and scrolls – the strongest indicators of user engagement and motivation. 

Other heat mapping tools include Crazy Egg and Clicktale, both of which feature free trials.

Tools with effective segmentation and personalization: Yieldify

Evaluating how different parts of your user base behave is the first step toward personalized marketing that delivers the right messaging at the right time.

Segmenting your audience could be as simple as identifying a group of users that fill up their shopping cart, but abandon the cart before checkout. Once you have this group, you can then begin to deliver personalized promotions that encourage purchases and result in conversions.

Behavioral segmentation will also identify where you need to focus your marketing efforts, as some visitor segments will be worth prioritizing over others. For example, while your returning visitors might be less numerous than your new ones, on average they may have the highest average order value.

Behavioral segmentation benefits - Engagement levels

Our behavioral segmentation solution takes the most valuable data from your website and combines it with behavioral segmentation strategies to show you who to target, with what, and at what stage in their customer journey. Then using our conversion platform you can build comprehensive customer personas in minutes that are ready for targeting.

Tools with seamless A/B and MVT testing: Monetate

The best conversion optimization tools make A/B testing a seamless process. The data gathered from A/B and multivariate testing is based on real-time visitor actions. This means it provides the purest form of objective data that should form the basis of your CRO strategy.

Continuous improvement and analysis is a cornerstone of a successful eCommerce marketing program – allowing you to make decisions based on scientific data, learning constantly about what makes your customers click, sign-up, or buy. It allows you to zero in on elements of the customer journey and optimizes the key touchpoints, conversions, and micro conversions by showing the right message to the right person at the right moment, all of which is knowable with good data.

A CRO tool such as Monetate (now acquired by Kibo) does exactly that. Monetate will allow you to test core website elements such as landing pages, as well as smaller elements like product photographs. Monetate’s analytics suite also allows you to track the effectiveness of any changes in real-time, and see their impact on your conversion rate in live time.

MVT testing by Monetate

Tools for collecting feedback: Qualaroo and SurveyMonkey

Feedback from your customers is a fundamental part of any CRO strategy. Surveys allow your customers to tell you why they may not be converting and give you an actionable blueprint of things to change.

There are a variety of survey tools available so that you can collect feedback from your customer at any point in their journey. The common categories for surveys are:

On-site surveys: Qualaroo

On-site surveys are powerful in their ability to allow you to collect visitor feedback while your customer has their user experience at the forefront of their mind. What this means is that ultimately their responses are unfiltered, so the responses are genuine because they’re in the moment. 

For example, say a customer is experiencing a problem with your checkout process. If they are prompted for feedback hours after they have left the site, they may have had time to consider their response and decide that while it wasn’t satisfactory, it wasn’t the worst experience they’d had. This feedback isn’t as valuable to you because you will be receiving a response that is indifferent and doesn’t highlight immediate problems. 

Whereas prompting your customer with feedback once they have either completed the checkout process or are nearing the end of the process will allow you to capture their immediate thoughts, especially if they are unsatisfied with a particular element.

An additional plus point of on-site surveys is that they allow certain users to be targeted based on their behavior or on-site activities. For example, a visitor who frequently returns but doesn’t buy, or a user brand new to the site who has spent a large amount of time on site. This provides invaluable insight that can be incorporated into your CRO strategy.

For on-site surveys, Qualaroo provides the most comprehensive package. Qualaroo contains features such as advanced targeting, letting you ask the right questions in the right places of your site at just the right time. Plus, its nudge technology is based on years of research, and it isn’t intrusive or detrimental to users’ overall experience.

Onsite feedback tool Qualaroo

Email surveys: SurveyMonkey

Whilst on-site surveys collect immediate responses relating to areas of your site and the experiences on these, email surveys allow you to collect much more detailed information regarding customer insight, opinion, and sentiment.

The types of questions you ask in email surveys will depend on what data you are hoping to collect. Open-ended questions will gather attitudinal data, whilst closed questions will work better for gathering demographic information.

There is a multitude of email survey tools available, but our pick of the bunch is Surveymonkey. SurveyMonkey offers varying survey types to serve different goals, including customer experience surveys and customer satisfaction surveys. A customer-powered data solution also gives you actionable insight into who your customers are and what they want.

CRO tools - SurveyMonkey

In Summary

That’s our roundup of tools to use in 2021. If you need help getting started with CRO, or want to pick our brains, let us know.

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