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Bottom of the funnel optimization and why your CRO expert will never start there

So here you are with your Shopify plus store and you are thinking of hiring a Conversion Rate Optimization Expert. After all, you have had enough traffic to upgrade to Shopify plus, wouldn’t it make sense to get more juice for the squeeze and convert more visitors in to sales?

In theory this sounds good but the reality is more troublesome. The problem is finding a good CRO expert is like finding a diamond in the rough. Why? Simple. In my opinion, there is a huge asymmetry between experts and their ability to think clearly. Usually, they hide in a veneer of complexity to maintain their image of expert and end up wasting majority of the time working on the nonessential. That is, they mistake movement for progress. Meanwhile, you are kept on your toes wondering when your return on investment from this so called expert will pan out.

For example: a study conducted by popular split testing software VWO found that 6 out of 7 A/B tests did not provide a statistically significant improvement.

Not that the above itself is a bad statistic. The 1/7 A/B test could more than compensate for the failure of the other tests. But if you were to add this statistic with a person who is optimizing the non-essential, then you end with a lot of months gone down the drain with little to show for it.

So then what are some brain-dead obvious essentials that need to be optimized first? The answer to that question may start with not following the crowd or the masses and looking where they are not looking. To reorient ourselves in the right direction, let’s look at where they are looking first.

Tell me if I am wrong, but what is the first thing these CRO experts usually suggest? Usually it goes something along the lines of this. “Let’s
A/B test the homepage banner and see if we can derive more sales.” or “Let’s A/B test the add to cart button’s color to see if we can see a lift” πŸ˜‚

In fact, almost 60% of the first things tested by these marketers usually have very little impact. Which in turn, means that you would have likely spent the first 6 months on supposed gains that barely increased your bottom line revenue. Only 5% of the marketers actually optimize what matters the most first. That is: πŸ₯ the checkout page!

first choice of element to be tested

Why is that the most important to optimize first? Simple. Any incremental gain in this area has a widely disproportionate effect on the overall revenue. For example: if your checkout conversion rate is 1%, and you only manage to increase it to 2, you will undoubtedly double your revenue.

Why people don’t start here is beyond me but it may have something to do with how frantic people usually are in their heads filling up like a balloon with information with no real way to cut through the clutter. If they thought clearly, maybe the first question would have been “Where is the one area in the eCommerce store that is losing the most potential revenue?” instead of “Maybe we can get more sales by changing the homepage banner”.

This is not to say top and middle of the funnel conversion optimization does not bear fruit. In fact, it very much does however this article is more on the lines why people start there first vs where it actually matters and the opportunity cost of that choice.

By capturing more lost revenue, you have more money to spend on everything else. Tweaking a lever deep in the back end, could in fact be moving mountains on the front end. Your ROAS instantly doubles without you doing too much and you can easily outspend your competitor even if the CPMs are insanely high. How’s that for a competitive advantage?

But what do I know, I am just one of those so called self-appointed experts.

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