Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts

Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts

User Replay
12th January 2017

For eCommerce companies, the consequences of downtime are clear. Every second your website is down is a second that you are losing money. Understandably, uptime and disaster recovery are key concerns for operators.

But what about minor hiccups in the customer experience that impact your conversion rate?

The problem is (and always has been) a lack of visibility into these small but significant customer experience issues, leaving eCommerce operators to search for homerun improvements on their websites. Although these customer experience issues may only affect a small segment of users, they can present a significant revenue opportunity.

Keep on reading to learn why the value of conversion rate optimization (CRO) and marginal gains has never been higher.

Do the Math on the Value of Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion rate optimization certainly isn’t the hottest term in the eCommerce world. In fact, cloud.IQ CEO James Critchley points out that while over 2 million eCommerce professionals list SEO as a skill on LinkedIn, only 8,000 have CRO listed.

Everyone wants to believe that there’s one critical change that will make a world of difference for their businesses. In reality, there are a thousand paper cuts keeping your conversion rate in the 2% to 3% range.

It may seem obvious, but the simple math on CRO is consistently ignored. If you told your executives about a 0.2% increase in conversion rate, there may not be a lot of excitement at first. But if your conversion rate starts at 2%, this small example of CRO improvement can yield a 10% increase in the company bottom line—a figure that any business leader can get excited about.

The idea at work here is the theory of marginal gains. This is the thought that 1% improvements to various elements of a task will yield a far greater cumulative result. Knowing this, it’s easy to say that eCommerce companies could list every aspect of the customer experience and start focusing on making incremental 1% improvements that will have a major impact on the bottom line.

The real challenge is that so many organizations can’t see and pinpoint the specific issues within the customer experience that they need to improve.

Treating a Thousand Conversion Rate Paper Cuts

Beyond explicit downtime, there are certain conversion rate problems that won’t take much to uncover. For example, a widespread error with your forms that aren’t letting customers complete purchases. The biggest gains from CRO are for the problems that affect a small subset of your user base—the conversion rate paper cuts. Examples of these seemingly invisible issues include:

  • Regional form field issues (like inapplicable zip codes)
  • Technical issues with multi-tender payment
  • Poor search functionality that hinders customer experience
  • Mobile responsiveness on specific platforms or devices

As you dig into granular pieces of the customer experience, it gets harder and harder to visualize, monetize, and prioritize marginal gains with CRO. However, machine learning is emerging as a means to make CRO more accessible and valuable for eCommerce companies.

Using a customer experience analytics solution that leverages machine learning to drive CRO efforts gives you a chance to analyze customer behavior at scale and automatically prioritize optimization strategies.

Once you can see all of the minor issues that are impacting eCommerce conversions, you can plan beyond ‘homerun approaches’ to revenue gains. By treating your conversion rate paper cuts at scale with machine learning and customer experience analytics, you can start to unlock revenue potential you never expected and see the true value of conversion rate optimization.

If you want to learn more about the dangers of ignoring your conversion rate paper cuts and the gains you are letting sit on the wayside, download our free white paper, Counting the Cost of Not Knowing.

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