CRO tools help ecommerce stores enhance their website, perfect their customer journey and, ultimately, increase sales. Here’s our rundown of the essentials.
What are conversion rate optimisation tools?
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) tools are your peephole into your customers' experiences on your website. They collect a range of data to give you an insight into which pages people land on, where they click, which areas they explore, and - crucially - where (and why) your potential customers drop off your site before making a purchase.
This is what makes conversion rate optimisation tools so important for ecommerce stores.
Why are CRO tools useful?
CRO tools are essential for online businesses for a number of reasons.
1. They help you understand what prevents visitors to your site from making a purchase
By providing insights into how your potential customers act on your site, conversational rate optimisation tools expose any roadblocks to them buying from you.
This essential knowledge enables ecommerce businesses to make changes that enhance the performance of the site and increase the number of those all-important sales.
2. They suggest changes or additions you can make to increase your conversion rate
Along with pointing out areas of your site that can be improved, CRO tools suggest tried and tested ways to enhance your website’s conversion rate.
This enables you to turn more leads into customers.
3. They test the effectiveness of any changes you put in place
After suggesting changes you should make, CRO tools allow you to run A/B tests and see which changes are most effective.
Put simply, conversion rate optimisation tools are designed to - as the name suggests - optimise your conversion rate. They provide crucial insights into the user experience on your site and arm you with the tools you need to enhance it and, in turn, sell more.
The best CRO tools for ecommerce stores
We’ve compiled a list of the top CRO tools we recommend for ecommerce store owners and managers. Each one analyses your potential customers’ experiences on websites, and helps you uncover what’s stopping them from buying from you. Let’s get to it.
No list of essential CRO tools would be complete without the OG web analytics platform - Google Analytics. Google Analytics (GA) allows you to track traffic patterns, which sites visitors come from, how long they hang around, where they drop off, and so much more. And best of all, it’s free.
There are two reasons why GA is such a valuable tool. First, it’s unparalleled in the range of features it offers. Second, it works well with a variety of third-party tools that build on the data it collects. Virtually no other platform has the same degree of functionality and flexibility. Google Analytics is the first, and most important, conversion rate optimisation tool ecommerce stores should embrace.
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is an incredibly useful CRO tool that can be used in conjunction with Google Analytics. GTM allows you to create tags and events based on your unique goals, which GA can then track.
For example, as an ecommerce store, your primary goal will probably be a visitor making a purchase. You can then set up specific events you’d like to track that might lead to that goal, such as visitors viewing your products, adding those products to cart, beginning checkout and completing checkout. You can view this data in Google Analytics to discover where in the process your customers might be dropping off before making the purchase.
If you discover that lots of people are starting the checkout process but not completing it, you know that it’s time to look at reviewing which element of the checkout is putting people off. Google Tag Manager lets you tailor Google Analytics to your specific goals.
Hotjar is one of the most intuitive and unambiguous analytics platforms on offer on the web. The market-leading CRO tool uses a mixture of heatmaps, video recordings and direct customer feedback - along with key metrics like dropoff rates and conversions - to give you direct insights into how your customers are using your website. You can then use these insights to inform your CRO decisions.
As Sean Potter from Hotjar explains, “If you’re running an online retail store, it can be tempting to make big decisions on quantitative data alone. But if you want to make improvements that better serve your users and drive business growth, Hotjar’s qualitative insights can be priceless.”
“With tools like Heatmaps and Recordings, you can view how users are really experiencing your site at a deeper level. This can ultimately enable you to make iterative improvements that better serve your users, and bring more positive impact to your bottom line.”
Hotjar’s versatile conversion rate optimisation software provides insights into the customer journey that ecommerce stores should definitely be making the most of.
Databox is an analytics platform that pulls data from multiple integrations into one comprehensive dashboard, allowing you to track your website’s performance in real time. You can mix and match data from multiple sources, including Google Analytics and Shopify, to get a broader view of your web analytics.
Databox is useful as a CRO tool because it provides detailed insights into how well your site, and specific products, are performing. Its uber-flexible dashboard can be customised around your goals, which allows you to keep track of your site’s performance, as well as any changes you make to enhance your conversion rate.
Tamara Omerovic from Databox explains that “with Databox, you can track data from different tools in one place. With 70+ integrations, 300+ free prebuilt dashboard templates, and a handful of useful features like data calculations, and goal tracking, ecommerce businesses can easily streamline their data monitoring processes and track online sales data, marketing data, customer experience, and much more from one screen.”
For effective conversion rate optimisation, in-depth analytics are key. Databox’s versatile platform arms you with the data you need to “make informed, data-driven decisions to aid revenue growth and overall business success."
Another branch of the Google family, Google PageSpeed Insights is a really helpful little conversion rate optimisation tool that calculates the speed of your website.
This is incredibly useful for CRO because a slow website produces massive bounce rates, as visitors are rarely willing to hang about for upwards of 4 or 5 seconds while a page loads. High bounce rates have a negative impact on conversions, which is why it’s so important to ensure your site loads as quickly as possible, on both desktop and mobile.
Google PageSpeed Insights gives you practical recommendations on how to improve your site speed, allowing you to keep visitors on your site and enhance your conversion rate.
Convert.com takes website testing to the next level. Its varied and user-friendly features allow you to optimise your site for better customer experiences by conducting rapid A/B, split-URL and multi-page tests.
As Trina Moitra from at Convert.com explains, with the ecommerce industry booming, “now is an opportune time to go all in and embrace experimentation (in the form of A/B testing) which can help stores get more sales from their existing traffic (in the short term) and recognize how their consumers buy (in the long term)."
"Ecommerce experimentation is where SEO was 5 years ago. We know it works .. but we don’t know how to make it part of the broader strategy. It’s Convert’s aim to bridge this gap with our tool and our content.”
Covert.com makes adopting a data-driven approach to your conversion rate optimisation easy, and arms you with the resources to put any changes into place.
This is a pricier option than some of the other CRO tools on this list, but its enhanced features and support make it ideal for ambitious and growing ecommerce brands.
Google Optimize is a free website optimisation platform that helps you increase visitor conversion rates, align your site with your customers’ needs, and grow your ecommerce store by continuously testing different combinations of website content. The incredibly useful conversion rate optimisation tool lets you trial new elements on your site and gather data in conjunction with Google Analytics to establish whether or not they help to increase your conversions.
How it works is simple. Google Optimize allows you to test two or more different versions of your site by splitting your traffic between them. On one version, you might want to experiment with different text on your call to action (CTA), a new button, or different headlines or images. You can make these changes within the Google Optimize platform, and wait and see what results they bring.
Google Optimize makes it incredibly easy to trial different versions of your site in order to find the most effective, highest converting version that gets the results you crave.
Optimizely is like an enhanced version of Google Optimize. Built for websites with high traffic who are serious about conversion rate optimisation, this leading CRO tool focuses on web experimentation and personalisation. It allows you to safely and easily run multiple tests on the same page, at the same time, serving a variety of different audiences.
What makes Optimizely stand out is its ability to optimise not only your website, but also mobile apps, messaging platforms, and your entire customer experience. It also has many integration options, including Google Analytics and HotJar.
Optimizely is famously easy to get started on, but prepare to pay for this intuitive, enterprise-level CRO tool.
Dynamic Yield is another helpful CRO tool that allows you to run continuous A/B tests across your site and optimise it on desktop, mobile and apps. Dynamic Yield prides itself on its ability to help ecommerce businesses build “personalised, optimised and synchronised digital customer experiences”, trialling different versions of your site more rapidly than any other platform.
The powerful platform bases its website tests on machine learning to continuously improve your conversion rates. You can also segment your audience and adjust your content for different groups to create versions of your site that are better suited to each individual customer, making them far more likely to buy from you.
Dynamic Yield is a robust and intelligent conversion rate optimisation software that promises to transform your customer experience and optimise your conversions.
Learn to grow with CRO
For more expert insights into how to grow your business with CRO, read our comprehensive guide.
No matter what stage your brand is at, our free ebook will arm you with the knowledge to transform your user journey and effectively optimise your site's conversion rate. Soon, you'll have game-changing data in your hands, and a revenue boost well within reach.