More conversions mean more revenue. It’s that simple.
But optimizing an entire ecommerce site isn’t easy. There are lots of moving parts, from brainstorming and testing to design and development.
So it’s understandable that many retailers feel like they don’t have the time, manpower, and resources to run effective, revenue-driving conversion optimization campaigns.
But there’s one way to overcome this problem.Tools are like a secret weapon when it comes to boosting conversions. They can streamline your workflow and save you lots of money. #ConversionRateOptimizationTools #CRO #ecommerce Click To Tweet
Tools are like a secret weapon when it comes to boosting conversions. They can streamline your workflow and save you lots of money.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at the best conversion rate optimization tools, identify which software works best for specific jobs, and outline some of the main differences.
What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?
What Are CRO Tools?
Top 34 Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Tools for Ecommerce in 2019: A Full Comparison
1. Analytics, Tracking & Brainstorming Tools for Conversion Rate Optimization
2. Research Tools for Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization
3. Wireframing and Prototyping Tools
4. Multivariate and A/B Testing Tools
5. Other Notable Mentions
Let’s get to it.
Most online retailers already have an answer to the question, “What is conversion rate optimization?”
It’s just about improving conversions, right?
Well, not entirely.
This simplistic view of optimization belies a misunderstanding that goes right to the heart of ecommerce.
Most online retailers take an “on-off approach” to CRO. Attempts to boost conversions usually involve some version of the following: identify pages with enough traffic for a meaningful sample, make a few tweaks and then, if the results are positive, roll out the changes across the whole site.
Alternatively, they might avoid making small tweaks altogether. Instead, they’ll undertake a complete, site-wide overhaul every few years. They’ll change their branding, redesign their page templates, and update all supporting content – images, copy, CTAs, etc.
Both ways are wrong. Intermittent “tinkering” provides a fraction of the results that could be achieved. And all-or-nothing overhauls are costly, time-consuming, and (more often than not) ineffective.
After working with hundreds of clients at Growcode, we’ve discovered the best approach involves continuously testing and implementing lots of small changes. Following this process leads to consistent and measurable increases to our client’s ecommerce conversion rates over the long-term.
So the moral of the story is this: ecommerce conversion optimization is an ongoing process! And the tools in this list will enable you to set up the infrastructure you need to manage that process.
Different Conversion Rate Optimization tools correspond to different parts of the CRO process. And while there is a lot of overlap between tools, with some positioning themselves as “all-in-one” solutions, most have a speciality.It's essential to build your own 'tech stack', made up different apps that best suits your needs and the needs of your team. #ConversionRateOptimizationTools #CRO #ecommerce Click To Tweet
As a retailer, it’s essential to build your own “tech stack”, made up different apps that best suits your needs and the needs of your team.
Here’s a quick rundown of the main categories:
Data collection tools cover the “analytics and tracking” part of the optimization process.
They’re used for identifying areas of low performance on your site and for keeping up-to-date with the “big picture” metrics – CR (conversion rate), AOV (average order value), CLV (customer lifetime value), cart abandonment, etc. – that allow you to track overall progress.
Many, like Google Analytics, also integrate with A/B split-testing tools, which provide you with immediate feedback about the viability of proposed changes.
Research tools are for gathering direct feedback from visitors to your site in the form of questionnaires, video sessions (where a user will record their interaction with your site and tell you their thoughts), exit pop ups, and so on.
Tools like these allow you to fill in the gaps left by analytics apps, enabling you to collect real human feedback along with high-level data and build a complete picture of your site’s issues.
Wireframing and prototyping constitute the earliest stage of ecommerce conversion optimization.
Wireframing involves outlining ideas and potential changes in a loose way, while prototyping involves visualizing them more concretely. These prototypes can then be used by developers to make changes to the website.
Tests are run to compare the performance of new and proposed pages with current pages. A/B split-testing tools – or, more appropriately, multivariate testing tools – are applicable at this stage.
Some services will also provide access to testing samples for an extra fee.
Ok, so onto the tools themselves.
It’s worth pointing out that the entries have been organized based on the roles that they best fulfill. Some solutions have been designed primarily for analytics, others for prototyping, and others for multivariate testing.
That said, the categories aren’t exact. There are many areas of overlap. Where appropriate this cross-functionality has been pointed out.
Google Analytics is ubiquitous. You would be hard pressed to find anyone in the digital marketing space who hasn’t heard of it.
There are two reasons that good ol’ 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. Most of the tools listed here have some form of ready-made integration with Google Analytics.
Google Analytics 360 is the enterprise version of GA. It’s designed for collaborative use with teams and has many additional features, including advanced reporting, funnel analysis, and cloud storage.
Crazy Egg made its name as one of the first companies offering heatmap software. Since then, it’s grown into a multi-feature solution and offers a range of additional tools, including video tracking, split-testing functionality, and a streamlined editor.
Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention – they still do heatmaps!
In fact, Crazy Egg is still one of the best apps for using heatmaps to pinpoint customer frustrations and site inefficiencies.
There’s a free trial to get you going.
Kissmetrics is a behavioral analytics platform designed to work alongside more “generic” analytics tools like Google Analytics, providing information and functionality that isn’t otherwise available.
The software enables users to draw meaningful insights from customer behaviour via its automated reporting feature. It has a loyal following among online retailers and can be used to track activity at all stages of the ecommerce funnel. There are also out-of-the-box integrations with popular shopping platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify.
Adobe Analytics is a very popular choice among online retailers. It’s become one of the go-to choices for larger companies and has received a number of industry accolades.
The platform combines powerful, enterprise-level tracking and analysis features with ease-of-use and automated reporting. Among its most standout features are advanced segmentation, multi-channel compatibility, and live warehouse feeds.
A variety of ready-made ecommerce integrations are available.
Mixpanel is a comprehensive enterprise-level solution with multiple features designed for ecommerce stores. They have a number of high-profile clients, including Walmart and Overstock.
Like Adobe Analytics, MixPanel tracks customer activity at all stages of your funnel and across all channels, from first interaction to purchase.
Additional features allow you to evaluate A/B tests and use data to inform personalization and customer interaction. The app is also designed to account for brick-and-mortar store data too.
With a $999/month price tag (and that’s just for the middle plan), Woopra is definitely aimed at larger companies.
It’s an analytics platform with incredibly powerful functionality and is designed to collect and collate data from numerous sources, thus allowing it to be accessed and used from one central dashboard.
This makes it possible to track every single stage of the customer journey. And for tracking key ecommerce metrics over long periods of time, few platforms even come close to Woopra.
There’s a free plan to give the tool a whirl. So you don’t have to part with a huge chunk of cash immediately.
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115-Point Ecommerce Optimization Checklist
Do you know your “Digital Experience Score”?
Decibel’s analytics platform focuses exclusively on calculating this metric for your company and providing actionable ways to use it. They have a roster of well-known ecommerce clients, including Tesco and Lego, for whom they’ve achieved enviable conversion results.
Insights are presented through charts, tables, and graphs for clarity. The whole customer journey is taken into account with an omnichannel approach.
Clicktale prides itself on its integration of industry-leading artificial intelligence with its analytics platform. Results and insights are formatted in an easy-to-consume visual format that emphasise practical applications, especially for A/B tests.
There are several ecommerce-specific features which are geared towards reducing cart abandonment, streamlining personalization, and optimizing across channels. Clicktale includes B&Q and 1800-Contacts (the world’s largest retailer of contact lenses) on its client list.
Pingdom is specifically designed to facilitate ecommerce site speed optimization.
Slow site speed is one of the biggest revenue killers, not least because it detrimentally affects conversions. The central importance of site speed warrants a dedicated solution for virtually all online retailers.
There are also several other features, like site uptime monitoring in different countries and transaction testing, that are very useful.
Tools like Similarweb can be used to keep an eye on your competitors.
During the brainstorming stage, competitor research can be an immensely valuable source of testing ideas.
Furthermore, SimilarWeb’s automated research tools enable you to create a continuous stream of new testing options for ongoing conversion optimization, while competitor metrics can be used as benchmarks for your own conversion-related metrics.
HotJar is one of the most intuitive and unambiguous analytics platforms on the web. For online retailers, it’s also one of the most accessible, with pricing options for personal users right the way through to multinational enterprises.
The platform uses a mixture of heatmaps, video recordings, and direct customer feedback, along with key metrics like dropoff and conversions, to formulate direct insights for every stage of your ecommerce funnel.
If you’re looking for a team-oriented, easy-to-use solution that integrates with most major ecommerce platforms out of the box, then HotJar is well worth considering.
Quantcast is well-known in the analytics and big data space. The company pioneers the use of artificial intelligence in website tracking and enables site-owners, including online retailers, to understand their audiences at a highly sophisticated level.
Quantacast’s “direct measurement” method, as opposed to “sample” or “panel-based” tracking, is unique in the industry, and can yield original insights. There is a free version of the tool to whet your appetite.
Mousestats prides itself on being an analytics platform that provides users with practical insights and reports, along with in-depth data spanning session recordings, heatmaps, form activity, surveys, and more.
Usabilia is an enterprise-level solution designed to integrate with websites, mobile apps, and email clients.
Boasting a wide array of features, the software is essentially a feedback tool and enables retailers to build and integrate surveys, exit popups, icons, and more.
Analytics data about customer behaviour as it relates to user experience is also provided. As a tool aimed at larger enterprises, there are many integrations with third-party apps.
UserTesting is a tool for use with both your existing site and prototypes.
The core service is, in essence, a simple one. Your website is shown to a targeted sample of visitors provided by UserTesting. These visitors will then tell you exactly what they find frustrating about your webpages and overall customer experience.
A free trial is available.
You can use Ethnio to build a testing sample and drive pageviews to your site.
It integrates easily with most site development and design environments and comes with a host of filtering tools for defining the exact demographics of test samples. The platform also includes a detailed reporting dashboard.
Loop11 is a comprehensive usability testing solution for in-depth visitor tracking, multi-device testing, and data analysis, with an overall focus on prototype testing.
What’s more, the software doesn’t require extensive development knowledge to use. Loop11 will help provide you with a sample of users.
There are multiple pricing options and it’s a viable solution for both smaller and larger retailers.
Helio is a testing platform. After you’ve signed up, you gain access to a pool of over 250,000 users, which you can filter to fit the demographics of your own market.
The key benefit this tool provides is the ability to quickly gather feedback about design options, in conjunction with, or apart from, your own internal testing.
TryMyUI offers one simple testing service: videos of visitors using your site or prototype.
The optimization process involves setting up a test, selecting a sample of users, recording videos, and then analyzing activity to better understand flaws in your funnel.
Crucially, there are a number of tools in the central dashboard for streamlining the analysis of videos, which can be a time-consuming process. Nifty features like “crowd voting” help pinpoint the most problematic areas of your site.
Formerly called Poll Daddy, Crowd Signal is the tool of choice for creating forms and surveys.
Crowdsignal is easy to use, with no development or coding skills required. It’s also flexible. Forms can be embedded on websites, in emails, and on social media platforms.
There’s a host of integrations with platforms like WordPress, Weebly. Finally, users have access to a dedicated analytics and insights dashboard.
Browserling is a simple but potentially hugely lucrative tool. You can use it to check how your site appears on different browsers.
The paid plans, which allow for local testing, are reasonable, with them options starting at $29/month.
At Growcode, UXPin is our favourite wireframing and prototyping tool. It’s an incredibly adaptable piece of kit and works well for designing all types of ecommerce pages and architectures.
It’s well-priced and is suitable for companies of all sizes, from one-person online stores to enterprise ecommerce operations. The collaboration tools are second-to-none and make it ideal for teamwork.
It would be remiss not to mention Adobe at least once in the design section of this list. Experience Design is highly-regarded by developers and, with its powerful toolkit, is particularly suitable for more complex prototypes like ecommerce stores with extensive functionality.
If your existing design stack is made up of Adobe products like Illustrator and Photoshop, the immediate cross-compatibility will make a test-run of Experience Design a no-brainer.
InVision is one of the most popular prototyping tools in the world.
The solution combines an intuitive dashboard with an extensive array of features – covering everything from early-stage wireframing, through omnichannel designs, navigation flows, and overall site architecture, all the way to full interactive website prototyping and testing.
InVision integrates seamlessly with a host of design and project management apps.
Webflow is a fully-inclusive design solution that allows you to code and launch as well as prototype sites. It includes a native ecommerce platform, with a shopping cart, product page templates, and checkout forms.
Because little coding experience is required, Webflow is an optimal design solution for smaller ecommerce companies that want to keep everything in one place.
Naview is an interesting tool because it focuses exclusively on developing and testing navigation elements.
The in-browser app provides an easy-to-use environment for building, modifying, and visualising navigation menus, with no coding required. It also streamlines the process of testing – both remote and local.
Considering that it’s not a particularly expensive tool, many retailers would likely benefit from the dedicated functionality it provides.
VWO is a comprehensive research, brainstorming, and testing platform. It can be used to run all aspects of a conversion optimization campaign and is aimed at companies of all shapes and sizes, with multiple plans to suit a range of budgets.
The platform is built for continuous, process-driven testing and has a range of powerful features for tracking, analyzing, planning, testing, and implementation. Many large ecommerce stores, including eBay, use VWO.
Optimizely is an enterprise-level “experimentation” platform. It’s one of the most widely-recognized brands in the optimization space, and for a good reason.
It’s fundamentally an A/B and multivariate testing platform. Features allow for highly-targeted, controlled segmentation of samples, extensive testing of variations, forecasting, and detailed analysis.
Additional ecommerce tools also enable retailers to send personalized messages to visitors, experiment with chatbots, tailor experiences for different devices, and more.
Google Optimize (along with its extended version Optimize 360) is designed to complement Google Analytics. It includes a full set of testing features, including A/B testing, multivariate testing, automated traffic redirection (to top-performing variations), and a visual editor.
Its close integration with Google Analytics means it will appeal to many organizations. The basic version is also free. This allows companies to test-drive the software with a view to upgrading to Optimize 360. That said, it is designed for smaller websites and lacks many of the enterprise-level functionality of other tools. There is no audience targeting, for example.
AB Tasty comes with an extensive array of features, spanning everything from research to execution. The platform includes analytics (heatmaps, session recordings, net promoter score, etc.), brainstorming tools, a visual editor, a full set of A/B and multivariate testing options, and a range of additional implementation features like personalized messages, pop-ups, countdown timers and more.
It’s an enterprise-level solution for ecommerce and includes UGG and Ashley Homestore among its clients.
Swiftswap is Growcode’s flagship experience platform. It incorporates a range of features – including AI-powered coding, seamless integration with virtually all ecommerce platforms, and one-to-one visitor personalization – that enable fast and effective optimization changes.
The app is available as part of Growcode’s optimization package. It’s the perfect option for those retailers that want a hands-off and cost-effective approach to CRO.
Watch our video about Swiftswap here:
Some tools don’t fit into the categories above but are still worthy of mention. They can boost conversions significantly for online retailers.
Iridion is as much a project management solution for CRO as it is a testing platform. It includes all the tools necessary to brainstorm, prioritize, and test numerous site elements. A range of integrations with tools like Optimizely makes testing even easier.
Analysis features enable retailers to pinpoint problems and inefficiencies on their storefronts, information which can then be used to organize split-tests that involve the whole team. The powerful project management features ensure full organizational alignment.
Shopimmon brands itself as a “completely tailored 24/7 secret shopper”. And this description gets to the heart of what the company does.
The software constantly monitors various aspects of your site, ensuring that any issues are rectified before they have a serious effect on conversions.
This includes client-side issues like images that aren’t loading, broken links, and poor site speed. Server-side issues, like site crashes and server downtime, along with third-party integration problems like disconnected payment processors, are also covered.
This “app-as-a-service” solution is specifically geared towards fashion retailers.
It integrates with your current ecommerce store to create a mobile app through which customers can make purchases. Conversion rate optimization is built into the software as Highstreet are constantly testing improvements and updating their platform accordingly. If you’re in the fashion business, you should definitely check it out.
We get it. That’s a lot of tools!
But don’t despair. You don’t need every single one.
Building a conversion “toolkit” that works for you is all about understanding the specific requirements of your ecommerce store. When you have a clear and nuanced picture of your needs, you can evaluate conversion optimization apps accordingly.When you have a clear and nuanced picture of your needs, you can evaluate conversion optimization apps accordingly #ConversionRateOptimizationTools #Ecommerce #CRO Click To Tweet
Your team will likely only rely on a handful of tools, centered around one main project management and testing solution.
But first, you need to actually start trying the options out there and picking the ones that fit. That’s the key thing.
Your conversion rate will thank you for it.
Conversion rate optimization is complex. Many online retailers don’t have the resources to dedicate entire teams to brainstorming, testing, and implementing new ideas on a continual basis, irrespective of how much tools and apps can streamline the process.
Instead, many are turning to outsourced alternatives. A solution like Growcode can take care of the whole process for you, for a fraction of the cost. If that sounds like something you might be interested in, get in touch today.