As individual practices, both UX (User Experience) and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) are very similar in a lot of ways, they both allow users to get things done on a website with minimal effort and they both contribute to an easy purchasing or lead generation effort, but they do have some slight differences. To fully understand, you need to know what both of these actually are:
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO):
In a basic sense, CRO is adapting a website to generate a higher percentage of visitors converting into customers to take any desired action on a website. For Ecommerce websites, this is quite straightforward and most of the time, the desired action will be to gain revenue and make sales, but it is slightly more adaptable on a Lead Generation website. Lead Generation website may be offering a service, so this could mean they are after form enquiries, or, they may want to build an email database and drive traffic to signing up to an e-newsletter.
Tracking conversions is a common practice in digital marketing, with so many available tools like Google Analytics to do so, but CRO also uses split testing to test different variations of elements of the website to see what impact this has on conversions. By continually testing certain elements and optimising them, you can improve conversions rates across the website.
User experience has been defined as “improving customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product”, which in a simpler form is the process of designing a website that is simple to navigate, easy to use and a great experience to interact with. The “usability” of a website is an important aspect of UX as it is referring to the degree to which a site can be utilized by a group of people to achieve objective with effectiveness.
UX designers are normally building websites with all visitors usability in mind, but it is also important to get feedback from a “non-technical” person as well as the majority of website visitors won’t be in UX and should be able to get valuable feedback to the design.
A Heavenly Match
The reason that both CRO and UX work so well together as a combined effort is because of the end result they are focusing on, rather than the differences between them.
As long as we focus on the final outcome that we want to produce, which is, to grow our business, to have happy users and those kind of things. So as long as you know what is the final outcome you want to produce… it doesn’t matter really if you call it UX or CRO or customer experience.
Between UX and CRO, there is plenty of overlap and therefore a focus on a similar outcome isn’t too tricky. Both strategies use data, which is the key to providing quantifiable evidence and taking out the guesswork from the process but there are a few other important reason why combining both UX and CRO together works in the long run:
CRO can identify and resolve major design flaws – Most businesses get to a certain stage when developing their website of “that will do, just launch it” which often spells trouble for certain design elements. CRO allows businesses to investigate further into design flaws or blockages on the website that are heavily affecting conversions. A good example of this can be the checkout process, a lot of the time a customer gets to the point of making a purchase on an ecommerce website and is ready to hand over the credit card details, but with certain development issues on the checkout page, some websites have massive drop offs and loss of conversions.
CRO has more and better tools – I’m sure a UX designer will try to debate this one, but with a handful of useful tools such as Google Optimize, Optimizely and VWO, Conversion Rate Optimisation has a massive lead in this department. By having access to more tools and more insights, CRO makes itself the perfect addition to UX.
You can’t have one without the other – This seems to be the theme of this article, but it’s true, all CRO outputs influence UX outputs and visa versa, so having an eye on both of these forms of optimisation is crucial when creating a conversion strategy. By boning a harmonious relationship between both CRO and Ux, you give your website the best possible chance to improve its usability, conversion opportunity and overall improvement of a website.
On paper, it seems like implementing UX and CRO together could be a double up on processes, when in fact combining both of these powerful marketing strategies could be one of the more profitable approaches to your website available. All websites have traffic coming to them and how you convert that traffic is the key to better sales/conversions and having a precise and well executed CRO strategy and UX design could improve conversion ten fold, which will likely provide extremely strong returns for your business.