• 10 Things To Consider When Evaluating CRO Tools For Your Shopify Store

    10 Things To Consider When Evaluating CRO Tools For Your Shopify Store

    Did you know 75% of website visitors judge a site’s credibility based on its design?

    This has led many business owners to believe that a site redesign will equal an astronomical increase in revenue.

    But how true is that? Not very accurate.

    A beautifully designed website is visually appealing (to the business execs and site visitors), but that’s not all there is to make sales on a website.

     To see consistent sales, you need the right offers, messaging and to provide your website visitors with a positive user experience.

     Now, how do you know which offer will work and which site design equals a great user experience?

     Enter conversion rate optimization.

     In simple terms, conversion rate optimization is about maximizing the potential of the traffic you already get on your website.

     To successfully execute a CRO program on your site, you need tools. Every industry has specific tools and technologies, and CRO isn’t left out.

    The issue is you can’t just use any CRO tool you see. 

     You need to consider some factors when considering your website’s CRO tools.

     In this article, we’ll define a CRO tool, look at ten areas to evaluate CRO tools before deciding on the one you want to use for your business, and examples of CRO tools cutting across three categories.

     Ready to learn something new? 

     Let’s dive in.

    What is A CRO Tool?

    CRO tools help you collect information about your website visitors, their behaviors, and how they respond to changes you make on your site.  

    There are dozens of CRO tools out there. But they all fall under three categories: 

    1. Web Analytics Tools

    If you want to know what’s going on your site, in terms of numbers, then you should rely on web analytics tools. Since they only show you numbers, it’s safe to say that the web analytics tools only reveal the “what” and not the “why.”

    Without knowing the “what“, it would be difficult to know where to start with the optimization process. And it would be difficult, if not impossible, to know about important metrics such as: 

    • Sessions
    • Session duration
    • Pages with high exit rates
    • Bounce rate

    2. User Behavior Tools

    If you don’t understand why users behave as they do, you won’t be able to provide them with a better experience. This is where user behavior tools come into play. 

    User behavior tools are mainly used during qualitative user research, and they answer questions like;

    • Why are potential customers leaving the website without completing a purchase? 
    • Are visitors finding what they are looking for on my site? 
    • Why are visitors not scrolling to the bottom of the page? 

    3. CRO Testing Tools 

    CRO testing tools help you confirm if the site changes you want to make will positively or negatively impact your site conversions. 

    In a nutshell, CRO tools help you;

    • understand user behavior and why they’re not converting
    • Identify possible changes to make to your site to increase conversions, and
    • Test hypothesis to see if proposed changes help increase conversions 

    What To Look For When Choosing Conversion Optimization Software

    Before deciding on a CRO tool for your Shopify store, you’ve got to have your business objectives in place. 

    According to Khalid Saleh, CEO of Invesp;

    You don’t start with choosing a CRO tool for your Store; you need to create a list of your business objectives that you want to accomplish over sometime. This list has to contain your must-haves, nice to have, and requirements that aren’t a priority to your business now. 

    When this is set, you can start looking for CRO tools to help you accomplish your objectives. 

    I always recommend having 4 to 5 tools that you run through a CRO tools checklist.”

     

    1. The Maturity level of your CRO process

    Not every business is at the same CRO maturity level. On one extreme are companies aware of CRO but are yet to start any optimization program; on the other end are businesses with a culture of experimentation and CRO teams set up, e.g. Booking . 

    Before deciding on the CRO tools for your business, you need to identify your organization’s maturity level; this will help you choose the right tool for your business.

    Nascent: these businesses are aware of CRO but are yet to commit to any program and dedicate resources.

    Emerging: have resources available, understand the importance of CRO, started to run some tests but not consistently, yet to fully integrate conversion optimization into the business for the fear of failure.

    Connected: have resources available, data-driven, have executive buy-in and actively push towards building a culture of experimentation across the business.

    Multi-moment: you are very agile, have dedicated CRO teams, and have buy-in from C-level and senior management. CRO is part of your culture and is done routinely. You do not fear making mistakes but take pride in taking risks.

    If you identify as Nascent, you’ll want to start with the basics – set up analytics to start tracking site data (if you’re yet to do so), set up surveys and polls to get direct feedback from site visitors, conduct some interviews for perspective (qualitative research), and get a tool that allows you to run A/B tests.

    This process is because you end up with a bank of user issues, objections, and queries that you can go ahead to build your hypothesis, prioritize and test.

    If you identify as emerging, that means you already have resources and are running some tests; all you need to do is answer the question – “do I have a CRO strategy in place?” “Are my tools too much to handle, or do I need something simpler to do the same work?”

    The reason for not committing most time is because of a lack of structure ie, no CRO strategy, so you test anything that comes to mind.

    Another reason is that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the tools, and dashboard and avoid CRO entirely. 

    If you identify as Connected:

    Focus on tools: Find tools capable of the type of Personalization you need but also respect the users’ privacy.

    2. Pricing

    Within the CRO discipline, some tools share similar features and functions that will fit into your CRO strategy.

    Before deciding on the tool(s) to use for your optimization program, you have to consider pricing.

    Here’s a scenario;

    You’re looking for a tool that can run both A/B tests and Multivariate tests, gives insight into results, segment your audience and run personalized tests, etc.

    Enter Tool A with these functions and other functions that aren’t important to you presently and Tool B with the same functions.

    Tool A goes for $149 a month for all the functionality you’re looking for, while Tool B goes for $750.

    Remember, it’s a hypothetical situation, and both tools match well in other aspects; which will you go with?

    If you ask me, I’ll go with Tool A that’s at $149 monthly and save the change on top, which runs into thousands of dollars when calculated annually.

    Back to reality – pricing is a crucial element when considering CRO tools. Don’t go for the priciest tool (pricey doesn’t always mean the best strategy fit); look around and see if there are other options that will carry out your CRO program but are less expensive.

    I had a chat with Isabela, a CRO specialist from Invesp, and she suggested that:

    Before deciding on a CRO tool, you must factor in the price of said tool. Some CRO tools charge more based on your site’s traffic; others don’t bake the traffic factor into their pricing. What is most important is that the CRO tool meets your business needs.”

    3. Customer Support

    Amazon is a company that everyone recognizes has a fantastic customer service department.

    One of my favorite quotes from Jeff Bezos is this: 

    The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth’s most customer-centric company.

    When picking a CRO tool, the availability of customer support should be a priority for you.

    The reason is simple; you’ll run into issues where the tool malfunctions or doesn’t act as expected, and let’s assume you’ve got an A/B test on the line, quick response from the tool’s support will determine if that test goes through or falls flat. 

    Another perspective to look at support from is access to a knowledge base and documentation that make it easy to sort out significant issues yourself.

    According to Khalid;

    FigPii Heatmaps

    When choosing a CRO tool, the availability of customer support isn’t a nice to have, but a must-have. The reason is that you’ll run into issues with some tools that only the devs on the tool’s side can help you with. This makes customer support necessary when evaluating which CRO tool to use.” 

    In essence, customer support is very critical when it comes to you either having a positive CRO program experience or a negative one, and the availability of support staff is good enough reason to choose a tool or not.

    4. Reviews from users     

    Here’s a question for you. 

    In the last three months, how many products (physical and digital) have you purchased without going through customer testimonials? 

    If you’re like me, not one.

    I diligently comb through reviews to see how other users have used the product I want to get and their experience.

    Going through customer testimonials is an essential step before choosing a CRO tool. If you skip this step and choose a tool, you might find yourself getting another tool soon. 

    According to Khalid, CEO of Invesp;

    Before deciding on a CRO tool, you want to ask around to know about the experience of users (past and present). Are they happy? Are they not satisfied? The responses you get are a good indicator if you should get a tool or not.”

    There are two places you can get customer reviews;

    •  the review section of the CRO tool website, and 

    5. Impact on Site performance

    Conversion rate optimization is about increasing your site’s conversion rate, but this will not be achieved if the CRO tools you choose make your site load slower and less responsive.

    It’s essential you find out this because, according to a study, the conversion rate on a website drops 4.42% with every additional second it takes to load between 0 – 5 seconds.

    To find out if a CRO tool will negatively impact your site performance, I suggest these two channels; 

    • Going through customer reviews (specifically, look at reviews with ratings 1 and 2).
    • Asking the tool developers.

    6. GDPR compliance

    GDPR is a regulation that requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states.

    There’s a lot of user data analysis, interpretation, and application that comes with conversion rate optimization at every stage.

    To be on the safe side which is on the side of the law, you want to make sure that the CRO tool you choose has a process to keep and protect customer data.

    Pro tip: when you see a tool you like, check their website to see if they have a GDPR trust mark like the one below;

    7. Ease of Integration with other tools

    Every website has a tech stack, yours included.

    In simple terms, a tech stack is a combination of tools, services, and applications used to build a website or app. 

    Before adding a CRO tool to your site’s tech stack, you want to ensure the tool you settle for can integrate with all or most of the tools you already have on your tech stack or it has an open API to build custom integrations.

    The reason for this is to prevent;

    •  Data silos – every tool has data, but they’re not communicating with each other.
    • Data duplication – as the name suggests, having the same data across different tools.

    8. Suite or Standalone features

    Some CRO tools, like Figpii, VWO, and hotjar, offer an entire suite of conversion optimization tools that reduces the number of tools you need to have for a successful program.

    Other tools like Nelio A/B testing just specialize in running standalone A/B tests, while user testing tools like Maze focus on just usability tests.

    Your conversion optimization objective will determine if you should go for a tool that has a suite of tools or for a standalone tool that does that one thing that’s important to you.

    Here’s a scenario to consider;

    If all you’re interested in is A/B tests, not surveys, polls, or analytics, it’s a waste of resources to get a tool that offers every other feature plus A/B testing. 

    It serves you better to subscribe to a tool that runs A/B tests; this is how to save your resources.

    According to Khalid;

    Some CRO tools are better than others regarding certain functionalities, while other tools provide a suite that does many things. 

    What it all boils down to are business objectives. 

    You need to answer the question of if you want to go with a tool that knocks other tools out of the park because it’s the best in an area or go for a tool that has a suite of functions that meets your CRO program needs.

    If you decide to use a highly specialized tool, you’ll need to get other tools that fill up other functions. “

    Isabela agrees;

    From my experience, some tools come loaded with many features that satisfy the requirements for a CRO program, while other tools have just a single feature. The most important factor here is your business objective before choosing a CRO tool. If you are running tests, need Personalization, or surveys, you’ll need a tool that has a suite of features. If you’re just concerned with only tests or surveys, go for a tool that has just that function..”

     

    9. Supports Personalization

    As your CRO program matures, you realize there are many ways to improve your site’s conversion, and one such way is Personalization.

    Traditional A/B tests provide you with a one size fits all result.

    Consider this scenario;

    You test a variation of a landing page against a control.

    Let’s call the variation page A and the control page B.

    Page A gets a 60% conversion uplift, while the control (page B) is at 40%.

    On average, Page A performs better, but here’s where there will be a problem.

    Not every website visitor is the same, which means you’ll miss out on a bunch of conversions because the winning page A doesn’t sit well with every site visitor on your website.

    To achieve better conversions at scale, you need to split your audience into segments based on several characteristics and show them personalized pages, offers, etc. 

    The truth is, Personalization isn’t a nice to have, but vital aspect of any CRO program if you want to see conversions at scale.

    Another fact is not every CRO tool has personalization capabilities.

    So, If Personalization is vital in your CRO program now or in the long term, you want to consider a tool that supports Personalization.

    10. Ease of use (user-friendly dashboard)

    When selecting a CRO tool, make sure it offers an integrated dashboard where it’s easy to locate the CRO features you and your team need.

    Also, a user-friendly dashboard allows cross-team collaboration ie, members of your team can come in, see which tests are running, set up tests or surveys, etc.

    Best CRO tools to consider in 2022 

    In the first section, where I defined a CRO tool, I broke down CRO tools into three categories. This section will look at different tools under each category, what makes them unique, and their pricing.

    CRO Analytics Tools

    1. Google Analytics

    Best For: Tracking website metrics & visit data

    Suitable For: Small to big companies

    Supports 3rd party integration: Yes

    Google Analytics lets you see how your site is performing across different metrics such as unique visits, page bounce rate, page value, etc

    GA is a popular tool amongst CRO specialists because;

    • You can track campaigns to understand better what works for your site,
    • Track conversion, retention, and bounce rate. This helps you strategize better and improve your marketing efforts.
    • GA allows you to go in-depth and study your user demographics and device, and it helps you understand your audience better.

    Pros

    • It’s completely free
    • You can create custom reports with the selected data to fit your purpose
    • GA helps to connect your site with your goals and KPIs

    Cons

    • The initial setup requires technical knowledge
    • The UI can be made to be more friendly

    Price: Free

    2. Fullstory

    Best For: Website analytics, behavior analysis, heatmaps, session replays

    Suitable For: Small to big businesses

    Supports 3rd party integration: Yes

    Full Story is a digital experience intelligence platform that provides more insights than website analytics to give you a complete picture of users’ experiences. From real-time website user insights to issues and bugs, the tool makes it possible to identify the friction points to aid your optimization strategies.

    Here are some of the features of Fullstory that make it stand out;

    • Monitor and log anonymous users’ previous visits and behavior across different browsers and devices.
    • Use session replays to pinpoint issues, script errors, slow pages, workflows, and bugs.
    • Run page speed tests and network analysis tests to optimize your pages.
    • Supports integration with Tray.io, Zapier, and others.
    • Track page clicks, scrolls, page views, swipes, form-fills, and more with a simple code snippet.

    Pros

    • Quick and easy implementation
    • Complete and automatic data collection
    • Combines both behavioral tracking and analytical data in the same tool.

    Cons

    • Custom events and triggers need to be more customizable.

    Price: available on request

    3. Mixpanel

    Best For: Product analytics, behavioral analysis

    Suitable For: Small to big businesses

    Supports 3rd party integration: Yes

    Mixpanel is an analytics tool that helps you unlock valuable customer insights. Mixpanel provides you with data-rich dashboards to get a detailed view of user-based events in your products.

    Here are some features that make Mixpael an exciting tool to work with;

    • Build funnels and analyze each stage using multiple attributes or behavior metrics to see which users convert best.
    • View how new features and updates affect your conversion funnel for different segments.
    • Segment every event and user property to analyze user behaviors and how they affect conversions.
    • Use interactive dashboards to set alerts for sudden spikes, unexpected behavioral patterns, and more.
    • Run detailed retention analysis to monitor customer churn, find segments with the highest retention, and more.

    Pros

    • The user flows and funnels analysis provides insights to optimize your product for multiple segments.
    • In-depth segmentation options to help you target very specific data sets.

    Cons

    • The event tracking dashboard UI can be improved further to make navigation easier.

    Price: there’s the free option, the growth plan that starts at $25, and the enterprise available on request.

    CRO Tools For User Behavior Analysis

    1. Figpii

    Best For: AB tests, polls and surveys, heatmaps, session recordings

    Suitable For: Small to big businesses

    Supports 3rd party integration: Yes

    Designed by CRO specialists, figpii offers a full suite of CRO tools. It’s my first choice as a tool for understanding user behavior because, with it, you can conduct surveys and polls, watch session recordings to see how users interact with your site elements, etc.

     Pros

    • User-friendly dashboard
    • It’s affordable.
    • Excellent live chat support
    • All in one CRO tool

    Cons

    Price: starts at $49

    2. Hotjar

    Best For: Heatmaps, session replays, surveys,

    Suitable For: Small to big business

    Supports 3rd party integration: Yes

    Hotjar is a leading website optimization tool for user behavioral data analysis. 

    Here are some features that make hotjar one of the most advanced conversion optimization tools around;

    • Its heatmap feature analyzes user behavior on three metrics – scroll, click and move.
    • It also offers the necessary screen recording feature to analyze user behavior whenever you want.
    • Detailed analytics reports by Hotjar allow businesses to identify their weak points and improve them.
    • You can also conduct NPS surveys with Hotjar.
    • It has instant visual feedback that lets visitors share their thoughts and experience within seconds, with one click.

    Pros

    • It’s a suite of CRO tools
    • You can easily segment thousands of interactions in heatmaps and recordings

    Cons

    • The heatmaps of pages with big menus feel clunky

    Price: there is basic, which is free forever, then there’s the plus plan which is $32, the business plan which is $80, and the scale plan, which is available on request.

    3. Lucky Orange

    Best For: Heatmaps, session replays, form analysis, surveys

    Suitable For: Small to big businesses

    Supports 3rd party integration: Yes

    Lucky orange is a conversion optimization tool that helps you understand user behavior better. 

    It has heat maps and session recordings for unbiased user behavior analysis.

    Here are some of the features that make it stand out as a data analysis tool;

    • Offers session recordings and lets you segment for better insights.
    • It comes with the dynamic heatmaps feature to unfold the quality of interaction between you and the visitors.
    • Provides the live chat widget for your website with features like canned responses, auto invites, multiple operators, and more.

    Pros

    • It allows for the creation of custom dashboards

    Cons

    • It doesn’t store data for more than 30 days

    Price: there is a free plan, then there’s a build plan at $14, grow plan at $28, expand plan at $58, and scale plan at $128

    CRO Tools For AB/ Testing

    1. A/B tasty

    Best For: Run A/B tests on your website, app, or product

    Suitable For: Small to big companies

    Supports 3rd party integration: Yes

    AB tasty is a conversion optimization tool that allows you to run tests without the help of developers.

    It also has in-depth targeting options that allow you to segment site users and provide personalized experiences for them

    Here are some of the features of AB tasty;

    • Run Split URL test, A/B test, predictive test, Q/A tests, and multivariate tests on your website, app, or product.
    • Use the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor to build the variations for your tests.
    • Automatically send the traffic to the winning variation to maximize conversion during the test.
    • Personalize the user experience with banners, widgets, pop-ups, stick bars, social proofs, and more.

    Pros

    • Works for both website and mobile applications.
    • It comes with a flexible editor that can help you set up the experiment without needing the dev team.
    • Supports both client-side and server-side testing.

    Cons

    • It can be hard to set up GA tracking for your pages.
    • Plus, you cannot view the experiments on a timeline to track their status.

    Price: available on request

    2. VWO

    Best For: A/B testing, experience personalization, heatmaps, session recordings, surveys

    Suitable For: Medium to large enterprises

    Supports 3rd party integration: Yes

    It’s one of the leading CRO tools used chiefly by medium to large enterprises. VWO provides client-side and server-side testing, and it comes with an inbuilt behavioral analysis tool.

    Here are some of VWO’s leading features;

    FigPii Heatmaps
    • Run A/B, split URL, and multivariate tests on your variations.
    • Supports heatmaps, session replays, surveys, and more to collect valuable visitor insights.
    • Provides a flexible visual editor and an advanced code editor to make changes directly in HTML/CSS/JS while creating test variations.
    • Supports asynchronous coding for a flicker-free experience and improved page speed.

    Pros

    • It’s a suite of tools for a CRO program

    Cons

    • There’s a lot to learn because of the many features
    • It can be very expensive if you are looking for only one feature.

    Price: available on request

    3. Kameleoon

    Best For: A/B testing, AI-based Personalization

    Suitable For: Small to big businesses

    Supports 3rd party integration: Yes

    Concerning A/B tests and other types of tests in CRO, Kameleoon is full stack. 

    Not just that, it has advanced machine learning algorithms that calculate each visitor’s conversion possibilities in real-time.

    Here are some of the features that make CRO specialists use Kameleoon;

    • Run A/B and multivariate tests on website and mobile apps to optimize them.
    • Provides a WYSIWYG editor to design and change the variations.
    • It had a dynamic traffic allocation feature that automatically redirects visitors to the winning variation during the test.
    • It offers segmentation for personalized experiences and targeted analysis.

    Pros

    • Like A/B Tasty, Kameleoon also supports client and server-side testing.
    • Offers indepth audience targeting options.
    • It has one of the most detailed onboarding processes to give you a good grasp of the tool.

    Cons

    • The graphic editor may lag when making significant changes to the pages.

    Price: available on request

    Wrapping Up

    Abracadabra, you wave your hands, and your store sales go up.

    That’s not possible, and it’s never going to happen.

    To see a consistent increase in your store sales means you want to take conversion rate optimization seriously, and to do CRO, you need the right tools.

    This checklist isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list for evaluating CRO tools but to help make your selection decision more straightforward.

    Following the steps outlined in this article, you definitely will be working a safe path.

Kobiruo Otebele

Join 25,000+ Marketing Professionals

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the Invesp blog feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. or,receive weekly updates by email: