Q&A with WiderFunnel’s Chris Goward – Conversion Rate Expert
Whether your issue is shopping cart abandonment or a high landing page bounce rate, increasing conversion rates is a mystery to many. That’s where conversion rate experts come in. Conversion rate optimization experts and specialists are some of the most impactful 3rd party vendors an ecommerce business can utilize because they directly influence your bottom line.
One of the more distinguished conversion rate experts in the industry is WiderFunnel, and we got a chance to catch up with founder and CEO, Chris Goward. If you haven’t already, check out Chris’s responses in our expert roundtable on conversion rate optimization.
Let’s dive into some Q&A:
Describe WiderFunnel in 60 words or less.
Chris: WiderFunnel is the conversion rate optimization agency that maximizes revenue per visitor for companies by using the Kaizen continuous improvement testing system. We pioneered split testing as a strategy for companies such as Google, Magento, Electronic Arts, Iron Mountain, and BuildDirect.com. So far, all our conversion system clients have seen conversion rate and revenue lift of between 10% and over 700%.
What’s an aspect of conversion rate optimization that you’ve found gets overlooked or ignored by a lot of your onboarding clients?
Chris: Most companies still think increasing conversion rates is just a “tweaking and tuning” exercise to test small improvements like button color. But, there’s so much more to it. In fact, a proper CRO strategy eliminates the need for periodic website redesigns. By continually testing site-wide elements and templates, retailers evolve their site design based on what their customers respond to. This replaces the old way of relying on an Art Director’s gut feeling or design-by-committee.
Amazon is an example of a company that understood this early. They’ve been evolving their website experience for many years without needing a site redesign. I call this the “Evolutionary Site Redesign” process as opposed to “Revolutionary Site Redesign.” There are also many risks incurred with radical site redesigns. We recently released a popular infographic and whitepaper showing the 9 biggest redesign horrors to reinforce this concept, which retailers should seriously consider.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d offer to ecommerce retailers to get the most out of Q4?
Chris: There’s still time to run a few tests before the holiday lockdown! Use an easy-to-install testing tool like Optimizely to get started quickly. You need to focus now on the highest-impact and easiest-to-implement tests. Here are 7 ideas that are quick to test:
- Offer incentives: free shipping vs. bundles vs. “free gift for yourself” with purchase
- Try a new home page feature layout that merchandises your most popular product categories vs. featuring single products or sets
- Look for opportunities to clean up your checkout forms with UX tweaks
- Remove the navigation bar from transactional form pages
- Swap all buttons with larger versions including hover states
- Try adding a value proposition section to your template: what are the top 3 reasons people should buy from you?
- Reduce graphical complexity in your promotions and nav bar
What are the benefits of WiderFunnel to an ecommerce retailer?
Chris: WiderFunnel creates conversion optimization strategy for retailers and develops an ongoing series of rapid A/B/n tests on the most important web pages and site-wide templates. Companies that engage with WiderFunnel experience higher conversion rates and average order value (AOV), which maximizes the all-important revenue-per-visitor (RPV) metric.
Retailer clients get access to a huge knowledge base of proven conversion optimization principles that WiderFunnel has been discovering from running thousands of tests on hundreds of websites. Most importantly, the proof is in the pudding: every subscription client has seen conversion rate and revenue lift of between 10% and over 700%. Who wouldn’t like that?
What kind of retailer/business is best suited for WiderFunnel’s service?
Chris: WiderFunnel’s testing system works best for companies with over 100K monthly visitors; that’s our sweet spot. We work in all industries, from ecommerce catalog retailers, to single product retail, to B2B lead generation, affiliate, subscription, etc. The companies themselves may be enterprise, or startup, but generally the higher the traffic, the more impact we can have together with testing.
However, we do also have conversion analysis services for lower-traffic companies where we can give them advice based on tested principles. What’s great for them is that they get high value advice that’s been tested on much higher traffic websites.
What’s WiderFunnel’s unique selling proposition (USP)?
Chris: We learn more about what really works because we test more than anyone. We’re continually disproving the commonly-held “best practices” in web design, marketing, and UX (and it’s surprising how many tactics people assume work that really don’t.) We’re finding principles of what works across industries and are applying the learning to every new client. And WiderFunnel’s service is all-inclusive: website analysis, user testing, hypothesis-creation, wireframing, design, copywriting, html, test implementation, and results analysis.
What’s next for WiderFunnel?
Chris: We continuously evolve our own business just like for our clients. We are always testing our own system and increasing our database of tested insights to provide better tests that lift results faster. We’re also expanding our mobile optimization group. We’ve inked a partnership recently with the Artisan tool that will allow us to optimize within native mobile apps in addition to the mobile website testing we already do. That’s an exciting growth area.
How can an ecommerce merchant get started with WiderFunnel?
Chris: It’s easy to get started: just contact us on our website and a conversion expert will contact you to review your unique situation and opportunity for optimization.
Chris Goward was one of the first people to look at websites and say: “We should test that!” From that revelation he founded WiderFunnel—the company that pioneered conversion rate optimization methods for companies such as Google, Electronic Arts, SAP, Magento, and BuildDirect.com. He is the brains behind the LIFT™ and Kaizen™ methods and speaks at conferences and seminars around the world to evangelize how marketers should optimize their marketing to maximize their leads, sales and profit. Chris is author of the conversion optimization book, You Should Test That!, published by Wiley Sybex in 2013.