05 July 2021

Building your CRO muscle? Follow these three steps to grow

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No matter how alluring, interactive or well-designed your website is, its key goal remains guiding visitors to your product or service. Getting website users to take a desired action - be it buying a product or subscribing to a newsletter - can be challenging and might require actions on multiple levels of web design. This is where conversion rate optimisation (CRO) comes in. CRO uses a combination of analytics, behavioural research and experimenting to increase conversion and, in doing so, revenue.

TVH, the Belgian-based but internationally renowned parts and accessories supplier for material handling and industrial, agricultural and small-earth moving equipment, laid the groundwork for its CRO-framework last year. CRO became a necessity to guide visitors of the website to the product they need. This was quite a challenge considering TVH has over 44 million known references and over 930.000 different items in stock, which generate 800 million in revenue yearly through e-commerce.

In the most recent meeting of Beyond Digital, the knowledge-sharing discussion club organized by digital expert Ariad, Stefano Aprile, CRO Expert at TVH, explained the framework that he used to grow the CRO-muscle of TVH over the past year. He used the training method of wrestler/actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as a guideline and recurring motivational speech: “Success at anything comes from focus and effort - and we control both.”

(Want to join the next meeting of Beyond Digital to learn, share, and shape the future of digital in Belgium? Sign up for more information here!)

“Don’t wait to grow your CRO muscle but start immediately. Set up research software, build experiments and continue from there"

Stefano Aprile, CRO Expert @ TVH

Step 1: Focus on data

The training plan for CRO-growth consists of three steps, the first being ‘focus’. This focus comes from becoming increasingly data-driven as a company. “Data is key for CRO,” stresses Stefano. “We used the Pirate Funnel to point out the weaknesses of our website and to identify our most important web pages and user personas. Then, we tracked user behavior via Google Analytics/VWO Insights and spreadsheets and used heatmaps, recordings and surveys to understand user behavior. The data shows what does and doesn’t work. For example, we learned that our ‘add to basket’ button wasn’t visible enough for customers, but that they appreciated the extensive product specifications in the webshop.”

Step 2: Create an experimentation routine

Based on the gathered data, Stefano moved on to the second step of the training plan: routine. “Once we had enough data, we started experimenting with alterations on the website. In this phase, it is important to ignore your gut feeling or past experiences, but to rely on the data. We gathered hypotheses about user behavior and ranked them to prioritise our focus. Then we created an outline for an experiment, conducted it and studied and shared the results. Doing this on a regular basis is key to attain CRO growth. It is also important to share these insights with the development and product teams so they can implement the necessary changes.”

Step 3: Set goals

The third and last step of Stefano’s CRO training program is focused on challenges. “You need to set goals both for yourself as a marketeer and for your company. At TVH, we wanted to do one hundred experiments in our first year and ended up doing 112. We preferred speed over perfection: the more experiments we conducted, the more we learned and the better our results became. Because the results of our CRO program are so good, I managed to become a full-time CRO advisor.”

Stefano urges everyone to start conducting their first experiment as soon as possible. “Don’t wait to grow your CRO muscle but start immediately. Set up research software, build experiments and continue from there. My final advice doesn’t come from The Rock but from Jeff Bezos: 'One day? Day one!'”

Want to join in on the discussion?

Ariad’s digital professionals knowledge sharing club Beyond Digital brings together future-forward individuals working across industries in the largest brands in Belgium. No member fees, just a community of ambitious minds! Apply here for more information about this monthly event.

Do you need help to accelerate your digital transformation? Are you missing the right experts to help you better understand your data and your customers? Learn how Ariad can help you.