The direct-to-consumer marketing landscape has changed. The introduction of new privacy features by Apple and Google along with the rise of privacy legislation has made customer acquisition more challenging.
At the same time, increasing ad costs have put additional pressure on marketers to maximize their return on investment (ROI) on ad spend. For brands, this means optimizing every step of their sales funnel for conversion.
But many brands do not have the resources to develop and implement a conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy. That’s where a CRO agency comes in.
This guide will explore how to select the right CRO agency for your business. We’ll also review the top five CRO agencies to help narrow down your options.
CRO agencies offer various services, including the following:
Regardless of the service, though, the goal is always the same. The objective of conversion rate optimization is to implement changes that improve the customer experience and, as a result, increase your brand’s conversion rate and revenue. Accomplishing this requires a systematic, data-driven approach to analyze user behavior, identify barriers to conversion, and determine what to test to remove those barriers.
At the same time, it requires a collaborative effort between copywriters, designers, and developers, which can be a lot to juggle as an ecommerce leader or someone with boots on the ground on the marketing team. CRO agencies specialize in handling all of this—from the research to the analysis to the hypothesis testing meant to improve conversion.
Over the last several years, the number of agencies providing CRO or landing page services has grown exponentially. While you have no shortage of options, it’s all too easy to choose wrong. Selecting a CRO agency that understands your business and aligns with your goals is critical. Here are four factors to consider when choosing a CRO agency:
When selecting an ecommerce CRO agency, investigate their client list. Look for agencies with a history of delivering results for ecommerce brands like yours. Analyze client testimonials, case studies, and past projects for insight into the effectiveness of their strategies.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to CRO. Your CRO strategy will need to be customized based on your industry, target market, products and services, traffic sources, and more. An agency that specializes in your industry or niche is better positioned to tackle that customization than agencies without that expertise. Why so? There may be nuances specific to your industry or offerings that need to be taken into account.
Consider, for example, skincare and beauty brands with tons of different moisturizers, cleansers, and other products. Of course, it’s essential to differentiate between those products so that visitors aren’t confused about what they’re for or how they’re different.
However, because these brands talk about many different skin tones and shades, skin issues, and even lifestyle choices, reassurance is also needed to drive conversions.
An agency without industry expertise may not realize things like this, which would stunt the potential of the CRO strategies they put together.
CRO agencies should be able to explain their approach and how it delivers results. Look for an agency with a well-documented optimization process. This includes how they collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data, implement solutions, and continue to innovate.
Be mindful of agencies that rely heavily or only on “best practices.” While CRO strategies that have worked for other ecommerce brands can be useful when brainstorming solutions for your own brand, they shouldn’t be the foundation of your conversion rate optimization strategy.
Any CRO agency worth talking to will insist on developing a customized approach based on what is or isn’t currently working for your business. Plus, they’ll continually refresh their understanding of your ecommerce store’s performance and the driving factors behind it so they can adjust their recommendations and strategies accordingly.
The cost of CRO agencies varies greatly, so don’t just narrow your search based on your ideal budget for the services you need. Consider each agency’s level of expertise, which can directly impact your potential return on investment for better or for worse. You’ll also need to determine what fee structure will work best for you (e.g., an hourly project fee or a monthly retainer).
Pro tip: Watch out for incentive-based pricing structures where agencies promise to conduct a certain number of tests per month. Testing is important, of course. But a good agency will be more concerned with running the right types of tests for your business, not just running tests because they need to hit a quota.
Are you looking to hire a CRO agency? Here, we’ll review the top five agencies to get you started.
SplitBase is an ecommerce conversion rate optimization agency for direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses on Shopify. We’ve worked with dozens of fashion, skincare, beauty, and lifestyle brands to decrease cart abandonment, increase average order values, and skyrocket conversions. That has included helping men’s personal care brand Dr. Squatch add over $800,000 per month in revenue through CRO.
What’s our secret sauce? The Testing Trifecta, which helps us zero in on what optimizations are most likely to have the biggest impact. Many agencies skip straight to testing basic optimizations or CRO tactics that have worked for other brands, but we always start by digging into quantitative data like analytics for your Shopify store to identify its strengths and weaknesses. Then, we move on to collection and analysis of qualitative data such as customer feedback. This tells us why certain elements of your online store and user experience are helping or hurting your conversion rate.
Only once we know what’s not working and why—or what strengths are worth leaning into—do we develop hypotheses on what to A/B test. After all, it’s a lot harder and more time-consuming to come up with solutions if you don’t know what’s wrong in the first place.
Image description: SplitBase’s Testing Trifecta methodology
Besides this tried and true methodology, our entire team—across copywriting, design, and development—specializes in conversion optimization. This ensures that every change we implement supports your CRO goals, rather than being counterproductive.
Notable clients: Amika, Glamnetic, Butcher Box, Kiehl’s, L’Oreal, and Dr. Squatch.
Pricing: Full-service CRO programs start at $8,500 per month.
Image source: Conversion
Conversion is a global CRO agency. With over 100 employees across Europe and North America, the company works with enterprise, ecommerce, and SaaS organizations to increase conversion rates.
Notable clients: Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Toyota, Canon, and Samsung.
Pricing: Not available.
Image source: Structured
Structured is a performance marketing agency with over 15 years of experience. The company works with over 150 brands, specializing in health and wellness, sports and the outdoors, pets, food and beverage, and apparel and accessories.
Notable clients: Unilever, RoadRunner Sports, Free Fly Apparel, Feetures, and Bullymake.
Pricing: Not available.
Image source: KlientBoost
KlientBoost is a performance marketing agency with over 250 clients. Brands can outsource their marketing efforts to KlientBoost or work with them on a project-by-project basis, including developing a CRO strategy. The company offers one-time CRO audits or ongoing CRO consulting and management.
Notable clients: Airbnb, Gorjana, Upwork, Hotjar, Wunderkind.
Pricing: KlientBoost offers a revenue-split partnership. Prospective clients can complete a questionnaire on the company’s website and receive three pricing options.
Image source: Single Grain
Single Grain is a digital marketing agency that supports ecommerce brands, SaaS companies, and online education providers. Founded in 2014, the company has evolved from an SEO agency to a full-service marketing partner.
Notable customers: Amazon, Nordstrom Rack, Peets Coffee, Fujitsu, and Hestan.
Pricing: Not available.
In today’s ecommerce landscape, conversion rate optimization is not just a nice-to-have. It’s becoming a must-have for many brands battling competition, rising ad costs, decreased visibility on ad platforms, and other challenges.
Feeling any of these pressures? You’d be wise to partner with a reputable CRO agency that not only has a track record of success with brands like yours but understands the need to develop a custom, data-backed strategy to get your brand the best outcomes. SplitBase is here to help. Get a free ecommerce CRO proposal today.
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