EP 19: Understanding Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) with Khalid Saleh of Invesp

Narrator: (00:01)
Welcome to the Process to e-com profit podcast, where we know top line sales just isn’t enough to have the business of your dreams learn to run a profitable business online that doesn’t run you.

Robyn: (00:16)
Welcome to the Process, to e eCom Profits podcast today. I’m really excited about our guest because our guest really specializes in helping you get better conversion on your ads, helping you get better results on your Shopify, put more revenue into your pocket, increasing what your, what Amazon perhaps, and especially what Shopify is producing for you. so Colin, thank you so much for coming on. He’s part of invest. can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what conversion rate optimization or CRO is?

Khalid : (00:48)
Well, thank you Robin and Cindy for having me.  like, like you mentioned, my name is coed. People struggle with my name and I tell them, if you listen to hip hop, if you’ve ever listened to DJ Coed, the original DJ coed, he just stole that from me. If you don’t listen to hiphop, I don’t listen to him, but seems everyone I talk to knows who he is. so, Inves is a conversion rate optimization company. And let me kind of explain what that is. most marketing is focused on bringing people to the website. Let’s bring more and more people to the site. and of course, that happens to varying degrees of quality, correct? You can, you can run a highly targeted at campaign that brings just the right person who is ready to buy, or you can run just a very general campaign.

Khalid : (01:40)
What conversion rate optimization focuses on is not on bringing people to the website, but after somebody lands on your website, we say, Okay, so what are the hurdles on your website? What are the issues that a visitor to the website faces? How do we uncover those? How do we find out a list of those issues and how do we solve them? in a, in a nutshell, we do a whole bunch of work using a whole bunch of methods, looking at data, talking to customers, usability testing, look at competitors, and we come up with a humongous list stuff, issues on our website, a hundred, 150, 200 issues. We then say, Okay, well great. So we found out all these problems on the website, let’s prioritize them because no one has the unlimited time and unlimited budget to fix all of them. No, let’s find the things that are just absolutely horrible that are gonna make you when you fix them, gonna make you a ton of money.

Khalid : (02:36)
After we prioritize the list, we take those issues and we say, Okay, so we have a problem here. We’ve discovered this problem, let’s try and come up with a solution to this problem. you can come up with 1, 2, 3, so many different solutions to a single problem. let’s say we come up with a particular solution. We say, You know what? We have good data to say that there’s a problem using our experience using all the work that we’ve done. We think our solution is good, but guess what? That is not good enough. What we are gonna do is we’re gonna ask your website visitors to tell us if our solution is good for them or not. So let’s take a website. Let’s give an example, a website that gets 10,000 visitors. Okay? So you have 10,000 visitors, and let’s say the problem that we’ve discovered is on your homepage, Oh gosh, you know, your headline on the homepage is absolutely horrible.

Khalid : (03:26)
Here is a much better headline or the design of the homepage is just turning people off. Here’s a better design. You’re getting 10,000 visitors to your website will use software that splits those 10,000 into two groups. One group sees the original design of the site, so 5,000 people see the original design, and the other 5,000 will see the new design. So we’re splitting the traffic, we’re splitting the visitors, and then we compare the number of orders. so it’s almost like people are voting on which design is better, which design works for them, and they’re voting with their credit cards. Correct. This design gave you like, you know, 500 orders. This design gave you 800 orders. Guess which design you should go with Design, Probably the design that generated 800 orders. That’s in a nutshell. So that’s what conversion rate optimization is. The, the last portion that I just talked to about splitting visitors into two different groups and testing them, most people are familiar with that. That’s what we call AB testing. So a B, so version A, version B, let’s them out. Let’s see what people think. So I always tell people, we’re good, but you can judge the quality of our work. You can, you should let your visitors just the quality of our work. Nothing better than that.

Robyn: (04:38)
And you know, I think that, so what you’re talking about is really fundamental. You know, back when, when Amazon was the wild, wild west, it didn’t matter as long as you had something up there. I mean, there were things, I, I actually sold a product where your, like the primary image literally had a piece of cat poop in it. Like it was because somebody just took it like in their dining room and you could see the cat poop on the floor and it was still selling, you know, so it didn’t matter. You didn’t have to have that conversion rate. But now that Amazon’s getting more competitive, we’re getting more grown up brands, you do need to ab test more. And so we wanna take some of the fundamentals that have developed on the, you know, Shopify DTC side of the world and incorporate those into Amazon. And if you are trying to expand out, it’s not just about building up a Shopify, Shopify store and then sending a bunch of traffic because Amazon has handled all of that page optimization for you, you need to now learn how to create that on your own site. Is that correct?

Khalid : (05:38)
That that is very correct. This is fascinating to me. we started, we started in the conversion rate optimization game before it was called conversion rate optimization, the first nine months of the company’s life, which was we help you increase sales. and then there was a small gathering in Austin, Texas, 30 people and the Eisenberg brothers who are really the founders of the whole discipline, kind of the very early practitioners of conversion rate optimization, said, this is called conversion rate optimization. And I’m like, Oh, so this is what we do. What’s fascinating to me is back then you can do small tweaks to a website and the conversion rate would just shoot up. because people’s expectation, you and I, and any other person was so low, the web was not truly developed. While you fast forward 15, 16 years later, our expectations are so much higher.

Khalid : (06:33)
We want, you know, the perfect page, the perfect images, the perfect experience, and the minute our website breaks, any of those is like, you know what, no, I don’t have to buy from here. so it is, it is a lot harder and you have to get every piece right. I always tell people, in order for you, for somebody to say yes, I’m gonna give you my credit card, I’m gonna place an order, that person subconsciously will have to say yes, about a hundred times they land on your page or on your side. They’re like, Yes, this is the right site. Okay, yes, I can trust them. Yes, they might have the right product for me. Yo, yes, this is the right product. Yes, this is the right price. Yes, the minutes, they say no. And their mind’s like, Nope, you don’t trust this site.

Khalid : (07:20)
Oh no, this is not the right price. Oh no, this is not the right image. Guess what? The chain is broken. And they’re, they’re, they’re out of here. You know, it’s like, okay, goodbye and good luck. we moved now was just joking with you guys that we moved to a new house and I need to buy a doormat. You figure like, you know, I’m learning a whole bunch of new things now as I move a new house. Okay, so how difficult would it be to buy a doormat? It turns out to be a little bit more difficult than I expected. Cuz you have to measure the, the doorstep and you have to find a doormat. I’m like, Okay, I can do this. I measure it. And it turns out that we have, an oddly shape doorstep that is kind of longer than your typical, doorstep because there are standard sizes.

Khalid : (08:05)
Anyways, I spend like two hours because when I get stuck on something, I have to buy the door mats and I’m searching and I’m searching and I’m like, Okay, I need a door mat that is 19 inches max, with, and the length needs to be 59 inches. Finally I find it, you know, and it was a bed bath and beyond 50 bucks. I’m like, No, too much for a doormats. Can’t really, it makes no sense. So I’m like, I’m not gonna buy. So here, the conversion funnel process broke for them, but of course the nagging voice in my head, You gotta buy the doormat cuz I bought the wrong size and I tried this, and I’m like, I gotta buy. And I’m sitting there, I’m like, What was that side? I couldn’t remember the sites. And this is by the way, a typical problem that the visitor, they come to your side, they look at it and they’re like, No.

Khalid : (08:50)
Or they get the phone call and I’m sitting there and I can, can be sometimes like, and I just, I, I literally went back through my history. I’m like, Let me go back to the day. It was like four days ago, I’m gonna find that doormats. And I finally find it, you know, after looking through Sack, I, I didn’t really know how much browsing I do until I have to go through my history and all these pages, but found the doormats and I’m like, Okay, you know, 40, 50 bucks too expensive, but you know what? We gotta have the door mats and I’m about to place an order, but there’s this nagging voice in my head again, the nagging voice, the, the, the, the chain that breaks says, maybe you can find this somewhere else that is cheaper. I’m like, Hmm, okay, let me search because I haven’t click in a search.

Khalid : (09:32)
So I take the name I searched Bed Bath and Beyond, offers it for 50 bucks. Target offers the same dormant for 20 bucks. And guess what, You know, Bed Bath and Beyond helped me help drive me in that conversion process to the very last step and guess who won my business Target. So they’re competing for my business. And here, Bed Bath and Beyond unintentionally contributed to target’s conversions. So that, that, that’s always the challenge. I always tell people, I’m like, whenever you run an e-commerce website, you gotta pay attention to details. You gotta think about all the objections that people have, and you gotta understand that’s besides the objections you’re competing with all the distractions that the visitor has and their life.

Robyn: (10:14)
So it’s not just, I mean, I think that sometimes we think of it just as ab testing headlines and a and button colors and things like that. It’s also looking at what other things could be stopping the conversion. Whether it’s, you know, you’ve, you’ve played with price elasticity too hard or, maybe like there’s, you know, there’s, there’s a competitor that’s, that’s siphoning market share away. You need to like create a new proposition to make it so people wanna buy from your site. Is that kind of what you’re saying? That,

Khalid : (10:42)
That that’s exactly what it is. I remember a few years back, we’re working with a company successful brand. We start with them, we’re doing really well, and their conversion rate was rather good for an e-commerce site, almost four and a half, 5%. And then all of a sudden, like, you know, their conversary start tanking. Now we’re looking at it and we’re like, Did somebody do something? Why? Like, no one did anything. Why? And it took a little while and they’re confused. Well, it turned out that their competitor was going out of business and basically they’re selling liquidating basically. And when we looked at that, I’m like, Okay, so here people are now buying the same item that you’re offering, but with a 70% discount, guess what? You’re just gonna have to wait it out. There’s nothing. So it was not something wrong on their sites, per se, but people are looking, people are comparing.

Khalid : (11:33)
there’s different types of things that you change on, on any page or any site. So there’s what, what I like to call element level changes. So headline button, image, isn, you’re just changing one thing. second thing is why I call page layout. So you’re switching things around. Correct. So most e-commerce websites, if you see the image is on the left, you know the copy, the headline, the price is on, on the right, but you might flip them. Maybe that works for you, maybe, maybe not, But that’s kind of page level testing, moving things around the page. A third level of testing is visitor flow testing. You see this nowadays on most e-commerce website. You click on the add to cart and what you see, you see that small mini cart correct on Shopify, it pops up on the side, comes out. But you could effectively, you know, when somebody clicks on the add to cart, you take them to the cart page.

Khalid : (12:27)
So it’s a different flow through the page. think also single step checkout versus multi-step checkout, which one works better. We’ve seen cases where multi-step works better than single step, and we’ve seen the other way around. The last type of optimization of this thing is what I call message testing. It is the hardest, It sounds the easiest, correct. It’s like, oh, just change a headline. Oh gosh, I wish, because like you said, Robin, it’s about figuring out, So what resonates well with my visitors where they say to themselves, Oh, wow, yeah, this is exactly what I’m looking for. I gotta buy this right now. it’s a, it’s a hard one. It’s kind of the easiest one. Like, it seems like the easiest one, but this is really the most difficult one to, to figure out.

Cindy: (13:18)
I’m kind of curious, how, what kind of process do you go through if someone engages you to help, improve their, conversion rate optimization? What’s the process like to work with you? what do you, what do you do first and then how, how do you go through that process?

Khalid : (13:39)
So there’s two portions to the process. We’ve done at this point, almost over 24, 20 5,000 AB tests. So we have a ton of experience. So when somebody comes in, I will sell that. You only listen, I talk to somebody, I, I will make them, this is my job. I’ll make them fall in love with conversion rate optimization. but here they start working with us and they’re not working directly with me, they’re working with the team. So I will tell the team, guess what? First month you have a tough job. You got, you got earn their trust. There is no way around it. So how do we do that? Usually during the first week, we sit and everybody, every specialist that we have, they all lock themselves up. It used to be in a room nowadays in a Zoom call, . and they just basically go, go through the websites.

Khalid : (14:28)
They look at every page this, Hey, what this, this before, Hey, here’s a good idea. This is what, what we call our quick wins. This is, I like, Hey, we’ve done this before. Let us show you some quick results. And people love this because they can see results quickly and parallel though, the real work is happening, that’s when we start dissecting the website, doing a whole bunch of research. So we spend a lot of time on analytics. we spend a lot of time looking at heat maps. This is where we gather all the clicks of people on a webpage. we use session recording software where we record how much of sessions, Let’s say website gets like, you know, 50,000 visitors. We we’re not gonna record all 50,000 visitors. We can, but I feel bad for the guy or girl who are gonna have to watch that many sessions .

Khalid : (15:15)
but you watch the session recording, you’re like, H do I see a pattern over there? we actually love to do customer interviews. So we’ll tell you, hey, give us, you know, emails, names of people who bought from you, 10 people who bought from you in the last month, plus’s have a conversation with them, just talk them. And there’s a process around that where we do deep customer interviews, 45 minutes to an hour. We’re talking to people just to understand kind of their, their buyer journey. we do competitive analysis. We kind, if your competitors, what are they doing? Should we steal some of their ideas? do some usability testing. All these methods come together and you end up with this humongous list of issues. So as we’re hitting the quick wins, we’re doing this deep research, and as the quick wins are kind of dwindling down, the deep research would’ve finished. And you have a lot of ideas and, and you start saying, Okay, now let’s prioritize them. Let’s start testing.

Cindy: (16:10)
So how long, how long do you have to study to, to really, I guess maybe it depends on how much traffic there is, but in general, how long do you have to study,  a website to, to feel like you’ve got good enough data to, to give some good recommendations?

Khalid : (16:27)
That, that’s a good question. So the initial analysis of our website is about six weeks. Okay. So as the quick wins are going on, it takes us about six weeks. But in all honesty, every I’ll say every five or six months we go at it again, more analysis. sometimes people tell me, it’s like, don’t you run out of things? And I like to mention one company. We’ve been working with them since 2017. So I was looking at the beginning of the year of the list of items that we have in 2022 after almost five years of testing. And they had close to a hundred, 120 items, you know, and outside. So they just brought down a new cmo and she’s like, When do we get done? I’m like, You never get done. you know, I’m like, as long as there’s opportunity, you know, there’s a little bit of friction.

Khalid : (17:10)
We need to figure out how to improve it. at the, it’s sort of counterintuitive, correct? If you think about this typical development, typical design, the approach is let’s design something and we’re done. Goodbye and good luck. You know, we’re gonna move on. And our line of work, we say, Oh, we’re never done. You know, I’m just gonna make an improvement. I’m gonna roll it out. I’m gonna test it. If it works, great, but then I’m gonna try and improve it again. If it didn’t work out altogether, go back to the drawing board. So it’s an ongoing process that you’re always, you always go through.

Cindy: (17:41)
Well, I think that makes sense because there’s so much change. I mean, from that customer that you worked with from 2017 until now, I mean, we’ve had this whole world pandemic, you know, that changes everything. I mean, for how, how businesses we’re operating. So, I mean, and there’s micro changes all the time. So it, it makes sense to me that, you would never get finished. And, and then you’ve got internal changes that are happening with your business where you’re offering new products or, or new, versions of products. So, you know, we’re just a, you know, a small accounting firm with a small number of products. We are changing it constantly. We’re constantly updating the client journey and, and our webpage. And, so it, it, I don’t know how you could expect to finish. you know,

Khalid : (18:34)
It’s just, it’s one of those things where I tell people where you’re at today should be better than where, where you were a month ago. Mm-hmm. . And where you will be a month from now should be better than today. I, I’ll go back to the same company talking about exactly what you mentioned, Cindy, that we’ve been working with since 2017. So initial optimization happened, and then Covid came, and guess what? Covid you have order online, pickup in store, Correct. Kind of a whole new method that came about. And then if you recall, at the beginning of the pandemic, everybody was freaking out. So they’re like, Oh, we need to offer discounts. So they went into a heavy discount strategy. Discount strategy is great. And the short term correct. It’s like you’re removing things, but eventually it hurts you, it hurts the brand because people now like, Oh, I’m not gonna buy from there. I’m just gonna wait for the next discount. Yeah.

Cindy: (19:27)

Khalid : (19:28)
They recover from that, from the pandemic, but now on a sudden they’re like, Oh gosh, what have we done? So now we’re thinking, they’re thinking, well, you know, they’re an apparel brand. They go after woman age 55 to an older, and they’re like, Oh, we need to go through younger age. So that’s, that’s a change. Now you need to think about the site and decide that you define for like, you know, somebody who’s 55 or older is one side versus somebody who’s younger and the branding and the messaging. So all these different things that you’re like, Oh gosh, like, you know, it just never stops. Like you said, external factors, internal factors, you know, just, there’s always something new that you wanna look at and new idea that, that you’re, you’re evolving.

Cindy: (20:10)
I’m curious, from the, that’s kind of a, a specific example for a company and probably a lot of companies, had that same strategy. Let’s, let’s move product, you know, But, just to me, I, I’m just curious about the trends from the pandemic. Did, have you seen anything that, that, changed the way websites worked or the way conversions worked, that that was a, a result of the pandemic that you think is gonna be long lasting or that’s already gone away? it’s just such an odd time to have lived through. I’m curious how it ripples out into people’s experience.

Khalid : (20:53)
Yeah, it’s just been, it’s been an interesting experience because we worked with this one furniture retailer, large furniture retailer. And about a year before the pandemic, unfortunately, they went bankrupt, got acquired by another, another of our customer, another customer of ours, which was interesting. But I was talking to the customer, the customer, and they’re like, Yeah, like, we don’t know whether, you know, this is a good idea to acquire them or not. And well, the pandemic happens. Furniture was not doing all too well. Then all of a sudden people are stuck at home. Guess what? You know, there was this spent up demand initially where people were like, I don’t know what to do. I need to be careful. And then like, you know, a couple months later it was like, okay, this is getting boring. I am just gonna place orders. And people start ordering.

Khalid : (21:41)
And their business grew in 2020 by almost 70, 80%. So now we went from, we went bankrupt into, Oh, we can’t even keep up. And we have so many items out of stock. And it’s funny because we’re doing conversion rate optimization for them. There’s another agency that does SEO and ppc, and I was stuck to the SEO and PPC team, and they’re like, Oh, we’ve done so well for them. I’m like, No, not really. I mean, I would like, I’m like, But we did. I’m like, No, really, like, you know, I’d like to take credit for it. And that’s where amazing. But really it’s just the economy and this is the way, the way it is. So to answer your questions, there are certain trends that, that you see that I think are gonna last for a while, which are really interesting. I think for us in digital marketing in general, whether it’s seo, ppc, cro, the pandemic, push people a lot more to adopt that.

Khalid : (22:37)
You can’t really wait if you’re not online and you’re just strictly relying on your brick and mortar. You, you, you died, or like you, you had near death experience, which is, which is unpleasant. So you had to be online, and it’s not enough to be online. You need to be really good online. Goes back to what Robin said, it’s not enough to have a sign. Like, really? No, that doesn’t, that doesn’t work enough.  order online, pick up in store that you see, you know, we’ve seen, it’s funny, one of the companies we work with basically sends out mail catalogs. Like they have, they have marketing budgets. So much 90 million, absolutely amazing. 85 million goes to them, catalogs that they send out in the mail, directing people to their sites. And I’m like, Okay, so try and get that. Like, you know, and I’m like, maybe you need to kind of reconsider you allocate that budget a little .

Khalid : (23:34)
Exactly. I just one the funniest things because they’re like, this works, you know, it’s been working like that for the last, I don’t know, 15 years. If they ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Pandemic comes. I think they, they had to reconsider, reconsider everything and reallocate the budget. And shift the budget. unfortunately they had to shut down some stores, reduce, reduce staff. and now it is funny because now they’re going through the process of trying to hire correct. And now it’s like, Oh gosh, can we find staff? And I’m like, Oh man. It’s just the, the cycles correct that the business go through that are just really, really interesting. but now you look at eCommerce and I, I think to myself, you know, all this talk about inflation recession, inflation recession, you know, and there, there’s anxiety in the air. Everybody’s sort of feeling it and just reminds me of pre pandemic or pandemic, beginning of pandemic where we’re not sure what to do.

Khalid : (24:36)
are things gonna go well? You know, people, sometimes it’s not reality that pushes people to act businesses to act a certain way is the perception of reality. And I think that’s what we’re dealing with, you know, where people are just worried. But generally things are going okay, people, people are spending money. so who, who knows? I like, you know, so sometimes some of our clients ask like, Oh, can you tell what’s, what’s gonna happen in the next six months? I’m like, Oh gosh, if I know what’s gonna happen in six months, I, I mean, I love what I do, but I’ll probably be, you’d be doing that years is exactly what’s gonna happen. And I

Robyn: (25:13)
Forget, you’d be buying doormats for, for tea beat or

Speaker 5: (25:16)
Something. Yeah, .

Khalid : (25:19)
So yeah, that’ll be interesting to see how, how things play out over the next few months, the next couple of years. Yeah.

Robyn: (25:25)
Well, and I think that, you know, a lot of, brands that we’ve been working with, they’re still having growth, but that growth has flowed because they had all that artificial growth mm-hmm. . And I think, like, like you said, sometimes people think of just, I’m gonna focus on my conversion rate, so I’m just gonna keep testing headlines until it works. But you can test headlines all day long and actually make it work. Or sometimes if you’re not considering, alright, that was artificial growth. So if we look at actually what our original projection was, we are on target. So, you know, we should be making fine tunes and not be testing big things here. and you know, I think that, you know, I think that having that, that having somebody who’s objective to take a look, because sometimes people will say that my conversion rate, it was this previous agency is doing a horrible job because my sales are way down. And what we’ll find is, well, you know, before you had six competitors and now there’s 75 competitors, and they’re all priced half the price of you. So we can make changes to the listing, but that in and of itself isn’t gonna fix your problem.

Khalid : (26:26)
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. It’s sometimes, like you said, there are fundamental problems that’s, you know, reared their ugly head and it’s like, eh, you can’t run away from them. Like, you know, you need to think about the environment that you’re operating in. What are the changes? How do I adapt? What do I continue doing? is, it’s interesting what you mentioned because pandemic growth was just absolutely crazy. 70%, 80%. But I’m like, you’re not

Robyn: (26:55)
150% growth. You’re over here Exactly for publicly trained company. It’s crazy.

Khalid : (26:59)
You’re not gonna keep that up. And if you think you can, I’m like, that’s just crazy. You know, they’re like, Oh, we’re down to 15%. And I’m like, Yeah. And I’m like, what was it? The pre pandemic? They’re like, Oh, it was like, you know, 10%. I’m like, You’re still doing really well. This is the reality of let’s just come back to reality. You’re, you’re actually doing well, you know, giving like all the market changes, you just need to set expectations correctly. Don’t, don’t expect like, you know, the high crazy numbers. things happen as funny because now I’ve learned, you know, I’ve gone through the, the internal bubble back in 2000 and the 2008, 2009, and now this, it seems like, you know, every 10, 12 years something crazy happens and there are lots of winners and there’s lots of losers, but you sort of like, you know, you have to be patient, you have to adapt whenever that happens. So I can tell you here, reading into the future between 2032 and 35, something bad is gonna happen. We just need to be ready, you know, and just be smart about it.

Cindy: (27:59)
And that brings

Khalid : (28:00)
Me back to my, the, there you go, profit

Cindy: (28:04)
First. If you’ve got cash in your bank account, it makes any of this stuff,  easier to weather.

Khalid : (28:12)
I, I, I have to tell you, the first time I heard about Profit First, I was in a, in a mastermind group, and one of the guys there, he runs, he runs model businesses, he runs an agency, and then he runs an eCommerce operation, and he’s like, Oh, I’m, I’m looking into implementing Profit First. And I’m like, Oh, what is that? I’m always like, you know, curious. I’m like, I’ll at least ask. So he send me, I think a PowerPoint explaining it didn’t really do a good job because you, you read it and you’re like, Oh, this is easy. Then I said to myself, Well, no, this, this sounds all, because even the way he explained it, he’s like, Oh, lemme explain it to you in 30 seconds. Oh, yeah, you know, if you’re gonna have a real business model, it’s gonna take longer than 30 seconds, but that’s fine.

Khalid : (28:57)
I listened, and then I decided, I’m like, Oh, let me, let me just get the book. So I’m, I got the audio version of the book. It’s a, it’s a good book, but audio version at some point gets a little difficult to follow. You know, he’s talking numbers and I’m like, Okay, I’m a little lost. So I bought the book. Now I’m thinking to myself, Oh, I can implement this. This is easy. I read the book, and it’s funny because he mentioned, he mentions in the book, he’s like, Oh, they’re accountants who specialize in this, They can help you. And I’m like, Yeah, I can do this by myself. Six months later, I’m like, Oh gosh, okay. This is a lot harder. , There is a reason why there are people who specialize in this, just like everything else. Correct? Yeah, always. People people always tell me, it’s like, Oh, you know, there’s all this low hanging fruits, and I tell them, it’s probably not low hanging. The only reason you think is low hanging because you’re far from the tree, so it looks like hanging. So you probably, the closer you get to the tree, you’re like, Hm, okay, I need the ladder over here, . So you need somebody who’s like a, specializes in, in this to help you. So,

Robyn: (29:58)
Well, you know, one of the things, so we work with a lot of brands that have done really well on Amazon, and then they’re looking to go, then they start their Shopify store and they’re like, This is gonna be easy. I’m gonna be free of Amazon. And then they’re like, Oh, poop, this is hard enough. Where do they start? If they, you know, maybe they hired an agency and they feel like they could have done a better job. Do, where do you say, All right, you need to reassess your ads, and where would you say, no, you need to look at your conversion rate first before spending more money on the ads?

Khalid : (30:27)
So I would say get the fundamentals, add the way. and this is like kinda just having a good website work. So I, I love Shopify. it’s funny, back in 2010, every client that we’ve had, well, 90% of our clients, 99% were on magenta. That was kind of the hot thing. Had to be a magenta. That is kind of the thing to be at. fast forward 2022, everybody’s on Shopify. everybody has to be on Shopify. And I hope that Shopify maintains what they’re doing because they, they’ve done really well to help e-commerce, instead of spending millions of dollars developing sites, Hey, no looking, you spend a lot of money, you got your looking a site up the right theme, it looks good. So make sure that you have those fundamentals done correctly. That’s number one. If you’ve done that, I think that the next question is, well, how do I bring enough people to the, to the site?

Khalid : (31:23)
And to me, that’s all about ads, whether it’s paid or social. sometimes through organic different, sometimes through influencer marketing, I have seen so many brands take something, take a channel and figure it out and do so absolutely amazingly well in it that I’m like, you know what? If you have the smart team, the right team, they will make any channel work. Just make sure that you hire the right person. bring people to the site. If you’re not bringing people to the site, I wouldn’t focus on conversion optimization. because ultimately if you do conversion optimization, whether you hire an agency or if you can do it on your own, well guess what? The, the final products of any conversion optimization agencies and AB test, well, here’s a new design for the homepage. Here’s a new design for your product page or your card page.

Khalid : (32:14)
Let’s run AB test. In order for us to run an AB test, you need to have a minimum of 500 conversions a month. So I’m gonna split your visitors, you know, and between the two versions and, and people tell me, Well, hmm, you really need that. And, and why do you need that? Well, cuz we use statistics to decide whether really we actually have a winner or is it just a fluke and just so happens that this version won, or like, no, it didn’t win. And usually you need about 500 conversions a month in order for your run test. If you can run AB testing, let’s say if you have 50 conversions, but guess what? That test is gonna take about nine months and you’re gonna hate conversion optimization. And you’re gonna think like, Oh my God, this is so slow. So I always tell people, I’m like, you know, get, get the visitors, get the orders.

Khalid : (33:02)
Eventually conversion optimization, if you have the traffic and if you have the conversions, plugs in and can help you do, do really, really well. Here’s a funny note for you guys. So lots of times people ask like, Oh, AB testing, is it a new thing? And I tell them, No, it’s not. If you’re taking any type of medicine, I have a whole bunch of medicine. I’m, I got to the point where I’m old, so I take a whole bunch of pills in the morning, but not a single pill released by the FDA goes to the market without an AB test. There’s an actual control group, there’s, you know, test group, and then they test them and they do an AB test actually. So it’s been around for over a hundred years. that’s how like, you know, we, we get medicine, there’s like, you know, three different rounds correct.

Khalid : (33:46)
That any medicine goes through. And then like, you know, the final round is about 50,000 people. They have to test and see actually, like, oh, is this medicine effective or not? And there’s lots of statistical analysis. And then that’s the reason why I tell people, I’m like, We require 500 conversions. And I’m like, compare that to typical medicine where there’s 50,000 conversions. That’s what we test. The only funny parts, you know, and regardless to where you stand on the issue is the vaccine, the covid vaccine. Because I was looking, I’m like, Oh, I said AB test, let me look at the data, let me see the sample size. And I got scared. no, I took the vaccine by the way. So, you know, but I was looking at, I think the sample size was about like, you know, less than a thousand initially. And I’m like, Oh gosh, am I lunch? Is this less than a thousand? I’m like, I would tell somebody like, go away. No, that’s not a real test. But anyways, we’ve done the vaccine, everybody seems to be doing okay, but again, maybe testing’s been around for a long time and it’s just fascinating because it’s in so many different aspects of our lives that sometimes we don’t think about.

Robyn: (34:46)
So it sounds like if somebody’s like getting started on Shopify or they’re getting started off anywhere off Amazon, it can be anywhere in the DTC world, they should be building their site, getting initial initial traffic, watching their conversion rate, and then read those, you know, read some, you know, fundamental textbooks that talk about page conversion, make sure you’re using standard layouts. Look at websites like Bed Bath, you know, like, like Target, like Amazon mimic, and you know, those formats as much as you can, talk to your customers, ask why they buy, look at the heat maps, but for the most part just, you know, work on trying to being get your conversions up to at least 500 a month, then they should look at their conversion rate. And obviously there’s, I’m sure that there’s a large window, but for like an average eCommerce site, what would you say is a, like quote, good conversion rate?

Khalid : (35:33)
So most companies we talk to are anywhere between 2% to 4%, and that’s kind of the average rates. But I can tell you we we’re working with a company out of Philly, two students in college by the way, very fascinating to me because they are still in college. they’re doing close to $10 million, not, not a bad deal for two students in college, you know, with a site conversion rate of 0.12, you know, very long. And they’re frustrated by it. I mean, they’re still doing really well. . Yeah. But I also have a client in Midland, Texas who is frustrated by a 28% conversion rate, 28 . And I’m like, I’m like, really? I mean, most of my clients would kill to have even a 10%. He’s like, No, we should, it was better than 28%. And I’m like, Okay, we’ll see what we can do.

Khalid : (36:23)
so it really varies. People always ask, it’s like, Oh, what’s the average conversion? Right? That’s tell them, okay, that’s anywhere between one to 4%. That’s the average, really. But sometimes we mentioned the, the furniture, retailer that we work with, they own a whole bunch of furniture brands. and it’s funny because these brands compete with each other and they’re all clients, and with one brand it’s 6% conversion rate with another brand, it’s like a 1% conversion rate. And I’d love to say, Well, yeah, pricing is different or sometimes they offer the same stuff. Yeah. It’s like, okay, so let get this straight design is close enough, you know, I mean, to the expert eye, yeah, there is differences, but really it’s close enough. The pricing is close enough, but one side converts a 6%, one side convert a 1%. And sometimes they tell me, it’s like, what’s going on here? I tell them, Well, maybe it’s the brand with one people recognize your brand with the other, you’re just very much online, so people don’t know the name. And there might be other factors, who knows. It’s just, there’s the reality, the numbers don’t like

Robyn: (37:21)
A sentiment and the way the images are get

Khalid : (37:23)
There you go. It’s fascinating. Correct. When you sit there and you’re like, I wonder. And I always tell people, I’m like, We’re just trying to theorize really. I wish I could, like, I wish I could wave a magic wand and tell you exactly why people overhear converter. 1% here are 6%, but I like, it’s just theories so

Robyn: (37:42)
Well, yeah, like I didn’t think it’s, I wanted to make sure we touched on that because, I, a lot of people get whiplash. So prior to like March, like a good conversion rate for Amazon was like 14 to 25%. and like they did this change and they said that they added in mobile, which is weird. How are you not considering mobile? Like, like up until this, like you just now realize people were using their cell phones like this doesn’t even make, but that’s, that’s what they said caused the cha, but everybody’s, unit session percentage of their conversion rate got cut in half. So now a good conversion rate is seven to 15%. but you know, if somebody was to come from Amazon and maybe they have a really well con product that converts well on Amazon, they might think there’s something wrong off Amazon not realizing that the conversion rates are naturally a little bit lower now, they don’t have to be, sometimes products will convert better off the ecosystem, sometimes they convert better on it kind of depends on your customer demographic, but, there’s something to be aware of.

Robyn: (38:41)
and is there, are there any like good resources that you’re like, All right, you can’t afford me. You’re, you’re, you’re only getting 10 conversions a week. let’s, you know, why don’t you start by reading this book or follow this guy’s blog or come stock my house and see if you can watch my computer from the window

Khalid : (38:58)
. Oh gosh. there nowadays there’s lots of resources, really good resources and conversion rates, optimization. I, I have to mention cxl, although they are a competitor by absolutely love their blog. And Pep, is a friend and he does a really good job in conversion rate optimization. I think the cxl blog is kind of deleting blog in the space. we publish quite a bit where the second blog, I think, and I’m, I’m always, it’s funny, I’m chasing like, you know, cxl, they do about 200,000 visitors a month where it’s a hundred thousand. I’m like, dude, like, you know, sorry for, for another time. so both have loss of really good resources, loss of good research on conversion optimization. we do publish, if you just search for average website conversion rates, we publish an annual study where we track, we track countries of websites where we show for by industry by page.

Khalid : (39:50)
So sometimes it tells people, but also there’s lots of guides, and guides there. on, on conversion optimization, on how to start with conversion optimization on testing ideas, things to take, things to take a look at. in terms of other resources, I think really like, you know, the industry is mostly active on Twitter. I’m not the Twitter guy. I wish I am. I I try to get to it, into it, but I just use it to read the news. But if you just search for cro, you’ll see, you’ll see some good resources. There’s Craig Sullivan, who’s an absolutely amazing. He’s one of the early, people in conversion rate optimization, publishes some really good, good research. And when I say good research, he just sounds to, to, what’s the word? To mag? Too large, but really, he’s like down to earth, really easy to consume. so, I, I like to follow him. Usually I’m like, I like to, I like to follow people where I’m like, Oh, I’ve learned something new. Although I’ve been doing this for so for so many years. So

Robyn: (40:47)
That’s really awesome. And, you know, so, you know, I’m, I’m glad we got a chance to talk and kind of share that, you know, there’s more than just AB testing. It’s looking at the external things. It’s looking, if people want to like, well, now I need you in my life, because they know they have a conversion rate optimization, what’s the best way for them to reach out to you and possibly engage services or just say, hi?

Khalid : (41:10)
So I, I live, although I don’t go to the land of Twitter, I live on the land of LinkedIn, I hang out there. So if you just search for college h that’s the, like, you know what? I go by you, you’ll be able to find me there. Otherwise you just search for invest and you’ll see a whole bunch of links to our websites. so I’m usually around my email or LinkedIn in one, one of those two areas where, where I live, is funny. This week was my first attempt, by the way, to take a vacation in seven years. Oh gosh. Finally, like, I’m gonna do a vacation. I, I go to Geneva, Lake Geneva, we’re in Illinois, and I discover, I, I never knew this. There was an actual city in the US where at and t doesn’t have reception, , new, new concepts, , . And of course, last email I get before we leave Chicago says, you know, SOS emergency. So I respond to a client and of course my email doesn’t go through. So Saturday, Sunday I’m sitting there and the email’s not going through. I go to the reception and that’s how they’re like, Oh, there’s no reception here. I’m like, Okay. So I drive back. So my, my, my first attempts at a real vacation did not work out. We shall try again a few months, but I, I usually have access to my email or LinkedIn.

Cindy: (42:22)
I hope you get to take that vacation.

Robyn: (42:23)
That’s good. Well, we’ll send people there.

Khalid : (42:26)
I, I hope so too. You

Robyn: (42:27)
Don’t talk to Cindy. Cindy takes a four week vacation every year. Yeah,

Khalid : (42:30)
I don’t even know what that means.

Cindy: (42:32)
That means I go off internet, go off everything and disappear for a month.

Robyn: (42:36)
And the first time she did this, I was like, Mm, this isn’t gonna go well. I was like, this sounds good in theory, but I was there the first day she checked your email after she came back and she’s like, I’ve got three. And I was like, I have three. I just checked it an hour ago. Oh my

Khalid : (42:49)

Robyn: (42:50)
So I mean, but her team just, you know, like she’s really, she’s really developed that, the clockwork principle that Mike wrote about, so.

Khalid : (42:57)
Oh wow. That’s awesome. Yeah, it’s funny because that mastermind group that I’m part of is in the uk and I sit there and they’re like, Oh, we can’t do anything from mid July until beginning of September. I’m like, Why? And like, Oh, we’re off. I’m like, mid-July, beginning of September. I’m like, That’s six weeks. They’re like, Yeah, like all of you, like, you know, regardless. And I’m like, How are you running your business? They’re like, Oh, this is normal. I’m like, Okay. I mean, like, you know, I mean, officially I have two weeks vacation, but I don’t even know what that means because laptop is always there and yeah. So Cynthia, at some point we got

Cindy: (43:27)
Right, I’d love to talk with you about it. My favorite subjects.

Khalid : (43:31)
That is

Cindy: (43:32)
Awesome. Well, I’ve really enjoyed learning about CRO from you today, so I, I appreciate you sharing. I’m, I didn’t know what it meant this morning until Robin defined it for me. So , now I, now I feel like I have a, that’s an intelligent conversation to send people to you anyway,

Khalid : (43:46)
That’s awesome. Well note that. Thank you ladies for having me, by the way. And

Robyn: (43:50)
You know, if you’re listening and you’re like, Well, is he the real deal? He is 100% the real deal. I met him at one of the, most prestigious conferences out there in like the SEO at Scam Space. He’s very well respected. I would completely trust him, what everything that we’ve talked about, he really seems to know his stuff. So I’d recommend that you give him a call. That’s another episode for the Process to Econ Profits podcast. We hope that you have a fabulous and prosperous week. Thanks.

Narrator: (44:14)
Thank you for listening to the Process to e-com profits podcast. Make sure you subscribe to get updates for new episodes. Leave a review and one lucky winner. Each month will win a one hour call with your choice of our hosts, a value of over $300. Keep listening to Hear the Winner Announce on the first show of the month. You can contact our hosts by using the Contact Us form at process to e-comm profits.com. You can also find the contact information of our hosts and show guests in the show notes for each episode.

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