CRO considerations during the COVID19 pandemic

Whether your business is thriving or struggling, there are things to consider to ensure you maximise your website's potential.

cro pandemic

You’ve probably heard it said too many times already but we are indeed living though a unique, unprecedented time. There is no play book to refer to, we’re all having to feel our way through it.

Some businesses are thriving because they sell products or services that help customers get through the lockdown. And others just cannot trade without face to face contact and are therefore being hit hard.

What’s obvious is that we all need to adapt and and get through it because good times will return. There are always success stories about businesses bouncing back stronger after a recession (source: Harvard business review).

But what can you do during the social distancing measures to ensure you’re making the most of what website traffic you do have and you’re ready for the changes when the lockdown ends? How do you ensure your website optimisation efforts are appropriate and not a waste of time because online behaviour is completely different from normal?

Here are some considerations for people running a CRO programme during the COVID19 pandemic.

If business is slower than usual:

  • Don’t leave people in the dark about delays to orders or closures, tell people what’s going on via on-site notifications and via email
  • Use this time to run some user research to understand your website users better. Traffic might be too low to run on-site polls and surveys, but it’s a great time to run some user testing or gather user feedback on via tools like UsabilityHub
  • Commission someone to conduct a site speed audit and accessibility audit to find some relatively quick wins that can add value now
  • Consider new strategies for generating revenue – what else can your business do? Test new ideas and propositions through email marketing and landing pages. For example, if you are currently seeing a drop in purchases of your product, could you produce a some video training content to sell or share? A lot of people are bored at home.
  • Create a plan which includes your contingency if things don’t fully return to normal for 12 – 18 months. If your supply chain is heavily impacted, now is the time to reconsider how you source product. If you need to go into people’s homes to deliver goods, can you change your model so this in no longer necessary and reduce your delivery price so customers feel they have gained something? Time to think laterally.

If business continues as normal or even thrives:

  • Clarify that it’s business as usual. If your website looks the same as it did before, people might be hesitant and abandon purchases. A notification at the top of the website will help reassure people they can still buy from you and they will receive their goods in an acceptable time frame.
  • Clarify if there are any disruptions to deliveries or your supply chain. If something’s not going to be in stock for a while, give a re-stock date and alternative products for people to look at.
  • Continue to test and research, but just bear in mind that behaviour may be different at the moment. There’s a chance that a test result might not be replicated in the future.
  • Make sure you think about how it looks if you’re continuing to conduct business as usual. How are you protecting staff and acting responsibly to protect the spread of the virus? You will need to detail the measures you are taking so people don’t see you as putting profit over people. We’ve had our whole team working from home since 9th March with no client visits since 10th March for example.

We hope this is in some way useful. If you want to discuss any ideas for revenue generation – we’re very happy to talk. No invoices needed. Email Nina on [email protected] to arrange.

We hope you and your family are staying safe.

If you’d like some help to run user research or undertake a UX audit, please get in touch. Our team are all still working so we can help you make the most of this time and prepare for when we start to get back to normal. Talk to us on  0161 236 1188 or you can email [email protected].

Lee Preston

16th April 2020

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