One of the fastest-growing trends in digital marketing over the last few years has been conversion rate optimisation (CRO), with the increasingly crowded online marketplace looking for new ways to attract consumers and stay ahead of the pack.
Particularly in the build-up to the festive period, with many people shopping for gifts over the internet, it is crucial businesses have well-designed sites that gain as many commercial click-throughs as possible.
According to a new report from Econsultancy and RedEye, 55 per cent of firms consider CRO to be essential to their overall digital marketing strategy, while 40 per cent feel that the process is an 'important' part of their plans.
Underlining the rapid growth of the skill-set, nine out of ten respondents suggested CRO has become more of a factor over the last five years.
However, there are still barriers preventing implementation, with lack of resources and an insufficient budget the two most commonly issues cited by businesses.
Some 28 per cent of firms suggested interdepartmental conflict is preventing them from carrying out the best CRO projects possible.
Especially for smaller ecommerce firms, failing to ensure that prospective customers reach the point of sale can be extremely damaging - after all, a well-worked digital marketing campaign will be worth nothing without sales. The best way to improve this area is through strong hiring strategies.
Mark Patron of RedEye said: "Being in control of conversion, having people directly responsible for conversion and incentivising staff based on conversion were most highly correlated with improved conversion and sales."
The majority of web-savvy firms understand this and there has been a corresponding increase in the number of businesses looking for user experience professionals capable of driving up CRO through tweaking and adapting websites and sales processes.
However, to ensure the continual improvement in CRO businesses need to overcome the shortfall in budget and invest in proficient resources and technology along with developing a talent pipeline who can drive the online strategy. With high demand for niche experts within the field companies must also create a culture which is conducive to being forward thinking within digital marketing. Without that, it will be a struggle to acquire and certainly retain top quality talent.
Similarly, digital professionals must continue to develop their online skills and knowledge in what is a fiercely competitive space. UX candidates must strive to be commercially proven across multiple channels (such as mobile and tablet) to justify their value add to best in class businesses.