2017 is here, which means just one thing to ecommerce website owners everywhere – it’s time to buckle down again. With 2016 behind us and the annual Christmas traffic boost long gone, everybody is looking for new ways to get ahead. New ways to find an angle and – simply put – sell more!

Conversion rate optimisation (or CRO) is all about doing more with what you’ve got, so it’s the perfect place to start. If you’re new to CRO and want to find out more, take a look at our Beginner’s Guide to CRO.

While CRO isn’t new, it is constantly changing. New strategies and technologies pop up from nowhere, and suddenly become common place overnight. Which is why it’s important to identify new trends, adapt quickly and stay ahead of the curve.

One change we’re predicting for 2017 is the arrival of machine learning. We’re not talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger (he’s not back) or computers taking your bartending job (although they already are on Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship. Sorry). We’re talking about the utilisation of AI-powered machine learning to maximise conversation rates, while reducing costs. Sounds too good to be true, right?

While machine learning has slowly gained popularity throughout 2016, this could be the year it becomes routine. Read on to find out why…

Is a CRO revolution coming?

While cloud-based computing is common place today, AI algorithms are starting to catch up. Add the ability to evaluate and understand big data like never before, and you can begin to understand the impact of machine learning on CRO.

In general, CRO takes time and resources, and requires a decent level of traffic to generate usable data, which is ideal for the big boys. Not so much for the little guy (or gal). If you don’t have the time needed to evaluate countless statistics or make endless changes to your online store, what do you do?

Imagine an algorithm that can determine the best design for your website using the principles of Darwinian natural selection? According to Sentient Ascend, it exists. “Sentient is bringing to market a disruptive product that can easily be described as a modern marketing director’s dream,” said one of Sentient’s clients – the MD at Cosabella. “The CRO platform is allowing us to test all variables at once without human intervention, fear of contamination or traditional timelines. I see this type of solution sending tremors throughout the entire industry and ultimately shifting all conversion related benchmarks into hyper-drive.”

AI vs. HI

So, is it time for ecommerce store owners to put all their eggs in the AI basket? Far from it! How many times would you get lost if you did everything your TomTom told you?

Any use of AI must be balanced with human intelligence. While you may be able to reduce the workload and automate simple design tweaks to your website, it’s important to understand that a computer doesn’t understand the humanistic qualities needed, such as creativity or friendliness.

Does AI understand warm welcomes? Does it understand ‘what’s cool’? Should it make decisions that have huge implications for the direction of your business? No.

For any AI adopters, it’s important to keep control. Be the author behind ideas and concepts instead of a bystander. By all means, leave traffic allocation to the computers, but keep a tight control, especially if creativity is involved.

Maximise your ROI with Fluid Digital

If you’d like to get more out of your ecommerce website, look no further than Fluid Digital. Our award-winning team bring offer unparalleled ecommerce, CRO and pay per click services to businesses worldwide. To find out how we can help you maximise online revenue in 2017, speak to one of our advisors today.

Posted in CRO on 13th Jan 2017