How will Artificial Intelligence affect CRO?
AI is beginning to infiltrate all aspects of daily life, just ask Alexa or Siri! However, it’s also making its presence felt in marketing and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO).
In fact, 80% of marketing leaders say AI will revolutionise their industry by 2020! This isn’t surprising considering advanced AI software, like Ascend, is already being used by marketers across the world.
However, experts are split on what this means for jobs in marketing; the introduction of AI could be a fantastic addition to your team, or a huge mistake.
As CRO specialists, we have a few ideas about what might happen to our jobs when AI comes on the scene … take a look:
So, What Do We Mean By AI?
First up, when we say AI we don’t mean robots running around trying to kill humans.
What we mean is instances of human-like intelligence being displayed by machines.
AI, as we know it, currently focuses on four key areas. We’ve added in some examples so you can see the impact AI is already having on our lives.
- Speech recognition – Your voice assistants can recognise what you’re saying and answer queries.
- Learning – Amazon and Netflix both use AI learning algorithms to analyse your activity and determine what you want to buy (or binge on) next.
- Planning – The Nest, a learning thermostat, recognises your habits and changes the temperature in your home or office so you don’t have to.
- Problem solving – Tesla cars can predict crashes before they happen (check out the video).
AI works and reacts like a human, but to a much higher level. Basically, it can do everything we can, but better, faster and without emotion or bias.
What Does FABRIC8 Think About AI?
We think AI has a bad rap. It’s often painted as the bad guy; many say it’s stealing jobs, making people redundant and is going to take over the world!
However, we believe it has the potential to be a force for good – especially for businesses. In future, it will streamline operations, allow humans to focus on more important things AND save a whole heap of time and money.
If you can find a CEO who doesn’t like the sound of all that we’ll be seriously impressed!
People criticise AI because they don’t understand it – and there are loads of killer AI movies out there… However, if you start learning about it now, you’ll be on top when the AI revolution comes around.
How Will It Affect CRO, Specifically?
AI is going to be a great tool for marketing, especially CRO.
It will dramatically increase the amount of personalisation available, and its accuracy.
Through AI, one day, your website will automatically change due to the visitor’s search history, journey through your site, and hundreds of other factors!
This is great for CRO as 74% of online consumers get frustrated when website content doesn’t address their needs or interests. Less frustration equals a better customer journey, which leads to more visitors heading down your conversion funnel!
AI will make adjustments in real time – something 60% of marketers struggle with.
Current methods require marketers to look back over months of data, taking action based on insights from that. This can cause problems as buying patterns in November/December can differ considerably to January/February.
CRO-focused AI will make changes automatically and improve the customer experience in that moment, so you don’t lose out on that visitor’s custom.
AI will, undoubtedly, make decisions much faster than humans do.
However, they might not always be the right ones … if the data given to the AI system isn’t complete, doesn’t pertain to the query or just isn’t right, it will start to make mistakes.
So, if you thought the introduction of AI to CRO meant you could put your feet up, think again. You’ll need to keep testing the data you’re feeding it, and double-checking any adjustments made, to make sure it’s operating effectively.
You’ll also need a good understanding of the system you’re using and its limitations. You’ll need to do lots of research before you buy into it if you’re going to avoid unnecessary expense.
Ascend: An Example of AI In Today’s World
Ascend is a brand new, AI-powered Conversion Optimisation tool. Its aim? To increase engagement and revenue.
It opens up a whole new world of possibility for CRO geeks like us. Here are just some of the features that have got us hot under the collar:
- Complex multivariate testing – Conduct tests with over 1 million possible combinations.
- Full-funnel optimisation – Test across multiple pages and adjust the whole user experience.
- Genetic algorithms – Identifies promising concepts, tests them together and re-checks ideas from earlier tests to find out-of-the box ideas that will work.
- Autonomous optimisation – Constantly adapts your site to improve the user experience for individuals.
- It’s quick - The speed of its analysis, testing and implementation is mind-blowing!
- It gets results – Completed tests have achieved an uplift of between 12% and 48% in conversions!
Let’s See It In Action: Cosabella Case Study
Cosabella, a lingerie brand, was one of the first to benefit from Ascend’s AI technology.
Within seven weeks, the software tested four different items (simultaneously), made 15 different changes across those items, evaluated 160 possible designs and delivered 38% more conversions!
Here are two of the core things Cosabella changed:
- Pink buttons instead of black – customers preferred it that way
- Included messaging about culture, rather than price – the “Family-Owned Since 1983” line proved really popular
So, these aren’t massive changes, but they make a huge difference. As Cosabella continues to test and make refinements, we can only imagine how high their conversion rates will rise!
Remember, this is still a very early stage of AI – as time goes on, it will get better and better. Just imagine what will happen to your conversion rates then!
So, What Should You Do Next?
AI is set to grow and develop over the coming years, so you should too.
Start brushing up on advances in your sector, and see if you can find examples of AI in use. Case studies are great because they’ll often outline the changes companies made to improve CRO and you can … appropriate … some of those ideas.
Be careful though, adjustments that work for other companies won’t always work for yours. For true CRO, you need a completely individual approach that is tailored to your business and its target audience.
You don’t have to wait for AI to really kick in to start making those changes. You could get underway today by testing different elements of your website to see what might improve your customer experience!
This can sometimes be tricky, so if you need a hand remember that the FABRIC8 team is always happy to help.
AI is coming, and you need to be ready, but start getting to grips with CRO today and you’ll thank yourself later. AI needs testing and monitoring by humans to be successful … well, for the time being anyway … then the robots will take over!