What works really well and can deliver the triple digit increases is when you understand your users and can empathise with them. If you can feel their pain and understand what motivates them and what causes them anxiety then you can understand how to reduce their anxiety and provide them with answers before they have to go searching all over your site for them.
What doesn’t work well is when you do designs, or copy or tests by committee. Designers should design, copy writers should write their copy and CRO specialists should do the testing. So many times I have heard “well we had these two ideas we will go with this because its new/cool/what everyone else is doing but we can test it afterwards to see if it works”. Or generally just following the ideas of the client/Hippo in your organisation. Your client/Hippo is not your user what they like or think is not the same as your users. Always remember that it’s your users that you should optimise for they are the ones that will convert.
I think we are moving towards a user centric approach where content is king. The margins online are so tight that you can no longer just compete on price. The user’s online experience will be what counts. I used to buy from Amazon because they had the best prices, I now do it because it’s the easiest and simplest e-commerce store out there, I can get everything Prime eligible the next day and their customer service is regularly voted top of the industry.
Speaking of Amazon they are also one of the few companies that do personalisation well and I think that is fast becoming the next big thing. As we share more and more of our data we can expect that in the next few years their won’t be one web site anymore, even new visitors will be served personalised sites based upon their