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Viacheslav Kravchuk: " I’d start with checkout..."

Editor's note: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

At this festive time we'd like to offer you not just a business information, as it really sounds boring today, but a valuable advice. In this post we'll focus on some tips of the conversions optimization and the best ways of its analysis.

For this purpose, we asked Viacheslav Kravchuk, CEO and founder of Atwix, to answer our questions on the topic.




Viacheslav has more than 7 years of experience in e-commerce and a Master Degree in Computer Science. He is also a Certified Scrum Master and Qualified Google Analytics professional. Image source:

Being a CEO and owner of Atwix, Viacheslav manages all aspects of the business and customer relationships. He started building websites in 2002 and worked as a freelancer for the next 4 years. In 2006,  he founded his first company CRE Help, specializing in OSCommerce and custom PHP work.

In 2010, CRE Help added Magento Community and Enterprise to its profile, was re-branded, and now is known as Atwix.

aW: We know that you are an active member of the Magento Community and often take part in different Magento dedicated events as a speaker. What is the most exciting Magento event for you personally?

Viacheslav: Personally for me the most exciting event was Meet Magento Ukraine, as we were co-organising it and this was the first time that we have took part in the event’s organisation at all.

aW: Tell us a couple of words about your impressions of Meet Magento Ukraine 2014, please.

Viacheslav: Meet Magento Ukraine was quite a challenge for us. After I have made a decision together with Sergiy Lysak, CEO of Eltrino, that we’re going to make a Meet Magento Ukraine event in Kyiv back in November 2013, a lot has happened.

We do it for people, and the people’s opinion is what really matters

Our country has went through the mass protests, dramatic violence of public authorities, escape of the former president, russian annexation of Crimea and attempts to capture some of the eastern regions of Ukraine, shooting of MH17 airplane over Donbass. All this along with the economical crisis. So, as you can imagine, that did not help us much to gather attendees.

My opinion will definitely be subjective, as I’ve seen the event only from the inside. Like pretty much all of the Meet Magento organisers, we do it for people, and the people’s opinion is what really matters. In this context, I was really glad to hear the pleasant and warm feedback. So, overall I am happy with what we were able to accomplish.

aW: The conversion rate optimization is the latest subject of your public speeches. Why is the analytical background so important for proper researches and what primary tools would you recommend for newbies?

Viacheslav: I believe that today’s technology does not really require you to have an analytical background to set up A/B tests with what the majority of store owners are willing to experiment. I’d suggest Optimizely and Google Analytics as the main tools for beginners.

aW: What are the most common mistakes made during different tests?

Viacheslav: Theoretically, there are a lot of things that you can do wrong, but common sense and sober judgement will catch most of them. I’d suggest to not run multiple tests in parallel in the areas that are related to each other, verify test results with more than one tool and just try to explain the results to yourself. If you can’t, there is a chance that something was done in a wrong way.

The conversion funnel helps to see the areas for the biggest gain.

aW: What are the test areas, which usually bring the biggest gain in sales for e-commerce websites? (product pages, checkout, etc.)

Viacheslav: The conversion funnel is your best friend to see the areas for the biggest gain. Obviously, the further you are from the checkout, the less is the relative overall impact. I’d start with checkout in most of the cases.

I’d recommend to go and put yourself into the shoes of your customers. After you do so, ask someone, who have never seen before the website you’re testing, to place an order or do certain other actions. Just watch this person’s journey and you might get some more insights. Alternatively you might want to use some tools like mouseflow that records how customers interact with the store.

aW: Which technique is more effective: A/B testing or multivariate testing? When do you suggest to use one or another and why?

Viacheslav: Both techniques are effective when used in a correct way. When there are only two variations, use A/B, if there are more and complex one, go for the multivariate. Just try to not over complicate the things where possible - that’s a universal advice for everything. :)

aW: What are the most exciting use cases you can recall from your practice?

Viacheslav: The most exciting use cases often come from the tests that were set up erroneously. :) Practically all of the statistically valid results that I’ve seen could be explained.

aW: What universal still effective recipes of the user design (checkout, navigation, etc.) improvement can you announce for e-commerce or perhaps Magento stores? You know, some kind: “It is always better … than …”

Viacheslav: One of the universal and easy to implement things is removing unnecessary fields from the checkout (and by the way, you clearly have the guest checkout, right?). Another one is utilizing the secure SSL seal.

One of the universal things is removing unnecessary fields from the checkout

aW: For me testing seems to be at least a long-term or even permanent practice. Nevertheless, what is the finish point, when we can stop our tests, anyway, for quite a long time?

Viacheslav: Just like with self development, there is always a room for improvement, especially as new technologies and approaches appear, the website is evolving, etc. We can’t just stay on one place and watch.

aW: Do you have any final words for our readers?

Viacheslav: For those that are interested in A/B testing, I’d recommend to check out the resource. There is enough food for thought for months!

Other than that, thanks for reading this interview and feel free to shout any questions on Twitter to @slkra.

aW: Thank you very much for the interview, Viacheslav. We greatly appreciate your involvement. Next year we wish your company numerous clients and multiple brilliant presentations at Magento events to you personally.

If you have something to add to this post, please share your ideas in comments below.
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