We deliver a proven uplift on sales for our clients thanks to our proven AWA Conversion System™

The AWA Conversion System™ (AWACS) is a proven 5-step process that we developed to bring a structure and a certainty to Conversion Rate Optimisation.

As noted by Econsultancy, a structured approach is "one of the best predictors that a company will have improved conversion and sales".

It is used on all our projects for our clients, with consistently good results, and we have trained many in-house teams to use the system. Companies around the world have adopted the approach by following five steps described below or in our book, Ecommerce Website Optimization.

The AWA Conversion System™ - overview

The infographic below shows all five steps, from initial set up to the continuous circle of creative work and testing that leads to growth.

The size of the circles represents how much time and importance is allocated to each of the stages.


Stage 1 - Tool set up 

At the start we define the business objectives and select relevant tools that can be installed on the site to give us insights and data. There are dozens to choose from including heatmaps, questionnaires and surveys, all helping us discover exactly how your website visitors behave and how they perceive the experience of using your site.

We have a team dedicated to selecting the tools, making sure they are up to date (new software comes onto the market all the time) and getting them in place as quickly as possible. The faster the tools are working and producing the data we need to analyse the quicker our conversion optimisers can get to work.

We also look at the analytics product you are using such as Google Analytics, Omniture, Coremetrics or WebTrends. If it is not set up properly, we will configure it, to make sure the data is reliable, and covers all the information we need.  One of our first tasks is to analyse the customer journey so that we can see where most people are dropping out. In the example below, we can see that the point were most visitors are dropping out, so we can see exactly where to focus the initial research efforts.

Customer Journey


Stage 2 - Insight generation

At the early stages, we don’t know which research techniques will give us the most useful insights into what will make it easier for people to buy from your website.

That’s why we use dozens of different research techniques, picking the ones that give us a deep understanding of the issues.  We are known for the high quality of our research which is unparalleled for its depth and breadth. From speaking to your call centre and store staff, to reading thousands of survey responses and hours watching real customers use your site, we leave nothing to chance to truly get to the heart of the customer needs.


We are driven by the need to find answers to key questions such as:

  • Why did your customers choose you?
  • Why did they nearly not choose you?
  • Why are potential customers falling out of the process?

Stage 3 - Triage™

After 4-6 weeks of intensive research and analysis, there will be an abundance of ideas for improvements on your website. A fundamental part of the AWA Conversion System is a method to prioritise these improvements, so that we can focus on those that are likely to get us the biggest wins.

We refer to our method as Triage. Each potential improvement is given a weighting, based on a number of criteria. These include:

  • The strength of evidence that making a change will improve conversion
  • How large that improvement is likely to be
  • How easy it is for the business to implement (both on the website and within the organisation)

Once each possible improvement has been scored they are ranked in order and plotted on a matrix, which assigns them to one of four possible outcomes.  Two of them are simple – Yes for those that look very promising and No for those that look weak. We have two other categories; Park means we will come back to it later when more analysis has taken place, and Bundle means that the issue is too small for consideration, but could be put with some other small issues to make it worthwhile.


YES– Improvements likely to bring the biggest and juiciest returns in the fastest time. These are the most exciting.

BUNDLE – Each one has potential, but individually is too small to be capable of strong uplift. It may be possible to cluster several together to become as rewarding as YES opportunities.

PARK – These represent improvements that may turn into YES or BUNDLE, but more analysis, research and hypothesis is needed to be sure. They are a low priority.

NO – These should be avoided to prevent a slippery and painful bump

Stage 4 - Optimisation plan

Once all the possible improvements have been prioritised we create a plan, describing the experiments we would recommend are run first.  

The infographic below demonstrates how the plan is a working tool, not a rigid document. The decision tree after each test shows that results of one test directly influences what happens next.

If we get unexpectedly good results, we may iterate to try and squeeze out even more. Equally, if a test shows a downturn in conversion, we may investigate the reasons why then go back to the hypothesis and apply the learnings to come up with a new treatment. Often these are the tests that lead to the most dramatic uplifts, because there is the deepest understanding of the underlying issues.

Optimisation Plan

Our Optimisation Plan is not fixed in stone. If we get super-extraordinary results from testing one hypothesis, our experience tells us that there are even more results to be gained from fine-tuning this further. Therefore we may refine and develop the Optimisation Plan as time goes on.

Stage 5 - Creative execution

Creative work for split tests is prepared in a methodical way to give the new treatment the best chance of delivering double or triple-digit sales uplifts.

As in any scientific experiment, the hypothesis is formally stated. This gives everyone on the team the insight and knowledge to create the best solution.

Before we launch a split-test we get use a peer review system to get input on the wireframe and copy from all members of the AWA team. Our specialist designers and copywriters are experts in producing new web pages in your brand style that have the potential to improve sales.

Our technical teams are experts at building and running advanced tests and our statisticians ensure the results can be trusted.

Creative Execution

This creates a virtuous circle of constant improvement, as well as helping us achieve a substantial uplift in sales in the shortest possible time.

Why our system is better and different

The AWA Conversion System™ is at the core of how we deliver double- or even triple-digit increases in sales.

It offers you:

  • A clear understanding of what your existing customers value about your business as well as how to persuade potential customers to place that important first order
  • Accurate, evidence-based guidance on what improvements to test first, what to ignore and what needs further research
  • The curiosity, the courage and commercial acumen to ask revealing questions
  • A comprehensive range of techniques and data sources so you can be sure of the strength and accuracy of our recommendations
  • A unique and proven prioritisation process to ensure the effectiveness of the whole programme.
  • Reduced expense and risk - we ensure our tests have a high probability of success before you spend a penny on development
  • A simple and easy-to-use process that is guaranteed to work. We are constantly improving the process and can offer you support and training you if you want to adopt it yourself.

What to
do next…

1. Download free CRO resources

Access our helpful free guides on all aspects of CRO from the mysteries of Universal Analytics, to web copy, usability, split testing and more. Or sign up for our 11 helpful tips; two weeks of CRO golden nuggets, sent straight to your inbox.

2. Buy ‘E-commerce Website Optimization’ 

Amazon business book, co-written by AWA’s CEO and COO, Dan Croxen-John and Johann van Tonder. Buy on Amazon

3. Call us and ask how we would optimise your site

What help do you need? A little extra resource to help your team code up split tests faster, or make sense of analytics? Or a full service optimisation agency, able to handle international websites? Just call 020 7887 2695 and ask for a quote.