Nov 2, 2023

How to use ChatGPT for CRO - Interview with Sander Volbeda

Sander Volbeda - Interview
Sander Volbeda - Interview
Rebecca Anderson - Author

Rebecca Anderson

How to use ChatGPT for CRO - Interview with Sander Volbeda

There’s a lot of buzz lately about the potential use cases for AI tools like ChatGPT. But when it comes to conversion optimization, this is more than just fluff. There are many practical uses cases where AI can come in handy to assist with CRO tasks. 

We discussed this and more in a recent episode of "Click to Buy”, where Instant welcomed Sander Volbeda, a CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) specialist from the Netherlands.

In addition to CRO consulting, he hosts a podcast called Golden Nuggets for Experimentation, and has developed his own tool called CRO-Tool.com.  

This article explores the main takeaways from our discussion, including how AI can be used to facilitate conversion rate optimization and a debate over 3 popular eCommerce tactics. 

To listen to our full conversation, tune into the full episode. 

3 ways to use ChatGPT for CRO

1. Accelerating data analysis with AI

Sifting through large volumes of data, like survey responses can be a time consuming task. 

Sander uses ChatGPT avoids spending hours of manual sorting by using ChatGPT to group similar answers, providing a summarized top 10 list.

This rapid analysis allows for quick data-driven decisions without the usual time-consuming process.

2. Creative content inspiration

In addition to data analysis, Sander has found ChatGPT useful for generating creative content ideas, like product titles and descriptions. 

When creating your prompt, be sure to request multiple options so that you can mix or match the results for the best fit. This mixes the power of AI’s speed, with your own human judgement. 

3. Implementing frameworks & generating scripts

Creating experimentation frameworks for landing pages is another practical usecase for ChatGPT. 

For example, if there's a need for a countdown script for a temporary sale, ChatGPT can provide a foundational JavaScript, expediting the development process.

Or, if you’re using a framework like Jobs To Be Done, with the right prompts, you can generate ideas to experiment with. 

Sander also touched upon the potential for AI to draft scripts for podcasts or content. With AI's transcription and summarization capabilities, it can convert podcast audio into a structured article, offering versatility in content delivery.

4. The importance of proper querying

In order to make the most out of ChatGPT with your CRO efforts, it’s important to understand what exactly you are asking. 

This may seem like common sense, but a precise query yields a more accurate result.

If users aren't clear with their requests or lack understanding of the final output they need, AI's output might not be optimal. 

At the end of the day, AI tools, including ChatGPT, are powerful but need the right human direction.

Although there are resources online that offer a database of prompts, Sander prefers crafting his own. This ensures that the prompts are tailored specifically to his requirements.

However, Sander notes the personal nature of this preference, emphasizing the importance of control and optimization in his work process.

5. AI's "Dark Side"

The human component of AI generation leads to what is sometimes called the "dark side of AI"—its effectiveness is contingent on the user's capability. 

In essence, AI is a tool, and its efficacy is determined by how adeptly you use it. 

To overcome this risk, you need to blend the right mix of technology and human oversight. 

The key is to harness AI's capabilities while maintaining a clear understanding of the objectives and desired outcomes.

This or that: debating eCommerce tactics

In addition to discussing the how to use AI for CRO, Sander also offered his advice on common eCommerce conversion tactics.

Personalized recommendations vs. bestsellers: What's better for a brand's homepage?

Sander leans towards a personalized experience when it comes to crafting your homepage content, if you are focusing on returning visitors. 

But notes that highlighting trending items might work better for new visitors. Especially considering the importance of seasonality in eCommerce sales. For example, in the summer, highlighting top sellers like bathing suits of flip-flops might be attractive to both new and returning users. 

For a personalized experience for returning viewers, Sander recommends showcasing products they viewed during their last visit or suggesting related products. 

Exit intent pop-ups vs. scroll-based pop-ups: Which retains users better?

Diving deeper into user retention strategies, we aske Sander about his stance on pop-ups. 

Should brands opt for exit intent pop-ups that appear when a user is about to leave the site, or scroll-based pop-ups that emerge as users scroll through a webpage?

First, Sander clarified their primary role in his strategy: collecting visitor information. 

He expressed concerns about exit intent pop-ups on mobiles and tablets due to detection challenges. 

On the other hand, scroll-based pop-ups function across devices. But, setting them up requires careful consideration of user scrolling patterns.

For those considering an exit intent pop-up, Sander highlighted its utility for desktop users. 

It can be a valuable tool for gathering feedback about why visitors contemplate leaving a website. 

As for scroll-based pop-ups, he advised tying them to specific calls-to-action, like enticing users with discounts in exchange for newsletter subscriptions.

He suggests that the ideal pop-up type might depend on the user's device and the specific goals a brand aims to achieve with its pop-ups.

Carousel vs. static hero image: Which performs better on your homepage?

Sander warns against using carousels, citing personal experience and their technical pitfalls. 

Carousels, especially those not optimized properly, can dramatically increase the load time of a website, which isn't conducive to a seamless user experience. 

This becomes particularly problematic for mobile users who might be accessing the site on-the-go without the advantage of a strong WiFi connection.

The power of precise messaging

Instead of overwhelming visitors with a carousel that tries to communicate too much, Sander recommends focusing on clarity. 

He advises brands to concentrate on crafting a compelling title, subtitle, and a clear call to action.

By testing and optimizing these elements, businesses can enhance the click-through rate to other pages or even convert visitors into leads. 

Overloading with information via a carousel might dilute the primary message a brand is trying to convey. Therefore, specificity in messaging trumps volume of information.

The problem with auto-advancing carousels

Sander draws a distinction between user-controlled carousels and auto-advancing ones. 

With user-controlled carousels, visitors can swipe through items at their own pace. 

Autorotating carousels can miss the mark, because they disrupt the user experience. 

Instead, Sander recommends creating static hero images, combined with clear CTAs. This way you can create a clear message and positive experience for online shoppers. 


The main takeaways from our discussion with Sander were this: when it comes to AI and CRO the possibilities are growing! But, it is up to you to create prompts that match your experimentation efforts. Similarly, when trying different eCommerce tactics on your site, you need to focus on what matches your specific audience.

What works for another brand might not work for yours. The exciting part of experimentation, is that you can test these things (like AI and different CRO tactics) to figure out how to improve your customer experience. Focusing on your CRO from this perspective is a surefire way to increase your conversion rate. 

Subscribe to the Newsflash

Subscribe to the Newsflash

Weekly Shopify tips from our founder in your inbox. Read in 3-mins or less. Start converting like an eCommerce expert.

Start building now

Explore Instant today to start building high-converting landing pages and sections, no-code required.

Start building now

Explore Instant today to start building high-converting landing pages and sections, no-code required.




© Instant

Start building now

Explore Instant today to start building high-converting landing pages and sections, no-code required.




© Instant