What is A/B testing?
- A/B testing typically involves comparisons between two given versions of web pages or even applications to determine the version that tends to perform better. This given method is also known as “Bucket Testing” as well as “Split Testing” to others.
- Similarly, other website developers identify with another definition of the term as a presentation of 50% users or visitors with other alternatives of a given version of a web page for testing the effectiveness of groups of particular variables.
- Either way, A/B testing tend to be evaluated on the grounds of whether the alternative pages appear to attain higher conversion rates. Therefore, in ensuring that the relevant outcome is not affected by uneven sample sizes, one has to split every page version among all users or visitors evenly – and thus the term “split testing.”
Why A/B Tests?
- Every existing page on every e-commerce site inclines to promote some desired actions that are to be taken by users or visitors. Thus, A/B testing aims at increasing the conversion rates of such activities or actions as appropriate.
Additionally, A/B testing allow people, groups, as well as e-commerce organizations, make careful alterations to their visitor’s experience as they collect data or information on the results.
- Hence, this ends up allowing them construct hypotheses, as well as learn better on why some given elements or aspects of their experiences tend to impact the user behavior. In other ways, they can also be proven wrong – their opinion involving best experiences for specific goals can be proven wrong using an A/B Test.
- More than just providing answers for one-off questions or settling agreements, A/B Tests can also be incorporated consistently to improve given experiences, as well as developing single goal like conversion rates over a given duration.
A/B Tests and the Conversion Rates
Conversion rates for most e-commerce websites can include:
- The purchase of product – This is the primary as well as most important conversion for most online stores or e-commerce sites.
- Subscribing to services.
- Signing up for newsletters.
- Submitting survey responses.
- Generally, A/B Tests can be said to aim at getting the most out of the existing traffics by optimizing the web page to promoting conversions. The increasing traffic will garner results; however, A/B Tests aim at optimizing the given page to increase revenues with the current spend.
In theory, one can also use A/B testing for examining just about anything. However, A/B Tests tends to take time, and if one is not having some ordered plans involving what they want to test, there could be a lot of it wasted. The objective is not to test numerous page elements that will increase the conversions by 0.1%. Instead, one would want to focus on the relevant tests that will give them big wins.
For instance, an e-commerce B2B organization can see the need to improve their sales lead quality as well as volumes of their campaign landing pages. In such cases, the organization has an option to incorporate A/B Test changes on their headlines, visual imagery, the form fields, calls to action, as well as the overall layout of the page.Therefore, before one can do anything, they are best off sending a few consumer surveys to get them in the correct or right ballpark. It is from there that one can actually identify with some of the few components that need testing, such as Calls to Action (CTAs) – This includes wording, designs or placements of pop-ups, sign ups or sales buttons, or portals that bring visitors deeper into the website.
- Calls to Action (CTAs) – This includes wording, designs or placements of pop-ups, sign ups or sales buttons, or portals that bring visitors deeper into the website.
- Headlines – What is considered as enticing to the viewers?
- Images – Video clips, the audio testimonials, as well as hero images.
- Product pricing as well as promotional offers.
- Product pictures as well as placements on pages.
- Long-form sales page versus short.
- The timing of upsells – Right after purchases, or just before?
- Testimonials, logos, as well as more evidence of social proof.
- Forms – For instance, does that CAPTCHA turn everyone away? How many given boxes are considered as too many?
- The navigation structure – Some pages tend to perform best with few navigation options on landing pages, while others incline to increase in conversions when visitors have easy access to the additional content.
- No matter one’s focus, it is significant to analyze the outcome in greater contexts of sales funnels. Thus, in a case where one CTA tends to draw visitors deeper into the website, however, makes them less probable to make purchases down the line, an e-commerce organization would like to have such into their account.
- Hence, a proof further demonstrating the fact that revenue generation is the ultimate goal, as well as it is vital that users or viewers do not get lost before they can swipe their credit cards.
A/B Testing Case Studies
When over 36 signals launched Highrise, their intentions were to test the efficiency involving the site’s signup headlines. One of the headlines read, “Start a Highrise account,” followed with a sub-header: “Pay as you go. 30-day trial. No hidden fees.” Subsequently, the other header read, “30-Day Free Trial on all Accounts,” with the relative sub-headline of, “Sign-up takes less than 60 seconds. Pick a plan to get started!” Following the over 2,000 views of the pages as well as several other relative test headers, the results dropped off, and the experimenters decided to pull the plug at nearly 4,000. The corresponding results exhibit that the second headline had an almost 30% higher conversion rates that the original. Now that is an outcome worth learning! Here is an example which shows how Avactis, one of the best shopping cart solution for e-commerce business uses a headline as “Free Trial” for its users.
2. Medalia Art:
Everyone believe that a picture is often worth a thousand words. However, that all tend to depend on the number of clicks as well as the revenue it generates. With a better A/B Testing on the humans vs. objects as well as abstract imageries, Medalia Art reports indicated that human photos on landing pages tend to increase conversions.
With the recent launch of DistilledU (a common online education gateway for web marketing) while in Beta, several features were played around with, such as the designs, and focus points among others. The most interesting data point involve its initial launch of the landing page, where the “Enrol Now” button was used in place of the American spelling “Enroll Now.” Within a few hours, the site had received dozens of e-mails from their test participants with notifications involving the “typo.” Hence, it is sometimes the littlest details that can make vast differences.
Launching an A/B Test
The following involves a typical A/B testing structure that e-commerce website owners can incorporate to start running tests:
1. Collect Data – Look at competitors as well as examine the internal information to find the areas that can be potentially improved with testing.
2. Create a Hypothesis – Based on your current findings, and gut feeling, make any assertions to be tested. For instance, visitors are not sure where to locate the ‘shipping information’ on the landing page; therefore, if it is to be prominently shown on the top navigation, relative conversion rates will increase.
3. Determine the Variables – A/B Tests are scientific experiments and ought to be executed with proper controls so as to attain accurate conclusions.
4. Set Parameters – A/B Test calculators can be incorporated to determine the lengths of time as well as the volume of users required for a reliable test. Thus, all e-commerce sites essentials apart from the variable being tested ought to be kept identical to attain valid results.
5. Launch the Test – Use an A/B testing platform to initiate the test as well as record the findings.
Tips and Tricks for Successful A/B Testing
1. Avoid Cloaking – The use of a given e-commerce site content for human viewership as well as another for robots/aliens to view — to elude negative SEO effects, for instance, the demotion of a website’s Google search-engine rankings.
2. Incorporate temporary (302) URL redirects (instead of the permanent 301), because it is regarded as a limited-time experiment.
3. Only run the A/B test as long as required to collect the information needed to generate solid choices between versions A and versions B. Once enough information is compiled, the time is best aided by implementing any necessary changes as well as moving on to other tests.
4. Use rel=”canonical” – If an e-commerce site owner runs an A/B test with several URLs, they should incorporate the rel=”canonical” attributes to point the variants back to their original versions of the landing pages. In doing so, it will aid them to prevent getting confused by the numerous versions of the same webpage.
A/B Testing has been considered as a powerful tool as well as an essential approach for any e-commerce website owners and marketers. After all, it is always difficult to know whether or not all efforts appear to be paying off unless one has the experimental information to back it up. This sounds complicated; however, mastering this technique pose worth in conversions, revenue, as well as happy customers. So it is important that you read up, pick your desirable variables, and get going!