Why you need to consider A/B testing
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing, or split testing, is a method of comparing two versions of the same web page, email or other marketing asset, to see which performs best. In e-commerce, A/B testing can be used to determine which assets or designs lead to a better outcome. Those outcomes can be whatever your goals are, including email newsletter signups, reduced cart abandonment, conversions, upsells or increased average order value.
Why use A/B testing?
Especially in e-commerce, you want your customer experience to be as fluid and problem-free as possible. If you’re looking to grow as a business, you’ll likely want to make more sales or increase the average order value too. Who doesn’t want that, right?
A/B testing allows you to test new ideas and designs before fully committing to them. If done correctly, you should gain valuable insight into user behaviour and determine which version works best.
The best thing about it is that it’s supported by solid data and not assumptions or guesswork. You can easily determine which type of button led to more signups or which offer drove the most sales.
Without trying A/B testing, you’re oblivious to the possibilities a few changes could make. You may find that some tests fail and don’t improve anything. But that’s a perfect excuse to try something else!
Examples of A/B testing
As an e-commerce company here are some of the things you may want to consider testing:
- Copy or product descriptions
- Pricing and promotions
- Checkout procedure
- Home page/landing page design
- Promotional emails
- Social media advertisements
Things to note
When starting A/B testing, make sure you’ve got an idea of what your goal is and what you want to test. Use the data you have at your disposal to make an informed decision about what to test. If you can see a certain product page is not generating as many conversions as others, investigate what could be the cause first.
When carrying out the A/B testing, it’s important to have a control experience and a variation of that. Testing too many variables at once can also make it difficult to determine what was responsible for the success or failure of the test. Test multiple pages at once, but don’t overdo it on the variables.
To be confident in your results, you need to ensure your sample size is large enough. If your website only receives 10 visits per week, the results might not be a true representation whereas a lot of visits makes a more meaningful dataset. With the unclear results, you might make changes that will do more harm than good. Be sure to have enough traffic for your testing. One way to gain more traffic to your site is to invest in advertising.
Once you’ve mastered the A/B testing of your website in general then remember that ads and their landing pages can also be A/B tested too.
It’s not a one-time fling
A/B testing shouldn’t be a one-time thing, it should be something that you are regularly experimenting with to optimise your website. If one thing doesn’t work, try testing something else. And just because one A/B test yields great results, doesn’t mean that you can’t do better.