ShopVenture Blog - The Art of A/B Testing

The Art of A/B Testing

24 Jul 2016

A/B testing is a term for a randomized experiment where you compare two versions of something to see which one performs better.

 

Here’s an easy way to think about it. Take the same handbag, with the same quality leather, the same size, color, features…and place it in two different parts of a store. As a visual merchandiser, it’s your job to conduct an experiment to find out how many sales are made from each location. Makes perfect sense, right?

 

Now take your role to the digital world, to your e-commerce store.

 

You need to compare options in this online visual experience to conclude what consumers respond to best. Basically, where do you position your products that will allow you to make the most money.

 

Just like some people may grab that real-life handbag from a table, while others would notice it on the arm of a mannequin, giving two options for the same outcome can be a true insight into the mind of your target market.

 

An A/B test is professional speak for these types of experiments.

 

You divide your live traffic into two equal groups and direct them to page A or B.

 

An A/B test can determine factors such as call-to-action, click-through rates, bounce rates, and of course conversions.

 

If you found out that more than 50% of your customers selected a pink ‘Buy Now’ button as opposed to a blue one, you’d go pink all the way!

 

 

What to Test

 

First, think about your goals and what you want to achieve from your tests. Is it testing for a specific call-to-action, imagery, or page design?


What gets your customers to convert more? Is it a call-to-action that reads “Buy one, get one free”, or “Buy two, take 50% off”.

 

You might want to find out how many customers prefer a certain font style, or if they respond better to content over an image, as opposed to text on the page.

 

You may also want to examine how many customers abandon their items if faced with a lengthy ‘sign up as a member’ form, compared with others who are only required to give a few details.

 

It can also be as simple as two different ads for an ongoing promotion, and tracking clicks and conversions on both ads.

 

Why You Test

 

If you have one opportunity to take a customer from browsing your product to placing an order, you want it to be fail-proof.

 

Conducting an A/B test will improve the quality of your content, the effectiveness of your website, and lower the risk of cart abandonment, which all leads to the ultimate goal: increased revenue.

 

Who knows, it may even lead to a great ShopVenture review, too!

How You Test

 

We recommend using these guys to make the process easier:


Google Content Experiments


Visual Website Optimizer


Optimizely


And a hint – for your emails and newsletters, Mailchimp has a built in A/B testing feature where you can split traffic between subject lines, from emails and more.

 

To Sum It Up

 

Be the ultimate online visual merchandiser for your product. A/B testing helps you to maximize the success of your e-commerce site, which equals more money in the bank.