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A/B testing: The quickest way to improve ecommerce conversions

A/B testing is a process whereby you test two sets of content to see which gets the best results. Improving the user experience on your website is a powerful way to improve conversion rates.

How does A/B testing work?

To demonstrate how it works, let's use a simple example. If you had two images you're thinking of using on your webpage; you could run an A/B test to see which one is better received. 

Half of your visitors would see the first image (A), and the second half would see the other image (B). You could then add up the total number of orders received for each image used and determine which bought in the most sales. Software is available that makes this type of testing easy to carry out. 

You could even test more than two options at one time. However, in most cases, option A is usually the control or current piece of content. 

You could also run multivariate tests, which allows you to run several tests concurrently, so you make the most of your traffic. So, instead of testing one feature, you can simultaneously test images, texts, prices, offers, buttons, etc.

Each visitor will see a different combination of images and text. Once enough data is collected, decide which works best on your website, and implement the changes permanently. 

A/B Testing
Image source: Optimizely

Determine what A/B test to run based on what you want to figure out. Always make decisions when the data is statistically significant. Then analyze the difference and make the necessary improvements.

It requires enough time and data for statistically significant results. When you have a small budget, it is not advisable to run experiments or other A/B tests regularly.

Don’t just do A/B testing for A/B testing. You should also know that the results of the A/B test are not always 100% reliable. Always keep an eye on performance, and be agile and observant.

Benefits of testing

The benefits of testing override the effort and time spent on the exercise, and make it all worthwhile. 

  1. Objective decisions: Many marketers and business owners base their decisions on opinions rather than facts. That guesswork falls away when testing; if a test doesn't have a clear winner, you lose nothing. You still learn from it and discard the losing variation. You don't want to keep it, but that's what happens in companies when they don't test. 
  2. Success builds on successesYou get to find out what works and never accidentally discard it if it does work. So as you try different things and establish the winning data, you keep repeating the process, and in that way, your website performance and conversion rates keep improving. 
  3. Clear direction for growth: A/B testing guides you in the right direction by showing you what you should be doing more or less on your website. You might be surprised at the results. Often, what you think will work doesn't get the desired results from visitors. If you don't test, you'll never know how you should grow. 
  4. Easier decision-making processMost companies work on a traditional decision-making trajectory. An idea first, then a meeting to decide whether to implement it, and then, if agreed, implement it. With testing, you can postpone the decision until you know it's right. 
Best User Experience

What should you test?

You can test almost anything on your website that's visible to your visitors. However, just because you can test everything doesn't mean you should try to tweak the entire design. So instead, focus on changes that are most likely to have the most significant impact on conversions.

The following are some of the features you'll want to consider testing:

  • Headlines
  • All the call-to-actions
  • Sales copy and product descriptions
  • Images
  • Buttons (color, size, placement)
  • Navigation bar
  • Page layouts

A/B testing is crucial in conversion rate optimization since it guides you toward the perfect website for optimum conversions. One rule to remember when planning your tests is that you want to be bold in your testing when you're still growing. 

Make significant changes so that you can get concise data. Then, when you have enough traffic, you can run more subtle tests, as there will be enough people coming through to give you results you can see and use. 

Google Ads testing

You can test various designs and assets from your Google Ads dashboard. 

  • Use the Google Ads experimenting function to A/B test bidding strategy, audience targeting, bids, etc. 
  • Feed A/B testing: use 3rd party tools to test different [title]s & other attributes
  • Ad copy A/B testing inside one campaign to test out:
    • Different brand tones and assets(*images, videos, headlines, descriptions, etc.)
    • Different targeting focuses(concerns, benefits, ingredients, etc.)
    • Various landing pages(homepage with a CTA, collection page, product page, bundle page, etc.)
What to A/B test

A/B testing - a marketer's secret weapon

It is only easy to decipher what customers want when they visit your website if you ask them or run A/B tests. The user experience (UX) is one of the most crucial features of your website, so you do want to pay attention to the testing results. 

You can have the most exciting product and offer, but if your customer can't navigate the site and buy it, then you're up the creek with no paddle. 

Relying on luck in terms of UX design isn't going to grow business. Instead, test everything more often and continue even when your sales are at all-time highs. Constant feedback from tests will ensure your site is always at its peak and optimized for high conversions.

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