As an online retail marketing professional, you’re certainly aware of the that a website can constantly be improved. Whether it’s seeking new ways to reach your target audience, developing better communications strategies, or providing greater personalization, the end goal is almost always the same: increasing revenue. But when you’re just starting out, the process can feel overwhelming.
When making improvements to your website, A/B testing is a great place to begin.What is A/B Testing?
Also called split-testing, this allows you to analyze web pages, emails and other messaging by comparing different variations and choosing the most successful version based on analytical feedback. Marketers design two pages (be they landing pages, emails, or calls to action, to name a few) with minor changes between them, and show them to a similar audience at the same time. The objective is to see which page resonates best with your online visitors, and which version leads to the highest conversion rate—like increases in click rate, open rate, or incoming revenue. Based on your results, you can decide which page variation to use going forward.
Why is A/B testing good for your business?
Within an eCommerce site, there are many different pages and elements which visitors see and experience every time they visit. Marketers can analyze and improve different variables of web pages, email messages, and calls to action (CTAs) by setting up A/B testing campaigns, gathering data and testing for improved performance. Setting up A/B testing campaigns can help you get more familiar with your customers’ behaviors, so that you make changes aimed at gaining more qualified leads, better customer retention and increased sales overall. Generally speaking, A/B testing can help your website achieve better results.
How can you begin A/B testing?
Begin by taking a hard look at your data to find any potential problem areas (such as low newsletter sign-ups, frequent cart abandonment, or missed sales opportunities). Start by asking yourself pointed questions about the nature of your site, from content to design to customer checkout process. For example, you might ask questions like:
- Am I using the right words in my calls to action?
- Should my call to action buttons be green? Red? A different shape?
- Do my images need to be bigger or smaller?
- Are my headlines clear and engaging?
- Should I incorporate customer testimonials on my product pages?
- Is the checkout process straightforward and fast?
Once you think about these questions in light of your website analytics, you can start to make educated guesses about how certain adjustments might get you closer to your goals. Then, you can begin designing new versions of your web pages or emails (version A and version B) to see which variations are most successful in achieving your goals—from newsletter sign-ups, a better email open rate, to increased sales of a particular product.
In a case study by Strands Retail, one online retailer implemented A/B testing to refine and improve merchandising performance. Over time, the site saw an 11.2% gain in sales revenue.
Strands Retail provides global personalization and recommendation solutions that empower online retailers to offer a superior customer experience. We can also can help improve your eCommerce site by facilitating A/B tests, monitoring the data, and evaluating the results.
Our new eBook, A Retail Marketer´s Guide to A/B Testing Campaigns - Top Tests You Should Be Performing, will help to guide you in your quest to improve your eCommerce site with A/B testing.
In this eBook, you'll learn:
- The ins and outs of A/B testing and why it matters to your business
- Guidelines for developing an effective A/B testing strategy
- How to make hypotheses and design a successful test
- Tips for evaluating your results