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1 Jun

Increase Your Online Sales by 15% with A/B Experiments

Author: Matt Wrhel

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Direct Marketing

Increase your online sales with A/B testing

Every day I scour the web and brainstorm with clients and colleagues to develop new ideas to test. When I find something interesting or novel, I log it into my bank of test ideas. With this repository, plus my bank of proven experiments, I then face the question: “Which idea should I test next?”

Ultimately we experiment to “move the needle,” and I like to test ideas that have a chance to make the greatest impact. I consider 9 different criteria when evaluating tests, and assign a point for each. I then rank the test from highest to lowest within each area of the site that the test will impact: home page, category, product, cart, checkout, etc.

The criteria I use for ranking are:

  • Proven winner from other sites – If a test has won in A/B testing on other sites, then assign it a point.
  • Supports a primary measure – If the test supports a top metric, such as order conversion or revenue, then assign a point. Points are not earned for less important metrics like bounce rate.
  • Mobile – If the test idea helps optimize the mobile experience, then give a point.
  • Above the fold – Tests that impact elements above the fold are more likely to have a significant impact, and thus, earn a point.
  • Multiple conversion veins – Conversion veins are themes that impact the customer experience and ultimately conversion. They include (with examples):
    1. Display of pricing – % Off, Cross thru Prices
    2. Urgency – Order by 3 pm for same day shipping
    3. Navigation – Roll over top nav, back to top button
    4. Reduce friction – guest login, social login
    5. Trust – Secure shopping icons
    6. Layout – Simplifying the page, adding space to help eye flow
    7. Social proof – Reviews, Facebook likes, testimonials
    8. Visual presentation – Alternative product images, dynamic zoom

If your test includes more than one of these themes, then give it a point.

  • Checkout – Assign a point to any test that impacts the checkout process.
  • New content – If a tests adds or removes elements or content from a page, then give it a point. Points are not earned if only existing content is changed.
  • Supports a strategic company initiative – If a test helps promote a strategic business initiative, then give it a point.
  • Audience – If the test targets all of the site traffic, then give it a point.

Once I have my rankings complete, I sort them by the area of the site to which they apply, e.g., Product Page, Category Page, Cart, etc. I like to have multiple tests running across the site concurrently, but want to avoid more than one test running within a particular area of the site. Sometimes I’ll prioritize easier-to-implement tests ahead of more difficult ones in order to continue running tests during the engineering process. The goal is to always be testing!

With a strong A/B testing program, you should see at least 15% improvement in your site performance annually. If you need help putting a website optimization program in place, don’t hesitate to reach out. We can work directly with your team to apply the appropriate software and testing tools. 

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