Selling products may just be one of the most challenging sources of income amidst an unfriendly economy. More than ever, consumers are tightening their grip on hard-earned cash. Getting people to pay for the things you offer as a businessman have therefore become more knotty.
Contrary to what most entrepreneurs believe, it is more cumbersome to run a business over the Internet. For one, the user base is so vast that it would be difficult for amateurs to pluck their niche from the pool. The cosmic nature of the World Wide Web also makes it difficult for merchants to find the most viable buyers of their products.
(Courtesy of Bruce Clay, Inc)
Yet things can get easier if it’s the consumers that find your online shop (instead of the other way around). This is where optimization becomes crucial. But is it enough?
What happens after the customers find your website defines the success of your biz. You shouldn’t settle for high volume of traffic spawned by high ranks and online presence.
Conversion is what you need to thrive. And conversion is what A/B Testing can bring you.
Know the Right Conversion Elements to Test
Framing a question that could be answered by the technique can give you a clear direction. There’s nothing wrong with aiming to raise site conversion rates and profits for every visitor through split testing. But you could do better when you become acquainted with all the possible factors that affect conversion rates. These would include:
1. The entirety of the site design: comprised of background colors, headlines, texts, images, buttons, tabs, layout, forms, etc.
2. Product pricing
3. Deals and Offerings: includes discounts, free shipping, cross-selling, etc.
4. Relevance of web content/ products to the visitors
5. Competition: how your site, price, promotion, and content fair up to your rivals
These could pose intricacy in the selection of elements to test, given that A/B testing allows you to examine one component at a time. It is then imperative to evaluate each of these areas in order to amass some ideas on how you can heighten customer satisfaction.
If your buyers constantly clamor for quick check out process, then you may test a couple of payment methods. Or if the competition is touting a more affordable price, you can check how a less hefty price tag affects your conversion rates.
When you opted to test the website design elements, be sure to make a variant that is compatible even to smaller screens. Tailoring the two page versions for tablets and other mobile devices increases the chance of acquiring more participants for the experiment.
Make a Clear Hypothesis and Basis of Measurement
After determining the areas that endow opportunities for improvement, you should brainstorm solutions on how you can measure the success of each adjustment. The trick here is to look past the revenue or sales you get from traffic. You should also focus on lead generation, subscription to newsletters, and other results spawned by the call to action.
For example, you decided to test the cart page. You should then make a hypothesis that placing the call to action above the fold of the page can boost click-thru rates from the cart page towards the check out funnel.
Then run the A/B Testing with one version bearing the call to action above the fold and the other having the button from its original spot.
Metric is then concentrated on the number of visitors that landed in the check out pages via call to action buttons.
Look at the Bigger Picture
It is natural to keep your eye on the results, but each action you make also requires attention. It helps to clearly articulate all the changes you made and record the level of success for each test.
Note that you should refrain from obsessing with design elements that can bring sales. While profits give the meat from the test, you should also set eye on components that may affect bounce rates and engagement of the audience in the website. These are, after all, main contributors to conversion rates.
Analysis on the data gathered from A/B Testing shouldn’t therefore be made solely on the number of purchases. You should also record the number of click out rates towards landing pages and the length of each visitor’s stay.
Skirt the Glitches
One of the common mistakes of A/B testing is the changing an element only to have it obsolete or pushed out by another set of adjustments. This can gravely tarnish the data you’re supposed to get from the test, especially when the period allotted for the experiment is not completed.
At the same time, a new design that rolls in the middle of an existing test can potentially create drastic changes on consumer behavior and metrics.
Ruben Corbo is a freelance writer that writes about technology, gaming, music, and online marketing especially topics about A/B split testing and how to run multivariate tests. You can read more information on Maxymiser’s AB Testing guide for a better understanding on how it works. Ruben is also an avid gamer and music composer for short films and other visual arts.