Testing is the most fundamental way of experimenting with users. Be it your blog, affiliate website, or the eCommerce A/B testing.
In fact, it is one of the most effective ways to increase your Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). But it only works if you as a marketer understand what to test and how the results could work in your favor. There isn’t a one size fits all testing idea, different tests can yield different results. And depending on what you’re trying to gauge and the result you’re aiming for, implementing the right a/b testing approach is vital.
- What is A/B testing?
- How does eCommerce A/B Testing Works?
- eCommerce A/B testing ideas for your business
- 1. Categories personalization for homepage
- 2. Search-based testing
- 3. Checkout page
- 4. Products images & description
- 5. Recommended & related product pages
- 6. Email testing ideas
- 7. Ad campaigns testing ideas
- 8. Social media testing
- 9. Mobile navigation
- Best eCommerce A/B testing tools
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing is also termed ‘split testing’ in the online space. It is a method of experimenting with the two different versions of your web page, ads, email, or social media posts and then analyzing the results.
A/B testing is not a cakewalk; neither is it magic. Most people think A/B testing is a tweak of CTAs and colors. Unfortunately, it is much deeper than we think.
A/B Testing is not a one-day deal. It’s more like training regularly at the gym until you get the results.
How does eCommerce A/B Testing Works?
To start with the A/B testing, you need a goal, hypothesis, and a few testing tools which I have shared in the later section.
You can perform the A/B tests on your action button, emails, social media posts, paid ads, and checkout pages in eCommerce.
‘A’ is the current version of your web page and ‘B’ is the tweaked page where you will compare the results. Now, you can drive half of your traffic to page ‘A’ and the other half to page ‘B’. Finally, you can compare the performance of each page by analyzing the effective conversions.
- Let’s say, you have created a shorter version of your email for your customers. However, you want to test it against the longer version.
- You can use any email marketing software that tracks the CTR of your email.
- Divide your email list into half and send the shorter version to the first list while the longer version to another list.
- Finally, you can compare the two results after a week.
Don’t know what type of a/b test to run for your e-commerce store? here are some ideas you can start with!
eCommerce A/B testing ideas for your business
Your eCommerce website has various elements for split testing. Hence, you can make changes to the Homepage, sitewide changes, CTAs, Category pages, Products and Images, and changes to the checkout cart.
1. Categories personalization for homepage
Your Homepage decides the bounce rate as well as the conversions on your website. Imagine your homepage being uncluttered; with a lot of categories and products.
While this might be good for first-time customers, but not for the customers with the intention of buying. The best way is to personalize the categories based on the user’s behavior and history.
Well, this is what sites with wide categories like Amazon and eBay do. After the first visit by their customers, they show up the personalized homepage categories based on the users’ history.
And, if you talk about category personalization, Netflix knows how to nail it.
2. Search-based testing
Once you have personalized the categories, the next thing is to sort out the search recommendations. Creating a split-test for search recommendations can increase your revenue by up to 20%.
If you have a multi-niche website, I would suggest you skip this step. However, if you have a single niche store, you can test the variations.
A lot of eCommerce stores recommend the best-selling products when a user searches for that product. That’s a clever way to get the sales done.
You can also create a split test based on the search recommendations in the form of categories, sub-categories, blogs, or related products in the form of a list.
3. Checkout page
Upsells & Cross-sells, newsletter sign-ups, and social sharing are effective triggers for the checkout page. Now, it depends on you to choose the variation you want and engage more users.
You can capture email, build lists, create more sales and offers and provide as many tweaks as possible on the checkout page. But remember, it should meet your objective.
The first version is the use of Offers on the checkout page. When the customers have reached the checkout page, they are halfway done. In my recommendation, you can perform the following split tests:
- Create Discount Offers to capture the customers’ emails and build the list. You can also create a membership or subscription form as a co-benefit.
- To create more upsells, you can recommend the products on the checkout page.
Also, do not ignore the checkout process. No one likes the multi-page complicated checkout processes. Hence, perform a test between the single-page and multi-page checkout process to decide on your checkout page.
4. Products images & description
Product images can be intimidating and it affects your conversions. A/B testing your images is an effective way to increase ROI.
You can make variations to product images and descriptions to find the best version of your test. I would recommend using A/B testing tools such as Shopify Products A/B Test.
This tool lets you make changes to the product description, image as well as to pricing. Make your changes manually or automatically and finally compare the sales between the two versions.
Types of product a/b testing:
You can try the full product page with loads of information and a lean product page that would display some information with the optimal image.
Furthermore, you can split test the descriptions or specifications in the list or in the form of an image. Try experimenting with the images in action as well as in the plain background. Let’s see which image will attract more customers.
Lastly, you can strike off the product price to display the price reductions. It is undoubtedly magnetic marketing for your customers.
5. Recommended & related product pages
Your goal is to make more sales from a single customer. And, how’s that even possible?
The answer is, Upsells or Cross-Sells.
Most of the eCommerce platforms give features such as upsells and cross-sells that can help in increasing the ROI. Now, it’s up to you to choose the version that you want to test with your audience.
Usually, there are three versions to add the recommended products. The first version has no upsells, the second one has the recommended product below the main product and the third version recommends the product at the checkout page.
It would be fair enough to rule out the first version since you want to make use of the upsells. The second version might distract the buyer but you can add the product of the same type to create choices.
You can make use of the third version as an upsell. Let’s say, a buyer has added the shirt in the checkout cart, you can suggest ‘Tie’ to create upsell.
6. Email testing ideas
As someone said, “Money is on the list”, email is yet the most effective way to create sales and drive revenue. A lot of businesses hire professional email copywriters for this purpose.
Creating email content is not easy but it is even too far from being difficult. It needs a little brainstorming and some inspiration from the competitors. I would recommend some email marketing tools that offer split tests.
Most email marketers focus on subject lines to increase open rates and collect more leads. Try experimenting with the subject line of your email. You can use different colors, texts, variants of the subject line, or include images while doing a split test for your email.
Furthermore, you can test out different content of your email; shorter vs longer content of the email. At the footer, you can test out between a button and hyperlink text to check out the better conversion.
7. Ad campaigns testing ideas
It would be foolish to invest in your PPC ad campaigns without proper keyword research and competitor analysis. Ad Campaigns are less pocket-friendly and one of the key factors in the online market.
Hence, it is better to perform the split tests before investing wholly in a single ad campaign. The best tool for testing out Ad A/B testing is Google Adwords. You can test one or more of the following elements of your ad campaigns:
- The header
- The link
- Target Keywords for your ad
Once you have launched your ad campaign, wait for about 100 conversions to test out the effectiveness. There are two primary goals for analyzing your test; to track the click-throughs and then collect the lead from those click-throughs.
After all, the higher the Click-throughs are, the higher will be your ROI.
According to the statistics, 3.5 billion people actively use social media worldwide. Considering the large number, it is crucial to design your social media campaign effectively.
8. Social media testing
Social media testing in eCommerce can be a driving force for your CRO. You can create split tests by varying different elements of your social media posts.
- Test out the post text: Create split tests with different post styles, use of emojis, post length, and the content.
- Hashtags: Experiment with the hashtags. You can make use of different hashtags in the same type of product promotion to check out which works better.
- Media: Use photos vs video split testing to check the better performing campaign.
Instagram and Facebook have become the top choice of consumers in 2020 for shopping online. If you plan to run a paid social media ad on Facebook, use Facebook Ads-manager to test the A/B functionality.
9. Mobile navigation
70% of the customers prefer mobile shopping rather than on the desktop. Your goal should be to decrease the bounce rate and increase ROI. Creating a user-friendly mobile site would turn the tables for your business.
Perform the split test with the navigation menus. Try to remove the necessary elements of your mobile app/website. Do not overcrowd the homepage with products, or categories.
You can perform the split tests by using images/videos on your homepage.
Lastly, vary the size of your CTA buttons and experiment with the text buttons. Your mobile design should go well with your CTAs and navigational elements.
Best eCommerce A/B testing tools
To optimize your eCommerce website and create the split testing, you might need a few good tools for creating the split tests.
Few of them are category-specific while most of the split testing tools can serve multi-purpose.
E-Commerce builders such as Shopify or BigCommerce have A/B testing tools of their own. Tools like the Shopify product A/B test would be perfect for creating the A/B tests in Shopify.
For creating the email split testing, email marketing tools such as OptinMonster, Campaign Monitor, and MailChimp are the most preferred.
Landing page A/B testing or optimization can be done using tools like Howuku, Neat A/B, and Omniconvert.
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Hootsuite and Buffer are the best tools for social media testing. Other useful tools for split testing include Optimizely, VWO, and Google Optimize.
Do not rush with your testing and make sure you set up a goal beforehand. By testing out each element of your e-commerce store, you are making your sales funnel process a breeze. However, split-testing is not the only driving factor of an effective sales funnel. And, neither is the end to your CRO process. When done correctly, split testings leave a huge impact on your KPIs.
Note: Ready to apply all these tips to maximize your e-commerce store conversion rates? Sign up and try Howuku free for 14 days to get access to eCommerce A/B Testing and Heatmap tracking software that’s built to help you optimize your site and sell more!