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How To Utilize A/B Testing To Turn More Visitors Into Buyers On Your E-commerce Platform
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This article was originally posted on MartechAdvisor on Jun 27 2018

With the increasingly competitive nature of the e-commerce landscape, brands and businesses are always trying to remain one step ahead of their rivals to ensure that website traffic is consistently high and they are winning the battle over customers. Yet once that traffic arrives at your store it is important the layout is optimized for conversions, or you risk them leaving to a competitor’s page and losing the battle for a sale.

A/B testing is a priceless asset for retail businesses of all sizes, across various industries. It provides retailers with the ability to have different variations of their website and statistically analysis of multiple data points over a relatively short period of time. The best platforms also allow users to apply more complex statistical algorithms that take past outcomes into account, resulting in more reliable results that can be acted upon sooner.

There are many ways that businesses can use A/B testing to help maximize the value of traffic and in turn, increase their sales.

Here are a few tips on how to utilize A/B testing to improve your ecommerce store:

Improving efficiency in business strategies

Previously, businesses would lose out on sales due to waiting for the results from an A/B test to be produced. Once the test was over companies would have to stop the experiment and manually implement the changes before they gained the benefits, which could take a few weeks.

New algorithms that are integrated into A/B tests and notifications platforms can enable businesses to automatically allocate traffic to the better performing variant in an A/B test. This means that vast analysis of the best techniques will not need to take place post A/B test and with a minimal margin for error, results can be produced before the test has even fully finished. This means that results can be taken into account straight away, minimizing lost sales and producing a system which will continually recalculate the better performing variant and push more traffic to it.

Adding a hybrid approach to statistical significance

As well as improving the efficiency of strategies, integrating two different statistical significance approaches such as Frequentist and Bayesian into testing can allow companies to gain accurate results from their A/B testing quickly and reliably.

The Bayesian approach is thought to produce more reliable results, whereas the Frequentist approach is thought to be a faster process in producing results. When A/B testing takes both these elements and combines them together, businesses are able to see how the results vary over different time periods whilst also taking into account the differences of consumer behavior on different days of the week.

Increasing personalization for your customers

It is well known that if a website is populated with products and content that the customer is interested in, they are more likely to continue on the path to complete a purchase or sign up to the website.

If certain websites invest in a series of paid adverts for their website, the messages could be targeted at any general customer anywhere in the world. With this in mind, it is essential for retailers to ensure that customers land on a page with content that is consistent with the advert they have viewed.

Adding in specific personalization techniques for consumers can be done by inserting dynamic content such as geolocations and text that adapts depending on the ad campaign a visitor arrived from. Geolocation plugins display the visitor’s location when they click on the page, which can further increase the likelihood of a sale as it enhances the level of personalization. When A/B testing platforms provide these features, retailers are able to test and discover which personalization techniques work best for their consumers.

Setting targets and goals

When retailers set precise goals for their A/B tests, they can accurately measure how effective their changes are. A few better optimized features can have a dramatic impact on your sales.

There are various goals that can be set, these include: Click view goal – this allows retailers to track the number of clicks on each page that has been modified. Page view goal – this enables businesses to track the number of times each page has been viewed. This is useful for tracking the ‘Thank-you’ or ‘Order confirmation’ pages. Finally, the Revenue goal – this enables businesses to measure the success of their A/B test by tracking the value of each purchase made by customers.

It is important to note that when subscribing to an A/B solution the results aren’t always guaranteed. Some A/B testing platforms will sell with a 12-month subscription in mind. This can lead to misinformation, so it is important to always be wary of guarantees. Researching the range of solutions that are available and ensuring the chosen solution is able to meet the requirements of the business is recommended.

Overall, A/B testing is worthwhile for businesses trying to drive in website traffic and build customer loyalty. Not only does it force companies to pay closer attention to how they run their business but it may also flag other elements that could need re-modelling such as how the business appears to their consumers. Also, as it requires input from all team members to offer alternatives and help customer engagement it is great for team building and decision-making amongst employees.

Philippe’s bonus tip:
Want to learn more about successful A/B testing?

You can read more about A/B Testing on our blog, take the guesswork out of testing with our suggested conversion rate tactics and automatically deliver winning pages with Convertize Autopilot™.

by Philippe Aimé

Philippe is the CEO of Convertize. He created his first website in 1998 and has spent the past 20 years finding ways to make digital marketing more persuasive. He now heads a team of CRO consultants.