Your ecommerce site is the lifeblood of your business; the last thing you want to do is leave its success to chance.
Fortunately, you have analytics on your side to identify friction points in your ecommerce purchase journey — and make data-backed decisions to increase sales.
Known as A/B testing, or split testing, this experimentation process can unravel the mysteries around customer behaviors. Today, we’re highlighting some high-impact ecommerce A/B testing ideas that can kick your conversions into high gear.
What Is A/B Testing?
A/B testing is an iterative approach to user-experience research with the goal of increasing conversions.
You start by creating two versions of a webpage, email or component, and present each one to different audiences through A/B testing software.
Then, measure how each version performs and implement the winning (higher-converting) option. You can A/B test virtually any variable on your ecommerce website — content, color schemes, layouts, designs, the location of your call to action (CTA) and more.
This experimentation process is also referred to as split testing (because you’re splitting your audience to test each variation).
How to Set Up Your Ecommerce A/B Test for Success
Like all good experiments, you need to isolate your variables to definitively say which change influenced the outcome.
That’s why it’s best to change only one variable between version 1 and version 2 of your ecommerce A/B test.
If you’re thinking “Well, it will take forever to test multiple changes that way,” you’re right.
There’s a reason this form of testing works — you gain reliable data you can use to improve marketing results. While testing can be a painstaking process, it’s also one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to increase ecommerce revenue.
Finally, an important thing to keep in mind is that every industry is different, so every audience will be different, too. You’ll need to find out what works best for your target audience.
With that said, let’s get into some split testing ideas for your ecommerce business.
Ecommerce A/B Test Ideas to Get You Started
You have endless opportunities to test — so where do you start?
Your homepage is the first impression that potential customers have of your business. Site visitors should know exactly what you have to offer, and visuals are an important piece of this equation.
Test different backgrounds, hero images, videos, GIFs and other visuals. You only have about 10 seconds to gain your audience’s attention, so your site’s value proposition needs to be clear from the get-go.
Your navigation menu should be as visible and as easy to understand as possible so visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for.
Try experimenting with drop-down menus, search bars and buttons to help visitors find their way around your site. When you split-test, you can tinker with things like your menu titles, button placement and even the size or color of these elements.
For example, Kwik-Hang is a company that sells easy-to-install curtain rod brackets that work best with windows that have a wooden frame.
The Human team hypothesized that a quiz could help customers quickly determine whether the product could work with their window and lead them to the correct curtain bracket and rod. By adding a CTA for the quiz on the homepage hero, Kwik-Hang increased its revenue by 13.5% and received 22% more conversions.
Pop-ups direct visitors to take action and help keep them on your site.
The content, visuals and length of time they appear on the page all affect conversion rates.
Are you asking visitors to commit to an action before they’ve had a chance to browse your site? Are you waiting too long? How much information are you asking for in the pop-up?
You can test each of these factors until you find a method that yields the best conversions.
Your website content consists of the text, images and videos you use to convey your brand and product messaging.
These words can persuade or dissuade consumers from taking the next step. A/B testing the content on your ecommerce site eliminates any guesswork and reveals which language sticks.
Many of these tests also apply to your email A/B testing strategy. For the highest impact, repeat these tests across other marketing channels like email and paid to tailor the experience and optimize your results.
Short-Form Copy vs. Long-Form
From an SEO perspective, long-form copy is king, but so many web pages perform extremely well with short-form content. Why?
First, it depends on where you use it. Visitors probably aren’t looking for the history of curtain rods on your product page — they just need to understand whether the product will work for them. Prioritizing your audience’s needs instead of Google’s web crawlers can improve the user experience and boost conversions.
Your landing page, for example, may seem overwhelming if it’s too text-heavy. But, depending on the complexity of your product, more detail may be necessary to fully address potential customer questions and win the sale.
This is where testing can help reveal visitors’ preferences.
Don’t forget to consider the readability of your copy. You can test the complexity of your word choice just as well as you can test the length of the content.
Text Font and Color
Your text font and color affect readability and conversions.
While you should stay consistent with your brand style, it’s worth examining different fonts, background colors and text colors as part of your split testing efforts.
The color of your hyperlinks, for example, can significantly impact how many clicks those links receive.
Product Images and Videos
The saying goes that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Ecommerce product pages need compelling product and lifestyle images so customers feel confident making a purchase.
With A/B testing, you can measure how static images, GIFs and videos perform on your product pages.
Take YBell Fitness — an ecommerce company that sells an all-in-one kettlebell, dumbbell, medicine ball and push-up stand. Such a versatile product could benefit from a visual that explains how one piece of equipment functions in all these ways.
Human added a GIF to the product page to test whether a “how-to” visual would incite more purchases. And it did — the update resulted in a 25% increase in revenue for the YBell Neo!
The checkout process is one of the lowest-hanging fruit opportunities to drive more ecommerce revenue.
Your visitors are most inclined to purchase at this stage — and eliminating any friction points can help them complete the process.
Consider A/B testing these variables to in the checkout process:
- The number of steps in the checkout process
- How easy or difficult it is to fill in the needed information
- The mobile checkout experience
- Unexpected shipping costs or a minimum purchase
Restructuring or simplifying the checkout process can prevent you from losing out on potential sales.
What Are Some Tricks That Always Convert?
It’s tempting to skip the testing and go with techniques you know will work. After all, if someone else already did the work, why reinvent the wheel?
The unfortunate truth is that what worked for one company might not work for you. There’s no such thing as the ideal button color, the perfect headline or the most effective call-to-action.
There are absolutely some strong brand and content guidelines to help you craft those things effectively, but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
If you’d like to start a conversation about A/B testing for your ecommerce business, contact us today to tell us about your marketing goals!