Also known as split testing and bucket testing, A/B testing is the procedure of contrasting two versions of a web page or an app to ascertain their performance levels and decide the optimum one. Once we create two variations of the web page, they can be tested against one another. This results in generation of data which can be collected and utilized for changing the structure of the page. The primary intention is to stimulate visitors into potential customers and eventually, towards becoming buyers.
The process of A/B testing generally begins by creating a second version of an original web-page. The kind of changes made will depend on the nature of products being sold and target audience. The alteration could range from a single sentence to restructuring of the entire site. This is followed by division of the traffic equally to both the versions: half to the original one (called ‘control’) and the remaining half to altered version (called ‘variation’). Responses of visitors to both these pages are recorded and used to measure the effectiveness of the versions. Predictive analytics can be employed to estimate the performance of each version. This would permit to glimpse whether the change would bring negligible, positive or negative impact on your conversion rates.
Traditionally, websites were designed and put out on basis of intuition of the developers. Such an intuition was determined by the general idea about what audience expects and how this could be fulfilled by the product displayed. A/B testing is the next evolutionary leap in the domain of web designing and implementation. By formulation of websites which are optimized for visitor-to-customer conversions, the companies are in control of their estimated sales and demand. Data is the basic unit of A/B testing which tells you the exact ways in which each element of your page is being perceived and the impact it has on the sales and marketing.
The topping to the ground of data-driven changes is that it positively influences the work-space culture where instead of blindly following hunches, data and statistics are used to direct creation of the page. Three departments which are significantly impacted and thus, can extract benefits from A/B testing are: marketing, IT and designing communities.
The general mechanism of A/B testing begins with the gathering of data about the status of your original web page. Find out the places on your page which bring in the least amount of conversions and work on them. While the primary intention might be to drive visitors to become buyers, you need to have secondary goals. These goals should generally take the form: target number of clicks for a button, newsletter subscriptions, visits to a certain page and so on. Once you have determined your goals, you can begin generating A/B testing ideas. Rate each of these ideas depending on the impact they could have and the level of complexity involved in implementing it. Prioritize between these ideas on the basis of the ratings. Use your A/B testing app to create changes in the website or mobile software. Launch the modified version of your page and decide the target timeline to collect data. Use analytics’ tools to determine the performance of each version and decide on the version which is inherent with the capacity to bring about the highest amount of conversion rates.
Here are 10 ways in which you can increase the conversion rate of your visitors into buyers through A/B testing:
- Visual resources of products: Each product of an enterprise can be showcased in a variety of ways: a demo video, 10-second what-does-this-do clip, models’ endorsing the item or an audio clipping on the product. Make an inventory with each of these for your products: start with about 10 products with four of these categories and test these categories on your site. Check out the intro-video of PadMapper (“We make apartment hunting suck less!”)
- Ranking/Award Positions: Divide 40% of your products into the following heads: those which have received high conversion rates and those which have received low conversion rates in the past 12 months. Each of these should come with badges or ratings from customer review sites like: Choice, Trust Pilot, Test Freaks, Which? and Consumer Reports. Choose which of these sites has the ideal amount of reviews and showcase them. Also display any awards or certifications your enterprise has received in focal points of your web page.
- Search Box and Drop-Down Menu: Many of the websites which undergo A/B testing miss out on this significant element. This not only reduces the chances of customers ending up on the right pages but of losing customers which might find the website irresponsible. Check the search box using indicative text (of the ways in which searches could be made). Simple changes like changing the drop-down menu into a grid/list view of all the products could visually stimulate the customers towards desired items, akin to walking the aisle of a grocery store.
- Right Column-Left Column Shift: Move your left column towards the right and vice versa to check the ways in which it affects your customers’ perception.
- Display the Shipping Locations: Many of the websites which have capacity to ship products to multiple nations end up not displaying this information, which basically means that the customer notices the currency type on the top-right part of the page and exits in case it doesn’t match to their currency. To avoid such loss, it is best to mention, “We ship to India as well”. This would involve your software to identify the location of the client and compare it with a list of nations you ship to.
- Real-time Support: Forrester recently mentioned in their report “Making Proactive Chat Work” that over 40% of the online clients prefer to get support from a live person than electronically generates reports. Narrow down two types of support you can offer to your customers: live assistance and mail correspondence/Skype chat. Then, implement them on your variation and gather the result.
- Set Up Buyer-Incentives: Catalyse your visitors into the buying mode by setting up incentives which generate urgency: auctions, sale (with targeted end-times), Buy-One-Get-One-Free, Two-Days-Of-Madness Sales and others.
- Virtual Tour of Products: Make videos of products which provide a holistic view. For instance, while choosing flip cover for a phone, your client might want to zoom in and flip through its design. Make it possible for your customers to feel that buying online is no less real than actual store shopping.
- Guarantee-For-Product Text: In case you do not wish to lash out for security seals, mention the security you provide through guarantee-your-safety text. This must be coupled with intuitive interface and an overall trustworthy virtual behaviour.
- Post-Buy Social Networking: Once your customer has bought the product, give them a chance to share their experiences through social media platforms: Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Mail or Facebook.