How to perform e-commerce A/B testing?

23 Mar 2022 By PAYCEC

A/B testing is a procedure that necessitates planning to ensure that it is carried out correctly.

Let's have a look at the most effective A/B testing strategy:

1. Test a hypothesis:

You must write a hypothesis before the A/B test, which is a measurable explanation of what you want to solve or achieve. A simple hypothesis is guided by the following factors:

Your present performance — the data/metrics or feedback you've gathered from your study will show you where you are in terms of conversion rates, click-through rates, email open rates, cart abandonment rates, and so on. You can also keep track of how many sales you make each month or quarter. To decide the winning variable, the measures will be compared to future performance.

Your expectations – Given what you see from the current performance, you can now list down the change you are testing or the impact you anticipate from conducting the A/B test. This practice is similar to defining your overall goal of the test, such as the areas of your site or metrics to improve. For instance, you can set a goal to raise your eCommerce store sales or conversion rate by 15%.

Choose a data metric to test — Your goal should be measurable, and you should be able to find a metric or variable to test that will help you meet your objectives. Variables such as headlines, CTAs, site design, and SEO strategies (keyword volume and density, meta descriptions, and so on) may all be evaluated one at a time to find the optimum outline, design, and layout.

2. Choose an A/B testing tool

There are several A/B testing tools to choose from, such as Google Optimize, Visual Website Optimizer (VWO), and Optimizely.

  • VWO offers SmartStats, on-site surveys, heatmaps, and other analytical aspects, while Google Optimize is free and comes with Google Analytics.
  • Optimizely is also a good A/B testing tool because it features a Stats Engine that allows you to easily analyze test results. This allows you to run tests quickly, get real-time findings, and take proactive action to improve your eCommerce store's results.
  • Other A/B testing tools can be found in the Shopify App Store.

Make sure the tools you choose can do both quantitative and qualitative analysis. For proper and reliable data tracking and reporting, elements such as technical analysis, analytics analysis, on-site surveys, and session replays should be configured correctly.

After you've decided on a testing tool or split-testing program, you'll need to register with the service provider and follow the instructions. The majority of tools will instruct you to place a snippet on your website and define A/B testing objectives.

3. Create variations and test them concurrently

The next step is to create two test variations across your site pages and email marketing headlines. Ensure to document the different variations, such as a red-colored and a green-colored CTA button.

Because conditions are likely to vary when variable A is run at a different time than variable B, it's best to run the two variations of your A/B test at the same time. This will result in unreliable data.

For example, if you're analyzing conversion rates during a marketing campaign, results obtained after deploying different variations two weeks apart may alter due to factors other than your adjustments.

The length of the test will be determined by the type of the variable being monitored, the number of visitors on your site, and other things. For example, a high-traffic site evaluating CTA button placement may conduct the test for a week, whereas testing SEO strategies could take longer due to the time it takes to get meaningful user results.

4. Analyze your test results

You should be guided by insights as they pertain to different segments while reviewing your A/B test findings.

For example, you can learn that specific groups, such as new visitors, paid visitors, social media visitors, and so on, shop more when a vertical page layout is presented than when a horizontal page layout is published, depending on the aim established when developing the hypothesis.

The test tool will also show you which variation is working better, but you must undertake the analysis to identify which aspects or features clients prefer over others. Customer groups will be enticed differently by insights like visual representation and design, and it will be evident which variants are related to greater engagement and conversions.

The significance of the results will be determined by statistical outputs. For example, a click-through rate of 90% or above is statistically significant, and a variable with a lower rate is not the greatest choice for your eCommerce pages.

A 95% confidence interval will tell you that 95 out of 100 similar samples of the variable tested will fall within a given range, giving you a better idea of the variable attracting a greater number of site visitors.

The lower the statistical significance, the higher the chance that the variation tested is not the winner of the two.

To obtain valid findings, always utilize a high enough sample size for the experiment; thus, A/B testing may not be appropriate for a low-traffic site. Smaller sites can instead undertake user testing or surveys.

5. Take action

With the results in place, it is now time to update your site, landing pages, product pages, and marketing tools with the winning features or variables.

Consider whether the change process is necessary, or whether you should rerun the test or reanalyze the results if the results were very close for the two variables tested.

Have other questions?

If you need further assistance or answer, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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