E-Commerce A/B Testing Ideas that can Boost Sales

You have an ambitious sales target for the year ahead. A large quota of this target is to be met through driving more online sales.

So which new sales trick will do the magic for you?

Are you relying on the list of infallible Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) tweaks from a leading expert lying in your inbox? You won’t get very far on your sales target using those alone. [… it’s been bulk emailed to everyone in the industry!] While CRO tweaks are good at improving conversion rates, it’s time to up your game by adding A/B testing to your e-commerce optimization toolkit.

Why A/B testing works?

CRO tweaks and optimization tips are derived from different business and industry contexts. They may not work in your business context. If you have basic CRO covered then it’s time to use A/B testing to derive better insights.

A/B testing is a better tool when it comes to spotting what works for your business or industry. It is a data-driven and evidence-based approach to optimizing your e-commerce channel for better results.

Is A/B testing for everyone?

Nope. You need a fair amount of traffic to get meaningful test results. To check if you are there yet, use an online A/B testing sample size calculator tool.

We have identified 4 places that would be good testing grounds to begin your e-commerce A/B testing efforts:

1) Image Makeover

Simply clicking product pictures and getting them onto your website is not enough in the current hyper-competitive e-commerce space. E-commerce players are now providing a superior shopping experience by offering 360-degree product views and product videos to consumers.

For those new to A/B testing, testing small changes like increasing the image size, changing the model’s position or pose, adding in-context photographs etc are good places to start.

2) Recommendations

E-commerce giants like Amazon and e-bay heavily rely on up-selling and cross-selling to maximize sales. Recommendations are usually based on items the customer previously purchased, is currently viewing or has added to the cart.

A/B testing is very useful in determining whether or not cross-selling and up-selling can clock additional sales for your business. You can deploy different variants of the page: a version with no recommendations and those which feature up-sells and cross-sells at different points in buyer’s journey. Testing a number of variations will supply more actionable data on whether such recommendations work and where they work best. It is crucial to conduct A/B testing before introducing lasting changes because impacts are not always positive for all e-tailers. It has been observed that in some cases, the addition of up-selling and cross-selling features has led to lower conversions. The reason behind such negative sales impact: Buyers were distracted or confused.

3) Price Matters

Price matters, but how it’s displayed matters more. This strange truth was brought out by a study published in the Journal of consumer psychology. The study found that use of commas and cents in pricing display changed how customers perceive price. The longer it appeared to eye the more expensive it felt to the end buyer. Take for instance, how three different formats of displaying the same price were perceived by customers




Shoppers felt $1500.00 more expensive than $1500, which again was seen as more expensive than 1500. Who would have thought that addition of a few syllabi can lower conversion possibilities? Don’t believe us, do A/B testing and find out.

4) Layout Changes

Customer behavior can often throw up interesting variation ideas. For instance, if using heat maps you observe that the search bar is used a lot more than the other icons on your home page. You decide to give the search bar a more prominent place on the homepage to improve the user experience. But before making a major change to how your homepage looks, you may want to test if the change will create the desired impact. A/B testing makes such pre-testing possible.

There are a lot of improvement ideas floating around, but A/B testing will help you zoom-in on the ones that will work for your industry, context, and customer demographic. For those who are not techies, there are several tools on the market which can help e-tailers setup tests within minutes. So try out A/B testing soon and let us know how it worked for you.

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