By Carl Heaton

As an e-commerce site, your goal is to maximize conversions. For each 1000 visitors, your goal is to increase the percentage of sales that you can get as result of those visits. But how do you know that you are converting the maximum number of people with your website? The only way is to test different methods until you hit upon the best possible combination of features and attributes. And the most effective way to maximize the potential of your e-commerce site is with A/B testing.
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As an e-commerce site, your goal is to maximize conversions. For each 1000 visitors, your goal is to increase the percentage of sales that you can get as result of those visits. But how do you know that you are converting the maximum number of people with your website? The only way is to test different methods until you hit upon the best possible combination of features and attributes. And the most effective way to maximize the potential of your e-commerce site is with A/B testing.

As an e-commerce site, your goal is to maximize conversions. For each 1000 visitors, your goal is to increase the percentage of sales that you can get as result of those visits. But how do you know that you are converting the maximum number of people with your website? The only way is to test different methods until you hit upon the best possible combination of features and attributes. And the most effective way to maximize the potential of your e-commerce site is with A/B testing.

What is A/B Testing?

Also known as split testing, A/B testing is simply testing two different approaches to see what is the most effective. By measuring which approach produces more conversions in the same amount of time, you can easily fine tune your site to make it as effective as possible.

However, you need to realize that A/B testing is not a onetime event. It should really be a continuous process, at least until you have gone through all the possibilities that you can think of and narrowed it down to the set that produces the best results for you. However, since both technology and the marketplace are in constant motion, the likelihood that you will hit a method that will be good for all time to come is probably pretty unlikely.

How Often?

Does this mean that your site needs to be in a constant state of test, always trying new things? Not necessarily, and the frequency will depend on how your site is performing now, as well as the new ideas or elements that you want to try. But if you think your site might be able to do better – and who doesn’t? – then A/B testing might help you boost performance and achieve your goals.

Each time you make a significant change to your site, you might want to test a couple of different layouts to see which is most effective. Or, you can test your proposed changes against the current scheme to see which makes for more conversions. Also, if you feel that some portion or aspect of your site is holding you back and could use some improvement, that would be another good time to test.

Another option is to make it a regular part of your business process. Perhaps you could choose a couple of different times per year to run some testing. For no other reason, it might indicate that you are already on the right track. Or it might show you where you need to improve.

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How Much?

How much of your site should you test, and how much should you test at one time? There are proponents for both minimal and extensive testing. Again, each site is different. Sometimes testing a minor change might make sense. At other times, a whole new process or complete overhaul may be in order. Let common sense and your circumstances help guide you.

It may be that your layout is a problem. For example, many major brands will do extensive testing with something as basic as a new logo. You might try a different color scheme, as different colors can trigger different emotions. You might try some simplified wording, use of more graphics and illustrations or a new font. You could try changing everything at once, or try an element at a time.

Another basic item would be your call to action. Try a bigger button, a different color or new wording. By testing, you can see how these inducements to buy work in the real world. You might also look at the copy that precedes the call to action. Is it too subtle? Or too demanding? Tweaking these features can help see what is most effective. Read more how Microsoft increase their conversion rate by 40%!

Everything in Moderation

However, let common sense be your guide. It is possible to let A/B testing became the focus itself, rather than a tool to boost effectiveness. You don’t want to be always trying new things, just for the sake of the testing. By taking a reasonable, structured approach, A/B testing can be a valuable tool in your e-commerce toolbox.

If you are interested in learning more about E-Commerce with Web Courses Bangkok, do check out our E-Commerce Startup course.

About The Author

Carl

He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.