By Khalid Saleh
To improve your conversions on your ecommerce website, you will need to do some A/B testing. While nearly every element of a website’s design can be A/B tested, the sheer amount of choices are overwhelming. This leads unwary business owners to change multiple elements at once, clouding the results and effectively wasting the time spent testing.
Focus on changing one design element at a time, to get clear, measurable results from your A/B testing. While there are limitless amounts of changes you can make, there are certain A/B tests that ecommerce website owners should start with. Testing these elements can make the most impact, improving the quantity and amount of sales.
- Add to Cart and Buy Now Buttons
Your buttons are a simple yet effective place to start optimizing your ecommerce website. Run A/B tests on the size, position, color and text of your buttons, to determine what will attract your buyers the most. You can get creative with the actual text of your buttons; examples include “one-click buy” or “get it now”. Some audiences will respond well to the unique names of your buttons, while others may be confused – which is why you want to test.
- Headline Copy
Your headlines are intended to catch your visitors’ attention right away, so they need to be clear and effective. Try multiple variations of the same message, or try two versions that highlight different benefits of buying your products. Make sure you are speaking the language of your customers, so they will relate to your business and feel more comfortable making a purchase.
- Pricing Options
Experiment with your product prices, as well as the location of the price itself. If you are having a sale on a certain category of products, try having the sale price next to the slashed out original price, further indicating a bargain. Test the colors of your prices, and how close to the buy now button the price is listed at.
- Hero Images
These large, banner-like images are a great way to show off your products, or just communicate how your business operates. However, they can take up a lot of space that could be better used by other design elements. The only way to find out is by testing what kinds of images you use, at what sizes, or whether you want them to display on your product or category pages at all.
- Drop Down Menu Navigation
Drop down menus are quite common, now that mobile responsive design is a must. Just because it works well on mobile does not mean you have to have it that way on your actual ecommerce website. Drop down menus can be finicky, and difficult for older shoppers to use. A/B testing will show if your customers like the sleek drop down look, or the ability to see all of your category offerings at once in your sidebar.
- Product Description Text
Take a close look at the product description page. You can test your descriptions, headers, and product information here. Your visitors may like the technical details of your product displayed as a bullet list, or they might prefer a table. Avoid extraneous information or links to unrelated offers, as this can distract shoppers from their initial shopping goal.
- Testimonials and Social Proof
Another area that often gets overlooked, social proof and testimonials can give shoppers the extra push they need to complete the sale. A/B test where your testimonials appear on the page, if the testimonials rotate through or are all shown together, and if you show the author’s picture beside the testimonial. Visitors love to read about satisfied buyers, so it is worth the time it takes to test.
- Checkout Process
Streamline your checkout process so there are as few steps as possible. Use A/B testing to determine the exact length and order that your checkout steps should be in. Consider eliminating fields when possible, or adding a guest checkout option for busy shoppers. On your confirmation page, test out some social sharing buttons, so customers can share their purchase with others.
- Taglines, Slogans, and Value Propositions
You may have already spent hours agonizing over your business’ tagline and slogan, but if it is not easily understood by your ecommerce website visitors, you will have to test, test again. Use A/B testing to determine the best placement, font, color, and phrasing of your company’s tagline or slogan. Likewise, your value proposition should undergo the same rigorous testing, or else customers will become confused about your offerings and shop elsewhere.
These are some of the most important A/B tests you can run for your ecommerce website, but there are endless opportunities to improve. Use sound A/B testing methods to determine what your website visitors like best, and ultimately what leads to higher sales numbers. Never be hesitant to change, especially when you have the analytics to prove that the changes are in line with your customers’ needs.
Khalid Saleh is the cofounder and CEO of Invesp, a leading provider of conversion optimization software and services. His Amazon.com best-selling book, “Conversion Optimization: The Art and Science of Converting Prospects into Customers,” offers companies a methodology for capturing more customers by creating a fully integrated marketing strategy that has a lasting impact on any organization. @.