Definition: A/B testing, or split testing, presents 50% of users with an alternate version of a webpage in order to test the effectiveness of a particular variable. A/B tests are evaluated based on whether the alternate page achieves a higher conversion rate. To ensure that results are not impacted by uneven sample sizes, it's important to evenly split both page versions among all visitors (hence the term "split testing").
Every page on an ecommerce website promotes a desired action to be taken by visitors, and A/B tests aim to increase the conversion rate of that action. Conversions include:
A/B tests aim to get the most out of existing traffic by optimizing a web page to promote conversion. Increasing traffic can garner results, but A/B testing aims to optimize a page to increase revenue with current spend.
Virtually every aspect of a website can be A/B tested, and even the smallest changes can sometimes yield surprisingly beneficial results. Some website elements that are commonly tested include:
A/B testing is also used to tests prices, promotional offers, optimal trial-offer lengths, the effects of free delivery offers on sales and more. Whenever online stores want to gauge the effectiveness of a feature of marketing technique, and A/B test can help them assess it.
1. Research: Look at competitors and examine internal data to look for areas that could potentially be improved with testing.
2. Hypothesis: Based on your findings, or even a gut feeling, make an assertion to be tested. For example, Users aren't sure where to find 'Shipping info' on the homepage; therefore, if it were prominently displayed on the top navigation, the conversion rate would increase.
3. Determine the variable: Remember that an A/B test is a type of scientific experiment and must be done with proper controls to gain an accurate conclusion.
4. Set parameters: Use an A/B test calculator to determine the length of time and volume of visitors needed for a reliable test. All website elements besides the variable being tested must be kept identical to yield valid results.
5. Launch the test: Use Optimizely or another A/B testing platform to begin the test and record your findings.
For best results, A/B tests need to be managed according to proven principles such as the following:
Learn more about how to increase revenue with split testing from the BigCommerce Blog: 3 Proven A/B Testing Steps