Truly Understanding Your Customer’s Preferences Through A/B Testing

 

Truly Understanding Your Customer’s Preferences Through A/B Testing

 

 

If you are an e-commerce entrepreneur, chances are that you have heard or stumbled on the term called A/B testing. A/B testing is one of the strategies that can help improve conversion rates, return on ad spend and sales. Oftentimes, new entrepreneurs and small online business owners neglect A/B testing because they don’t know how to do it. Sadly, this neglect continues to eat into their efforts of running their website or online store and the only way to change this is to get on the A/B testing culture.

What is A/B Testing

A/B testing involves experimenting with elements of your websites, online store or platform to determine which element, content, design and functionality, works based on how visitors respond. So, you can take your page layout, for example, and change it from an endless scroll to page numbering to see which one visitors respond better to. Although, you should know that endless scroll works mostly with social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, and not with online stores or business websites as it can be overwhelming for users. Here are some of the elements you can conduct A/B testing on to determine which variation will improve customer behavior; Navigation Headline CTA Product details page Body/copies Form Page layout Color Font Offers, etc.

What Do You Need To Run Effective A/B Testings

1. You Need Statistical Significance aka Traffic
If your website is relatively new or/and is not getting plenty of traffic then A/B testing isn’t the right thing to do now. First, you need to increase your web traffic by putting more efforts into SEO, doing paid ads, posting quality content among others. You need to have a sizable number of site visitors to determine how elements of your website are working and to understand customer behavior. A few handfuls of people won’t give you sufficient usable information.
2. Know That A/B Testing is a Process
It’s a given that all good things tend to require patience. So, don’t expect your A/B testing to work like magic, it is a continuous process that should not be rushed. Take it one pain-point at a time, until you find the most effective options. Create your long-term goals and how to get there through your A/B testing and stick to it. The results will be gradual but it will certainly be worth it at the end.
3. Knowledge and Experience
In e-commerce, there are many things that can be done with tools and software such that you won’t need to be an expert to get good results. As a matter of fact, you can use full-suite A/B testing tools such as VWO and Optimizely to make your testings meticulous and accurate. However, A/B testing depends more on knowledge and experience than on the tools you use. Hence, you will have to learn how to conduct A/B testing or hire an expert if you don’t have a staff member who is skilled at A/B testing. Some of the skills required to conduct A/B testing include; Statistical analysis Web design Data research Information architecture Conversion strategy Behavioral psychology, Some coding skills (e.g. JavaScript and HTML) etc.

How To Conduct A/B Testing

Before you start your A/B testing, first ensure that you are not trying to do an A/B testing that serves no purpose. Don’t just conduct an A/B testing because you feel like it, in order to avoid spoiling what is already perfect. Instead, create an orderly structure to avoid doing random A/B testings that will only waste time and resources. This structure will serve as a roadmap that will guide your process and results. Your pre-A/B testing structure can follow this process;
Collect Data: find out the most visited pages on your website or app. Analyse your click-through rates, the bounce rates vs retention rates of your webpages, as well as your traffic sources, etc. Basically, you want to analyze and understand your web data before creating your A/B testing to understand what needs to be done.
Analyze Heatmaps: now, you want to understand what exactly is wrong and what exactly is working fine. So, study the details of your web data to see how your site visitors interact with your website. What are they clicking, what are they abandoning? Take for example, a case of high abandonment at the checkout stage for a particular product in your store. That suggests that there’s an element in your checkout page for that product that discourages or distracts potential buyers.
Ask Users: a proper preparation for A/B testing should involve getting direct answers from your customers. You can do this by watching how people navigate your website to see what attracts them and what puts them off. That’s one way to do it. Another method is to conduct surveys asking your customers about their experience while using your site. What are their challenges and what improvements would they like to see to make their experience better?
Develop Your A/B Testing Plan: by now, you should have a good understanding of your customer behavior. This is what will be the foundation of your hypotheses, experimentations and assessments. It is your roadmap.
Start: you will continue to review and experiment until you find the best choice in all your A/B testing. In some cases, you will have to conduct multiple testing for a single element until you find the most effective option. Your testing shouldn’t be about how long, rather it should be about results. Don’t settle until you find the best. Keep in mind that your testing should run long enough to get credible data from your customers or web users. If it’s too quick, you may get wrong results that don’t capture what your customers truly think of the testing. Yet, you don’t
want your testing to carry on long enough until your customers become more accepting due to familiarity. This also won’t be accurate because your customers are already used to the element.

Over To You

A/B testing has so many benefits that can give your online business the right boost it needs to retain visitors, convert them into customers and increase sales. This is why we advise you to get on it. There’s nothing wrong with not having the skill to do it by yourself. There are agencies or experts available to offer A/B testing as a service. You will certainly acquire more knowledge as you practise so that you will be able to do it by yourself at some point. While you wait till then, hire experts now.

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