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A/B Testing: How to Do it for E-Commerce

You may have many great ideas for your ecommerce website. But you might not be sure which ones would end up in higher conversion rates. To test whether they are as good as you think and to see which idea is better than the other you may consider A/B testing.

A/B testing is having two different versions of your web page and comparing the results to see which version is better. It is a great tool to understand which strategies you want to use would result in better conversions. Knowing how it works and how you can use the results are two critical factors.

How does A/B testing work?

AB Testing

It basically directs 50% of your visitors to one version of your website, let’s call it to version A, and it directs other 50% to version B randomly. By the results of your conversion rates, you can see which version does better and you can decide on your strategies based on what you have tested.

What sort of things can you test?

First, you need to understand what you need to test on your e-commerce website. Are you trying to test your call to action button’s place? Or are you trying different prices or promotions? Or maybe you want to see which e-mails would result in better conversion rates.

The fact that you can test so many things doesn’t mean that you should test everything. You should be smart in your A/B testing to not waste your time. As a starting point here are some general ideas that you can test:

  • Trust/Award Badges
  • Subscription Page
  • Images you’re using
  • Call to Action buttons
  • Menu bar
  • Your check-out page
  • Headlines
  • Paragraph texts
  • E-mails
  • The whole design of the webpage

For example, if you’ve decided to test your call to action, you can test the location or the color of the call to action button, or what you’ve written for your call of action.

A real-life example could be EA’s A/B testing for promotion banner on its website. Removing the banner resulted in 43.4% increase in their purchases.

How long should you keep the variations?

How long to test is another point to consider when doing A/B test. It might be too early to pull the versions down and you might get false results. It might be better to keep it on for at least a full week to see the effects of each day. If you want to be precise, there are A/B test duration calculators online to be found.

Also to not to have people who’ve seen version A to see version B when they visit your page again it is important to not run the test for too long.

For your e-commerce website you may want to test promotion in variation A and maybe test free shipping in variation B. However, it is important to have the same visitor fall into the same category. Otherwise, the customer may think that you are trying to deceive them.

So to have accurate results you must have enough time to collect data, but it shouldn’t be that long to spoil the statistics or your customers’ feelings about your website.

A/B testing shows you which strategy works better for your website it makes more sense to do testing before you employ one directly for your marketing strategy. Try using different details like different texts or colors in your buttons. Or you could use different newsletters to attract customers to your website.

Smart testing could increase your conversion rates significantly. So choose your tests according to your e-commerce web site’s needs and understand what could result in better conversion rates for you.


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