What is A/B testing?

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method of conducting controlled experiments to determine which version of a web page or marketing material performs better in terms of specific goals or key performance indicators (KPIs).

How does A/B testing work?

A/B testing is a widely used technique in eCommerce, digital marketing, product development, and user experience (UX) design.

Here’s how the process works:

  1. Two Versions: You create two versions of the element you want to test. One is the current version (the control), and the other is a slightly modified version (the variant). This can be changes to a website’s layout, design, copy, button color, or any other element that you want to test.
  2. Randomized Distribution: You then randomly divide your audience or users into two groups. Group A sees the current version (control), while Group B sees the modified version (variant).
  3. Data Collection: As both groups interact with the respective versions, you collect data on how each version is performing. This can involve tracking user actions, such as clicks, conversions, engagement, or any other relevant metrics.
  4. Statistical Analysis: After collecting a sufficient amount of data, you perform statistical analysis to determine if there’s a significant difference in performance between the two versions. Tools and statistical methods are used to ensure that the observed differences are not due to chance.
  5. Conclusion: Based on the analysis, you can conclude whether the variant outperforms the control, or if there’s no significant difference. If the variant is more successful, you may choose to implement it as the new default option.

A/B testing allows organizations to make data-driven decisions and optimize their digital assets for better user engagement, conversion rates, and other business goals.

It’s a powerful tool for continuous improvement, as it enables you to make incremental changes and continually refine your products and marketing efforts based on real user feedback and behavior.

But remember: It’s important to only test one major element at a time so as to be confident in which changes specifically are driving results.

What KPIs can be A/B tested?

A/B testing can be used to test and optimize a wide range of key performance indicators (KPIs), depending on the specific goals and objectives of your experiment.

Here are some common KPIs that can be tested through A/B testing:

  1. Conversion Rate: A common KPI for e-commerce websites and landing pages, the conversion rate measures the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up, or filling out a form.
  2. Click-Through Rate (CTR): Often used in email marketing or online advertising, CTR measures the percentage of users who click on a link or call to action (CTA) within a piece of content.
  3. Engagement Metrics: These include metrics like time on page, page views per session, or bounce rate. A/B testing can help optimize website or app elements to improve user engagement.
  4. Average Order Value (AOV): In e-commerce, this KPI measures the average revenue generated per order. A/B testing can be used to improve product recommendations, pricing strategies, or upsell techniques to increase AOV.
  5. User Retention: A/B testing can be used to test different strategies aimed at retaining users, such as onboarding processes, email campaigns, or feature usage.
  6. Email Open Rate: In email marketing, A/B testing can be used to optimize email subject lines, sender names, or email content to improve open rates.
  7. Ad Click-Through Rate (CTR): For online advertising, A/B testing can help improve the performance of ads by testing different ad creatives, headlines, and calls to action.
  8. Form Submission Rate: If your goal is to collect user information via forms, A/B testing can optimize form design, length, and field types to improve submission rates.
  9. Subscription Rate: For subscription-based services, A/B testing can optimize the subscription flow and pricing strategies to increase sign-ups.

It’s essential to choose KPIs that align with your overall business objectives and the specific goals of your A/B test. Keep in mind that not all KPIs can be tested in the same way, and the choice of KPIs should be based on the nature of your business and what you want to achieve with the test.

A/B testing tools for eCommerce

There are several A/B testing tools that are commonly used in the eCommerce industry to optimize websites, increase conversions, and improve the overall user experience.

These tools typically provide a user-friendly interface for setting up and running A/B tests, as well as tracking and analyzing results. Some popular A/B testing tools for eCommerce include:

  1. Manage Your Experiments: Amazon sellers can use the native solution within seller central to split test images, titles, and more.
  2. Optimizely: Optimizely is a widely used A/B testing platform that provides a visual editor for creating and launching experiments. It offers features for personalization, targeting, and recommendations.
  3. VWO (Visual Website Optimizer): VWO is a comprehensive A/B testing and conversion optimization platform. It includes features like A/B testing, split URL testing, multivariate testing, and more.
  4. AB Tasty: AB Tasty is an A/B testing and personalization platform that helps eCommerce businesses optimize their websites and mobile apps. It offers a wide range of testing options and personalization features.
  5. Split.io: Split.io specializes in feature flagging and experimentation for eCommerce and other industries. It allows you to roll out new features gradually and A/B test different feature configurations.
  6. Crazy Egg: Crazy Egg is known for its heatmaps, session recordings, and A/B testing capabilities. It can help you understand how users interact with your eCommerce site and make data-driven improvements.
  7. Adobe Target: Adobe Target is part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud and provides A/B testing, personalization, and targeting features. It’s suitable for larger eCommerce enterprises.
  8. Shogun: While primarily a landing page builder, Shogun includes A/B testing features to optimize landing pages for eCommerce campaigns and promotions.

When selecting an A/B testing tool for eCommerce, consider factors like ease of use, pricing, integrations with your eCommerce platform, and the specific features that match your testing and optimization needs.

Also, make sure you follow best practices for A/B testing, such as ensuring a sufficient sample size to generate statistically significant results.

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