A/B testing in e-commerce: everything you need to know
A/B testing in e-commerce is a proven method for optimizing online stores and other digital platforms. The principle of A/B testing is to test two different versions of a website or a specific element on a website, such as a headline or product image, against each other to find out which version is better received by online visitors and leads to higher conversion rates. This article takes a detailed look at the important field of A/B testing in e-commerce.
The principle of A/B testing
In A/B testing, two versions of a website or website element are created - version A and version B. Both versions are presented to some of the website visitors. It is then analyzed which version achieved better performance values. In e-commerce, for example, this could be the conversion rate or the bounce rate. The version that achieved the better values then becomes the standard version and replaces the less performant version.
A/B testing and conversion rate optimization
A/B tests are usually an important part of conversion rate optimization (CRO). If A/B tests are carried out systematically and continuously, this can make a significant contribution to increasing the conversion rate and thus lead to more sales in the online store. A wide variety of website elements can be tested.
A/B testing of headlines
The headline of a landing page or product page is often the first thing a site visitor sees. Therefore, even a small change in the headline can have a big impact on the conversion rate. A/B tests can be used to test different headline alternatives against each other.
A/B testing of product images
The visual presentation of products plays a decisive role in e-commerce. A/B tests of product images can provide information on which type of image is best received by site visitors and leads to higher conversion rates. For example, different angles, backgrounds or lighting can be tested here.
A/B tests of call-to-action buttons
The call-to-action (CTA) is the element of a website that prompts the site visitor to take the desired action, such as adding a product to the shopping cart or sending an inquiry. A/B tests can be used to test different designs, placements or formulations of CTA buttons.
Carry out successful A/B tests
When carrying out A/B tests, there are some important points that should be observed in order to obtain meaningful and reliable results:
- A/B tests should only ever test one variable. If several elements on a website are changed at the same time, it is not possible to determine which change caused the observed effect.
- The test groups must be selected at random. This is the only way to ensure that any differences in the performance values can actually be attributed to the variation and not to other differences between the groups.
- The statistical significance of the test results must be checked. Only if the difference between the performance values of version A and version B is statistically significant may the better version become the standard version.
Special A/B testing tools can also be a great help when carrying out and evaluating A/B tests. They help to create the different versions, determine the test groups and track and evaluate the performance values.
A/B testing is a powerful tool in conversion rate optimization and can help to increase success in e-commerce. By systematically testing different variations of a website or individual website elements, user behaviour can be better understood and the online offering optimized. A/B tests should always be carried out methodically and evaluated statistically in order to obtain reliable results and avoid misinterpretations.