eCommerce sites are designed with conversions in mind. If you can't persuade enough visitors to purchase your products, sooner or later you will go out of business.
You can spend a great deal of time perfecting a product, but your site presentation - along with reputation and word of mouth - will determine the conversion rate.
The following A/B split tests can all be used to increase your conversion rate, with the ultimate aim of generating more sales and profit.
1. Call to Action
It is possible to be too trivial when A/B testing, but your call to action is not one of these areas. Your call to action button will be present on every product page, ultimately leading to the shopping cart. While the button color is important, the words you use can often play a greater part in altering conversion rate.
2. Video Product Demonstrations
Videos are growing in popularity each year, so it is worth testing them on your eCommerce site. A video can be used to demonstrate the product in action, often giving a clearer view than can be achieved with images. However, there is no guarantee that videos will increase conversions, with some products not requiring this treatment.
3. Text Descriptions
Many eCommerce sites include text solely for SEO purposes, but a description section can be used to further sell the product. A good description will typically be insightful and clear, with a focus on the benefits and uses. You might choose to include the technical specifications, but too much prominent jargon will usually be off-putting.
4. Quality Images
Depending on the product type, images can often play an important role in creating a sale. Poor-quality images can prevent purchases, but there are other factors to consider. Image presentation could be tested, using prominent images against a subtler gallery format. In most cases, though, you will always want to ensure the quality of the images is high.
5. Shipping Options
The simplest option is to include free shipping, but this won't always be possible. Receiving deliveries can be an issue for many people, so the ability to control when they should get their order will be helpful. Ultimately, putting as much control in the hands of the buyer will usually result in improved conversions. However, it will be hard to beat the option of free shipping in any A/B test.
6. Sales and Discounts
Sales and discounts are great for conversions, but they need to be promoted effectively. Any sign that your products are permanently on sale will damage your brand, so your presentation is important. Sporadic sales during holiday seasons will be effective, while comparing your discounted price to the full price can usually impact conversions.
7. Shopping Cart Details
There are various factors to test on your checkout page, with the amount of info you require being of paramount importance. Reducing the form fields could improve conversions, but this is not guaranteed without testing. While your checkout should make everything clear, a cluttered page can lead to cart abandonment.
8. Trust Symbols
Major stores, such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Target, have acquired trust through longevity, branding, and consistent service. For most businesses, though, more effort will be required to gain this trust with visitors. Adding trust symbols to your site allows you to subtly build trust, with security seals and credit card symbols being the most common.
9. Returns Policy
When buying products online, many customers have a natural concern about returning items. The way you display your returns policy is something that can be tested until it is fully optimized. It may be that making your returns policy extremely visible leads to increased conversions, but it might also be that the prominent position raises an objection with a customer.
10. Related Product Offers
Most stores with a large inventory will try to promote related products. It can be difficult to browse through an entire store, so making suggestions to visitors can be helpful. How you promote related offers is an option for A/B testing due to the various ways you can make suggestions. You can promote related offers next to the original item, on the checkout page, or after a purchase is complete. Testing these various options will help to maximize overall revenue.
11. Live Chat
Providing a live chat facility can often improve conversions as a representative can give instant answers to common questions. While there are many benefits to live chat, it will require additional customer service costs, so this must be considered during testing. It is also possible that a live chat facility could act as a disruption during the buying process. Testing live chat requires weighing up a number of different costs before it can be considered a success.
12. Review Section
Reviews are a common part of online shopping, but they aren't guaranteed to improve conversions. If you have an empty review section, people might assume the product is unpopular. The review section is reliant on your ability to encourage buyers to post reviews, so a split test must consider this. You can also test the positioning of any reviews, with star ratings often appearing prominently at the top of the page.
Each of these A/B tests should be used individually to ensure the data is accurate. There might be obvious winners among each test, but it is wrong to assume without any firm results. One of the main reasons A/B testing is so effective is because it often leads to surprising results that are hard to predict. When A/B testing becomes part of your routine, gradually your eCommerce site can be optimized to its full potential.