What Can A/B Testing Get Your Site
Previously, we covered some of the fascinating tidbits that CROMetrics -Chris Neumann- learned during a year of trial and error with the company DODOcase. Neumann’s company specializes in consulting on the best methods for achieving conversion through simple, but hugely important design tweaks. The DODOcases study gave Chris the perfect opportunity to give us some great pointers on how to improve an ecommerce site’s inner pages and how he best used A/B testing to arrive at them.
In our last post, Convert discussed Neumann’s approach to what he considers to be the most important aspect of a site for conversion: the home page and its main navigation. Keeping things relevant and geared towards the customer’s needs and their interaction with the site was crucial in bringing DODOcase’s conversions up 25%, but for the interior category and PDP pages he found three keys for bringing up the numbers:
For DODOcase, Neumann found a marked improvement when the content of category pages got very detailed. In particular, the original copy read that DODOcase were made in the USA. This is true, but not the whole story. DODOcase are made specifically in San Francisco. Neumann realized that by giving users this detail it made the product more special and easier to imagine its unique construction. Every product has something really specific that makes it unique, and building that into the site’s content is the best way to help people see why it’s the product to buy.
In re-configuring the Product Description Pages, Neumann learned quickly just how important pictures were to people and their willingness to make a purchase. He started by making the descriptions easier, with different products laid out side by side, but the key was really good pictures that clearly displayed what the product was, what size it was, and how it measured up to the other products available.
At first glance, the Facebook block featuring pictures of friends and relatives that might have also liked the site, seemed like a big waste of space. After realizing that prices needed to be above the fold and almost no one shared their purchases through the Facebook or Twitter links, it seemed logical to remove it all together. In testing that proved to bring the numbers down–leading Neumann to conclude that the presence of these elements gives the site a feel of credibility that is very important for the final conversion.
[Tweet “”Specificity, Pictures and Credibility = Learnings from big #conversion increases” @crometrics”]
CROMetrics and A/B Testing
Neumann didn’t arrive at this insight immediately. It took a lot of trial and error to home in on the things that worked best for this particular brand, so while his general strategies for conversion optimization could work for anyone, we also wanted to ask him how he figured them out. For Neumann, A/B testing is hypothesis validation. He works closely with the client to really understand the business, the customer, and the research that went into what’s already there, so that he doesn’t spend time testing out everything possible. But, figuring out hypotheses really comes down to what will make the site more user-friendly;
“At the end of the day, you’re making the web easier to use so helping people find what they want…It’s not about little tricks like green and red buttons, it’s really about helping people figure out what they want and find what they want easily. – Chris Neumann”
Starting from this simple point, it gets easier to come up with new ways that your site can be more navigable and friendly, and then with A/B testing, you can see what works and what doesn’t. Of course, as Neumann points out, one of the hardest things can be letting go of a design or feature that you were attached to and sure would work–but that’s what gearing your site to the user is all about, and what has led him and CROMetrics to conversion success. For the full presentation, you can watch the entire webinar here.