What could your ecommerce site be doing better to drive more sales? The only way to answer that question is to A/B test different site elements until you find the winning combination to optimize your sales process. As an ecommerce marketing agency, SevenAtoms has done many A/B tests over the years to help our clients improve their ecommerce sites and get better results. Based on our own experience, we’ve put together a list of some of the best A/B testing ideas for your ecommerce site:
Ecommerce Marketing Agency Tip #1 - One Static Product Image vs. Image Carousel or Rotating Slider
Many ecommerce businesses may want to use an image carousel or rotating slider on their homepage to showcase multiple products or value propositions. Though this may seem like a great idea on the surface, an image carousel may actually end up hurting your conversion rates when placed on the home page.
Rotating image sliders can distract site visitors from the important information and keep them from taking the next step in the conversion process. Also, using multiple images with multiple value propositions gives the visitor too many options, which can potentially keep them from taking any sort of action on the page. Not to mention, carousels look a lot like banners, which may turn some visitors away because they mistake them for ads.
In our own A/B testing experience, we have found that carousels just don’t work as well as one quality static image. Instead of testing a rotating image slider on your home page, why not spend your time and energy testing static images with different value propositions. Make sure that the image compliments the proposition and that it’s clear what the visitor will gain by clicking on the image.
Here’s an example of a clear value proposition with an engaging static visual:
This image highlights a new product that many of Motorcycler’s site visitors will be interested in and excited about. The image itself is engaging, showing both the details of the product as well as capturing the product’s message. The text is short and sweet, letting visitors know that the product is now available to ship.
As you test different static images for your home page, keep this example in mind. You want to use an image that clearly communicates one central message. The text should complement this image and the value proposition clear. Finally, make it easy for visitors to take next step by providing a CTA button or link.
Ecommerce Marketing Agency Tip #2 - Site-Wide Benefits Bar Below the Header
Another home page element that you may want to test is a benefits bar. This feature of your site offers some quick highlights that tell visitors why they should buy from your brand instead of a competitor. While there are many places that you can put this bar on you site, we have found through our own experience that it works best under the site header.
Here’s an example of what this site element looks like:
As you can see in the example above, the benefits of buying from Motorcycler are made clear at the very top of the page. Not only are the benefits spelled out, but there is also some explanation offered to help convince the site visitor that buying from this site is in his or her best interest. The header also uses simple icons the information for each benefit.
Ecommerce Marketing Agency Tip #3 - Product Copy Descriptions
Another important site element that your ecommerce brand needs to A/B test is your product descriptions. Product descriptions play a vital role in helping consumers determine whether or not your products are right for them. The product description needs to not only be informative but compelling and convincing. A/B testing different copy can help you find the best descriptions to optimize conversions.
Your product description copy needs to be convincing while still being clear and concise. One way that you can present the product copy is by providing a short description up front with a “read more” tab for customers to learn more. Here’s an example of what this might look like:
Consumers that already know what they want can make a purchase immediately. While those who still need to get more information can look at further specifications and features before making a decision. Here’s what shows up when you click on the “read more” option:
The product description here is thorough and clearly organized. This gives visitors enough information to make a more informed purchasing decision. Notice also that consumers can look at a sizing chart and even read reviews for the product to help them while making a decision.
When testing your own product descriptions, you’ll want to try a few different approaches to see which works best for your target audience. Generally, bulleted lists of features or specifications are effective as they make it easy to organize the information. Depending on the products that you sell, you may also want to try providing some examples of when and where the products can be used.
Ecommerce Marketing Agency Tip #4 - Ask for Email at Checkout
A/B testing isn’t just about making changes to your home page and product pages. It can also help you optimize your checkout process for maximum conversions. One element that you should test when optimizing your checkout process is asking for the customer’s email at the very beginning of the checkout process. This will allow you to send follow up emails to the consumer if they don’t complete their order.
Unfortunately, abandoned shopping carts are a common occurrence for ecommerce brands. In our experience as an ecommerce marketing agency, we’ve found that our clients find the best results by asking for the visitor’s email at the very beginning of the checkout process. That way, if the consumer leaves before making a final purchase, the company can still reach out to them to try to encourage them to finalize their purchase.
When sending follow-up emails, make sure that you contact the consumer as soon as possible. That way, you are able to catch them before they have time to make a purchase on another site. You may even want to send a coupon or free shipping discount to encourage them to buy sooner. Your brand can test different email messages and frequency to find out what resonates best with the cart abandoners.
Ecommerce Marketing Agency Tip #5 - Make the Shopping Cart Persistent
Another element that you may want to test in an effort to maximize your ecommerce store conversions is the presence of your shopping cart. When working with our ecommerce clients to optimize their sites, we have found that a persistent shopping cart influences more conversions than a silent one.
By nature, consumers are going to comparison shop. This means that they will add products to their online shopping cart and then spend time on other sites comparing products and prices. They may return later after looking at their options to make a final purchase. If they find that the products are no longer in their shopping cart, they may become frustrated or find it too much of a hassle to add the same items back to their cart.
You can make the process as easy as possible for these customers by making your shopping cart persistent. Using a persistent cookie, you can ensure that the items the visitor puts in their shopping cart will still be waiting for them when they return to the site later on.
In the image above, you can see that the number of items the shopper has placed in their cart is shown near the shopping cart icon. With a persistent shopping cart, these items will still be available to the consumer after they have had time to compare prices and products at other online retailers. After testing this option, you will most likely find that conversions improve over time.
Ecommerce Marketing Agency Tip #6 - Use Progress Indicators for Checkout Process
The modern consumer likes to be in control of their shopping experience. An important part of that is letting the buyer know ahead of time what type of information they will need to provide during the checkout process and how long it will take. You can help keep your visitors in the know by using a clear progress indicator during their checkout experience.
Here’s an example of what that might look like:
On the checkout page for Motorcycler, the site provides a basic and clear progress indicator during the checkout process. The consumers can clearly see that they will need to provide information about themselves before choosing a shipping method and entering their payment information. It helps make the consumer feel more in charge of their shopping experience and lets them know how much longer they have to go before the purchase is finalized.
In our experience as an ecommerce marketing agency, we’ve helped a lot of ecommerce brands optimize their sites to provide a better customer experience and maximize conversions. The A/B testing ideas above are just a few of the elements we would suggest testing as you work to make improvements to your site.
Still having trouble optimizing conversions? Contact SevenAtoms today to see how our ecommerce expertise can help you improve conversions and boost revenue.