How do you perform an A/B test?

Blend Commerce describes what A/B testing is, why it’s useful for businesses and how to do it successfully. Get in touch for advice on starting your first test.

What is An A/B Test?

An A/B test is a method of testing different content variants or an element to see which performs better. These variants are shown to similarly-sized audiences, commonly an equal split between the variants (e.g. a 50% split between two variants). An example of an A/B test could be alternating the background colour of the add to cart button on the product page:

Original

Shown to 50% of users

Variant

Shown to 50% of users

 

 

 

Once the test is finished, the data can then be used to determine whether changes should be made permanently to the site based on the results.

How long should you run an A/B test?

An A/B test must be run for long enough to gather sufficient data and see a clear difference between the variants. Google recommends that an A/B test is run for a minimum of two weeks or until a clear winner is found. This is a great tool to check how long you should run a test based on various factors, including what you want to achieve, how many variants you’ll be creating and what the traffic on your site looks like.

Are A/B tests worth it?

100%. A/B tests are considered low cost and high in reward; therefore, there isn’t much risk. It’s good, however, to set some targets of what you want to get out of the test before running it. Here are some examples of what targets to set and what you could achieve by running A/B tests:

  • Increase conversion rate

Example: You want to increase conversions by finding the most optimal background colour of the product page and add to cart button. You could test two different background colours of the button to see which variant leads to more products being added to users' carts. By assessing the data and making the necessary changes to your store, will potentially lead to increased conversions

  • Reduced bounce rate

Example: You want to reduce the bounce rate on your homepage by finding the most optimal position for your featured collection section. You could test two different positions on the page for this section to see which variant most engages your users. Finding the most engaging place for this section will potentially reduce the bounce rate on your homepage.

Why should I Run an A/B test?

By running A/B tests on your site and gathering insightful data, you’re constantly optimising the experience for your users and making it easier for them to shop. This will lead to higher customer satisfaction and (what most merchants hope for) a potential increase of orders on your store.

When should you not use an A/B test?

As mentioned before, A/B tests rely heavily on your store getting a lot of traffic. If this is low, it may be more worth your while concentrating your efforts on attracting more customers. If you’ve already run a test and want to check whether it’s worth making changes to your site based on the results, this is a great tool to use to determine this.

How can Blend help you?

In today’s quickly changing Shopify environment, ensuring that your store performs at peak performance should be high on your list of priorities for your site.

Our team consists of UI & UX designers, Front & Backend Developers, CRO Consultants, Growth Marketers and Strategy Consultants.

Our On-Demand Digital Department is here to be your Digital team that works to make continuous, iterative improvements on the highest priority basis. Alongside this, by partnering with Blend, you’ll benefit from a tight-knit team that’s flexible enough to handle ad hoc requests, giving you the time and energy to focus on your long term vision for your business.

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