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Dec 11, 2015

5 Tests To Affect Revenue On Your eCommerce Site

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5 A/B Tests That Changed the Way I Design Websites

A/B Tests aren't for every website. If you have a high value item that only 20 people see a week, but when it converts it means a bigger return, A/B testing would be a lot harder to implement in a way to get return on investment. A/B Tests and multivariate tests are perfect for websites where you have a solid amount of traffic coming in so that you can reach statistical significance.

A/B Tests are only as good as your assumptions and guesses

So a deep dive into what has worked for other eCommerce websites is a prerequisite for implementing any meaningful change on your website. Familiarize yourself with many sources of information about eCommerce sites and come up with the tests that you feel are most likely to move the meter as far as revenue goes.

Two of the crucial moments on a website are when a visitor lands on your homepage and product page/buy button. So many of the case studies, I've read and implement changes around these crucial areas.

1. Remove your sliders / carousels.

A/B Tests have continually shown that Sliders (or carousels) are ineffective because a - the human eye reacts to movement and misses thus misses the other stuff, too many messages equals no message, and an effect called 'banner blindness' or the tendency for people to perceive it as an ad. But don't take my word for it, create an alternative form of the main promotion area of your site that doesn't use a slider and see how it performs.

Notre Dame ( ran a test with the slider and came to the conclusion that "as the number of features increases, the click-throughs on sub-features decreases dramatically."

Remove your sliders / carousels to improve conversion rates

I've run an A/B Test on this on a site recently and saw the rate of interaction go up on the version that had a static image instead of a slider go up 10%.

2. Add Trust and Award Badges.

E-Consultancy suggests the most effective trust badges are these top 5:

  • TRUSTe (3%) 
  • BBB (7%) 
  • McAfee (23%) 
  • Verisign (25%) 
  • PayPal (29%) 
Here are the complete list of tested trust factors:

Add Trust and Award Badges To Boost Your eCommerce Conversation Rates

Heatmapping show's which garnered the most attention:

Add Trust and Award Badges To Boost Your eCommerce Conversation Rate

Usabilla surveyd 150 respondents and the survey revealed that:

  • 76% said that the trust badges mattered, which 64% said that lesser known one's helped as well. 
  • 61% didn't make a purchase because of them missing, while 76% said they didn't because the trust logo was unrecognizable. 
So we can glean from this information that:

  1. Trust badges like this matter. 
  2. Not alot of them are actually quickly recognizable 
  3. If people don't know what they are, they can actually hinder path to purchase. 

But from my perspective you mix and match and test based on your own experience and see how they do.

3. Add product videos for popular products

Zagg implemented Video as the default instead of product images and saw a 27% increase in conversions.

The original product page:

Add product videos for popular products to make more money on your website

The product page that defaulted showing video instead of product image:

Add product videos for popular products to turn visitors into customers

Of course you need to have a video to make this work, but it's definitely a fairly obviously beneficial thing to A/B test, because you're educating the visitor in a more entertaining way with a video than simple images or a image carousel. Clearly if you have a deep catalog this might not be easy to do for all of your products, but for the top 2 or 3 products the investment may be worth the reward.

4. Re-assure with badges for 'fast and free shipping,' and 'no-hassle returns,' right next to the add to cart button.

I love watching revenue tracking on the projects I'm doing. Adding simple iconography that has branded colors next to the add to cart button and expresses fast and free shipping and no hassle returns gave a boost of $1,700 in a week for a client of ours, which was about 10% more than the alternative without the icons.

Tracking revenue is great because it can show you how closely connected effective design is with money in you or your clients pocket. I used WooCommerce and AB tracking through Optimizely with this snippet dropped into my functions.php file. However you do it, make sure you start with a solid prediction, and at least a bit of time spent to make sure your additions feel like they're part of the site visually.

Re-assure with badges for 'fast and free global shipping,' and 'no-hassle returns,' right next to the add to cart button to improve your online sales

5. Add post purchase sharing options.

I recently implemented this design below that allows a visitor to tweet about their recent order. For a box of kleenex perhaps this won't be compelling but for a "Subscription Box for Dad's" or a new state of the art drone you can bet some people are going to want to brag about their new purchase. Give them an easy way to do so, that points back to gain you another customer. You can test your messaging on this page, and find what works best for you.

However, tweeting and posting buttons on a product page before a purchase can distract and have actually shown a decrease in conversion on some websites, such as who tested without social sharing and had an 11.9% increase in conversions. They attributed this to negative social proof (as most products were showing very few shares,) and distraction from the main goal - a purchase.

Use these as inspiration - but definitely test for your own specific situation

No test is going to be the exact same on any two websites, so the fun is in getting your hands dirty and testing for yourself. Share your results in the comments or tweet at me at @timbdesignmpls.

Tim Brown is a digital art director at Snap Agency in Minneapolis, MN. He prides himself in creating valuable resources for other designers, and has written guides like "How to Be a Conversion Optimization Genius," "Ultimate Designer's Color Guide for 2016," "What'll be the ideal blog length for SEO in 2016" and created the infographic "What is the Best Web Type?".

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