Hi there, it’s Matthew Larsen from Ultra Growth Marketing, and the topic of this blog post is how to A/B Test your eCommerce Store.
How to A/B Test For Your eCommerce Store
If you don’t know what A/B Testing is, it is when you are testing two different versions of something such as an ad, an email, a landing page, a product description, etc., against one another to see which one performs better. Your current version would be version A, and then the version you are testing would be version B.
A/B testing is very important, because in almost every case, the way you are doing it right now is not the way that will deliver the best results. There is always a better ad, and a better email, and a better landing page, etc. Even if your current way is very successful, there will always be a better way to do it that is even more successful. However, unless you get into a routine of A/B testing, you will never be able to find this new and better way.
Lots of eCommerce owners just set up their store initially, whether it be the home page, or the product page, or their emails, or their ads (or all of the above), and that’s that. That is how it is set up permanently and no more thought goes into it. This is fine as long as it is working for you, but if there was a better way that could get you a 25% better result, or a 50% better result, or a 2x better result, wouldn’t you want to find it?
The most important thing to remember about A/B testing is that you can’t find a better way if you don’t try.
That is obvious, right? Of course it is, but just because something is obvious doesn’t mean it is common practice. If we want to grow our store to millions and millions of dollars per year and achieve true success, A/B testing and the mindset of constant and incremental improvement needs to be engrained into our minds and DNA.
Let’s just start small, and simple. There are three things that you should be A/B testing constantly to try and get a better result. These three things are things that you know and likely have a decent amount of experience with. They are:
1. Your Ads
2. Your Email Flows
3. Your Landing Page
These are the three things that have the most impact for any eCommerce Store, and fortunately, they are the three things that are easiest to A/B test.
1. It is very easy to create different versions of variations of your ads on Facebook, Google, etc. There is even a feature to do so.
2. Most email marketing softwares will have a built-in A/B testing feature where you can make variations.
3. Most landing pages builders will also have a built-in A/B testing feature where you can set up two versions of a landing page, split the traffic, and see which one converts the best.
The Rules of A/B Testing
When we are A/B testing our ads, emails, landing pages, etc., there are some rules and procedures that we need to follow:
1. Never test more than one “component” at once. It is important to only test one part of an ad, email, or landing page at a time. Let’s take a Facebook ad for example. If we test the creatives (ie. use a different one), change the headline, and modify the ad copy and we get a very different result, we won’t know which change was responsible. It could be any of these things, or it could be one. We will never know. It is important that we only test one thing at a time. If we are testing an email, for the first test, we should just change the Email Subject. Then, during the second test, we can change the design. Then, the third test, we can change the email copy. It is important that we only do one thing at a time so we can “zero in” on what made the difference.
2. We need to keep accurate and detailed records of our A/B tests. When we get into the rhythm of A/B testing, we will need to record our results. If we don’t, the entire process is pointless. Make a spreadsheet, and determine the key metrics that indicate whether the test was a success, or failure. If we are doing an A/B test on our Facebook ads for example, the most important metrics will be things such as Cost Per Conversion, ROAS, Click Through Rate, and so on. It is important we make a spreadsheet or database with columns that we can input these metrics, so we can compare our test (Version B) against the original (Version A).
3. We need to give our test enough time to ensure we are getting accurate results. Whenever we do an A/B test, we need to run it long enough to get accurate results. When we say accurate results, what we really mean is a large enough sample size where we can be confident that the results are accurate and spread across a long enough period of time that there are no “flukes.” If we do an A/B test and spend $50 on a new Facebook Ad, that is not enough time and money to produce accurate results. When you run an ad and spend $50 per day, the same ad could get five purchases one day and zero the next. If our A/B test happened to be a “down” day that got zero purchases, we may come to the wrong conclusion, thinking that our test was a failure and didn’t work, when the next day the exact same ad could have gotten five purchases and would have been a massive success. When you are A/B testing, always make sure to have a large enough sample size before you look at the data and come to your conclusions.
The Most Important Thing
The most important thing about A/B testing is to make it a habit, and create a system to ensure that you are constantly doing it. You have to make it a priority and always be testing. The mindset of constant and incremental improvement is very key in eCommerce. Even if you can find away to make your store “better” by 1% per week, that can add up to millions of dollars over the course of years. You have to get started. You have to create a system. It is some of the most important work you can do. Don’t accept your current results. There is always a better and more profitable way, and you just have to find it. Think of it as a “game.” You are the main character and your mission is to solve the puzzle and get to the next level.
A/B testing is one of the most important things to do for any eCommerce Store. There is always a “better” way to do things. Common things that you should be A/B testing are your ads, emails and landing pages. If you can improve your ads by 1% every week, emails by 1% every week, and landing page by 1% every week, you will find that you can 2x, 3x, 4x, or even 5x your sales over the course of one year. Small victories stack up and lead to massive results. Get started. Create a system. Never stop A/B Testing.
If you really want to learn how to A/B test your eCommerce Store, the best way is to simply practice. Practice, practice, and more practice is what you need. Try some wild ideas at the start, and then as you find out what works, hone in on that and optimize further and further until it is absolutely perfect.
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