If you plan on doing some conversion rate optimization on your online store, get ready to hear this term a lot!
An A/B test protocol is a great way to make changes to your page and gauge whether or not they are actually effective.
When it comes to conversion rate optimization (and just about any other kind of webpage optimization), A/B testing is often the best to determine which changes work best for your retail website and for your target customer.
In an A/B test, there are two separate versions of your website, one with one set of changes, and the other with an entirely different set of changes. In some cases, you may want to leave one website completely unchanged and make your changes to only the B version.
The function of these tests is to make sure that there is absolutely no guessing involved in optimizing your website. We know exactly what works, because there are hard numbers to back up those changes.
What sorts of things might be changed during an A/B test?
Making too many changes too quickly may make it impossible to see which of those changes is effective.
In many A/B test we may change just one or just a few things at a time.
An example of an A/B test includes changing the heading on a product category page. The B side of the test may be a different version of that change, or it may leave the original heading. Other examples of A/B tests include changing the location of visual banners or the color of a button, like “Add to Cart.”
What does an A/B test measure?
With online retailers, because we are aiming for better conversion optimization, we will largely be measuring how many page visitors perform the action you want them to perform, which may be making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter (or both). We track sign-ups and/or purchases per version of the page to see which webpage (and therefore, which change) is more effective at encouraging your site visitors to take the desired action.
Essentially, A/B testing shows your visitors two different pages, with the same function, and lets them tell you which one they prefer. Not only does it tell you plenty about your own webpage, it tells you about your customers and it ensures that your website works for them and their needs and what you’re trying to accomplish based on your CRO goals.