The Clearsale Blog

The One Test That Can Increase Online Sales — Fast!

The One Test That Can Increase Online Sales — Fast!

When it comes to increasing online sales and growing a business, merchants want to implement the sales strategies that quickly let them see impressive results.

One way for merchants to improve online sales with minimal cost and effort is with A/B testing. This simple strategy lets e-commerce merchants of all sizes experiment with their websites, gain valuable insights regarding their customers and their preferences, and implement the changes that help them get the most out of their website traffic.

Studies show that A/B testing can illuminate even small website modifications that can lead to double-digit improvements in conversion rates. Clearly, every e-commerce merchant should know what A/B testing is and how it can benefit their business.

What Is A/B Testing?

Businesses use A/B testing (sometimes called “split” or “bucket” testing) to find out which of two marketing variables customers find more appealing by launching the variables simultaneously and analyzing the resulting data to see which performed better.

For example, imagine a merchant is trying to decide which button is more effective at converting customers: the current “Add to Cart” button design (version A, known as the control) or a new button design (version B, called the variable). The merchant tests its options by dividing website traffic into two equal groups; randomly directing them to the page with either version A or B; and analyzing which option most affected customer behavior and improved targeted metrics (e.g., a higher conversion rate, a lower bounce rate, more sales).

11 Website Elements e-Commerce Merchants Can Easily A/B Test

Although the sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing elements to modify, these 11 A/B tests are a good place to start:

1. Change Your Tone

Consider changing the tone of website text to see what style resonates with customers. Some may relate better to casual narrative copy, while others might prefer more formal, concise text. While keeping the target audience in mind, make slight variations to tone (casual or formal), copy (informative versus creative) and sense of urgency (“Sale ends today!”).

2. Switch Up the Navigation

Different navigation elements — like drop-down or floating menus or breadcrumb navigation — can easily change a customer’s shopping experience by making pages and products easier or harder to find.

And it’s just not what kind or navigation you use, but also:

  • Where the navigation is located on the page, like on the top, left- or right-hand side
  • The order of navigation items — which is positioned highest

3. Make Product Recommendations

If merchants aren’t including up-sells or cross-sells on their product pages, they might be missing the opportunity to increase the dollar value of an order. Other merchants, however, might prefer to not distract customers with a cluttered page of related products.

Test a variety of pages, like one version with no up- or cross-sells and another that displays products related to those in a customer’s cart, similar to Amazon’s suggested product list.

Make Product Recommendations

4. Play With Pricing

There’s no doubt that the way a merchant prices items affects how customers perceive a product. For example, a product priced “$999” is generally thought to be a better value than the same product priced “$1,000,” despite the difference of just a dollar. Ending pricing with the number 9 can even outsell lower prices: The Journal of Quantitative Marketing and Economics found that jeans priced at $49 outsold the same jeans priced at $44 by 24%. 

Merchants can also experiment with pricing strategies by:

  • Testing a price match guarantee, offering to refund customers the difference if they find a lower price on the same item elsewhere.
  • Displaying prices on the left and the right sides of a product image to see which is more popular.

5. Create a Sense of Urgency

Sometimes the fear of missing out can nudge customers to make a purchase. Sites like EventBrite show a countdown timer, letting customers know how long they have to make a purchase before their items are released to another customer.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Merchants like Zulilly and Hotels.com often display the number of items remaining when inventory gets low, subtly influencing customers to make a quick purchase.

6. Change Up CTAs

Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons offer a wealth of A/B testing options, including:

  • Shapes. Test rectangular, oval or even irregularly shaped buttons to see which one captures customers’ attention.
  • Text. “Buy Now” is short and sweet and can increase conversions, but “Add to Cart” may increase average order values. “It’s Free” can increase signups by up to 28%.
  • Location. Generally, complex offers feature CTAs near the bottom of the page; other offers may do best with multiple CTAs strategically placed throughout a page.
  • Size. Small CTAs may be easily overlooked, while large CTAs may be distracting and off-putting to the reader.
  • Color. Play with color to make sure CTAs stand out from website copy. When CareLogger changed their CTA color from green to red, they realized a 34% increase in conversion.

7. Add Pop-Up Windows

While some users find pop-up windows distracting, they’re effective: The only way to close them is by taking action.

Merchants can use that action to their advantage by adding pop-up windows that encourage social sharing, display related products or offer a buy-it-now discount code.

8. Allow Guest Checkouts

Forcing customers to register for an account is risky. While it gives merchants the data needed to target and reactivate customers in the future, it also increases the risk of cart abandonment. Testing mandatory and optional account registration lets merchants evaluate the long-term value of increasing the visitor bounce rate while gaining valuable customer data.

Allow Guest Checkouts

9. Reduce the Number of Checkout Fields

Some studies report that conversion rates decrease 10% with each additional field customers must complete. Test that theory by eliminating fields that aren’t essential to completing a sale — like title or company name.

10. Change Up Your Offers

Merchants who don’t offer free delivery can test the effects of offering free shipping for orders above a certain dollar amount on conversions. It may reduce cart abandonment (especially for those merchants who don’t usually display shipping costs until late in the checkout process) and increase the average order value to hit the free-shipping minimum.

11. Offer the Chance to Chat Before Checking Out

It’s not unusual for customers to have order questions while shopping online; in fact, 44% of online shoppers want live assistance when making a purchase. Test having a live chat option on checkout or product pages to encourage purchases.

Get Started With Increasing Online Sales, Customer Security

Trying any of these A/B testing ideas today can help e-commerce merchants make controlled changes to the user experience while gaining valuable data on the outcomes. The result? Merchants attract more traffic, convert additional leads, create the optimal user experience and generate more revenue.

But A/B testing won’t solve every challenge an e-commerce merchant faces. Card-not-present fraud is on the rise and poses a serious threat to a growing business’s revenue and chances for success. 

Contact the experts at ClearSale today to learn how our easy-to-implement, comprehensive fraud protection solution protects customers and merchants against savvy fraudsters and threats to e-commerce security, making the entire online shopping experience enjoyable and safe.

ClearSale Fraud Protection Buyers Guide

You may also like

3 Ways Tech Can Benefit Remote Teams

3 Ways Tech Can Benefit Remote Teams

Ecommerce businesses are used to an ever-evolving digital connection between them and their customers. But 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in that digital connection making its way into the..

Shopping Habits by Gender: What’s Changed in 2020

Shopping Habits by Gender: What’s Changed in 2020

Do men hate shopping online? Are women more worried about fraud?

How to Know It’s Time to Create a Mobile App for Your Online Store

How to Know It’s Time to Create a Mobile App for Your Online Store

We rely on our mobile devices for everything—our banking, our gaming, our arguments with that really boisterous neighbor. Naturally, we use our mobile devices for shopping as well.

Are Virtual Events the Future of Retail Experiential Marketing?

Are Virtual Events the Future of Retail Experiential Marketing?

Over the years, retail brands—including those in e-commerce—have turned to immersive experiences as a way to engage customers, build a community, and strengthen their brand experience. Whether..

Preparing Your E-Commerce Store for the Holiday Season

Preparing Your E-Commerce Store for the Holiday Season

It might still be summer on the calendar, but the holiday shopping season is just around the corner.  Are you ready?

5 Ways to Prepare for Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2020

5 Ways to Prepare for Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2020

Closing out a record-breaking 2019 holiday shopping season, e-commerce merchants had no reason to think 2020’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday would be any different.

How Luxury Brands Can Excel in E-Commerce

How Luxury Brands Can Excel in E-Commerce

Luxury brands bring to mind a special touch — spoiling buyers with a glass of champagne as they browse, personal shoppers selecting outfits that suit the customer's style and coloring, attention..

How to Maximize Your E-Commerce Enterprise Through Digital Transformation

How to Maximize Your E-Commerce Enterprise Through Digital Transformation

With three-quarters of Americans online at least several times a day — and some continually — digital technology is taking firm root in our daily lives. Tech-savvy consumers are navigating a..

Your New Website’s Strategy to Sell Online

Your New Website’s Strategy to Sell Online

Congratulations! You’ve decided to get serious about your online approach, but you are nervous about your strategy and converting sales. After all, why should someone choose to buy from your..

Want to write
for our blog?

Please review our writers' guidelines
https://www2.clear.sale/press/clearsale-guest-blog-guidelines
and then email guestwriter@clear.sale with your pitch!

Subscribe to our blog