A/B Testing Insights Through Ecommerce Customer Journey

A/B testing has evolved from a simple comparative study to a process backed up by a data-driven approach. Here are some some inside tips and tricks which can help you get huge uplifts in your business metrics.

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A seamless eCommerce customer journey is about transitioning from just “buying” to “experiencing.” The key to growing your online business is to let your customers explore, decide, and share, and then learn from their experience.

Over the years, A/B testing has evolved from a simple comparative study to a process backed up by a data-driven approach. Businesses and website owners can utilize this approach at every stage of their customer journey.

In this blog post, we take you through some inside tips and tricks which helped VWO customers get huge uplifts in business metrics such as conversions and revenues. Take notes as you read this blog, as the next big testing idea for your own ecommerce store could come in from here.

1) Easy Visibility and Access To Relevant Information for Visitors

Customer Interaction: Splash pages

A splash page is a screen that pops up when you first enter a site. As splash pages are the pages visitors see first when visiting a website, these are also an important source of revenue.

Let’s first look at some of the industry best practices regarding splash pages.

  • Make the key message and the exit button both easily visible.
    While interested visitors should be able to move through next steps, the disinterested ones should also be able to move through, that is, exit the splash page easily.
  • Make sure your users interact with your splash page first and then the page they are looking for.
  • Design the user/visitor flow such that those who have already visited your splash page don’t get to see it again.
    This should be spaced out based on factors such as time span, say on a revisit after 7 days.

Case Study

Warner Music Group, an American multinational entertainment and record label conglomerate headquartered in New York City, noticed that conversion rates were lower than the industry average.

They redesigned their splash pages, and ran 3 A/B tests before making these live.

In the variation, the image on the left was resized and moved below the content. The purpose was to provide a quick snapshot to the visitor in one go.

The redesigned splash pages showed a 4% improvement in the conversion rate. Look at the comparison of the control (left) and variation (right) below:

Optimizing The Customer Journey: WMG A/B Test

To learn more on how WMG went through with their other tests and execution, you can read the complete case study.

2) Best Possible Customer Experience on the Home Page

Visitor interaction: Home page

Your home page is the entrance to your store. Jazz it up with the very best of what you have got.

Some of the home page best practices include:

  • Convey value proposition straight up. What a visitor sees in the first few seconds on your home page is crucial. It’s important that you communicate your value proposition instantly, and don’t come across as just another mom & pop store.
  • Have an easily identifiable Sale section. Fish all the discounted products on your home page, and line those up in a separate section that’s dedicated to them.
  • Organize the navigation bar. Make sure your visitors easily find their way around your website. Place the navigation bar at the standard positions where visitors expect to find them. You can also make your navigation bar persistent.

Case Study

MedienReich ComputerTrainings, a German company which provides various software training courses, also applied the same learning and increased website engagement by 40%.

They replaced the 3 broad category types with 8 of their best-selling courses, such as Photoshop, InDesign, and AutoCAD.

While doing so, they also adhered to another best practice, that is:


Provide right information in right order.


You can refer to the comparison of the control and the variation below:

You can learn more about the MedienReich success story.

3) Connecting Prospective Customers with Products

Visitor interaction point: Category page

When it comes to category pages, every action requires equal caution. For such pages, you need to plan per your product type and page layout and design than following an industry best practice blindly. Be it how your products are displayed, the position of the search box, or the number of filters, every field or option should be used with discretion or should be tested and used accordingly.

For example, Buyakilt.com added filters to increase their revenue by 76%, but UKToolCentre considered filters as a distractor for a particular category and had these removed to increase their engagement by 27%.

When the focus of a website is to have customers sign in and then buy, it’s important to maintain customer focus and continuity.

Case Study

Muc-Off offers a broad range of cleaning products for bicycles, motorcycles, and other motor vehicles, and electronic goods. Its products are sold through major retailers around the world as well as through its website.

When Spot Studio, an agency hired by Muc-Off, also tried applying this learning, they observed that their design caused incongruity in user experience. Visitors came there to purchase products; but after landing on the page, they were finding information resources instead of a shop front.

The test they did after rearranging their departments page (or the category page) gave them 43.78% more product views.

Here’s the control-variation comparison, as noted on VWO Heatmaps.



To find more about what Muc-Off did to improve the customer experience on their category page, here’s the complete case study.

4) Judicious Use of Reviews and Testimonials on Product Pages to Gain Visitor Trust

Visitor interaction point: Product page

According to Local Consumer Review Survey 2018:

  • Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.
  • 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars.
  • 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews.

Case Study

Express Watches, a client of VWO’s Certified Partners, High Position, is an authorized Seiko watch dealer that ships to over 23 countries. They have been in the watch retail industry for more than 21 years and believe in getting the basics right to satisfy their customers.

Considering the challenges related to replicas plaguing their industry, Express Watches also decided to use the above learning to reinforce their brand positioning.

However, to reduce visitor anxiety and achieve the desired results, they included a TrustPilot widget with some great customer reviews. These were tested against the erstwhile section Why Buy From Express Watches?

The variation was declared the winner with a percentage improvement of 58.39% and 99% chance to beat original, as shown below.

To read the Express Watches case study in detail, click here.

5) Resolution of Customer Friction Points at the Checkout Page for Significant Website Conversions

According to 40 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics:

  • 26% of US online shoppers have abandoned an order in a particular quarter solely due to a “too long / complicated checkout process.”
  • $260 billion are recoverable through checkout optimizations of just US and EU e-commerce sales.
  • 34% of US online shoppers have abandoned an order in a particular quarter solely due to the reason “the site wanted me to create an account.”

As an eCommerce business owner, it’s important that you regularly interact with your customers and new visitors to get ongoing feedback about their experience, as you wouldn’t want to lose them at the final gateway, that is, the checkout stage.

Case Study

PayU India is the flagship company of Naspers group, a $93 billion Internet and media conglomerate. Through its proprietary technology, PayU provides state-of-the-art payment gateway solutions to online businesses.

The concern for PayU was checkout page drop-offs. Through VWO’s Visitor Recordings and Heatmaps features, the PayU team found that providing communication information was a key friction point. They hypothesized that dropping the less important of the two fields—the telephone and the email—would help them increase conversions.  

They tested the variation without the email field against the control. The results demonstrated that dropping the email field showed a statistically significant improvement of 5.8% compared to the control.

Look at the comparison of the control and variation below:

Control
Variation

Conclusion

While the above A/B testing ideas worked for these companies, these may not necessarily work for you as well.

These case studies should provide you insights and ideas on how you can create strong hypotheses and test these further.

These examples should give you a good idea as to how A/B testing can be a good starting point for conversion optimization and the extent of results you can achieve through testing.

Do share your A/B testing experiences in the Comments section below.

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Built to Wow: An Introduction to Launching Personalization At Your Company

The promise of personalization is enticing: a complete 1-to-1 experience for every customer, driven by every detail and data point about that person: who they are, their interests, needs and history. Their customer experience is completely optimized to deliver the right content at the right time, influencing brand engagement, purchase activity and “wow”-worthy customer experiences. […]

The post Built to Wow: An Introduction to Launching Personalization At Your Company appeared first on Brooks Bell.

The promise of personalization is enticing: a complete 1-to-1 experience for every customer, driven by every detail and data point about that person: who they are, their interests, needs and history. Their customer experience is completely optimized to deliver the right content at the right time, influencing brand engagement, purchase activity and “wow”-worthy customer experiences.

For years, this vision has been a pipedream among marketers, product managers and customer experience professionals. Many clients come to us wanting to “do personalization” but face significant challenges in doing so.

Part of this is due to the fact that “personalization” is so ill-defined.

At Brooks Bell, we define personalization as any experience that is delivered to a user based on known data about that person. By that definition, personalization exists on a spectrum: it can be one-to-few, one-to-many, or one-to-one. In the digital environment, product recommendations, customized search results and even segmented experiences are all considered examples of personalization.

But while many companies are already implementing these experiences, there’s still an overwhelming sense that many brands have yet to arrive in terms of personalization.


Got a bunch of burning questions about personalization? Submit them using the form below.

We’ll use this information to make sure we cover these topics in our upcoming posts.


A 2018 study of 300 marketers by Evergage and Researchscape International found that 98% of respondents believe personalization helps advance customer relationships, but only 12% were “very” or “extremely” satisfied with the level of personalization in their marketing efforts.

This is because (not unlike experimentation) personalization is a business strategy that should evolve in order to deliver long-term value. And while it’s true that many brands already have the ability to do personalization, they’ve also found that elevating and scaling a personalization program is difficult, costly and, frankly, can feel pretty darn impossible.

So, how to do this? In addition to the fundamentals for a standard optimization program, there are three critical working components that need to be established for personalization:

  • Technology: you need top-notch tools to centralize user profiles and deliver personalized experiences;
  • Data: personalization requires a clean, unified view of relevant customer attributes, and
  • Strategy: you need research and planning to purposefully and effectively launch, scale and benefit from personalization.

In the coming weeks, we’re going to break down personalization further by each of these components. We’ll outline the best practices, advice, strategies and tips to go from scrappy to smart when it comes to introducing and scaling personalization at your organization.

Struggling to execute a scalable personalization strategy? We can help. Contact us to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

The post Built to Wow: An Introduction to Launching Personalization At Your Company appeared first on Brooks Bell.

What are your website visitors doing?

Chances are that you’re tracking your website visitors en masse. You’re probably tracking acquisition sites, tallying up conversions and working to optimize your pages for the best success. But with all of that quantitative research, do you know about each individual user’s journey, and where they are struggling on your site? If not, you should […]

The post What are your website visitors doing? appeared first on Brooks Bell.

Chances are that you’re tracking your website visitors en masse. You’re probably tracking acquisition sites, tallying up conversions and working to optimize your pages for the best success. But with all of that quantitative research, do you know about each individual user’s journey, and where they are struggling on your site? If not, you should check out one of our partners: SessionCam.

Jonathan Hildebrand, Brooks Bell’s Sr. Director of UX & Design, spoke at SessionCam’s user conference last week in Chicago. If you’re unfamiliar with SessionCam, the company began with a mission of building the best session replay solution on the market.  Over time the solution has grown into a fully-fledged behavioral analytics solution including heatmaps, conversion funnels, form analytics and more.

We’ve been blown away by the machine learning algorithms which identify signs of customer struggle and frustration on a website.  We sat down with Jonathan to ask him for a couple takeaways from the event.

As a UX expert, what do you appreciate most about SessionCam?

Where SessionCam really shines is in the qualitative data it provides, which can uncover major hurdles on your site in ways that quantitative data could never reveal. SessionCam’s recordings allow customers to watch a complete play-by-play of a visitor’s experience on the site, whether it’s through a mobile device or desktop.

What about specific to testing?

From a testing perspective, SessionCam can be great for post-test analysis since it allows you to watch videos from the live test experiences. The Customer Struggle Score is also a great way to understand where problems are occurring.

Any interesting case studies?

Definitely. One that comes to mind is a retailer that has a buy online, pick up in store (BOPUS) program. They were using SessionCam to uncover the source of order mistakes. When there was an error at pickup, they would go back and watch that customer’s online session to see if a problem occurred during the online order process and determine if there were any improvements they could make.

And you only need to check out their website to see the kind of value that SessionCam has added to many of the world’s leading brands.

If you’re interested in finding out more about SessionCam, give us a shout.

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