Home The CRO-tool blog Complete guide on A/B testing

Complete guide on A/B testing

Posted on Sep 29, 2022

What exactly is A/B testing?

A/B testing is running two versions of a same web page simultaneously to determine which version exactly generates more leads or works better towards more conversions. The original version of the page is generally referred to as the ‘Control’ whereas the altered/ modified version is called the ‘Treatment.’

For the certain advantage that A/B testing brings in the process of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), it has been widely and successfully used by most of the digital marketers around the world. Think about it! You can continuously improve the performance of your website not only by capturing which features serve better towards optimized conversions, but also by modifying the elements of poor performance.

The working mechanism of A/B Testing

As the first and foremost requirement, you need to recognize the problem you face, whether it’s dropped out conversions, dropped out return rates etc. Then, recognize the root cause and come up with a hypothesis which is the way you plan to make improvements to the website. Changing the layout of the sign up form is one ideal example for a hypothesis. Moreover, you need to have A/B testing software to track the results of the two versions of the pages.

How does the A/B testing software work?

The software has the capability of monitoring and recording the behavioral changes of your target audience. Prior to that, the traffic is divided and sent towards the ‘Control’ page and the ‘Treatment’ page. Then the responses of the visitors are recorded. There is some advanced software that even has the possibility to drive more traffic towards the page that performs the best in order to create a bigger sample to run the test on consumer behavior.

However, before making permanent changes, you are supposed to perform an analysis on statistical significance of the data you received. If the data received are not statistically significant and changes made based on such data will never give you the best outcome for Conversion Rate optimization (CRO).

Other similar testing mechanism Vs. A/B testing

Multivariate testing (A/B/n testing)

In A/B testing only a single variable’s performance will be tracked against two versions such as checking the performance on the current sign up form vs. modified sign up form. However in the case of A/B/n (Multivariate) testing, we check the performance of different variables together in terms of their contribution towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

Let’s say that we are going to assess the performance on how the ‘sign up using social media’ call to action works with ‘the banner’. Let’s call ‘sign up using social media’ ‘A’ and banner ‘B’. As we check two elements together, it is A/B/n testing that we should go with. And we will have four design combinations to test. (A1 & B1, A1 & B2, A2 & B2, A2 & B1). Test all four and pick the best combination!

Split Testing

To perform A/B testing, we assign both the versions of the pages to the same URL. As a result, in certain conditions pages may load slower. As the name implies, in split testing we give two URLs to the two versions of the pages. However the process is said to be more complicated and the accuracy of data is said to be not as great as A/B testing.

Success stories of A/B testing in digital marketing

Grene’s story

Being a well reputed e-commerce website in agriculture related category in Poland, Grene could increase their sales 200% by redesigning their mini cart followed by A/B testing. As per the test findings, they came to know that,

  • The visitors assumed the ‘Free delivery’ label to be a button to obtain extra information and were frustrated to know otherwise.
  • Subtotal of the individual items was not easily seeable.
  • They had to scroll all the way down the cart page to the call to action to ‘Go to cart’

All the above cases were creating a negative effect on Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Having obtained the data on the test, the team came up with the following modifications to notice that they worked great towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) with a sales increment of 200%.

  • Subtotal value of each product was added right to the item.
  • A call to action was added at the top of the mini cart linking to the main cart page.
  • ‘Go to cart’ button was increased in size for better visibility.

Why does A/B testing grow in popularity on a daily basis?

The reasons why A/B testing grows in popularity may differ based on the type of the website, but they share a common ultimate objective which is the Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). The importance lies in the fact that test findings are based on the real users and the conclusions derived on test data are invaluable as the success of the optimizations is quite promising. The best time to optimize your website is no time but right now! Don’t waste any longer and feel the difference for yourself with A/B testing.

Do you think you know enough about CRO?

Join our monthly mailing to continue learning more and more about CRO and psychology.