E-commerce Link: Commit to True Online Testing
By examining incremental improvements to conversion at the page level, you should be able to measurably move higher on your site’s fitness profile.
While A/B testing compares two elements to determine which element converts better, multivariate testing considers several elements at once. When properly conducted, multivariate testing is a legitimate test methodology, but for many online marketers it is nothing more than throwing things at a wall to see what sticks. The problem is that when testing several elements at once, the inexperienced tester has no certain means of determining which element is the contributing factor, making it impossible to remove an offending element or repeat a successful one. For this reason, we recommend A/B testing to start.
Which Platform and Goals?
The next decision is selecting the testing platform you will use. Of course, if cost is a concern or if you just want to put your toe in the testing waters, Google Website Optimizer is the way to go. In our experience, both Offermatica and Optimost also are sufficient platforms, each charging moderate fees. The paid platforms provide support with their technology, while Google outsources support to its partners.
Next, you must define your conversion goals. Do you want to:
• Increase sales?
• Generate leads?
• Boost product specific purchases?
• Generate qualified traffic for on-site purchases?
• Generate traffic for a self-service or subscription service?
• Increase online service sign up or event registration?
• Compare product image conversion?
What to Test
If you’re a typical marketer, you likely have an endless amount of pages you’d like to optimize. We recommend testing some of your more problematic entities. To narrow your task list, start testing the following:
• top five high bounce rate pages
• top five high exit rate pages
• top five lowest time spent pages
• top five key pages (e.g., checkout, cart, registration, top product, about us)