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2023-05-31

Tune Your Shopify Store For Maximum Performance: The A/B Testing Guide

Justin Wiley

Justin Wiley

With just a few clicks of a button, you can buy virtually everything from around the world, all thanks to eCommerce for transforming how we shop. And since we're already talking about eCommerce, we might as well emphasize our discussion on Shopify.

As a business owner, you've probably heard about Shopify, or you're using it already. Aside from Shopify's basic tools and features, you can utilize many other marketing strategies to boost your business's performance. One of the most widely-used techniques is A/B testing.

Here, we'll discuss what A/B testing is, why it's important, and how to run A/B tests in your Shopify store. So let's get started!

Ready to take your business to another level using A/B testing? Our experts at Replo are here to help. Contact us, and let's create the perfect strategy for your online store.


What Is A/B Testing?

Just by reading it, it seems like you're looking at an algebra problem, right? But no, its concept is actually as easy as counting 1, 2, 3.

A/B testing, also known as split testing, tests two versions of a web page or app to determine which one performs better. It is a type of experimentation that allows marketers to compare two versions of a page to see which one performs better in terms of user engagement, conversions, or other desired outcomes.

By testing these different parameters, you can identify which ones are driving engagement and conversions and make changes accordingly.

Knowing how to optimally use A/B testing, can make your business boom in no time.


How Does It Work?

The basic idea behind A/B testing is to create two versions of a web page or app with different elements and then compare the performance of each version. This could include changes to the copy, the visuals, the layout, or any other factor that could impact the user experience.

  • To run an A/B test, you'll need to determine which elements you'd like to test. This could be anything from the placement of a “buy now” button to the color of the background.
  • Once you've decided on the elements you'd like to test, create two versions of the page or app.
  • You'll then need to set up a system to track how each version is performing. This could be done through a third-party tool like Replo or a dedicated A/B testing platform.
  • Once the test is complete, you'll be able to compare the performance of each version and determine which one gave better results.


Why Is A/B Testing Important In eCommerce?

As a Shopify store owner, you want to attract new customers and make sure they come back to buy more of your products, but in return, you have to learn their preferences, perspectives, and some other factors that affect their buying decision. That's where A/B testing comes in.

A/B testing can evaluate the effectiveness of different elements on a page, such as copy, layout, graphics, colors, and interactive components. It helps merchants better understand their customers to assess shopping habits, such as the day of the week they shop or the impact of external factors like weather, seasons, events, and holidays.

Not just that, A/B testing accounts for various campaigns and anomalies where you can test how newsletter dropping affects sales or how customer shopping routines change when a new promotion is released.


The Importance Of Timing In Shopify A/B Testing

When we say “timing is everything,” we really mean it. To get the most out of your A/B testing, be aware of all the factors that significantly impact your sales. Don't worry; we'll walk you through everything here.


Customer Shopping Habits Can Change Based On The Day Of The Week

Different days, different number of sales. When it comes to A/B testing, you need to understand the nuances of customer shopping habits and how they can change based on the day of the week. And it largely depends on your customers' lifestyles and daily routines.


Certain Customer Segments May Only Shop On Specific Days

Some customers may prefer to shop during the weekend when they have more free time, while others choose the weekdays to purchase their needs. Again, these scenarios largely depend on your customer's preferences and habits.

From this, you can create A/B tests that target customers who shop during the weekend. Test different copies, graphics, layouts, and interactive components to see which are most effective in enticing customers to make a purchase. And the same goes for people who shop on weekdays.

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External Factors Like Weather, Seasons, Events, And Holidays Can Significantly Impact Sales

External factors like weather, seasons, events, and holidays can significantly impact sales for your Shopify store, so consider these when running your A/B tests.

A key seasonal trend observed in most countries is the increase in retail purchase activities over the holiday period.(1) Knowing this, it might be a good time to initiate A/B testing for your online store.

Also, natural climatic seasons and their corresponding weather conditions may impact a customer's spending habits.

Let's take, for example, Florida, where summer can be annoyingly hot. Instead of shopping online and waiting for your package at home, you may prefer to go out and roam around a place with AC to buy what you want. Despite the increasing urge to buy online, some do prefer to shop in person too!


Customers May Window Shop And Return Later

When it comes to eCommerce, customers may not always be ready to buy right away. It's not uncommon for customers to window shop and return later to make a purchase. So, how can you use A/B testing for matters like this?

By testing different versions, you can see which version better encourages customers to return and make a purchase. You can also track how long customers take to return to your website and what kind of content they look at before completing checkout.

A/B testing can help identify the best version of your website that pushes customers to make a payment rather than just adding to a cart.


You Can Account For Various Campaigns And Anomalies, Like Your Newsletter Dropping

One important element of A/B testing is accounting for various campaigns and anomalies like your newsletter dropping.

When running a newsletter campaign, make sure that the results of your A/B test don't get skewed by the fact that some customers may have already seen the newsletter before the test began.

Make sure that the sample size of your A/B test is large enough to account for any potential anomalies by using segmentation to divide your customers into groups that have seen the newsletter and those that haven't.

From this, you will get A/B test results based on a representative sample of customers who have yet to be exposed to the campaign.


How To Run A/B Tests In Your Shopify Store

In a nutshell, A/B testing means generating two different versions of your website or page and testing them against each other to see which one performs better.(2)

When setting up A/B tests in your Shopify store, there are a few important steps you should take.

1. Choose What You Want To Test

This could be anything from the copy on your page to the colors and graphics but make sure to only test one element at a time, to get the most accurate results.


2. Create The Two Versions Of Your Page

It can be as simple as changing the color of a button or as complex as completely redesigning a page. Just don't forget to include a control version to compare the other versions.

3. Decide How Long You Want To Run The Test

This will depend on the test and the amount of traffic your store gets, but aim to get at least 100 conversions for each page version before making a decision.


4. Collect Sufficient Data And Analyze

Look at the conversion rate and other metrics to determine which version of the page performed better. This will eventually give insights into what works best for your store and how you can improve it further.


5. Implement The Winning Version

Incorporate the changes made in the winning version of the page into the actual website itself and keep track of the changes and the results they produce to continue to optimize your store over time.


What Should You A/B Test In Shopify?

So far, we've talked about what A/B testing is and how important it is in eCommerce. So, let's move on to the question: what should you A/B test in Shopify? You have all the answers here:


Copy

One may agree that copies are so underrated, but it's actually one of the most impactful elements in marketing.

When A/B testing a copy, focus on the headline and body of your content. The headline should grab the attention of your customers and draw them into the content providing them with the information as to why they should purchase your products.


Theme And Colors

The overall look and feel of your store can play a significant role in how customers perceive your brand and whether or not they decide to make a purchase.

When A/B testing the theme and colors of your store, go for the attractive ones and ditch the dull, lousy colors. Nevertheless, choose the perfect colors and combinations that will work best with your brand.

If you have a logo or other branding elements, make sure that the colors blend well with them to create a cohesive and professional look.


Graphics

One of the main reasons a Shopify store stands out from the competition is graphics. Adding visuals can attract customers and draw their attention to important information.

When it comes to A/B testing graphics, remember these three things:

1. Make sure that the graphics are high-quality and eye-catching to draw the attention of potential customers.

2.Think about the message that the graphics are trying to convey. Are they highlighting a new product or promotion? Are they providing information about the company or their values?

3.Consider the placement of the graphics. Are they placed in a way that will entice customers to click? The graphics will go into complete waste if not positioned in the right locations.

Test different types of graphics, such as static images or illustrations, to see which resonates best with customers.


Layout Or Structure

Website layout and structure define the user-friendly experience for your customers, so make sure your layout is intuitive. Test different page layouts and structures to see which one works best for your customers.

A/B testing on layout and structure could mean testing different placements of your product categories, search bar, and other navigation elements. Additionally, you can alter your website's page layouts, such as having a sidebar or a grid structure.

Lastly, consider how your customers are using your website with the help of heatmaps or session recordings to get an idea of where they click mostly and what they look at.


Interactive And Video Components

Your Shopify store's engagement rate can skyrocket through effective interactive components and videos.

Test different types of videos, such as product demos or customer testimonials, to see which resonates better with customers.

For interactive components, decide among quizzes, surveys, or mini-games and assess what feature gains the most engagement.


CTA

Calls-To-Action (CTAs) are the key to driving conversions and sales.(3) Make sure they are clear, concise, and effective. Here are some tips for creating effective CTAs:


1. Make Them Stand Out

CTAs must be visually appealing and should stand out from the rest of the page. Use a different color, bold font, or other design elements to draw attention.


2. Be Direct And Clear

Make it sweet and simple. Avoid using too many words or technical jargon.


3. Offer A Benefit

Include a benefit to your CTA. It could be a discount, free shipping, or something else incentivizing people to act.


4. Use Actionable Language

Some commonly-used actionable languages are “Download Now” or “Get Started” to encourage people to take action.


5. Test Different Versions

Modify your CTAs by trying different colors, wording, and placement to see what works best.

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Remember To Just Test One Thing At A Time

To quickly determine which change had the most significant impact on your conversion rate, test only one element at a time.

Testing two things at once may affect the results of the other change, and you'll end up not knowing which alteration gave the most significant increase or decrease in your business sales.


Test one thing at a time

Best Shopify A/B Testing Tools

As a Shopify store owner, the growth and success of your business are your top priorities. So what better way to optimize your business' performance than doing an A/B testing? The question now is, what's the best Shopify A/B testing tool?

One tool that stands out is Google Optimize - an online split-testing tool that Replo integrates seamlessly with Shopify. This special tool offers not only A/B testing but also multivariate testing and redirect tests (important features to help you make data-driven decisions and improve your website's user experience).

Want to learn more? Check out this article or schedule a demo with us today to see how Replo can take your Shopify store to the next level with the power of A/B testing!


Let A Replo's Expert Help You With Shopify A/B Testing

In performing an A/B test for your business, you don't have to be an expert at web development or page building because Replo has already covered you.

Our certified experts can help you set up and run A/B tests, develop the right strategy to optimize your store's performance, and provide guidance on interpreting the results.

Additionally, we'll help you determine the best way to interpret the results and make decisions based on them, like identifying areas that can be improved and suggesting ways to optimize them.

So free up your time and let our certified experts at Replo handle the technicalities of A/B testing while you focus on growing your business.


Let the experts do their thing!

Final Thoughts

In every business, the rule of thumb is knowing your customers based on their preferences, habits, and lifestyle to understand better what they want and how you can provide that. By testing different elements of your store, such as copy, colors, graphics, layout, interactive components, and CTA, you can identify which version resonates better with your audience and drives more conversions.

However, it's important to note that A/B testing takes time and expertise to execute and interpret the results correctly. That's why you should work with a certified expert at Replo to ensure maximum accuracy and effectiveness in your A/B testing strategy.

Through our help, you can save time and resources while gaining valuable insights into your customers' behavior and preferences.

Want to take your business to the next level? Schedule a demo with us today, and let us show you how Replo can help!

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FAQs

Does Shopify allow A/B testing?

Yes, Shopify allows merchants to conduct A/B testing on their stores through the Shopify platform itself or with the help of a third-party A/B testing tool like Google Optimize.


How do I set up A/B testing on Shopify?

Setting up A/B testing on Shopify is relatively straightforward. Use the built-in A/B testing tools or third-party apps to run tests.

When setting up an A/B test, decide which element you want to test, create two versions of the element, and set up the test to compare the two versions.


What is Shopify A/B?

Shopify A/B is a testing tool that allows merchants to test different elements of their store, such as copy, theme, colors, graphics, layout, interactive components, and CTA, to boost their business in terms of conversion rates and sales.


How do companies use A/B testing?

A/B testing involves testing different elements of a Shopify store, such as copy, theme, colors, graphics, layout, interactive components, and CTA. Through A/B testing, companies can determine which elements are most effective in driving sales.


What is A/B testing in eCommerce?

A/B testing in eCommerce is the process of testing different elements of a store to determine which elements are most effective in driving sales and conversions.


What is the required sample size for A/B testing?

The required sample size for A/B testing depends on the type of test you are running and the desired level of accuracy. You should consult with a statistician or an A/B testing expert to determine the required sample size for your test. But generally, you'll need a larger sample size for more complex tests.


What is the benefit of A/B testing?

A/B testing allows companies to optimize their websites for maximum performance and conversion rates by testing different elements of their store, such as copy, theme, colors, graphics, layout, interactive components, and CTA.


How do you collect data for A/B testing?

Data for A/B testing can be collected through different methods, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, analytics, and user testing. Depending on the type of test you are running, you may need to collect data from different sources.


Sources:

  1. Rose, N., & Dolega, L. (2021, August 25). It's the weather: Quantifying the impact of weather on retail sales - applied spatial analysis and policy. SpringerLink. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12061-021-09397-0.
  2. A refresher on a/B testing. Harvard Business Review. (2017, November 27). https://hbr.org/2017/06/a-refresher-on-ab-testing.
  3. Corrigan, K. (n.d.). What is call-to-action (CTA)? - why is a CTA important?: Read more. Oberlo. https://www.oberlo.com/ecommerce-wiki/call-action-cta.

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