If there’s one thing mobile apps and websites have in common, there’s always space for development and nearly infinite methods to improve both. A/B testing can aid in these decisions and take some guessing out of determining which changes will have the most impact. All decisions in A/B testing are based on data, which protects you from going down a costly route with modifications that have a marginal return on investment.
You can design better experiences and boost conversions when you know what connects with your users—and what marketer doesn’t want to do that? Right?
A/B testing used to be the domain of more technical members of a company’s staff, but as testing technology has improved, it’s now predominantly the domain of marketing. Marketers who know how to go beyond the most basic A/B tests will see more users, higher engagement, and a faster path to their long-term objectives.
What Is A/B Testing? How Does It Work?
A/B testing is making one change to the design or experience of two identical versions of your site or app to observe how it affects user behavior. This might include anything from altering a hero image to updating copy, redesigning your site’s layout, or changing the color of a sign-up button. Half of your audience sees variation A, the typical user experience, while the other half sees variation B, which is the version you hope will achieve your pre-determined goal. After a few weeks of running the test, you may look at the data to discover which variation worked better. One significant advantage is learning about the chosen function before making a permanent change.
A/B testing has long been associated with commercials and websites, but it’s now just as standard in the mobile world. With 69% of internet users using mobile shopping applications and 69% preferring to perform product research on their phones, it’s critical to evaluate and optimize your users’ or customers’ cross-channel experiences. Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming is the next channel to be added to the mix, with tests available for tvOS, AndroidTV/FireTV, Roku, and other smart TV apps.
A/B testing extends much below the surface for some of the most successful businesses. Take Booking.com, for example, which has established an entire culture around A/B testing and experimentation, and where anyone can test without permission from management. Booking.com has grown from a small startup to an online housing behemoth due to its testing culture. Booking.com executes more than 1,000 simultaneous tests every year and in total, more than 25,000 tests per year.
Netflix has a similar culture of experimenting, which has been critical to the company’s continuing change and success. The company has regularly talked about its zealous A/B testing techniques, claiming that it tests every product change, leading to a complete redesign of its user interface and the creation of a personalized homepage. They even A/B test most movie title pictures, which can result in a 20-30% increase in viewing.
What You Should Know About Performing A/B Tests
The first step in conducting an A/B test is to decide which aspect you want to test. When experimenting, it’s crucial to make only one modification at a time. Aside from the element you’re trying, everything else on your site should stay the same. The wording for a promotion you’re running, the color of a call-to-action (CTA) button, and the layout of a page are all examples of testing items. You’ll know with certainty that the precise variable you altered is what’s generating more (or fewer) conversions if you test one factor at a time.
To collect enough data, A/B testing should be conducted for two weeks. For proper findings, the page’s two variations must be tested simultaneously, and the control and test groups must be evenly and randomly divided. External factors such as the time of year may impact the test findings if you run version A for two weeks and then version B two weeks afterward.
Analyze the findings after the two weeks to evaluate which version performed better. The winning variation can then be made a permanent alteration or addition, and the results of previous A/B testing can be used to inform future A/B tests.
Impactful Tests Examples
Every A/B test should start with a hypothesis and a precise aim. Improving user engagement with a website or app, promoting conversions, and monitoring how people react to new additions are some of the more frequent goals. However, the sky is truly the limit. You can also design tests around those to keep customers engaged during onboarding or drive them to a different CTA within your app.
Returning the Results to the System
Based on the A/B testing results, you can keep the winning variation and eliminate the losing variation based on the A/B testing results. Use what you learned from the test to find other sections of your website or app to test and learn more about what your customers like. You can employ particular CTAs or graphics that have been proven to generate favorable responses in other areas to improve your user experience.
A/B testing allows you to provide your users with a more tailored experience, learn from them, and bring them closer to your business. A/B tests have many variables, and the more tests you run, the more informed and successful you’ll be as a marketer.