Florist photo by Carrie Beth Williams

The main goal of any online store is to increase sales revenue. Additionally, it will also aim to attract quality traffic, generate leads, gain new customers and increase the loyalty of current customers. One of the most powerful tools to achieve all these goals, and probably even better than having a good SEO, is the creation of A/B tests that will help you understand what your visitors like the most.

What are A/B Tests?

Web conversion is any action that you expect any visitor to take when they arrive at your website: to buy a product, to contact you, to subscribe to your mailing list, to read your blog posts, etc. And the conversion rate is the number of conversions achieved with respect to the number of visits. That is, if you have a total of 100 visits per day on your website, of which two visits end up performing any of these actions, the conversion rate on your website is 2%.

The tool that can help you improve the conversion rate of a website is to perform A/B tests. Roughly speaking, you hypothesize that certain changes on your website might get you more conversions and you test them against your current website. In other words, A/B test consists of showing two variants of the same web page to two different groups of visitors during a period of time and comparing which variant generates more conversions.

An image depicting how A/B testing works: traffic is split and each segment sees one variant, and then we check which variant got more conversions
In its simplest form, A/B testing proposes to randomly split the traffic to the site in two groups so that 50% of the visitors see the A design while the other 50% sees the B design. By monitoring how users in each group react, we can calculate the conversion rate of each group and, in case there is a statistically significant difference between the two, declare a winner design.

But as we have already explained above, you should not run A/B tests randomly—they must be part of a more ambitious process known as the Conversion Ratio Optimization or CRO.

Very briefly, CRO consists of, on the one hand, defining the business objectives, your website conversion objectives, your KPIs, and the metrics for these objectives. On the other hand, you analyze each page of our website and answer the following questions:

  • Does the page meet user expectations in terms of content and design?
  • How can we improve it?
  • Are the content and offers on the page as clear as possible?
  • Can we make it clearer or simpler?
  • What is it that causes doubts on this page or hinders the process?
  • Can we simplify it?
  • What is there on the page that does not help the user to act?
  • Can we increase user motivation?

Ideas or Hypotheses to Improve Your Website

Next, you should generate hypotheses or ideas of changes that you could make on your website to get closer and closer to meeting the goals you have set. But… easier said than done, right? Well, here are some ideas that can answer some of the above questions and will surely help you.

#1 Avoid Asking for a Credit Card When You Offer a Free Trial

If you offer courses, programs, experiences, or any product that you can be tested, offering a free trial allows you to show the great advantages of the product in question without requiring an upfront payment. You will generate trust and double satisfaction since you will have allowed someone to enjoy a valuable product without having spent anything.

But if at the time of signing up for the free trial you ask for the payment details so that after the trial period they pay directly, it may happen that the only thing you generate is the worry about spending extra money.

Inlexa subscription screenshot
Variant A: popup to sign up for a free trial asking for payment details.

vs.

Popup to sign up for a free trial
Variant B: popup to sign up for a free trial without asking for payment details.

Requiring a credit card details to be entered counteracts the aim of wanting to learn about the product and will also make some people wonder why they have to enter their details for a seemingly “free” trial. It is much more effective to remove any mention of “payment” and wait to ask for the credit card details at the end of the free trial.

If they liked the product, they will make the purchase. If they didn’t like it, they will surely have already taken care to cancel before they had made the purchase. It will generate you much more revenue to have customers with the satisfaction that they are using the product they were looking for than people claiming a refund because they have not found what they expected.

Nelio A/B Testing

Native Tests for WordPress

Use your WordPress page editor to create variants and run powerful tests with just a few clicks. No coding skills required.

#2 Show Positive Reviews Next to the Product

The Social Comparison Theory initially proposed by the social psychologist Leon Festinger is based on the idea that there is a drive within individuals to gain accurate self-evaluations. The theory explains how individuals evaluate their own opinions and abilities by comparing themselves to others in order to reduce uncertainty in these domains, and learn how to define the self.

According to this theory, positive reviews about your products or services surely have more persuasive power than a lot of data or statistics you can show. So, if this information can have such an impact, analyze where it might be better to show those reviews about your products.

Nelio A/B Testing page section
Variant A:Nelio A/B Testing landing page section.

vs.

Nelio A/B Testing page section
Variant B: Nelio A/B Testing landing page section including positive customer review.

#3 Surprise with a Free Upgrade

I still remember a day when my two older daughters came home very happy about the great savings they had made in the sales and I, instead of seeing the savings figure, only saw the expending figure. Joking aside, there is no doubt that offers encourage you to buy. In addition, offering something free also predisposes customers to be more willing to spend money afterwards.

With this idea in mind, I recommend that you try different alternatives to surprise your visitors. For example, when someone is going to subscribe to your cheapest plan, why don’t you offer a higher plan for the same price for a certain period? If the person is happy, they will be more willing to pay the right price for future renewals.

Subscription to the basic plan of Nelio A/B Testing
Variant A: normal subscription to the basic plan of Nelio A/B Testing.

vs.

Plan upgrade offer for the same price
Variant B: subscription to Nelio A/B Testing plan with upgrade.

#4 Show the Lowest Prices

The anchoring effect is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too much on the first information offered (the anchor) when making decisions. For example, when you go shopping at a food delivery store and you have a menu with three burgers in which the first one costs $15, the second $25 and the third $50, it is easier that the second one does not seem like so expensive. Why? Because you start from the reference that it is half the price of the expensive hamburger.

Annual prices of Nelio A/B Testing plans
Variant A: Show by default the annual prices of the Nelio A/B Testing plans.

vs.

Nelio A/B Testing plans monthly prices
Variant B: Show by default the monthly prices of the Nelio A/B Testing plans.

If you have monthly or annual plans, check if showing the smallest figures possible to your prospects results in more conversions. Lower price figures will make them feel that they’re going to spend spend less.

#5 Change the Order in Which You Display the Products

Following the same anchoring effect theory mentioned above, if you show a higher price first, it will be the first one your customers read and they will use it as an anchor to evaluate the other prices. Consequently, subsequent prices will seem lower and better value in comparison because they are seen in relation to the higher initial price.

Nelio A/B Testing Pricing Plans
Variant A: Nelio A/B Testing pricing plans ordered from lowest to highest.

vs.

Reverse order in the Nelio A/B Testing plan table
Version B: Reverse order in the table of Nelio A/B Testing plans.

Although the anchoring effect theory has its logic, the results we obtained when we performed this A/B test on our website surprised us.

#6 Change the Colors of CTAs

People are able to retain better and be more likely to click on eye-catching elements that stand out on any website. For this reason, it is important to perform different A/B tests on which colors attract the most attention to your visitors and which call-to-action buttons they prefer to click on.

We conducted this experiment on the Nelio Content landing page by testing different button colors. Here we explain more details about it.

#7 Change the Colors of Your Products

In the same way that you can test which colors your visitors like best and click on them, I also recommend that you test different colors with which you display your products. For example, we tested different colors to show the different plans of our Nelio Content product. Here you can know the details of the results we obtained.

Conclusion

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, improving the conversion of your website can increase your sales more than even improving your SEO. In addition, if you increase sales, search engines will detect it and it will have an effect on improving your SEO.

The most useful and efficient tool to improve conversion are A/B tests and using a tool like Nelio A/B Testing, a native WordPress plugin, creating and executing A/B tests and analyzing its results is very easy. We have given you 7 ideas of tests that you could try on your website, but remember that optimizing the conversion on your website is not about performing random tests but a continuous process of analysis to understand where the frictions are and what could be improved. In our blog you will find other examples of A/B tests that we have tested on our website.

Featured image of Carrie Beth Williams on Unsplash.

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