Time is precious. Time is money.
A/B testing is something you have to be doing in order to grow your company but you don’t want to waste your time running A/B tests that aren’t meaningful. Understanding what your customers value when making purchases and what turns them away are things that you need to know before you can start testing.
Sean Ellis, you know, the guy who coined the term “growth hacker”, and Ryan Lillis, have a five step framework for setting up better tests and it looks like this.
Before you dive into testing, you need to know what to test, but where can you find this information? Here are 4 different ways you can get the information you need to start testing.
Social feedback is one of the best ways to find out what people are saying about you. There is a huge opportunity to gather information on what to test. From social media outlets to product page reviews, take a close look at what consumers are saying.
Much to the chagrin of most merchants, customers will more often than not leave a bad review rather than a good one. While this can be understandably frustrating, it can also be seen as a good thing.
Lets take a look at Zappos for a minute. Two of their customers left the same review on a Nike shoe. Both were misled by the sizing chart that was provided.
The average rating for this product ends up at just 3 stars, which could potentially hurt their conversion rate. However, it might be enough to make Zappos think of testing a new sizing chart, which might help their conversions in the long run. See how it works?
So you know what people are saying about you through product reviews, blog comments and social media but what about beyond that? There may be comments on other websites or blogs that might lead to meaningful A/B tests. It may seem like a lot of work to find these, but it doesn’t have to be. There are some very helpful online tools that can help you like:
- Google Alerts: Get an email alert any time someone mentions you online. Just enter your company name or other keywords you think may help your testing.
- Mention – A paid tool with real-time tracking and an analytics dashboard.
- Social Mention – Track mentions on blogs, social media and bookmarking sites.
Hot Eats. Cool Treats. We treat you right. Dairy Queen in recent years have really upped their customer service approach. The have a monitoring system which looks through various channels such as social media to find anyone mentioning them. If they find a complaint by anyone they redirect them to a feedback form on their website.
Dairy Queen has made it simple for their team to handle issues and identify trends by consolidating mentions across all channels. You should keep this approach in mind for your own store, as it will not only save you time, but will also help you to identify any major issues your store might have.
A very popular way of collecting data from customers is through email. You can do this by asking a single question and have them reply, or you could send out a survey.
It can be hard to get people to open an email and actually give a response, so you must work on an interesting and engaging subject line.
Mailchimp analyzed the open rates of over 200 million emails and found open rates ranged from 93% to 0.5%. They found the subject line should be kept under 50 characters and three words to never use are ‘help’, ‘percent off’ and ‘reminder’.
Interestingly, personalization, such as a first or last name, didn’t significantly improve open rates. However, providing localization such a city name did improve open rates.
If you choose to go this route, customer.io or intercom are a couple of great tools to use. You could try asking questions about your checkout process or how easy it was to find a product on your site.
Live chat leads the way when it comes to customer service. Take a look at some of these stats:
- It’s the number one way customers prefer to contact you.
- Has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel
- Boosts conversion rates by 20%
Be proactive. Ask your customers right away if there is anything you can help them with. If they are okay for the moment, they can just click the close button. This provides a way for your customers to quickly tell you if the’re experiencing a problem or have a question without having to take time to email or phone you.
I’ve used live chat plenty of times to suggest certain things and find it’s much easier than having to take the time to call or email, which I never do. I use Nasty Gal as an example a lot and it’s because their user experience is amazing. Notice on their live chat they have different categories you can choose from. This keeps everything organized for when you are searching for trends.
Questions, complaints, or even praise, can provide a treasure chest of information. The data you receive will help you to figure out what to test.
Using surveys allows you to collect valuable insight into what your customers think about the user experience of your store. Surveys can help you discover common trends and problems which you can then address. They’re short and don’t require a long winded answer, which customers can find annoying.
Online tools such as Qualaroo tell you why someone clicked away from a page or why they abandoned their cart. You can use Qualaroo to ask questions like:
- Why did you buy from us?
- Is there information mission on the page?
- Why did you abandon your cart?
- Was our search easy to use?
- What is your most preferred way of contacting us?
According to Qualaroo there are 5 golden questions that you need to be asking that can help unlock huge conversion rate growth :
- Where exactly did you find out about us?
- What persuaded you to purchase from us?
- Which other options did you consider before choosing our product name?
- Whats the one thing that nearly stopped you from buying from us?
- What was your biggest challenge, frustration or problem in finding the right Product Type online?
A/B testing is a marathon, not a sprint. A/B testing takes a lot of time and continuous evaluation, but it’s an investment that you won’t regret.
“By focusing efforts and dollars on improving your conversion rates, you’re going to find that a lot more channels open up …” —Sean Ellis