How to Master Shopify A/B Testing: Proven Techniques and Best Practices

IN THIS BLOGPOST:

by
Sara Miteva
February 21, 2023
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12 min read
Window tab with A/B testing text on it

Shopify store performance is a wide term that can mean many things. 

You could be measuring conversion rates, cart abandonment rates, or simply monitoring the way your visitors navigate through your website. 

One thing is certain: You will constantly look for ways to improve your store performance.

A/B testing is a tool that can help you improve your Shopify store performance. 

If you’re a Shopify store owner, you can use A/B testing to optimize your store and improve the user experience. 

A/B testing means that you’re publishing two versions of your home page or certain product or checkout pages, and even marketing campaigns, to see which one performs better. This will help you make data-driven decisions that will have a big impact on your business.

This post will examine tried-and-true methods and best practices for understanding Shopify A/B testing so you can maximize the potential of your online store.

Understanding the Basics of Shopify A/B Testing

Now, let’s take a look at the Shopify A/B testing basics to get you prepared to run your own tests.

How A/B Testing Works on Shopify

A/B testing is a technique that enables you to show your users two versions of the same page, with 50% of visitors seeing version A and 50% of visitors seeing version B. 

This entails conducting tests with various headline texts, graphics, layout styles, and other components that can be leveraged to impact consumer behavior. Store owners can analyze the results of the test to discover which version of the page is more effective.

Your audience's behavior will vary depending on the various pages you provide, impacting your e-commerce stats. The version that has the best conversion rate while maintaining your earnings wins the test. Then, you could take the winning version and test it further by changing different elements on it. 

Remember: You should only change one element in a single Shopify A/B test. If you change multiple elements, like both the button color and the headline size, you won’t know which one affected the winning version to win. 

You can also do this for marketing campaigns you're running on different channels. Most advertising platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads allow you to test two versions of the same campaign.

Setting up A/B Testing on Your Shopify Store

Although the words “experiment,” “research,” and “test” might sound like you’re doing something extremely complicated, setting up a Shopify A/B test isn’t difficult. 

You must first decide which page or feature to test, such as a homepage or a product page, and then produce two versions of that page or feature (A and B).

Also, you must choose the type of indicator you want to monitor—such as clicks or conversion rates—so that you can contrast the performance of each iteration. 

When everything is set up, you can start your A/B test by directing traffic to both versions from the homepage of your Shopify store.

Then, you'll need to wait till there is enough visitor data to analyze the outcomes. It's crucial to let an A/B test run until enough users have seen both options for any changes in performance to be statistically meaningful in order to obtain valid findings. 

Finally, it's essential to make modifications based on these findings once your experiment has had enough time to run and there are obvious winners.

Elements to Test on Your Shopify Store

To optimize your Shopify store, it's important to test different elements to see which ones generate the most conversions or clicks. Here are some key elements you can test:

Product Pages

Product pages are an essential part of every Shopify store. You may determine which combinations result in the most sales by experimenting with various aspects, including product descriptions, photos, pricing, and call-to-action buttons.

Homepage

Customers frequently form their opinions of your company based on the homepage of your Shopify store. You can determine which version creates the most interaction and purchases by experimenting with various factors such as the layout, photos, text, and promotions.

Checkout Process

The checkout process is the most important part of your store's overall design. You can determine which version provides the most conversions and income by experimenting with various factors, such as the number of steps, the layout, and the available payment methods.

Email Campaigns

Email marketing campaigns are an effective strategy to promote your Shopify store and increase sales. You can determine which version generates the most opens, clicks, and purchases by experimenting with various components such as the subject line, messaging, and call-to-action buttons.

Other Pages and Features

There are numerous other pages and features on your Shopify site that you can test in addition to the items mentioned above. You could test your product search feature, navigation menu, customer reviews and ratings, and social proof components. You can determine which features and pieces drive the most traffic and revenue by putting various options to the test.

Metrics to Track During A/B Testing

To decide which version of your website or product is functioning better, it's crucial to analyze and contrast a range of metrics while connected to your Shopify A/B test. Let's check some of the most important ones.

Conversion Rates 

Conversion rates measure the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. By tracking conversion rates across versions, you can easily see how successful each variation is at converting customers.

Bounce Rates

The bounce rate calculates the percentage of site visitors who leave after just seeing one page. Increased bounce rates could be a sign that visitors aren't interested in what you have to offer or are finding it difficult to navigate your website. Low bounce rates, on the other side, can signify more user interaction with particular pages or variations.

Click-Through Rates

The number of visitors that land on one page then click through to another within the same domain is known as the click-through rate (CTR). It could be time to go back and make changes to those particular pages if users aren't clicking through to other pages on your website from certain versions in order to increase visitor engagement.

Average Order Value

The average amount spent by clients making purchases from your website or app is measured by the average order value (AOV). By monitoring AOV, you may gain insight into how much each consumer spends during their visit and modify pricing and payment methods to increase sales.

Other Key Metrics

Depending on your particular business goals there could be any number of additional metrics worth monitoring during an A/B testing:

  • Visitor loyalty
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Return visitor rate
  • Cart abandonment rate
  • Social shares
  • Time on page

Best Practices for A/B Testing on Shopify

Now, let’s look at how to make sure your Shopify A/B test turns out successful.

Determine Your Goals

Before you begin any A/B testing, it's important to identify the goals of your experiment and define success. 

Are you looking to increase conversions or engagement? Or are you testing different features to determine which is most effective? 

Defining clear and measurable objectives will help ensure that your test produces meaningful results.

Keep Tests Simple

It's best to keep tests as straightforward as possible because too many variables can quickly muddy an experiment's findings. 

Consider concentrating on a single element rather than numerous items at once when testing a new call-to-action button. 

By doing so, you may quickly assess the effect of the change and draw reliable conclusions from the data.

Run Tests for Sufficient Time

It's crucial to run the experiment for a long enough period of time to collect enough data. This will help you obtain trustworthy results from an A/B test. 

It is often advised to run each experiment for two to four weeks or until statistical significance is established (whichever comes first). 

Depending on how much traffic your site receives, a test's duration may change, but a longer test period will yield more accurate results.

Analyze Results Carefully

​​Once you've collected the data from your A/B test, carefully examine it using the proper statistical techniques. 

Use software tools that automate this procedure and give useful information on which variation outperformed others. 

When drawing conclusions, be sure to consider factors other than conversion rates. For instance, consider user engagement with page elements and time spent on the page.

Implement Winning Variations

Implement the winning variant across all versions of your website following the completion of an A/B test and analysis of the findings. 

Update all key pages with the winning version based on whether a feature change or a design modification was the subject of the trial. 

By doing this, you can be confident that everyone who visits your store or website will have the best possible experience.

Tools for A/B Testing on Shopify

To conduct effective A/B testing on your Shopify store, you'll need the right tools to set up and track your experiments. Here are some options to consider:

Built-in A/B Testing Tools

You could test alternative versions of your product pages, collections, and home pages using Shopify's built-in A/B testing capabilities. 

These tools offer fundamental testing capabilities, such as the capacity to generate several variations and track fundamental metrics, and are comparatively simple to use. 

They might not, however, offer the sophisticated functionality and adaptability that some third-party programs do.

Third-Party A/B Testing Tools

There are many third-party A/B testing tools that you can use with Shopify. Here are the most popular ones: 

Optimizely

Optimizely is a popular A/B testing tool that offers a visual editor, targeting options, and personalization features. It also integrates with other tools in your tech stack, such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics.

Optimizely a/b pricing

Pricing: Upon request

Features: 

  • AI predictive audiences
  • In-depth analytics
  • Different types of A/B tests
  • Personalized content
  • Feature experimentation

VWO

VWO is another widely used A/B testing tool that offers features such as heatmaps, visitor recordings, and advanced targeting options. It also provides a drag-and-drop editor and supports multivariate testing.

VWO pricing

Pricing: Free for up to 50k users, premium plans start at $356

Features: 

  • Different types of A/B testing
  • Mobile website testing
  • Email support
  • Traffic allocation
  • API
  • Personalized content

Google Optimize

Google Optimize is a free A/B testing tool that integrates with Google Analytics and provides basic A/B testing functionality. It also offers personalization features and supports multivariate testing.

Google Optimize a/b testing tool

Pricing: Free

Features: 

  • A/B tests
  • Multivariate tests
  • Redirect tests
  • Wide options for targeting
  • Visual editor

Conclusion

A/B testing is essential to optimizing your Shopify store for conversions and income. You can figure out the best methods for attracting and converting your customers by experimenting with different versions of your product pages, homepage, checkout procedure, email marketing, and other features.

It's crucial to comprehend the fundamentals of A/B testing's operation and the key metrics to keep an eye on before you begin running tests on your Shopify site. Then, you have the option of using Shopify's built-in A/B testing tools or picking a third-party tool that suits your unique requirements and price range.

A/B testing can help you better your marketing strategies and entire business strategy, in addition to giving you insightful data on the preferences and behavior of your clients. You can keep one step ahead of the competition and guarantee the long-term success of your Shopify store by regularly testing and improving your strategy.

Starting with modest, focused tests and gradually increasing your testing program as you gain more knowledge and assurance in your strategy is what we recommend at the beginning. You can master A/B testing on Shopify and advance your store with the correct resources and attitude.

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