Isn’t it exciting when your design team show you some new concepts for your website? The artwork looks great – really fresh and modern – and you can’t wait to get it live.
But how can you be sure it will keep the sales rolling in – or even increasing?
What if your customers don’t like it as much as you do and aren’t tempted to get their credit cards out? This famously happened to Marks & Spencer when they launched their new website. Despite having the best designers working on the new site, sales actually went down. Some split testing may have helped prevent that happening.
Show half your visitors the shiny new web page, and half the existing page, and see what happens. Providing you have enough traffic, you’ll get the answer you need in a couple of weeks.
They may just about have time to make the new web page live, but they don’t have time to go fiddling around doing extra programming to test this web page against the current page.
The good news is, there is a way to get the certainty you need without piling the pressure on your development team. Find out how to split test without developers by using Optimizely.
Optimizely is a split testing tool, which works off-site, so your development team needs to do nothing except put in one line of code. It’s so quick and easy, they should be able to do it in the time it takes to boil a kettle, make a cup of tea and drink it.
Your visitors have no idea that the page they’re seeing is not part of the main site. Anything they click on takes them seamlessly to that page. Multiple variations and tests can be run, and Optimizely doesn’t affect the loading speed of your website.
Founded in 2010 by two ex-Google execs, Optimizely is very easy to use, as it’s all done with a ‘What You See is What You Get’ (WYSIWYG) editor, where you just drag and drop the new image.
If you fancy having a play around with it then just go to the Optimizely home page and put in your URL
Once you’re happy with the new design, it’s time to set the test running, then the real magic happens. Behind the scenes is a powerful workhorse which monitors results all the time.
At the end of the test period, you get detailed data showing exactly how much was spent by visitors who were served up the existing web page and how much was spent by visitors who saw the new page. This is what it looks like:
Above is an actual graph of a real split test. The grey line shows sales of the main website. The blue line shows sales of the new version being tested. In this test, the new version got 21.7% more revenue per visitor (RPV) than the original. The test has run for long enough with sufficient traffic for this result to be statistically significant at a 95% confidence level. .
And it the test bombs….well, it will be hard breaking the news to the eager faces of your creative team. But all is not lost. Since you now know it would have given you a drop in sales, you can feel lucky it was only a test.
There’s an opportunity here too. If you can find out why it did badly, you could learn a huge amount about your business, and use that knowledge to create a new version that does bring in the cash.
And at least your dev team are free to do what they do best, without any more overload.
If you’d like to learn more about split testing, and need expert help, read our ebook below for 8 questions you must ask to find, hire and get great results from CRO professionals.
Posted in: A/B Testing
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