Today we're pleased to bring you an article by Alix de Sagazan, the cofounder of AB Tasty, leaders in A/B testing and personalization. She explains to us how sites with low traffic can benefit from A/B testing. It seems unthinkable today to try to optimize your site's conversion rate without using A/B testing.
Yet according to best practices, the conditions required to run an effective testing campaign can make it seem like it's only for high-traffic sites. Yes, visitor numbers and conversions are determining factors, but does that mean A/B testing is pointless if your traffic is too low?
Luckily, that's not the case! You can get all the benefits of an A/B test campaign even if your site has low traffic. There's only one limitation to keep in mind with this type of site: statistical reliability. For a test to be considered reliable, the statistical reliability must be above 95%. Below that level, data is not be guaranteed to be reliable, and so it would be risky to draw any hasty conclusions from it. So the only limitation is reaching that level of reliability. The time it takes to get there can vary depending on site traffic, the number of pages tested, the initial conversion rate, the objective you're testing for, and the impact of changes you've made. Only one thing is certain: the lower the traffic, the longer the wait!
However there are some methods to make the wait a little easier.
Take advantage of what you've got!
A test is considered to be relevant once there have been 5,000 unique visitors and 100 conversions per variant. So focus first on pages with the highest traffic, and don't be afraid to increase that traffic by, for example, sending a targeted email campaign to your visitors to encourage them to go to those pages. Another way to grow your traffic on those pages is to use performance-based advertising (sponsored links from Google Adwords, Facebook, and Twitter Ads, sponsored LinkedIn news, etc.). Yes, it's a financial investment, but the certainty of generating traffic quickly is an excellent way to get reliable statistic results in less time. But that doesn't mean you should wait for your traffic to be high before doing something! You can start by guiding your visitors through the conversion funnel right away, sending them targeted and personalized marketing messages (promotional messages, countdowns, retention pop-ins, user reactivations, sticky content on scroll, etc.).
Encourage users to act fast!
The fear of missing out on a good deal is a powerful lever for getting customers to act. Displaying a running promotional countdown can create a feeling of urgency and rarity.
Don't spread yourself too thin!
The more variants you set, the more you segment your traffic, and the more time you'll spend trying to get a reliable sample for each variant. The golden rule: no more than two variants to compare to the original. Start by testing one variant. If it outperforms the original, run a second test and compare its performance to the first variant. But be careful not to give into the temptation of multivariate tests (MVT). You don't have the traffic for it.
Promote engagement in the conversion funnel by rewording your calls to action.
You can encourage users to take the next step by replacing a high-commitment verb that comes too soon with less directive wording.
The result in the example: A 92% increase in click rate, and an automatic improvement of 13% on overall conversion rate.
Rethink your priorities!
The goal of an A/B test is often an increased conversion rate. But how do you define a conversion? Does it necessarily mean a sale? For a low-traffic test, you might instead focus on something directly linked to your main criteria, but that happens more often. So instead of looking at sales, you might, for example, target the add-to-cart rate, or the number of views for a product page. These conversion criteria are still directly linked to your main criteria (sales, in this case), but they can happen more often, which will bring you results sooner.
Increase product page views
Displaying a product in its context encourages users to discover related products, and promotes cross-selling
The result from the example: a 10% improvement in product page views, and a 15% increase in sales
Even with just a little traffic, be ambitious! Test changes that could have a big impact on conversions, rather than focusing on details that might result in an insignificant increase given your low traffic. Don't be afraid to test two completely different versions of your page. With an A/B testing solution, you can change item positioning and category titles to create a page variant with a completely different design. Users will be invisibly redirected to the page. Your A/B test tool will take care of splitting the traffic and collecting statistics for each version according to the parameters that you've set, just like with a classic test.
Get the attention of your visitors as soon as they enter the site!
Reducing the amount of information displayed, and using catchier visual elements, will promote the call to action that leads to the sign-up form.
The result from the example: a 14% increase in the new visitor sign-up rate, and a 3.2% increase in the site's overall conversion rate.
Low traffic on your site doesn't mean you have to give up on A/B testing. Quite the contrary. Running an A/B test campaign will force you to work in a pragmatic and structured way to get the most out of your current traffic.
About AB Tasty
AB Tasty is the leading European solution for optimizing on-site and in-app conversions. It lets everyone test the effectiveness of their optimization ideas and deliver personalized experiences to their users to improve conversions. The solution runs in cloud mode. It lets marketing teams work independently to apply their ideas for optimizing their websites, mobile sites, and native applications, and measure their performance improvements without having to mobilize technical resources.
AB Tasty was created five years ago. The company's 40 employees currently work with over 200 major account customers (e-commerce sites, media sites, and lead generation sites).
AB Tasty is one of the 27 most innovative and fastest growing companies according to Le Pass French Tech.