Less (content) is More (revenue)? A Simple, Effective A/B Test




“Testing is a way of life for us. We’re increasing our testing resources, and building testing into our long-term, strategic plans.”

– Shayne Tilley, Commercial Manager, Avalanche Technology Group

Introduction

Here at Optimizely, we are always excited to hear about testing success stories of all shapes and sizes.  Much to our delight, for many of our clients, testing is fast becoming an even more vital piece of long term optimization strategy, which helps keep the success story flow plentiful.  Today, we wanted to share a short, yet powerful a/b testing story that highlights how even very simple testing can make significant impacts on …. drumroll please… REVENUE!

Background

Avalanche Technology Group is the Australian distributor of popular anti-virus software AVG, and testing has long been a core part of their marketing culture. When they recently examined their shopping cart conversion data they suspected there was room for improvement. Shayne Tilley and his team knew the checkout process would be an incredibly sensitive funnel to test, and challenged themselves to devise a testing approach to confirm their suspicions without getting too drastic.

The Experiment

Avalanche decided to run a simple experiment, which they designed to minimally impact the checkout flow and require minimal resources to implement. The test removed the site’s header navigation links from the shopping cart pages, which they knew would reduce visual noise, and keep traffic more focused on actually checking out.

Original page with Header Navigation Links:

Test page removing Header Navigation Links:

Results

By removing the irrelevant navigation links, Avalanche increased their conversion rate by 10%, which in turn increased revenue by 16%:

Conversion results:

Revenue results:

Conclusions

When considering tests on potentially sensitive areas of the funnel (in this case, the checkout process), don’t be afraid to start small.  Getting everyone to buy in on a massive overhaul is always going to be tougher than getting agreement on a (seemingly) minor change.  After all, just because a change may be visually minor doesn’t mean the positive impact won’t be significant.  While the ‘Less is More’ theory is no more a sure-fire bet than any other change you may be pondering at a given moment, its at least one more testing idea to toss into the quiver.

Ready to see what you can do next? Take a shot at setting up your simple test on Optimizely.


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