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“There are no universal truths in marketing. The only way we can really figure out what works is through A/B testing.”

-Paul Koch, Marketing Strategist, Viget

SBD_h_rgbTesting a call to action is about as low as the low hanging fruit tests come, especially for an online retailer.

Why?

CTAs appear on so many pages throughout the site and are fundamental to the purchase path. The most obvious actions an online retailer has buttons for are adding an item to the cart, proceeding to the next step in a checkout funnel, and the ultimate call to action—confirming the purchase. If you have not experimented with your call to action buttons already, then this story about how testing one call to action button drove a projected six figure revenue increase should persuade you to try.

When Fortune 500 and power-tool magnate Stanley Black & Decker decided to overhaul the calls to action on their Dewalt brand site, they wisely decided to test their ideas before making any permanent changes. To help them set up and run these tests, the SB&D team brought on Viget, a digital agency that specializes in eCommerce and optimization. Through market research, rigorous A/B/N testing plan, many brainstorming sessions, they were able to increase projected annual online revenue by six figures.

Test 1—The Product Page

The main CTA on the product pages of Dewalt.com opens a window containing links to third-party vendors like Lowe’s or Home Depot that have the particular product in stock for purchase. One test the SB&D team ran on the product pages compared two CTAs: Buy Now’ (original) and ‘Shop Now’. The hypothesis behind the test was that ‘Shop’ sounded much less committal than ‘Buy’, and would compel more site visitors to click through. Others on the team thought it implied a longer process to purchase.

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Click to view full size image.

Through testing, they were able to prove that the original, ‘Buy Now’, was the winning CTA, driving 17% more people to click through to the vendor pages. Projected over the course of the year, this represents a six-figure impact on projected online revenue—small change, significant results.

Test 2—The Homepage CTA

Another test the Viget team ran on the Dewalt site was around site functionality on the homepage to find local retailers, located in the top navigation. The team ran a test with three text variations on this element.

black-and-decker-button-test-2

Click to view full size image.

Find a Retailer’ (the original), ‘Where to Buy’ (a more direct version which they hypothesized implied less work for the visitor), and ‘Nearby Retailers’ (which indicated a physical location).

‘Nearby Retailers’ outperformed both the original ‘Find a Retailer’ and ‘Where to Buy’, attracting 4.1% more clicks. Why did Nearby Retailers win? The team hypothesized that both ‘Find a Retailer’ and ‘Where to Buy’ could have both related or referred to only online retailers, while ‘Nearby Retailers’ could have made it clearer that it indicated a physical retailer’s location.

As this these tests prove, elements as simple as two words on a button can have a serious effect on key success metrics. If they can be opportunities for quick wins, why not test ‘em out?

Check out this post for many more test ideas specifically for e-commerce call to action buttons.

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