Ideas for A/B tests can come from the darnedest places. But there’s nothing like case studies from other similar companies to get the hypothesis juices flowing. Here are 13 e-commerce conversion optimization case studies from Optimizely customers. Each one has a clear takeaway you can use as inspiration for your own test hypotheses. Scroll forth and grow that list of experiment ideas!
1. Removing product banner on SimCity product page increases conversions 43% for EA
Digital downloads made up 50% of sales for SimCity 5 in the first two weeks of launch. Part of this success can be attributed to a simple A/B test the EA product team ran on the SimCity landing page. The team tested whether or not removing the big promotional banner, thus moving important information up higher on the page, would increase sales. Read the full case study here.
Question your assumptions. Even when you think something must be absolutely true, test it.
“We found that the variations with the promotional offer actually performed worse than just a clean version of the page. This was really surprising to us, but it had a pretty significant impact,” Mike Burk, a Senior Online Product Manager at EA said.
2. Changes to button text increases clicks 17% for Black and Decker
Dewalt, one of Black and Decker’s brands, tested the call to action buttons on various pages of their site. CTAs appear on so many pages throughout the site and are fundamental to the purchase path. Their goal was to drive more visitors to vendor landing pages to buy power tools. Read the full case study here.
Small words matter. Even two words on a button can have a dramatic impact on key success metrics. Read more about copywriting for conversion.
3. Uniform product page images increase ARPV 17% for SmartWool
Despite how fantastic the SmartWool and Blue Acorn teams thought the control product page looked, a more uniform design turned out to be better for conversions. They found that using repetitive image attributes enables better eye tracking when scanning a number of products. Read the full case study.
When it comes to product page layout, sometimes the tried and true design works best. Making a product image bigger may lead to more clicks on the product, but that doesn’t always guarantee checkout.
4. Simple button CTA change increases monthly revenue 16% for Lifeproof
Lifeproof is an electronics accessory company specializing in cases that protect smartphones and tablets from extreme conditions. They experimented on homepage CTAs and found that small changes in the copy made a big difference. Read the full case study here.
On call to action buttons, give people an action to take. Promoting “Store” was not as effective as telling people “to Shop Now”.
Find many more ideas for e-commerce conversion optimization in our free guide. Download now.
5. Removing navigation from checkout funnel increases RPV 14% for VeggieTales
VeggieTales is an animated children’s TV series, hugely popular with pre-schoolers in the United States. In partnership with Blue Acorn, they ran a series of tests on their e-commerce store that increased site-wide revenue by 38%. Read the full case study here. In this one experiment, they removed the top navigation from the checkout funnel pages.
Don’t give shoppers too many options, especially in the checkout funnel. Removing distractions and possible places to exit the highly lucrative series of pages like the checkout funnel helps keep shoppers focused on checking out.
6. Removing subcategories from homepage lifts revenue per visitor 53.8% for FSA Store
FSAstore.com is a one-stop destination for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), where visitors can search for and purchase FSA eligible products. The team hypothesized that removing sub-categories from the homepage would help site visitors focus on the products featured on each category page, driving more through to make a purchase. They were right, very right.
Removing distractions is smart. Fewer options led to higher conversions.
Communication between teams leads to better testing. “You can’t argue numbers. We absolutely believe in sharing results with everyone internally because you never know what tests on our homepage could affect customer service and what ideas they might have,” Ujjwal Dhoot, Chief Marketing Officer at FSAstore.com said.
7. Adding answers to FAQ on product page increases conversions 69% for Roller Skate Nation
Online shopping can be difficult because you never know exactly how an item will fit. Roller Skate Nation knows this all too well. In person, shoppers frequently ask about sizing and how to go about picking the right fit. The team at Rollerskatenation.com decided to bring some of the offline world online and experiment with adding sizing tips to product pages. They tried placing tips in two different places. Read the full case study here. They found that placing the image below the product information increased checkouts by 69%!
Make sure shoppers have enough information to make an informed decision. Additional information to help the shopper make a decision, especially if you know it’s a frequently asked question, can be a powerful tactic for conversion rate optimization.
8. Testing new product search algorithm at Insound leads to 39% conversion lift
Insound is an online music store that sells audio equipment and vinyl records. Clearhead worked with Insound to define and test four permutations of their search results page, based on different factors weighing the algorithm. Read the full case study here. They found that subtleties in the way search results are displayed have a significant impact on a visitor’s likelihood to make a purchase.
E-commerce search is a powerful conversion lever. While it’s a less visible part of the user experience, optimizing search algorithms is a very powerful hypothesis and area to focus.
9. Banner product promotions convert differently on desktop and mobile for Sony
Sony A/B tested on-site banner ads for the Vaio computer. The goal was to discover which call to action was more enticing: customizing a notebook or a free memory upgrade? Rather than one offer winning across the board, Sony discovered that visitors reacted differently to each ad based on where they were browsing. Read the full case study here.
Tailor content to mobile environments. The environment has a significant impact on what sort of information shoppers need and actions they’re willing to take. Do not forget to analyze A/B test results based on different segments of traffic.
Tablet and desktop are not the same. You should not assume that disruptive experiences that look (and perform) great on tablets or phones will translate well to the desktop, where the majority of shoppers still exist.
10. Testing checkout funnel button text increases click rate 39% for Insound
In partnership with Clearhead, the the Insound team suspected that repeatedly using the “Continue” button in the funnel was causing confusion and leading to abandonment on Bill/Ship details page of the checkout flow. They believed a more specific or enticing call to action button would improve conversion rates. Read the full case study here. See the variations and performance below.
Be precise in the checkout funnel. Customers want to know exactly where they are in the process and how many steps remain until the end.
Digital optimization strategists cannot predict the habits of thousands of website visitors. Not only did “Review Order” increase conversion on the page by 8%, it beat all other variations by well over 30%. With the “Review Order” button, this page now has a 54% conversion rate.
11. More visual cart design lifts revenue for soccerloco
Soccerloco is a multi-channel retailer for soccer gear. As part of a broader site redesign with agency Digital Operative, they made a few hypotheses on areas to improve usability and converion — one of them was the checkout funnel. They tested a more visual cart design that incorporated buttons instead of radio buttons. The buttons were more successful driving clicks through the funnel. This was one of multiple tests that led to a 26% lift in revenue for soccerloco. Read the full case study here.
Presenting the same information in a different visual way is a strong hypothesis for an experiment.
12. New photo search algorithm increased downloads by 3% for Bigstock
Bigstock is a stock photo website and subsidiary of Shutterstock. They are always trying to suggest the most accurate search results to people searching for photos. They tested the performance of a new search algorithm they called “fuzzy auto suggest” algorithm which guessed the intended term if the word was spelled wrong (for example, the commonly misspelled word “calendar”). They tested it against the “exact auto suggest” algorithm that populated results based off the exact search term.
People selected results from the the fuzzy auto suggest 9.6 % more often. They saw significant improvements throughout, including a 6.52% increase in the number of images added to the cart, and a 3.2% increase in downloaded images. Read the full case study here.
Focus on the big pieces first and do exploratory work before optimization work. For example, try out entirely new algorithms or page layouts first, and then do smaller tests.
13. ZAGG increases revenue per visitor 40% testing product image types
ZAGG is one of the largest e-commerce sites for mobile electronic accessories. The product pages on ZAGG.com offered three ways to view products: static images, video, and 360º product images. The conversion and usability analyst ran a series of tests to figure out which product image type was best to lead with. He found that video increased RPV by 27% and then leading with 360º video increased it another 12%. Read the full case study here.
Before you fully invest in product image designs, test them. Product images are not cheap. Before you invest in displaying the product one way across the site, experiment with different styles and formats.
Let these examples inspire your next experiment hypothesis!
Additional resources for e-commerce conversion optimization:
- 21 Ideas to Increase Revenue from Your Online Store
- Unconventional Places to Find Ideas for Your Next A/B Test
- 7 Essential Customer Segments for an E-commerce Website