Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges to plague today’s eCommerce businesses. In March 2021, an astonishing 80% of online shopping carts worldwide were abandoned before the purchase was completed.
Cart abandonment rates are high across all industries, with automotive, airlines, fashion and luxury categories topping the charts. According to research from Forrester, this challenge can cost businesses $18 billion in yearly sales revenue alone.
But there’s hope for today’s eCommerce brands: global online shopping conversion rates are steadily increasing, and brands can further combat cart abandonment by using A/B testing.
In this article, we’ll define A/B testing, explain how it can reduce cart abandonment, and give examples of A/B tests your eCommerce store should be running to optimize sales.
When most marketers think of A/B testing, they imagine making small adjustments to online ads or calls-to-action. But in reality, A/B testing is far more complex.
A/B testing is a strategy to help companies decide which type of content, feature or design is most successful for their audience. This method allows marketers to test any element of a website, ad or social media feature that could influence a consumer’s behavior.
Marketers can use A/B testing for website layouts, navigation features, digital banner ads, Facebook ads, email campaigns and so much more.
Most importantly, A/B testing is an ongoing process that requires repeated testing over time, until you discover the best possible version of your content, website or feature.
A/B testing is one of the most effective ways to reduce cart abandonment. How? Because this strategy can help you optimize the customer’s checkout experience to minimize any existing friction or confusion throughout the process.
By running ongoing A/B tests, eCommerce brands can discover the absolute best way to set up their website to encourage customers to complete the purchase. Every change to the website can be made based on sound data, rather than a guessing game in which the developers aim to read the customer’s mind.
The possibilities for A/B testing on your website are endless — but if you need some ideas to get you going, here are a few:
- Steps to checkout: Test the number of steps the customer must take to complete the checkout process. Ideally, the fewer steps, the better!
- Payment CTAs: CTAs play a key role in converting customers during the checkout process. Test your CTA buttons to see which ones are most effective at getting customers to complete their payment.
- Value propositions: Test your special offers and value propositions to see which ones are the most enticing to your website visitors.
- Security measures: Test the elements of your website that build customer trust and confidence in the security of your site, such as customer reviews, BBB stickers or security labels.
- Cross-selling and up-selling: Just about every eCommerce store can implement cross-selling and up-selling strategies to boost revenue. Test these features to see which options minimize cart abandonment.
Many eCommerce brands rely on cart abandonment emails to bring customers back to complete a purchase, and data shows that the strategy is highly effective. In fact, 45% of cart abandonment emails are opened, and 21% receive click-throughs.
A/B testing can help marketers further optimize the effectiveness of cart abandonment emails. Here are some A/B testing ideas to include in future email tests:
- Email copy: Though subject lines and images may draw your customers in, the copy of the email is what will ultimately get them to take action. Test your email copy to see what engages your audience the most.
- Subject lines: Since the subject line is the first thing your audience will see, it’s important to get it right. Test multiple subject lines to see which one gets the highest open rate.
- Discount codes: Discount codes are one of the best ways to boost email click rates, but they need to be used currently. Spit test your codes to optimize customer engagement.
- Timing: When is the best time to send your email? The answer depends on your audience. Test timing to see when customers are most likely to open your email.
- Personalization: Most customers respond well to personalization. Test the strategy by personalizing the subject line, including the customers’ purchase history and more.
- CTA: Though the goal of every cart abandonment email is to bring the customer back to the cart, there are many ways to state the call to action. Test various phrases to see which ones motivate customers to act.
A/B testing takes time and patience to execute correctly. Here are some best practices to ensure you get the best return on investment from any A/B test.
- Experiment. Test several variables for each element of your website, emails or ads.
- Track analytics. Your results won’t do you any good if you don’t carefully track the data. Create a reporting system to track analytics.
- Measure statistical significance. Before you run off making changes based on your tests, make sure the results have statistical significance. You can use a tool to compare the control group to the variation.
- Use your data. After reviewing your reports, use the information to optimize the performance of your website and marketing campaigns.
- Choose the right sample size. Your A/B tests won’t be reliable if you don’t test it on enough people. Make sure to have an adequate sample size to ensure best results.
- Use comparable periods. Your A/B tests will be useless unless you run them during comparable time periods. Schedule your tests correctly to make sure you’re testing apples to apples.
The downsides of cart abandonment go well beyond revenue loss, decreasing customer lifetime value and increasing customer acquisition costs. Fortunately, eCommerce brands can overcome these challenges with A/B testing website features and email campaigns.
Looking for more ways to reduce cart abandonment? Air360 is a UX analytics solution that can help you reduce user friction, increase conversions and improve loyalty. Request a demo today to learn how our smart, intuitive, connected software allows you to make data-driven decisions that fast-track your eCommerce business growth.