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Experimentation And Testing To Improve Conversions

Global ecommerce sales are predicted to rise to over $4 trillion by 2020. This has made competition between online retailers more intense than ever before.

One of the best ways to optimise performance is testing and experimentation. This is based on a study by Econsultancy’s Ecommerce Performance report, who surveyed over 400 ecommerce professionals.

Here is some insight into what the study has taught us.


Striving for advancements in strategy

78% of companies surveyed say their ecommerce revenues have grown in the past 12 months. The market is clearly doing very well.

But why? Strategy? 43% of participants say their ecommerce strategy is ‘quite advanced’ and 11% say it is ‘very advanced’. This leaves 46% rating their strategy either ‘not very advanced’ or ‘immature’. So, clearly there is still a long way to go with strategy.

Many businesses are still struggling to break out of a silo mentality, where different departments do not want to share information with other departments in the same company. For example, online customer behaviour is not accessible to offline departments.

There is also an apparent lack of knowledge regarding barriers to conversion. Only 15% of participants report understanding how poor user experience effects online revenue loss.


Gaps between expectations and reality of experimentation

Just over half (56%) of respondents say the impact of experimentation is ‘high’ or ‘very high’. The majority are very happy to acknowledge testing as a key to success.

With this in mind, there are still many respondents who understand the advantages, but are yet to put it into practice.

This may be due to organisations not yet reaching maturity with ecommerce optimisation. Only 14% of companies describe experimentation as a priority in strategy.

How marketers are tackling experimentation

Many organisations have limits when it comes to volume of experimentation they are able to conduct. They also lack sophistication in the experiments that are ran. These companies are therefore basing ecommerce decisions on data that is limited or incomplete.

With 81% of companies and 70% of agency participants using customer feedback to improve ecommerce performance, it is the most popular testing method. A/B testing is also very popular. On the other hand, usability testing is not as popular. Only 51% of companies and 40% of agencies reported using this method. Other less popular testing methods include expert usability reviews and multivariate testing.


Plans for future experimentation

59% of companies said they plan on using conversational commerce e.g messaging apps and chatbots.

55% of companies plan on experimenting with AI for personalisation. 44% said they plan on experimenting with digital payments. Only 18% plan on experimenting with voice technology, despite a sure in consumer interest.

A/B test example

In conclusion, it is clear that many companies still need to do a lot of research and learning in order to balance optimisations with the limitations that they have.

With all this research, it is safe to conclude that a strategic approach to experimentation will be a step in the right direction.

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