The Ultimate “A/B Test” Guide for your Ecommerce Mobile Experience

eCommerce on mobile is a totally difference experience than desktop. Visitors are not in the same mindset, location and aren't as likely to commit to buying. So it's crucial that you A/B tests your eCommerce mobile pages to see what works compared to desktop eCommerce.

With more than 5 billion mobile users and mobile commerce predicted to dominate online sales by 2021 (driving 54% of the online sales), it comes as no surprise that more and more businesses are either optimizing their ecommerce stores for mobile devices or creating dedicated apps to attract a wider audience.

However, unfortunately, most mobile stores don't perform as well as desktop ecommerce websites, especially when it comes to customer retention and overall conversions.

While it is understandable that the ever-increasing competition in the mobile commerce industry has been making it increasingly difficult to make a lasting impression on users, there is probably a huge opportunity for your store to stand out compared to your competition.

And if you don't make mobile a priority now, you risk falling behind and will fail to maximize your business' potential and lose a large number of prospective customers.

How Can Ecommerce Stores Make The Most Of Their Mobile Sites?

A business can take several measures to improve the performance of their mobile commerce stores, just like with their desktop websites.

But, there’s only one way they can be sure that the measures they are taking will generate the desired results – through A/B testing!

A/B testing gives you scientific data that a change is performing well.

We all make the mistake of falling in love with our “hunches” that we believe will improve the conversion rate of our businesses.

When you A/B test, you remove the emotion from the equation, and you let your visitors decide the outcome of a test for you. They vote with their wallets, which is the best way to surely know if your new element is providing a lift on sales (or leads, or whatever your goal is).

See my ecommerce guide on home page testing, product page testing and checkout testing for further ideas on how to improve your sales on these pages.

Why You Should A/B Test Your Mobile Flow

Although most of the businesses with digital presence now know the importance of A/B testing to improve website performance, the concept of A/B testing mobile sites and apps is still new to many.

If you are also one of them, read on to find out why A/B testing is as important (if not more) for your mobile site as it is for your desktop website.

One big mistake many marketers do is assuming that a winning page on desktop can improve sales on mobile, just by being responsive. This is often wrong.


One big mistake many marketers do is assuming that a winning page on desktop can improve sales on mobile, just by being responsive.

This is very often wrong.

Or actually, it's often a version of the desktop page that will win on mobile, but a few tweaks are required before you achieve the best and optimized mobile version of your desktop version.

So even though ecommerce platforms such as Shopify can help you get started quickly, at some point your store should have a totally different “look” on desktop and mobile, simply because you've tested both flow and got different winners each way.

Ecommerce App Testing

If you have an app to drive your sales, you should know that according to Andrew Chen, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz and the former head of Rider Growth at Uber, an average app loses 77% of its Daily Active Users (DAUs) within the first 3 days of its installation. The percentage increases to 90% within 30 days and exceeds 95% within 3 months.

This means, on average, businesses lose almost all their users they worked so hard to attract to their apps within a few months. It’s like spending time, money, and effort to pour water into a leaky bucket.

The staggering figures of losing mobile app users often make people wonder if it is even possible to retain mobile users.

Well, the good news is that it is possible and the magic spell that can help you do it is A/B testing!

Incorporating A/B testing into your m-commerce strategy helps you fix the leaks in your sales funnel and as a result, improves both user experience and your site’s performance; in terms of increasing retention rate, winning customer loyalty and ultimately generating more revenue.

Mobile Ecommerce A/B Testing Ideas

Ideally, you should A/B test everything from your mobile marketing campaigns to all the elements that determine or shape the mobile user experience; from landing page arrival to the check out process. However, the process can be overwhelming for those who are new to mobile A/B testing.

For all those who don’t know how to incorporate A/B testing into your mobile marketing and optimize your site/ app accordingly, here are a few A/B testing ideas to get started:

Navigation / Header

Mobile screens are much smaller than desktop. That's obvious.

So you should work to maximize the visual real estate of your content and minimize parts of your pages that aren't directly linked to your sales.

For example, on product pages, what you want users to see is a picture of your product, as well as a few copy bullets (if you struggle at writing these, I recommend Funnel Scripts), a guarantee, price, CTA, etc.

So try to keep your header and navigation as small as possible.

A typical winning header for ecommerce is a small logo, a search box and the menu to the right.

Not saying this will win for your store, but that's what I've found to work best for many clients.

Also test the shape/copy of your menu. Hamburger style is the norm, but also test having the word “menu” next to it, or removing the hamburger entirely.

Sticky Call-To-Actions

Piggybacking on the previous concept of limited real estate space on mobile screens, a good test to run is adding a sticky CTA button at the bottom of your pages in order to help your users add items to cart and checking out.

You can test making the button appear on scroll or on page load.

Also, test different copy triggers and wordings. Typically stay away from “Buy Now” which is too much of an ask at this point.

CTAs should describe what happens next and on a product page you're not buying the item when you click this button. You are adding it to your cart.

Also test adding an icon next to the copy (shopping cart, arrow, secure lock for example).

Finally, make sure the CTA color pops on the screen when I'm looking at my phone.

Product Headline

On mobile pages, the headline will be the first thing users notice. This is obviously true on desktop, but even more so on mobile.

In order to make an impact i.e. attract users, the headline has to be short, crisp, clear, and engaging. It should clearly convey your message and tells the users what you have to offer them as well as get them excited to know more about it.

Don't just list the name of your product and call it a day.

Add a benefit to it, or consider adding a subhead under it that explains why this product is the one for your users.

Product Description/ Copy

The description is one of the most important factors in customer acquisition.

It should first describe your product in a few words, but in an engaging manner.

People hate reading huge blocks of text.

So one way to improve your product description is to create short bullets that can engage visitors and provide the best benefits of your product to them.

then perhaps you can show a more detailed description for those users that want more meat.

Ecommerce App A/B Testing Ideas

Icon

If you have a mobile application for your ecommerce store, its icon is the very first thing users are going to see. It is the face of your app and hence, has to be attractive and engaging. It should also be relevant to your brand and exhibits the essence of your core values of ideology.

When it comes to A/b testing different icons for your mobile application, you should test both the design and colors to find the one that generates the best results.

App Family Kids, a Swedish children apps’ developer, experienced a 100% increase in its download rate and revenue just by replacing their icon for the Google Play product page with the one that showed great results in A/B testing.

Similarly, Mallzee, a British fashion shopping application, experienced a 10% increase in the conversion rate just by A/B testing their app icon

Screenshots

While they may appear insignificant, screenshots on the app store product page have a direct and very strong impact on click-through rates and conversions.

Therefore, it is worth testing them.

Create a variant of your product page with relevant and captivating screenshots and test it against the product page without screenshots to see the difference in-app performance and user engagement yourself.

But, do not stop just there.

When you have the data showing that adding screenshots to your App Store product page does provide positive results, continue to test different screenshots, colors, order, and localization to put up a perfect product page.

In general, it has been found that the more diverse and localized the screenshots are, the better results they will provide.

A sketching mobile application with the name of Paper experienced a 333% increase in their app download rate just by experimenting with product page screenshots.

Prisma, the renowned photo editing app, managed to increase their conversion rate by 20% just by optimizing the screenshots on their App Store product page through multiple A/B tests.

Payment Gateways

Since online shopping requires people to share sensitive details, they are generally highly concerned about how secure the payment gateway of a company is.

In many cases, it can be the only factor making the difference between a well-performing business and a poorly performing one. Therefore, it is recommended that you should opt for a payment gateway that enjoys the is widely trusted in the digital world, like PayPal.

Just like with desktop websites, A/B testing mobile sites and apps is a continuous process. You have to keep on running different A/B tests on a regular basis to improve and maintain the performance of your mobile ecommerce store.

Examples of Mobile A/B Testing

In case you are still not convinced about conducting A/B tests on your mobile website and/or application, here are some examples that will have you persuaded:

App Annie

App Annie is the leading mobile analytics and market data platform and helps build their presence or improve their performance in the m-commerce industry. The B2C company increased the conversion rate for its ‘My Data Manager’ application by 15% with the help of A/B testing.

MSQRD

The leading photo and video app that was acquired by Facebook in 2016 increased their conversion rate by 13% by adding and testing screenshots and videos on its app store product page, through a number of A/B tests.

A 13% increase may not sound impressive, but it is a significant increase in terms of numbers.

Ready to Start Mobile A/B Testing?

Form running a winning mobile marketing campaign to ensuring good performance of your mobile website or application, A/B testing is essential to every step and stage of being successful in the m-commerce industry.

It not only helps you attract and engage more users, but also increase the conversions and retention rate (which is the most difficult task for mobile ecommerce).

The key to be successful and get real-time results is to start small and then gradually continue to build up to more extensive and complex tests.

Furthermore, while ideally, you should start running A/B tests as soon as you can to get faster results and achieve your goals, make sure you have a considerable number of daily users – and sales – in order to get reliable results.

If you don't, you still can test, but you might have to focus on micro-conversions, such as the number of “Add to Carts” or “Checkout steps”.

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