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Experiment your way to eCommerce success

Following on from yesterdays Google Analytics post, today we explore the world of content experiments and explore how valuable they are to success in eCommerce.

This post comes with a health warning.

WARNING: Content Experiments may be highly addictive and lead to a large increase in online revenue!

If you’ve been following on our plugin post series you’ll have seen a whole array of wonderful plugins and tools designed to improve the overall customer experience for WooCommerce powered online. But if there’s a single action I recommend to every online merchant who wants to improve their online sales it’s to master eCommerce Content experiments.

What are eCommerce Content Experiments?

Simply put, eCommerce Content Experiments are controlled tests which you the merchant plan and execute to evaluate if you can increase sales and conversions of your products by publishing multiple variations of your products with typically slightly different properties in each version. You’ll hear some people call this Split Testing, or A/B testing or multivariate testing. But I prefer to simply call them Content Experiments – that’s the heart of what split testing is all about anyway.

So let’s imagine you run an online store selling T-Shirts. A simple eCommerce Content Experiment might involve creating 3 versions of one of your products each selling at a different price – $14.99, $18.99 and $24.95. The experiment will allow you to evaluate which price sells best. Your initial gut feeling might be to assume that the $14.99 version would sell best because it’s the cheapest. But what are you basing this on – your gut? You might well be right but then again you might be wrong! Let’s use science to validate our hypothesises! That’s the point about eCommerce Content Experiments – they can be highly valuable to validate or invalidate our assumptions about customer behaviour.

How do I learn about eCommerce Content Experiments?

There was a time not too long ago that Content experiments were the preserve of dedicated “growth hackers” who would charge an arm and a leg to setup a limited number of content experiments. They were also traditionally quite time consuming and expensive to setup, configure and manage. Thankfully that’s changing quickly. For anyone just getting started, I highly recommend you check out Google Analytics Experiments feature. (formerly known as the Google Website Optimizer)

Check out this in-depth video from Google introducing this feature.

Google Analytics Experiments are also free which is their major plus point. The biggest downside is that while it’s a lot simpler than it used to be, Analytics Experiments are still a bit rough around the edges and involve manual configuration. Thankfully there are tons of commercial alternatives that are much more streamlined.

In no particular order, some of the best services include:

So get going with your content experiments today!

About Colm: He has been building web stuff since the web was a wee lad. Colm built his first blog with WordPress around 2007 and has been hooked ever since. When not knee deep in hooks and filters you'll probably find him running around a mountain or making pizza.
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