Split and multi-variant testing offer two powerful benefits to those wishing to optimise their online channel. Yet to get the most out of split-testing you need to understand about local maxima and the value of being bold.
If your website receives hundreds of thousands of visits per day, then you have the opportunity to learn quickly and benefit from statistically significant trials. If this is you, then your challenge will be that of hitting what is known as the “local maxima”. The highest possible conversion rate your site can achieve in its current form.
This is the point where, using incremental improvements you have reached the maximum performance of the website in its current form. After this point there are diminishing returns in continuing to optimize in this way.
Your approach now is no longer to tweak the current design, but to take a new approach to your audience and website.
We all know that the bigger risk you take, the bigger the potential reward.
Conversion rate optimization is no different.
If you are larger website you can take small, incremental steps in improving your conversion rate, but over time this form of tweaking will reach a point of local maximum.
For smaller websites, given your traffic levels and the resources required to set up a split-test, you need substantial improvements in order to declare a winner is a reasonable time frame.
So for both types of website there is clear value in taking a new approach to split-tests. But let’s be clear that being bold, or taking a very different approach to your website visitors, has a greater chance of the control outperforming the test variation(s) – but you knew that, right? And after all we learn from successful tests and learn just as much from the colossal failures.
Up until now, you have been changing a few elements of the existing design. To be bold you need to question your approach to both your audience and your offer.
Useful questions might include
- How well understood is my value proposition?
- How have my competitors approached their customers?
- Why do single purchasers not make more than one purchase?
- How profitable is my current customer base, are there other segments that could be more profitable?
- Why do visitors come to my website and what are they trying to achieve?
- What differentiates my high-spending customers from my low-spending ones?
- Does the way our merchandise is categorized represent the way in which our customers group our products in their mind?
Good luck and happy testing.