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Shopify AB Testing: Essential Step To Maximize Conversations [How To Do It Right?]

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Planning to do some significant changes on your online store? Hold on right there. Before you do anything drastic, we have one important suggestion for you – it’s called Shopify AB Testing.

If you haven’t heard of this term yet, AB testing is a crucial step whenever you want to implement something new or make improvements on your Shopify store. Its main goal is to maximize the conversion rates from the actions that you are planning to take.

Shopify AB testing sounds complicated, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t have to be – because this one is written to shine a light on this topic so you can do it on your own business.

To top everything off, we've added a list of AB testing apps at the end of this article.

So if you’re just as curious as we were the first time we’ve heard of it, keep reading.

What is Shopify A/B Testing?

What is Shopify AB Testing? - a person with two palms up holding one tablet on each palm

Shopify AB testing, sometimes called split testing or multivariate testing, is a process in which two versions (with slight variations) of a website are created in order to measure their performance and see which one yields the highest conversion rate.

Which Elements of Your Shopify Store Should You Conduct Tests On?

Which Elements of Your Online Store Should You Conduct Tests On? -- five experimental plants contained in separate test tubes

You can run AB tests on any element that could potentially impact the conversion rates of your online store.

01. Landing Pages: Test different layouts, banners, CTAs, and visual elements to determine which combination attracts and engages visitors more effectively.

Landing pages are one of the most frequent (and one of the most important) subjects of AB testing. Here’s a tutorial on how you can create a high-converting landing page.

How To Create A HIGH CONVERTING Landing Page: 7 Essential Tips

02. Product Pages: Test variations of product images, descriptions, and pricing to identify the most appealing content.

03. Call-to-Action Buttons (CTAs): Experiment with different button colors, placement, and text to identify which one is more compelling.

04. Badges and Trust Signals: Test the placement and visibility of trust signals like security badges and customer testimonials to see how they affect customer decisions.

05. Checkout Process: Optimize the checkout flow by removing or including progress indicators, form fields, and payment options to reduce cart abandonment.

06. Navigation and Menus: Test menu arrangement and website structure to see which one increases browsing session and reduces bounce  rates.

07. Product Recommendations: Experiment with various product recommendations to increase your customers' cart value.

08. Promotions and Discounts: Test various promotional and discount strategies to see which ones drive the most sales.

09. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Not getting enough organic visitors? Experiment on meta titles, descriptions, and keyword placements.

10. Exit-Intent Pop-ups: Try to offer incentives via pop-ups and see if it reduces cart abandonment.

How A/B Testing Works

How A/B Testing Works -- A woman holding a magnifying glass in front of her left eye

Shopify AB testing involves dividing your audience into group A and group B. In this process, you show each group the same web page with slightly different elements – the original version (version A or control) and the version B (variant).

AB tests usually run from one to four weeks (depending on the test that you are conducting). And after the experiments, metrics like click-through rates (CTR), conversions, open rates, engagement, etc. are measured to determine which version performs better.

So let’s say you are testing out a new CTA button on your home page. Version A says “Book a Call”, and version B says “Schedule Now”. After running the AB test for four weeks, the results showed that version B yielded more leads contacting you. Therefore, you can confidently implement “Schedule Now” on your contact page.

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Why AB Testing Matters?

Why AB Testing Matters? -- A woman looking upwards seemingly thinking about something

Why does AB testing sound like a big deal? Is it really that important?

Picture this:

You are planning to join an event in which a smart casual outfit is required. Now, you have two pairs of dress shoes in your closet but you don’t know which one goes well with your current outfit. So you tried out both pairs and figured out that pair A is better.

This scenario above is a simplification of what AB testing is. Trying out both pairs of shoes isn’t necessary. However, you want to wear the ones that make you look your best so you decided to make a comparison.

Therefore, although Shopify AB testing is not essential in running an online store, it matters if you want to get the most out of your decisions. It's a cost-effective way to continuously improve and meet customer expectations, ensuring long-term success.

5 Benefits Of Shopify AB Testing

5 Benefits Of Shopify AB Testing -- a man giving a thumbs up

Now that we have stressed the importance of AB testing, let us look at some of the benefits you’ll get if you do it right:

01. Enhanced Conversion Rates

By creating variations on different elements of your Shopify store and measuring the results, you can identify which variant resonates best with your audience. This data-driven approach enables you to make calculated steps that result in higher conversion rates.

02. Improved User Experience

AB testing helps you identify website elements that may be weighing your website down in terms of customer experience. Whether it’s the arrangement of menu items, product arrangement, checkout process, or just a simple trust badge. Indeed, a small tweak can sometimes lead to positive or catastrophic results.

03. Personalized Content

AB testing allows you to tailor content and product recommendations to individual preferences. This is done by analyzing user behavior and making adjustments on your Shopify store to suit customer preferences. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of them purchasing from you.

04. Data-Backed Decision Making

Guesswork-driven decisions are a slow and painful way to failure. On the other hand, AB testing provides measurable insights that will help you take the best course of action in every option that you’re dealt with. And by relying on data, you can allocate resources more effectively and achieve a higher return on investment or ROI.

05. Reduced Bounce Rates

High bounce rates means that your leads don’t stay long enough on your website, thereby resulting in poor conversion rate. Since the main goal of Shopify AB testing is conversion rate optimization (CRO) , doing it right could result in lower bounce rates – longer browsing sessions, increased engagements, and improved SEO ranking.

How To Perform AB Testing The Right Way?

According to InvespCRO, 77% of organizations run AB tests to improve their conversion rates. Furthermore, landing pages are where conversions happen, thus, 60% of all organizations conduct tests on these pages to improve their websites’ performance.

These statistics show that businesses believe in the CRO benefits of AB testing. With that, it is crucial that you also instill split testing in your business processes if you want to maximize your potential gains.

Follow the steps below to conduct AB testing the right way:

Step #1: Identify the problem

Step #1: Identify the problem

Before conducting an AB test, the initial step should involve identifying the problem. You can get this information by examining your reporting tools such as Shopify Analytics. After interpreting the numbers, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are your conversion rates way below accepted standards?
  • Do customers immediately leave your Shopify store (high bounce rates)?
  • Don’t customers finish their checkout (high cart abandonment)?

If you answered “Yes” on at least one of these questions, then it warrants a further action. Which leads us to the next step.

Step #2: Define a hypothesis

Step #2: Define a hypothesis

A hypothesis is a statement of proposed solutions and the results that it could achieve. To prove this hypothesis, you then need to run the AB test.

Let’s say that your problem is high cart abandonment:

Theory: The payment methods (Paypal and ShopPay) in the website are not the ones preferred by the target audience. Allowing credit card payment could possibly reduce abandonment as these are more common than the ones we currently have.

Validation: We will know that credit cards are indeed more preferred if we see a substantial reduction in cart abandonment.

Outcome: Adding credit card payment will be good for customers because it will be easier for them to pay for their purchases. It will also be good for the business because it can increase conversion rates by reducing cart abandonment.

Step #3: Choose an AB testing tool

Step #3: Choose an AB testing tool

Choosing the right testing tool for your experiment is also a crucial step because this will enable you to successfully test your hypothesis.

There are a multitude of split test apps in the Shopify app store. We will provide a list of AB testing tools over the next section.

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Step #4: Choose an audience

Step #4: Choose an audience

AB tests can be served to your general audience or you can also run it on a predetermined audience subset. If you decide to run the test on all your visitors, this means that 50% sees version A and 50% sees version B.

On the other hand, if you choose to run the test on a subset, you need to be more specific on the parameters. Such as running the test on visitors of a certain age bracket or location.

Step #5: Create variants and run your test

Step #5: Create variants and run your test

By this time, you must have a clear understanding of the changes that you need to make because in this step, you will now be creating a Version B or Variant of your original page or Version A.

You can experiment on as many variants as you want. However, you should have a systematic approach to it. Do not run more than two versions at a time.

Step #6: Analyze the results

Step #6: Analyze the results

After the time frame allotted for your AB test, analyze the results and see if they meet your expectations. If not, you can run another experiment.

For example, the version B yielded better results than the original page. However, version B barely improved conversion rates. Now, you have an option to stick to version B, or to run another AB test to see if there are other ways to improve.

Step #7: Implement the results

Step #7: Implement the results

It goes without saying that Shopify AB testing takes time. Sometimes, original hypotheses don’t prove to be true and that new ones need to be formulated. Additionally, sometimes, more variants need to be tested in order to maximize results.

Thus, it is important to have a system and a clear plan when split testing. Patience is a virtue. When your Shopify store produces the most convincing results, that’s the time when you can confidently implement changes.

Who Should Run Shopify A/B Tests?

AB testing has a number of benefits to an online store. However, these benefits come at a cost because testing tools are not cheap. And although at some point in time you should be running an AB test, we recommend doing this only if:

1. Your page gets more than 10,000 monthly visits

Note that 10,000 website visits is different from 10,000 page visits. This is recommended because an audience of this size can produce statistical significance as compared to a small number of audience. Be that as it may, this isn’t a hard and fast rule that prohibits you from conducting tests. If your webpage gets less than 10,000 visits, you may need to run the test for a longer period.

2. You have the financial resources to run the test

AB testing is a laborious process that requires time, planning, financial resources, and understanding of different data. Thus, if you’ve been running an online store for a few months and you are hardly making any sales, AB testing might not solve your problem. Instead, it’s only a matter of learning more about your business and researching how you can increase your conversion rates.

Shopify AB Testing Apps

You can find a wide selection of testing apps in the Shopify app store. Here are some of our recommendations

Note: Google Optimize is a freemium testing tool for running experiments AB testing. However, since the service will be retired on September 30, 2023, we will no longer include it in this list.

01. Intelligems

Rating: 5/5 (50+ reviews)

Pricing: Starts at $99 per month

Intelligems

Intelligems is a Shopify AB testing app that allows you to seamlessly test any element on your website – this includes themes, landing pages, UX design, and content in order to increase conversions rates.

Features:

  • Test any element of your Shopify store to boost revenues
  • Split test product prices to find out the best pricing for your products
  • AB test different shipping rates to maximize profits
  • Experiment on personalized offers and discounts
  • Track everything using their dashboard

02. ABConvert: Price A/B Testing

Rating: 5/5 (30 reviews)

Pricing: Starts at $49 per month

ABConvert: Price A/B Testing

This Shopify AB testing tool allows you to enhance every aspect of your business. You can conduct experiments on product process, shipping rates, content, and more. Their detailed analytics offer insights on each test allowing you to determine the most optimal strategy.

Features:

  • Conduct AB tests on products, variant prices, shipping rates, and web content
  • Maximize your customers’ average order value by setting the right shipping thresholds
  • Real-time live traffic splitting
  • Display different prices on various locations based on  UTM source
  • State-of-the-art analytics so you can monitor results in real time.

03. Elevate A/B Testing Price Test

Rating: 5/5 (20+ reviews)

Pricing: Only one plan at $99 per month

Elevate A/B Testing Price Test

Elevate AB Testing allows merchants to discover possible strategies and optimize conversion rates through their robust features. This Shopify AB testing app allows merchants to easily run tests whilst providing clear data-based insights so they can make favorable decisions.

Features:

  • Live traffic splitting to ensure accurate results
  • Advanced price testing
  • Real-time analytics so progress tracking is instantly accessible
  • Light-weight and does not affect website’s speed
  • Live chat support

04. ShipScout ‑ A/B Test Shipping

Rating: 5/5 (19 reviews)

Pricing: Only one plan at $99 per month

ShipScout ‑ A/B Test Shipping

ShipScout is a Shopify AB testing app that’s entirely focused on allowing merchants to find the best shipping rates and thresholds to maximize profits. This is particularly useful for multinational online stores that ship hundreds to thousands of orders every day.

Features:

  • Test free shipping thresholds to determine its impact on conversions, average order value, and profit margin
  • Mix and match flat rates and free thresholds into a single test
  • View real-time results through their dashboard
  • Low impact on website speed

05. Shoplift - A/B Testing

Rating: 4.9/5

Pricing: Starts at $149 per month

Shoplift - A/B Testing

Shoplift is a no-code Shopify AB testing app that is designed to allow merchants to test any theme template without the need for a code. It analyzes your store’s performance and provides recommendations via Lift Assist.

  • Advanced segmentation in terms of audience, device, and other business metrics
  • Lift Assist builds new sections for your pages based on your branding
  • Advanced analytics tools to gain actionable insights
  • Low impact on your Shopify store’s speed

Final Words

As your business grows, risks become greater and the consequences of wrong decisions become more detrimental.Shopify AB testing is a powerful strategy that should be used if you want to minimize those things.

But as mentioned, AB testing is particularly recommended to Shopify stores that have achieved a certain level of growth.

Be that as it may, if you are just starting out on your online business, keep this in mind so that when your business reaches that level of growth, you can take calculated risks whenever you pivot on your marketing strategies.

On the other hand, if you have grown your business without running AB tests, you might want to consider conducting some tests to figure out if you are truly operating your business at its most optimal capability.

Ignoring to run split testing is like making decisions purely by guesswork. You might be shocked at how many opportunities you’ve already missed because you have never done split tests before.

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