E-Commerce Insights: Use Online Testing to Increase Print Catalog Response Rates
Next, you set up a test by selecting a page or region common to multiple pages, such as top navigation. For a split test, create multiple versions of the whole page. More interesting are multivariate tests (MVT), where you choose several areas on the page to vary at the same time. After loading these regions and versions into GWO, you turn on the test.
Each visitor will randomly experience one of the different page combinations. GWO will keep each visitor in that specific treatment for their entire visit and subsequent visits so users won’t experience any inconsistencies while they surf. GWO tracks which tested treatments produce the highest conversion rates. It provides statistical confidence intervals on its results. It also parcels out the contribution from each tested region.
For a sample test, click on “The 3x3 Experiment” under related content to the right of this story.
Make Better Decisions
You can run tests with several MVT regions and several versions of a region. You can run tests across multiple pages or tests that compare site processes, such as one-page vs. multipage checkout. And you don’t have to use GWO; similar experiments can be run with most paid MVT testing tools.
Imagine the power of settling catalog design disputes by watching your customers. If small tweaks are proven to increase conversion rates, the same winning formulas could help your catalogs.
For multichannel merchants, the age of online testing has arrived. The tools are powerful, easy-to-use and — at least in one case — free! Catalogs aren’t going extinct any time soon. But as in-the-mail response rates continue to fall, and postage and fuel costs continue to rise, savvy mailers must learn to lean on online testing to give their books every advantage. «
Alan Rimm-Kaufman is CEO of the Rimm-Kaufman Group, a Web agency providing pay-per-click search management and site effectiveness testing for online retailers. You can reach him online at www.rkgblog.com.