A or B (A/B) testing is a type of randomized controlled experiment which is used to determine which of the two variants (control and treatment) works better. On internet, we use A/B testing to determine if the current web page or a slightly changed version of it works better. Typically the change is made in a single element so that the attribution of either the increase or decrease can be attributed only to that particular element.
How does it work?
Let us take an example, suppose you are wondering if changing the colour of your buy button from red to green would improve your sales.
You will create an exact copy of your page, with all the elements staying the same except for the colour of the buy button which is now green. We’ll call your original page as control and this page as test.
The next step would be to split your traffic randomly into two, send half to the control version and the other half to the test version. You observe which of the versions is generating higher conversion rate.
We’re not done! There is an important step now, we need to be sure that the results are statistically significant. By that, we need to be sure that the change in conversion rate is not by random chance but is actually attributable to the colour of the button.
How do we do it?
You don’t have to worry anymore about the technical details of the test. There are specific software platforms which facilitate A/B testing. Sometimes the features are in-built in your web analytics tools or email marketing analytics tool but the other times, we need to use third party vendors, who specialize in A/B testing.
Below are the 5 tools that are popular for A/B testing:
1. Google Analytics
3. Visual Website Optimizer
We’ll cover them in detail soon.
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