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Friday, Dec. 12, 2008 at 9:07 am

Mini Case Study: How Testing Trumped the Holiday Slowdown

By Brendan Regan
December 12th, 2008

The experience gifting website,, started their pre-Holiday optimization with a very simple A/B test on the Billing page of their shopping cart.  Changing a single layout element on the page was responsible for a 20.48% increase in their Funnel Conversion Rate (ratio of those who started at View Cart and made it through checkout).

While this type of increase is common with our clients, the interesting part of the story comes from a different metric.  During the duration of the test, the client’s Average Order Value dropped 28.05%.  A frightening metric, but no surprise given all the reports we’ve been seeing about lower budgets for online Holiday shopping.

The silver lining, directly attributed to the client’s optimization efforts, was that their increase in funnel conversion rate more than offset the drop in their Average Order Value.  So despite people spending less, the website is getting more people to successfully checkout and spend.  And this was just their first test!

The moral: Optimization is a highly effective way to make the best of the bad economic situation we’re in.  You can’t control how much less people are going to spend for the Holidays this year, but you can control improving your site to be more efficient–to squeeze more out of your opportunities.

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Comments (6)

  1. Good article. I have A/B tested my view cart page and have gotten some increase in conversion also.

    I am fixing to run another A/B test of the same page and remove a couple of elements that I think are overwhelming the person.

    TMI- to much information. Can be an issue sometimes, I am trying to learn when to present what information and when.

    One issue I have with my site, I believe, is I am giving the person to much information and at the wrong time in the process.

  2. If everybody was as progressive as internet marketers are, we wouldn’t even have a depression.

  3. A nice read. Giving hope to those who are facing a tough festive season.

    I guess we can learn to take positives from the difficult situation we are all in.

    No surprise that simple A/B testing is behind the good news.

  4. Man if I could find the formula to increase conversions 20+%, I’d be a happy camper! I can’t help but wonder though where they started. 1% * 1.2 still doesn’t make a very good conversion rate.

  5. Good post! I’d like to see more

  6. Love it, but very heavy. I will try it and then we will see ;)

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