Tuesday 26 October 2010 | 10:39
Summary: Test early in November & use the increasing traffic to help you get through tests quickly, giving you insights that could help increase conversions throughout the busy Christmas period.
Conversion specialists understandably focus a lot of their attention on making it easier for visitors to use websites so that they can become customers. That should be a long term focus for all website owners. However, there are also short term, quick advantages to website testing. A tool like Google Website Optimiser can be used to test offers against one another and how those offers impact on conversions.
In the run up to Christmas, many retailers will be thinking about how they can get visitors to buy from their websites. One way of doing this is by introducing special offers to encourage visitors that they are in the best place to buy what they are looking for. But how do we know which offers are going to generate the best returns? We test them of course!
In 2009, Blume2000.de - a popular German florist - tested two offers in the early part of the Christmas season. It was a simple A/B test of two different Christmas offers. They tested whether people would prefer combining flowers with a CD of Christmas music (Version A) or a slightly more expensive offer of flowers with a box of chocolates (Version B) .
Despite being more expensive, their early testing showed that people were more interested in the chocolates combination (Version B). They saw a 6% rise in their conversions as a result of this simple test. You can see the case study (in German) here.
Start Testing Now
As you can see from the Insights for Search graph below, shoppers in the UK steadily grow their interest in Christmas Gifts from early October and by November a website owner will likely be seeing enough of an increase in traffic that they can make some quick tests and get conclusive feedback more quickly. This means your testing is finished before the really busy season starts.
So, what now? Prepare to test your Christmas offers while traffic is heating up but before the really busy season starts so you can make the most of the results!
You can learn how to run an A/B test using Google Website Optimiser here.
Posted by Shane Cassells, Google Analytics team