A/B Testing

ab testing or a/b testing image These days companies the world over, are spending millions of dollars towards marketing of their products. They say, a website is as good as the face of a company. Continuous efforts and resources are drawn in towards making better presentation of web sites and the working of mobile apps. This is made possible by A/B testing.

What is the concept behind A/B testing?

A/B testing, also known as split testing is the process of comparative analysis of two variants of a web page or mobile app to determine which one performs better. The data and statistics thus obtained are then used to justify the incorporation of new changes to the product which will increase its viewership in the internet or help achieve expansion of user base.

Why should you consider A/B testing?

An A/B tested webpage or a mobile app enables companies to make more out of the user traffic on the internet. This makes a world of difference and is seen in the form of enhanced generation of new leads and sales. Obviously this results in a significant rise in revenue and market shares of the company.

How does A/B testing work?

There are a number of elements in a webpage/app which affect it's user behaviour. Some of the prime ones are:

  • Headlines
  • Paragraph text
  • Links and Images
  • Media mentions of awards and recommendations

The web page or the app to be split tested is called as the control. One of the elements is chosen to create a modified version of the control called variation. Both the control and the variation are shown to two different halves of the usual web traffic.

The user experience with each version is measured and collected in an analytics engine for analysis through statistical tools like graphs and pie charts. It is then easy to determine what effect each version had in the form of positive, negative or a neutral feedback.

Inferences from A/B testing:

  • If the feedback from the results is not up to expectations, then useful lessons can be learnt to generate new hypotheses for the future.
  • If the feedback is positive after the comparison of the two versions, then the parameters modified can be incorporated for creation of a more potent marketing campaign. One which will ultimately bear rich fruits for the company in the near future.

A/B testing for multiple tests:

Other than using the variants and Control, A/B testing can be used for testing more than two variants at a time. Let's say we want to test the main front image of a web site. We can run a single test and split the audience or the recipients into three groups. This alternative approach has been found to be more efficient and less time consuming as it saves us the trouble of running three separate tests namely, AvsB, BvsC and AvsC.

What are the different tools in the market for A/B testing?

There are a number of tools available in the market for A/B testing. Here's a brief description of some of them:

  • A/Bingo:

    This tool works well with programmes based on ruby on the rails framework.

  • Visual website optimizer:

    This is an easy to use tool with attractive features such as click maps and visitor segmentation.

  • Unbounce:

    This is a tool for landing page creator with added integration for A/B testing.

With the kind of penetration social media and the internet has achieved for business organisations, A/B testing is a highly beneficial tool to get a ready assessment of the strengths and weaknesses inherent in the product.

To get more insight on ab testing read our next article that focuses on landing page and ab testing checklist.