Steph Stefansson
Author Steph Stefansson
Optimization Manager
Posted in Marketing
March 4, 2016
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5 Split Tests That Every Ecommerce Website Needs to Try…

The traffic going to your website is great, your getting tons of people looking at your products and offers…


People just aren't pulling out their wallets to purchase your products and services.

How could this be? Your website is set up perfectly; you have great products… why are people not converting as much as you want them to?

There can be many factors causing this issue, but the cold hard truth is that if you want more sales without having to spend more money on traffic, you need to start focusing on conversion rate optimization. You need to find ways that have an effect on how people interact with your website that cause them to buy.

The best way to increase conversions is by using split testing, which is a way of comparing multiple variables of a website to find out which ones cause higher conversions. When the test is run, traffic to the page is split among the different versions, and their performance is tracked. This can be done using different tools like Google Analytics & Improvely.

Below we have outlined five different on-site items that can be split tested to help determine the impact they have on your conversion rate.

Trust Symbols

When people first land on your website are you giving them a reason to trust your brand? The main reasons people won't buy from your brand is because they don't know, like or TRUST you yet. Give them that reason.

Having trust symbols like customer reviews, secure payment badges, and/or sales milestones is common practice and industry standard for an ecommerce site so the split test isn’t having a trust symbol vs not having a trust symbol. The tests that you run could be:

  • the type of trust symbol
  • the placement of the trust symbol
  • the wording of the trust symbol

Last year we ran a split test for an ecommerce client that wanted to test the type of trust symbol; Norton Security Seal vs. Google Trusted Store. We ran the test for 60 days and the results were interesting:

All Users:


Looking at the results from all users we see that the Google Trusted page had a higher conversion rate by 6.77% so we could assume that the Google Trusted page is the winner. However, if we look at the results based on only New Users (users that had never visited our site before) the results are different:

New Users:


Among new users the original page (Norton Security) has a better conversion rate. So while overall the Google page was deemed the winner, we determined the Norton Security tag more important to us because of its effect on new users.

When you are doing split testing it’s important to remember that you need to look further into your analytics than just the top level results, we know they don’t always tell the whole story.

Create Urgency / Scarcity

Another great split test you can add to your ecommerce site is urgency. There is something in the brain that triggers someone to buy when they have the FEAR of missing out on something.

I am sure you have been in a situation in your lifetime where you purchased something mainly because you felt like you were going to lose out if you didn't take action now. A great example of this is companies that offer discount codes for their products that only last 24 hours, because of this people are more inclined to purchase because they feel like they are going to miss out if they don’t claim their discount within the next 24 hours.

This can be done in more than one fashion. Below are a couple of examples:

  • Showing how many products are left in stock (this can work if you're low on numbers)
  • Order within a certain time to get the product shipped to your house on a certain date. Try using countdown timers for this.

Alway make sure you are tracking your results inside of Google Analytics. Don’t just make these changes and assume conversions are going to increase. Create goals inside of analytics and measure everything that you change.

You never know, adding a countdown timer just might be more of a distraction than anything else and cause lower conversions. This is why you must always make sure to set things up in Google analytics before ever running a test. Data does not lie and is the key to measuring success when split testing.

Product Video

First off, having a video on a product page is going to vary depending on the actual product. Some products are a little more complicated to understand and will need more details (product video) for someone to really grasp what they are buying.

On the other hand, other products don't need a video because they are self-explanatory.

If you really want to dive deeper, have a look at your analytics and see which products have the lowest conversion rate and start split testing those products using videos and see if the conversions go up. 

Below are a couple of different ideas you can try out for your products.  

  • You can do a demonstration of your products. This way the customer will know exactly what they are getting and have a clear idea what they're spending their money on.
  • You could also just have a video showcasing the products if it is something that doesn't really need a demonstration.

Once again, there is no BEST way to put a video on a product page. Just because someone says adding a video is going to increase conversions doesn't mean it will boost conversion for YOUR ecommerce website.

The only BEST practise is measuring data on analytics. What you think might work, won't and what you think won't work, just might, but the only way to know for sure is by split testing and analysing data in your Google Analytics.


For an ecommerce site having CTA’s is pretty obvious; “shop now”, “add to cart”, “view details”, these are all standard and there isn’t much you can do to “test” these. The CTA’s that you can have some fun with would be within your rich media banners. Anywhere you are trying to highlight a deal/promotion or specific product that pushes people into your sales funnel you can test certain variables.

A rich media banner is a display ad so treat it the same way you would a paid ad campaign. Always split test one thing at a time so that you can measure variables more accurately.

  • Images - lifestyle vs. classic product shot
  • Wording - if you have a fun brand try standing out with cheeky messaging (“Shop Clearance” vs. “Save Big Money”)
  • Colours - instead of it looking like the rest of your site and risk it “blending in” try giving it some more pop with an accent colour that stands out.


This one is a no brainer. Having testimonials builds trust and is a great way to increase conversions on any website. If you can show testimonials of other people who have used your products and had success with it than people are more likely going to trust your brand and buy from you.

You can try placing testimonials on different sections of your website and see if they help with conversions. One great place to try would be the checkout page. Add testimonials on your checkout page and see if it helps with higher conversions. Remember to try different placements and split test which one is causing the highest conversions. 

Why Drupal is The Best Solution For Conversion Optimization

The majority of proprietary ecommerce solutions don't give you the freedom to easily make changes to your site, or even create custom content that can be used for split testing.

This is why Drupal is the number one ecommerce solution for anyone that is a serious marketer. You need a platform that empowers marketers with the freedom and flexibility to launch cohesive strategies that start at a social media channel and follow right through to the order confirmation email. Drupal is a revolutionary platform that integrates commerce, content, and community to create engaging web experiences for industry leaders.

If you want to learn more about why “Marketers Love Drupal” download our eBook.

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