3 Quick Test Ideas to Optimize Your Site For Back to School Season

By Kate Orchard

August 8, 2019


This time of year is big business for retailers. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the revenue derived from back to school sales is projected to reach $80.7 billion this year. The latest information from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that 10.2% of retail sales are from e-commerce purchases, resulting in almost $8 billion from online back-to-school sales. As an online retailer, you are competing against other outlets for market share and looking for ways to increase conversions and drive revenue. You are also trying to attract as many customers as you can now, so you can A/B test offers and specials before the big rush hits. Here are three A/B test ideas to help you meet your goals:

chalkboard with list of back to school supplies

Call-to-Action Placement

Is your on-site advertising working effectively? When a visitor arrives on your site, is your call-to-action located in the right spot on your page? Is it helping or hurting your business?

A/B test example: A retail brand ran a promotion and A/B tested the most effective placement for the promotional CTA. Three versions of the campaign ran, with the CTA placed either at the top of the page, in a banner, or on each product description. The winner saw a 185% increase in conversions.

Shipping Threshold

There is no industry-standard shipping threshold in e-commerce. Promotional discount codes are also used inconsistently. A look at several popular sites marketing to back-to-school shoppers revealed a wide range of shipping thresholds. What is right for your business? At what price point do your shipping rates and purchase rate maximize each other? Finding the optimal threshold for your business may help to increase conversion rates and average order values.

A/B test example: A SiteSpect customer recently A/B tested the position of its free shipping promotional badge. The first variation included the badge only on qualifying items, the second included the badge on each item. The second variation saw a $300,000 in additional revenue and 5% more customers made it past “Add to Cart.”

Checkout Process Flow

This type of A/B test can make a huge difference when it comes to increasing conversions. By A/B testing the checkout process, you can gauge the right number of pages in the process, the length of the forms, or the inclusion of guidance during the purchase process. In this context, guidance means a help button or pop-up window that helps the customer correctly complete the task at hand.

A/B test example: One of our customers requires a login during their check out flow. They noticed that when customers forgot their passwords, many were calling the support phone number or abandoning check out. They A/B tested a check out flow with a more prominent password reset button and saw a $10 million incremental annual revenue increase.

In such a busy and crucial back-to-school season, time is of the essence. Each of the A/B tests mentioned were up and running in a matter of hours, not days. Sometimes it’s the “easy to set up” A/B tests that can drive the greatest returns. What A/B tests do you plan to run to convert the back-to-school customer?

To learn more about SiteSpect, visit our website.



Kate Orchard

Kate Orchard

Kate Orchard is a Manager of Customer Success at SiteSpect, where she consults SiteSpect users on their optimization and personalization road maps and projects. She is based in Boston.

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