5 Reasons to Think Backwards: Smarter A/B Testing for Better Results

By Kate Orchard

May 9, 2018


In the world of CRO, most people are results focused. We’re looking for analytics that reflect conversions, engagement, and other key performance indicators. We measure success in end results and plan our next moves based on past results. While I will always defer to the numbers when it comes to optimization, there is a time and a place to actually look backwards — not at the results of a given campaign, but instead on the process your customer will take on the journey of engagement. Here are five reasons to think backwards and ways to do it, so that you can design smarter and more effective A/B tests.

1)    Get More Meaningful KPIs

Read my last blog to learn more about selecting KPIs, but if you focus too much on the end result of your A/B test, you might miss important opportunities to measure customer behavior. Instead of zeroing in on the end conversion, think about why your customer might take action at earlier stages and see if you can measure that action as well.

2)    Design More Creative A/B Tests

For the most part, brands who think only in terms of conversions, such as purchase or form completion, tend to focus A/B tests only on this stage of the customer journey. If you walk backwards through other stages of the customer journey you can build up your potential revenue before you execute conversion A/B tests for an even greater bottom line. If your A/B testing solution has a visual editor, you can take control of designing your variations without needing coding expertise.

3)    Get the Most Out of Your CRO Team

If you’re working with a good A/B testing solution, you’ll have a dedicated expert helping you oversee your campaigns to whatever extent you need. Think backwards with them to get the most out of your resources.

4)    Understand Your Customer

You know that customers interact with your brand in meaningful ways before they ever get to the point of conversion. If your goal is increased conversions, walk backwards to retrace the steps your customer must take to get there. Increase engagement along the way to end up with a bigger revenue impact.

5)    Improve Your Customer’s Experience

Would you shop at a website with an uncooperative search function, low quality images, and hard to read text? What if the checkout page was the best you’ve ever seen? Still no, right? That’s the idea here, to delight your customer at every step of the way you need to think backwards from their final impression.

Thinking backwards isn’t about moving backwards — it can actually be just what you need to propel forward. To get your end results, start at the beginning and maximize with every step.

Kate Orchard works directly with SiteSpect users as a CRO to help them get the most out of the platform and their brand. She also happens to be a real life Commodore, and we think that gives her an extra heir of mystery and authority.

Read More from Commodore Kate

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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