The Best A/B Testing Fail of the Week: Virtual Candy Aisle is an Actual Bust

May 3, 2018


There are some sales strategies that work wonders in brick and mortar stores, and logically seem like they would translate to ecommerce. It only makes sense to A/B test them out, right?

Like a Kid in a Candy Store

A large office supplies ecommerce saw steady revenue increase by implementing a “candy aisle” concept shelf of inexpensive goods on the way to in-store registers. Hoping to see a similar uptick in average order value and revenue, the retailer designed a candy aisle page that pops up on the way to the check-out cart on its desktop and mobile sites. Engagement metrics for this page were high; customers seemed to spend time clicking on products and scrolling through this page. However, completed purchases decreased as did revenue.

Glass Half Full

This A/B test indicated that while in-store candy aisles encourage customers to pick up extra items, online the concept creates a distraction and extra hurdle toward conversion. This A/B test helped the company learn that while these items are appealing to customers, placing them before checkout just doesn’t work. Because they tried this concept in an A/B test variation, they were able to immediately change course when results turned negative and streamlined the checkout process to eventually optimize the customer experience and maximize revenue.

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Luke Hardwick is a Manager of Customer Success at SiteSpect, consulting for SiteSpect users on their optimization and personalization road maps and projects. Luke is based in London and has experience as an conversion rate optimization specialist across many softwares before landing at SiteSpect.

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