The Best A/B Testing Fail of the Week: When Revenue Loss is a Relief

April 26, 2018

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For the most part, when you think of optimization A/B testing, you think of maximizing revenue, conversions, and the customer experience. But improvement requires making changes, trying new ideas. Not every new idea can be a winner. Luckily, optimization A/B testing is the one place where seeing revenue loss can let you express a sigh of relief.

That Was a Bust

A large auto parts retailer undertook an initiative to increase inventory transparency, under the assumption that clearer information would allow customers a better experience and increase sales. To A/B test this theory, the brand tried a variation of its “Add to Cart” messaging. In the test page, the button read “View Details.” When the results came in, the “View Details” variation saw an 8% decrease in complete purchase.

Glass Half Full

Rather than disappointment, this loss led to a feeling of relief and was counted as an overall success. Why? Because had this brand followed its hunch right away without A/B testing, that 8% loss would have affected the entire revenue stream and caused inconsistency in customer experience. Instead, the brand earned confirmed in advance evidence of how the proposed change would affect the bottom line. A/B testing saved this company from a significant loss, and we see that as a major win.

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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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