Get All Access for $5/mo

A/B Testing Is Maybe the Easiest Way to Boost Conversions on Shopify It's a cheap and relatively easy way to know what's working and what would work better.

By Jacky Chou

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Cole Burston | Getty Images

Scientists would never push a drug to market without testing it to make sure it is effective; a similar principle should be applied to your online marketing efforts.

Sure, your Shopify store isn't likely to have a detrimental impact to public health if you don't test it, but A/B testing different variables to determine which works best will definitely improve the health of your business. With a huge transaction rate that has hit well over $500,000 in a single minute and over a billion orders, there are huge amounts of money to be made on Shopify.

Keeping this in mind, is your store maximizing conversions?

It is entirely possible that you are missing out on a huge amount of incoming traffic simply because your design isn't capturing your target market. There may be a more effective way to reach your audience and convert leads into sales, and the best way to find out is through A/B testing.

Related: Why Your Approach to A/B Testing Is Costing You Sales

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing is creating two different versions of your site and displaying them to a similar audiences to determine which version gets a better response from your target audience. You will direct some traffic toward version "A" and the rest to version "B." From there, you can look at the analytics to determine which one creates the most conversions. Once you have your "winning" version, you can run the test again, tweaking the same, or different, variables to further maximize your conversions.

When A/B testing, you can choose what to test. You might want to test your entire layout, your sales copy, images, headers, calls to action, product/service price, or buy button placement.

Related: So, What's the 'X-Factor' in the A/B Testing Formula? (Infographic)

When to use A/B testing.

When it comes to Shopify, it is easy to get used to the appearance of your store, forgetting that changing its appearance and making it more accessible could lead to more conversions. It is also possible that changing your layout won't really have any benefit. You may find that you actually gain more sales from ad traffic and your sales remain the same regardless of your design.

A/B testing may not be what your site needs, especially if you do not generate a lot of traffic. Shopify says, "If you're a low-traffic site, A/B testing is probably not the best optimization effort for you. You will likely see a higher return on investment (ROI) from conducting user testing or talking to your customers, for example."

If you do have high traffic numbers and/or feel like A/B testing would benefit your shop, it's actually pretty easy to get started. Shopify Apps has A/B testing plug-ins like NeatAB that makes it easier than ever to test your audience. They claim it's a simple interface that doesn't require any previous training.

"Neat A/B Testing switches your product attributes every 24 hours between the original version and your test version. … When a user buys the product, Neat A/B Testing collects the results and presents them, along with a statistical analysis, on the Neat A/B Testing home screen. From there, just choose the version of your product that converts your traffic the best and make the changes permanent with a click."

If you have funds to invest, you can take your A/B testing to the next level. External sites offer packages that do the A/B testing every two weeks or every month, and integrate conversion rate optimization and analytics. Plus, they do all the work so that you can focus on the other important parts of your business.

Related: Want to Boost Sales? Check out These 4 Free Ecommerce Tools.

What you should test.

If you're wondering where to start A/B testing, it is important to remember one thing: Your business is your business, so what you test is your choice. Only you know know what conversions you are trying to improve, so the testing should be done with those in mind.

On the Shopify blog, you can find ideas and questions to keep in mind during the planning stages and throughout the entire A/B testing process. Questions like "Does your store load properly and quickly on every browser? On every device?" and "Are your analytics tools tracking and reporting your data correctly?" can help keep you on the right track.

A/B testing is a useful tool for optimizing your Shopify store and increasing conversions and sales rates. Be sure to keep track of all your results so that you can look back on previous outcomes to ensure that you are moving your numbers in the right direction.

Jacky Chou

Founder of Indexsy

Jacky Chou is founder of Indexsy, an enterprise SEO agency. He is a proud native of Vancouver, BC, who has been featured on Forbes, Oberlo and GoDaddy.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Starting a Business

I Left the Corporate World to Start a Chicken Coop Business — Here Are 3 Valuable Lessons I Learned Along the Way

Board meetings were traded for barnyards as a thriving new venture hatched.

Business News

'Passing By Wide Margins': Elon Musk Celebrates His 'Guaranteed Win' of the Highest Pay Package in U.S. Corporate History

Musk's Tesla pay package is almost 140 times higher than the annual pay of other high-performing CEOs.

Business News

Joey Chestnut Is Going From Nathan's to Netflix for a Competition 15 Years in the Making

Chestnut was banned from this year's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest due to a "rival" contract. Now, he'll compete in a Netflix special instead.


Are Your Business's Local Listings Accurate and Up-to-Date? Here Are the Consequences You Could Face If Not.

Why accurate local listings are crucial for business success — and how to avoid the pitfalls of outdated information.

Money & Finance

Day Traders Often Ignore This One Topic At Their Peril

Boring things — like taxes — can sometimes be highly profitable.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.