A/B Testing

A/B testing (more commonly known as split testing or bucket testing) compares two options and analyzes results. A/B testing is a unique testing method that can test, compare, and analyze just about anything. This method is often associated with websites and, recently, mobile apps. In these use cases, A/B testing is primarily used for conversion rate optimization. With the help of A/B testing, many online businesses can regularly optimize their landing pages and improve ROI.

How A/B Testing Works?

A/B testing uses familiar methods as every test begins with the formation of the hypothesis. To give a common example, the ‘Sign Up’ vs. ‘Register’ links or ‘Red’ vs. ‘Green’ buttons. Once the goal (e.g., installs) and options for the test are determined, the tester starts driving users to the pages. All user traffic is randomly distributed between the control version and the other variations. Visitors should be unaware of their participation in the experiment. If one variant performs significantly better than the others, it can be considered a winner and applied.

You’ll see it being used to compare smaller elements such as styles of call-to-action buttons and larger components as well as the site’s overall design. However, A/B testing works just as well, if not better, for mobile apps. Often overlooked by mobile developers, this tool may be used to determine the effectiveness of icons, screenshots, descriptions, store search results, directions, prices, headlines, and more.

This excellent, data-based method for testing marketing strategies is typically rolled out over a period of a few days to a couple of weeks. It’s also important to ensure that there are enough users to generate accurate results.

Ready to start A/B testing?

How to Run an A/B Test?

Follow the strategy outlined below to begin A/B testing:

Perform Research

Determine your objective. Whatever you’re testing should lead to a greater goal, such as higher conversion rates. Ideally, A/B testing will help you solve an issue with your app and drive your business goals to success.

Determine Your Variants

What is it that you want to compare? Identify a problem you’d like to solve. It may be an element of design, copy, or function.

E.g., What’s more, important to your users: free shipping or $15 off of their first order? Which screenshot orientation will generate more installs for a game app: portrait or landscape? Which app icon style is more eye-catching: multi-colored or monochromatic?  You can easily find out with an A/B test.

Perform the Test

Once you’ve formulated your theory and identified the element you want to A/B test, you need to create two landing page variations. (Let’s call them A and B.) They should be the same; the only difference is the element you want to test (icon, screenshot, description, etc.)

Once you have the two pages ready, you need to identify your audience and drive them to these pages (directing 50% of visitors to page A and the other 50% to page B). You then measure how many installs each version generates to determine the winner. The easiest way to do all of the above is to run a split test with SplitMetrics. It lets you quickly create variations pages that replicate the App Storу or Google Play and drive traffic to them from your website/apps, Facebook ads, or other ad networks  SplitMetrics collects all of the analytical data, tells you which variation won, and gives you a comprehensive report on how users interacted with your app page.

Make sure you have enough users to achieve significant results; it isn’t wise to make major changes to your app based on the results of a small number of users. Once you have driven enough visitors to your experiment, its results are deemed to have a high confidence level, or in other words, the chance to beat the control for your variation is either high or low.

Analyze Data and Review Results

Here’s the fun part: determining the winner! There are several factors to consider, including time on page, interactions with different elements of your app’s page (screenshots, descriptions, etc.), scroll depth, and more. But ultimately, you should be looking at how many people tap the ‘Install’ button as this is your top goal.

Remember, if you find little to no difference, you can always change your variants and run a new test.

Make Changes Based on Results

If you have a clear cut winner, go ahead and start making changes based on your generated results. In the case of testing the app icon, you would now update the design to reflect your A/B test winner. If a higher price yields more revenue, then you can consider updating your pricing.

Prepare for Follow-Up Tests

A/B testing does not exist in a vacuum, and it’s hardly ever a one and done deal. Conversion optimization is an ongoing process with no end. Always run experiments to determine how you can further improve your conversion rates and boost your bottom line.

The Big Benefits for Mobile Developers

Currently, the app stores either lack a means of A/B testing (like Apple App Store) or offer limited functionality (as with Google Play Experiments), despite the fact this strategy is paramount to identifying what really increases your sales (and what’s a waste of time and money).

So, you’ll need to use a solution designed with mobile developers in mind. SplitMetrics makes running A/B tests and figuring out what’s really working easy.

The benefits for mobile developers are nearly endless, but some of the highlights include:

  • Higher conversion rates
  • Analysis of engagement metrics
  • Decision making based on data and statistics
  • Ability to view app store experience from the user’s point of view
  • Better use of resources
  • Insights into customer behavior
  • Achievement of greater business objectives

Bottom line

A/B testing is the perfect tool as it allows all developers to identify room for growth in their apps’ landing pages, make significant improvements based on the results, and of course, understand their users’ behavior. The insights are there for the taking and make determining what’s right for your app a breeze.