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How AquaSoft increased their sales by 20% doing A/B split tests in multiple phases

AquaSoft was founded in 1999 and is a pioneer in photo presentation software. Their products cover a wide range from slide show creation, desktop publishing, photo books, etc. They recently candidly shared details from their latest A/B testing project, where they used Visual Website Optimizer for increasing sales from their eCommerce site by 20%. Here are the details on the test as told by AquaSoft:

Question: What was the conversion goal of the test?
Answer:  The goal was to increase the sales on our product overview page. This page already had a higher conversion rate than the rest of our pages because people who visit this page already are interested in buying.

Question: On which page did you run the test?
Answer: Shop Overview (listing of all articles).

Question: Which part of page did you select for the test and what variations did you test?

Original version (click to expand)

Redesigned version (click to expand)

Question: Why did you think that the variations you created had better chances to beat the original? What were you actually testing in this test?

  • Clearer design
  • Trust building wording describing our shopping process
  • Adding an explicit guarantee that people can download the software lifelong

Note that we did not add any new feature nor the guarantee was new. It was just not described on the old page.

Question: What results did you get? Were you surprised by the results?
Answer:  Improvements started with about 50% but settled on about 35-40% after some time. I was very happy with the result but didn’t trust it. What was measured by VWO were the clicks into the shopping cart, not the actual sales.

So I measured the sales with the funnel visualization of Google Analytics which showed an increase of 17.7% of actual sales. It also proved that the number of clicks into the shopping cart were about the same what VWO had measured. It shows that the bounce rate within the shopping cart was somewhat higher in the winning combination but the overall increased click rate outtakes the bounce rate.

In the second phase, we removed some whitespace and moved the product name above the box shots and gained another 10% increase in clicks and the final increase in sales settled at about 20%.

Question: Any lessons which can be derived from your test?
Answer:  Don’t think your website is good as it is. Always test, always improve. It’s a slow process but worth doing.

Our concrete test shows that a clear modern design improve sales. Especially in the sales process trust building is very important.

Question: How valuable was Visual Website Optimizer for this test?
Answer: Is was so incredible easy to create the test (A/B split test in this case) that it takes nearly no time. Because we use an external shopping cart we can not measure in the cart itself so the feature of VWO tracking a click on a link without loading the page made it possible to run the test at all.

Founder and Chairman of Wingify.

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