Sometimes you know the changes that will work, and you implement them without testing it because they just seem too obvious. But it’s always a good to practice to A/B test those changes nevertheless as it gives you important data to back the claims and it also helps you avoiding bad ideas that seem good earlier (before you A/B tested them).
Something similar was done by buyakilt.com which is an online Kilt and Scottish Highland Dress retailer since 2004. Their website has lot of category pages which further have around 4 sub-category pages and they wanted to test if providing a product filter would help them increase conversions. The product filters are just so common these days on eCommerce websites that you might not even test this change before implementing. It has become a standard UI element on ecommerce websites but the team behind BuyAKilt.com wanted to test before coming to any conclusion and rightly so. Here’s how their product category page looked earlier:
Control (original page)
They implemented a product filter which gave visitors an option to shop by kilt type and kilt pattern etc. Here’s how the variation looked:
Variation (with a product filter on left sidebar and in the middle)
They were quite surprised to find the dramatic rise in revenues and other conversions. Overall there was 76.1% increase in Revenue, a 26% increase in conversions and 19.76% increase in shopping cart visits.
Adding a product filer is an obvious feature that many eCommerce stores may or may not have, but this A/B test demonstrated that it worked wonderfully for BuyAKilt.com
Fergus Macdonald from buyakilt.com mentioned that Visual Website Optimizer was very valuable in running the A/B test and collecting results easily and quickly. He intends to continue more such tests on variety of other pages.