Have you ever wondered if your marketing efforts are working as hard as they could be to drive conversions?

Your old way of doing things may have worked for a while. But, the effectiveness of your marketing is only good while it lasts. Shoppers’ behaviors and preferences are always changing, meaning you need to change too. It’s nearly impossible to develop an effective campaign and grow your customer base without knowing which marketing approaches are contributing to your success.

So, how can you easily figure this all out? A/B testing is your answer.

holding a tablet and paper

A/B testing applies two different marketing efforts at once to different audiences. You can then identify which approach works best so you can apply it to your whole customer base.

When it comes to eCommerce, split testing can mean the difference between a dedicated follower base who returns and repeat purchases often, or a bunch of one-time shoppers who churn.

Let’s look at three key business areas you can use A/B testing to improve your long-term revenue results.

  1. Increasing your average order value
  2. Reducing guest checkouts
  3. Increasing customer advocacy

Increase your average order value

Why you need this A/B test

Attracting new customers is expensive. Some reports estimate that acquiring one new customer costs five times more than retaining an existing one. This is why exploring options that encourage existing customers to spend more on every order is cost-effective long-term.

Average order value (or AOV) gives you a clear understanding of your customers’ buying habits, as well as giving you a benchmark to measure the success of changes you make to your ecommerce store.

To keep your AOV consistently high, you need to A/B test new ways to get your existing customers to add more to their cart.

As the top 10% of your customers spend three times more than the rest of your shopper base, you can use these devoted shoppers to test AOV boosting methods. Once you’ve nailed that, you can use the same approaches to direct new shoppers to follow the same behaviors.

What’s the A/B test?

We’ve found that the average basket size of a customer who uses loyalty perks alongside their purchase is 39% higher than a customer who doesn’t – proof that a loyalty program can play a key part in boosting AOV. With rewards on the horizon, customers are motivated to spend more to unlock them.

When looking to increase your AOV, try testing how you notify customers that if they spend more per transaction, they’ll get added benefits.

Then, to test the effectiveness of your pop-ups, mix up the information inside the notification.

One could tell them the number of points they have to earn before they reach the next reward. The other could show them the free product they could get if they spend more. This will show if your existing customers are more motivated by numerical goals or free products.

You could also test the language within the notification. For example, Vitabiotics include “Limited reward” and “For members only” in their pop-ups to evoke a feeling of exclusivity. The customer can see how many bonus points they’ll get if they add more to their cart.

example of language on a loyalty pop up

Reduce guest checkouts

Why you need this A/B test

Phantom customers and guest checkouts may feel like a normal part of ecommerce. In fact, 34% of shoppers will walk away if there isn’t a guest checkout option.

But a customer who hasn’t created an account is one you can’t re-engage or build long-term relationships with later.

To encourage your first-time buyers to create an account, you need to give them something worth signing up for.

What’s the A/B test?

You can display pop-ups on-site that show different loyalty program benefits to browsing customers. By showing perks that they’ll value long-term, they’ll be inspired to sign up.

When A/B testing this approach, try mixing up the membership benefits you display. 77% of customers said they would sign up for a loyalty program if the benefits were clearly communicated, so try variations of direct messages to find what works best.

As a contrast, the other pop-up in the test could go for a more tempting approach. The copy could be minimalist to increase curiosity or reactive responses. Something like, “Come on, take a peek”.

Haircare brand Arctic Fox uses a pop-up to show new customers that they’ll get 400 loyalty points if they spend $40. This clearly shows the customer the added value they’ll get as a member.

loyalty program case study

Arctic Fox also uses the notification to test if time-limited initiatives work best. They specify that the offer is for “February only”, encouraging customers to become a member before they miss out.

Increase customer advocacy

Why you need this A/B test

Customers acquired through referrals spend 200% more than regular customers.  They immediately trust your brand because of their friend’s recommendation.

To encourage more referrals, use your existing customers as micro-influencers by rewarding them every time they recommend a friend. Chances are, they already know and love your brand. And, because they’ve bought from you once, they probably know others that will appreciate your products.

What’s the A/B test?

Just after purchase is the perfect moment to encourage a referral. Your brilliant brand experience is fresh in your customer’s mind, ready to be shared with their best friend.

In your post-purchase emails, try testing if including referral information increases advocacy. You could include a snippet that lets the customer know they’ll earn points if they send others your way. Then, check back to see if the registration button gets a significant number of clicks, or if it’s falling on deaf ears.

Big-name brands like Lashify are using post-purchase pop-ups to nudge customers into becoming advocates – and it’s working.

The beauty brand uses a notification to tell customers that they’ll get 100 “Lash Cash” points for referring a friend – moving them closer to earning a free pair of lashes. Meanwhile, the newly-referred customer gets $20 off their first purchase.

In your A/B test, switch up the tone of these notifications. Some customers might be more receptive to offers that benefit them as well as their friends. In this case, make sure the perks of being an advocate are clearly shown.

Other customers might be more tuned-in to becoming part of your brand community – after all, 47% of customers are motivated to be loyal by becoming part of a like-minded group. In this case, make sure the pop-up lets them know that your community exists and what exciting activities go on there.

Takeaways

When it comes to ecommerce marketing, you can’t just set and forget. Expectations are always changing and you need to keep things fresh to keep up with your customers.

A/B testing in these three key areas, you will learn from the behaviors of your existing customers, so you can better target and provide the best experience for new shoppers.

If you want to learn more about how to A/B test your loyalty program notifications, check out more on LoyaltyLion Campaigns.

About LoyaltyLion

LoyaltyLion is a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform that powers ecommerce growth. A loyalty program is about more than points and rewards. It is about unlocking real insights to increase customer lifetime value.

With LoyaltyLion, you can build a better understanding of what drives longer-lasting customer relationships, and use those insights to connect and accelerate your existing marketing efforts. Proven to increase retention and spend, LoyaltyLion is trusted by thousands of fast-growth ecommerce merchants worldwide.

About Mollie

Mollie Woolnough-Rai is a Senior Content Marketing Executive at LoyaltyLion, a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform trusted by thousands of ecommerce merchants worldwide. Stores using LoyaltyLion typically generate at least $15 for every $1 spent on the platform.

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