Testing can seem daunting at first to many retailers. There can be a tendency to take on an “if it's not broke, don't fix it" attitude. But if you don't continually test to make sure you're in tune with your ever changing audience, you'll find that you stop evolving and fall behind your competitors. Also, it's fun! Testing should be seen as a positive way to continually grow and learn.
Or perhaps you have done a bit of testing but it's not really gone as planned? So obviously the most rational thing to do is to pack it in, right? Wrong. Very often I hear “Oh we tried doing a test but it didn't have enough uplift so we've given up". Just because one test has failed it doesn't mean that they all will. If your car got a flat tyre you wouldn't jump out and slash the other three would you? Exactly.
The most frequent question I am asked by a client about to embark on an A/B test is, “How do we increase our conversion/revenue". If I could give you a 100% guaranteed to work answer to that question I would be writing this from the rooftop pool of my Manhattan penthouse, but I'm not! While an increase in conversion and revenue is always everyone's end goal, you need to look at it from the right perspective to hit your target. In the same way that your annoying high school maths teacher would insist that you couldn't just give the answer to the multiplication question, you had to show the workings out - the same is true with developing the logic for an A/B test. How are you going to get an increase in conversion and/or revenue? The answer will be different for each retailer, but it always comes down to giving your customers what they want.
So let's start with that and do the workings out: what do your customers actually want?
Don't tell yourself what you THINK your customer wants, find out what they REALLY want. The best way to do that is by asking and/or observing them. Ask them to fill out online surveys and give feedback on their shopping experience, card sorting exercises, etc. Or better yet, conduct a usability testing group study. The feedback you will gather from watching your customers interact with your site is priceless. You can then use these facts to fuel your decision making.