A/B Testing
May 21, 2024

8 A/B Testing Ideas to Optimize Your Ecommerce Checkout

When customers browse your online store, what's the ultimate goal? A smooth, hassle-free checkout experience. Yet, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 70%, according to data collected by Baymard Institute.

In their latest 2024 qualitative study, Baymard uncovered the top reasons behind these abandoned carts in the last 3 months of checkout to be:

Bar graph showing reasons for checkout abandonment, including 'extra costs too high (shipping, tax, fees)', 'the site wanted me to create an account', and 'I didn't trust the site with my credit card information'.
Source: Baymard Institute

The good news is that these abandonment issues can be resolved through A/B testing.

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method of comparing two versions of something to determine which one performs better.

In the context of checkout optimization, A/B testing involves comparing different versions of your checkout process to identify the one that leads to more successful purchases. By experimenting with factors such as form fields, checkout page layout, and payment options, you can create a smoother purchasing journey for customers, ultimately driving up your sales.

So let’s explore 8 A/B test ideas you can run to streamline your e-commerce checkout experience and turn hesitant shoppers into satisfied customers.

8 A/B tests you can run to make your checkout page smoother

1. Guest checkout vs. account creation (customer sign up):

Screenshot from apple.com displaying a guest checkout option next to the sign-in option.
Example guest checkout on Apple.

2. Single-page checkout vs. multi-step checkout:

3. Inline validation vs. post-submission validation:

Screenshot from apple.com showing an error message 'Please enter a valid zip code."
Example inline validation on the Apple checkout.

4. Standard shipping vs. expedited shipping prominence:

5. Checkout progress bar:

Screenshot from the Shopify app CheckIt showing a progress bar in the checkout.e
Example progress bar from the CheckIt: Checkout Progress Bar Shopify app.

6. Trust badges:

7. Social proof:

8. Exit-intent pop-up offers:

Screenshot from temu.com showing an exit-intent pop-up.
Example exit-intent pop-up from Temu.

Best practices for A/B testing

Remember that effective A/B testing requires planning and thoughtful execution. Before you start trying out these A/B test ideas, here are some important best practices to understand:

Prioritize tests based on your specific goals and target audience:

Not all tests are created equal. Figure out what you want to achieve - like more sales or sign-ups (very different KPIs) - and focus on tests that help you reach those goals. Think about who your customers are, too. What works for one group might not work for another.

Isolate your tests:

Test one thing, or one area of the website, at a time so you know exactly what's making a difference. If you change too many things at once, it's hard to tell what's working and what's not.

Website traffic matters:

Depending on your website traffic, you might need to run a test for a few weeks or even months to get reliable results. On the other hand, more visitors usually mean faster results, so you could consider multivariate testing (MVT) to speed up the process and gather insights more quickly.

Image demonstrates the difference between a multivariate test (MVT) which has more than 2 variants vs an A/B test which only has 2 variants.

Continuous testing and iteration:

A/B testing isn't a one-time thing. It’s constant testing and optimizing your website regularly. Customer preferences are always changing, and so are your competitors. By constantly testing and improving, you can stay ahead of the game and keep your website running smoothly.

If you're looking to enhance your checkout experience and increase your online sales, let’s chat. Reach out for a free website consultation to learn how A/B testing can optimize your ecommerce business.

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Alex Courselle, CRO Director at KARL Mission.
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