Split Testing Design Elements For an eCommerce Website (The Why & How)

Split testing A/B testing design elements is a data-driven and scientific way of finding the truth about which design element works the best in a given set of conditions. Whether you are a seasoned marketer or a newbie, you need to constantly conduct A/B testing. Effective eCommerce website designs require a meticulous understanding of consumer behavior. 

On that note, we have curated a list of split testing design elements (+ case studies) that will help you increase your eCommerce sales.  


People don’t read websites, they scan. Studies reveal that website visitors only read 28% of the text on a website. Therefore, typography is one design element that can either make or break your visitor’s overall experience. Typography determines the ease of readability. A heatmap tool can give you insights about what particular sections of your website are noticed more. A good practice is to use clear, unambiguous, and bold fonts in those segments. 

If you are considering A/B testing a few fonts that go well with your design layout, then here are some factors that play a huge role. 

  • Pick a font that is legible. You can test out Serif vs Sans Serif or no Serif.
  • Make sure there is adequate contrast
  • Test out different lengths of lines

An example of a company optimizing its site for readability is CeraVe. They also picked a minimal website design and layout and keeps the user experience intact. 

Link Color

Link color isn’t talked bout much when it comes to conversion rate optimization. But plays an impactful role. If you want to capture your visitor in a sales funnel, A/B test internal link colors.  

A case study related to this is about Beamax which is a Netherlands-based company that manufactures and distributes projection screens for meeting rooms and home cinemas globally.

They increased their internal link CTR by 53.13% simply by switching the link color to red from the classic blue.

Highlight special offers

Around 93% of people prefer using a discount code or a coupon during shopping. 

Everybody loves a sweet deal. Right?

In fact, visitors often try to find words like ‘special offers’, ‘sale’, ‘limited time discount’, and ‘hot deals’ the very moment they get on a website. 

Why not actually highlight these words so that they are easy to identify?

You can consider split testing a particular section where the visitors can shop for hot deals, under each department or product category. Like in the example below Target is attracting certain visitors to its ‘Top beauty deals’ and the offer looks quite tempting. 

Major Ecommerce giants follow this route. 

However, make sure putting up such offers is not detrimental to your brand.

A/B Testing CTA


Your eCommerce website’s conversion rate is highly dependent on the color of your CTA. An impactful, well-converting CTA ensures an excellent use of contrasting colors and stands out exceptionally well compared to other design elements. There is no precise answer as to which color is the best for a CTA, therefore you must test out different colors to gauge which color gets you better conversion. However, make sure the CTA color echoes the overall vibe of your brand.

Hubspot released a case study about a software company named Performable. It conducted an A/B test regarding the color of its website’s CTA button. The green color CTA was changed to red. It was eventually indicated that such change increased the conversion rate to 21%. However, this doesn’t mean that red works always. The key takeaway here is that contrasting colors work great together.

CTA Positioning

Your CTA placement is a tricky design element to the A/B test because its positioning will determine how noticeable it is. 

Plethora of eCommerce websites make use of multiple CTAs to make sure that it is visible to the visitors no matter where they are on the website. Product pages that are lengthy and detailed may contain more than 10 CTAs, however, that might seem extremely cluttered. Sticky CTAs are a good option to insert into your pages. 

For example, this eCommerce website AO.com has a sticky CTA. So shoppers can add items to the basket when they want to, for instance after reading the reviews. No matter how far they scroll, the CTA will be visible at all times. 

In an old case study about Nature Air, the CTA was simply inserted in a more relevant space, there was a conversion rate increase of 591%.

The key takeaway is that when it comes to the CTA position, you cannot take anything for granted. A/B test in the middle/left/right of the page, above/below the fold, keeping in mind its relationship with the text elements.

Pass the ‘Thumb Test’

If you are trying to optimize your eCommerce website for apps or mobiles, then your CTA must pass the ‘ Thumb Test’. The CTAs should be convenient to tap by just moving the thumb in the right direction. Make sure they are away from other links and stand out well. 

A/B Testing Background Photos and Patterns

Your landing page background be it an image, a simple color or a design pattern sets a tone for your brand and has a subliminal effect on the visitor. You are missing out a great deal if you are not split testing your landing page backgrounds. Depending on your brand’s look and feel you can make use of color psychology and add colors that resonate. 

Case Study: Spreadshirt split tested their landing page images and boosted their clicks by 606% and conversion rate by 11%. Designers discovered that re-designing websites can be a daunting task because a lot of elements are at play. Furthermore, testing each element can add to the complex process. They finally concluded that the best way to start any split test is to start with your business objectives. If you want to A/B test your website, first ask ‘what one or two actions are most essential to your business?’ 

Boost Credibility

In the slew of eCommerce websites on the internet, how does yours stand out? By letting the visitor know that your website is highly credible. This success story by Bag Servant is a perfect deep-dive into how simply adding design elements like a ‘trust badge’ to your website can skyrocket your conversion rates. You can even show your social media follower count on the landing page as social proof. Test different variations!

Product Page Images

After understanding what your product page needs, make sure you experiment with different kinds of images from big, small, to 360 degrees. ZAGG.com an eCommerce brand for mobile accessories A/B tested short videos and 360-degree images on their product page, it was revealed that 360-degree images improved their average order value by 10.4%. Depending on the nature of your product, test out different imagery to figure out what works best. 

Split testing is a powerful addendum to an eCommerce marketer’s toolkit, however, it is essential to remember that you must keep your users in mind at all times. 

When the design changes are executed with meticulous planning, along with properly measuring and testing real-time user behavior, there can be a dramatic rise in the user experience and conversions at the same time.  

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