Website Testing Wins: Putting Stock in Product Inventory Messaging

By ​Peter Borden

September 17, 2012

Amazon undeniably has set the standard for an online shopping experience that is quick, convenient, and price-conscious. Since many consumers will compare their experience shopping on your website against the online retail giant, you can't go wrong by testing to see which of Amazon's tactics (non-patented ones, that is) work well at improving your performance, too.

That was the plan behind a recent product detail page test by an omnichannel retailer of specialty lifestyle products. Building on Amazon's (as well as other leading ecommerce sites') best practice of letting visitors know when a product is in stock, our client first tried featuring the copy "In Stock" under the price in the call-to-action area of the page; an A/B/n test of red vs. black vs. green text color revealed that green was the best hue for this messaging, as shown here.

But that was just the beginning of what proved to be an overall bigger success. To better leverage the benefit in communicating merchandise availability—which helps enhance the visitor's perception of getting their order quickly—the retailer tested the addition of the message "Usually Ships in 24 Hours" under the "In Stock" copy on detail pages for products that, as you can guess, tend to leave the warehouse in a day or less.

By layering on this extra detail, the retailer lifted its conversion rate by 3.88% and reduced cart abandonment by 2.24%. Perhaps best of all, it scored points in the ever-demanding fight for new business, improving new customer acquisition by 5.78%.

While it's not realistic for most ecommerce businesses to try to keep pace with Amazon, it doesn't hurt to think like them and then adapt where you can.

Peter Borden is a former marketing strategist at Monetate and was responsible for PPC and email marketing strategy. Peter's also an expert on the psychology of persuasion, influence, and conversion as well as an active iOS developer.

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