November 19, 2012
Helping visitors move deeper into category and listing pages to find the products that fit their needs out of the thousands you offer is challenging. Online retailers leverage different content organization strategies and functionalities (like faceted navigation, for one) to provide visitors with options for zeroing in on desired items without narrowing their results too much.
In this example, an apparel retailer displayed product thumbnails in rows of four on many of its category pages. But it wasn't sure that this was the best presentation option for all of its visitors, so it built out a functionality that allows shoppers to choose from three product grid layouts for the page:
• three products per row
• four products per row
• by subcategory, with four products per row
The plan was for the default view to be the subcategory layout, shown below. The alternative layout options, represented by icons, are located to the upper right of the product grid and appear on all the new category pages.
Before making the change, however, the retailer put its theory to the test. In an A/B/C split, all three page layouts were tested as the default view.
Which presentation did visitors like best? With a 3.17% lift in add-to-cart rate and a 3.06% increase in conversion, the layout of three products per row took the prize.
During the test period, the retailer generated $40,000 in revenue from the winning split.
So, the retailer was correct about its hunch that the grid layout for category pages could be optimized. It just needed to test its idea first to find the default view that worked best for shoppers.
Protecting potential revenue is always a win.