Top 5 eCommerce Strategies Backed by 6,700 Experiments

September 27, 2018 | Don Pottinger

Technology is undoubtedly a huge part of humanity in this day and age. Its continuous rise and evolution is simply inevitable that it affects many areas of life, including our careers or businesses. The role of technology is becoming more significant particularly in the eCommerce industry. And because this type of business is online, having a good website is essential.

A business’ website affects consumer behavior and thus the performance of the business. It can be used for market research and determine what strategies a certain business needs to gain more customers, increase revenues, and succeed.

Meta-Analysis of Large eCommerce Experiments

Qubit Digital Limited’s Will Browne and Mike Swarbrick Jones recently published a paper on the meta-analysis of 6,700 ecommerce experiments (A/B tests). It is now definitely possible to track the behavior of every customer, while simultaneously running controlled experiments by altering their shopping experience. In this case, making website modifications.

The research paper revealed that applying treatments or changes grounded in behavioral psychology (scarcity, urgency, social proof, and abandonment recovery) is an effective strategy for increasing revenues. Cosmetic changes (modifying the website’s buttons and changing the colors of the other elements), on the other hand, have a small impact on revenue increase.

This type of experimentation may seem complicated. But it’s simply like adding a new feature on your website and showing this to half of your randomly-selected customers. This will help you compare results and see if the new feature increases or decreases your sales and profits.

And so, to summarize the findings in the paper, here are the top 5 eCommerce strategies that gained the most revenues per visitor (RPV):


Use the Scarcity Principle

Generating a 2.9%-boost in RPV, scarcity is considered the most successful strategy. This just goes to show that those scarcity messages on websites like “Only 2 left in stock!” or “Two slots left at this price!” really work.

Leverage Social Proof

Social proof is the treatment that involves informing users of others’ behaviors. Apparently, this strategy works too, as it resulted to a 2.3% increase in RPV. Praises on social media, approval of friends, or celebrity endorsements are examples of the types of social proof.


Promote Urgency

Using countdown timers or time limits promotes urgency. And this proves to be a successful strategy as well, with an increased RPV of 1.5%, on average. Examples of urgency messages are “Book now to get this fantastic rate.” Or “Ends: 1 day 6 hours 32 minutes 7 seconds.”

Abandonment Recovery

Abandonment is one of the challenges eCommerce businesses face. But you can use abandonment recovery messages to keep a customer on site once he tries to end the session. This strategy produced a 1.1% increase in RPV.

Add Product Recommendations

Although, it only brought a 0.4% uplift in RPV, product recommendations can still be considered an effective strategy. You can apply this treatment by suggesting alternative products to users. Copies such as “Customers who viewed this product also viewed..” is an example of a good product recommendation message.

Based on the research paper, there are other potentially effective and useful marketing strategies, including Welcome Message, Page Redesign, and Banner. But primarily consider the most successful strategies we mentioned. Apply them to your eCommerce business and see how they help take your business to greater heights.


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