As the name implies, A/B testing is essentially running an experiment testing two (or more) versions of something in order to learn which version of that something will work best according to a particular goal over time. An important note here is that in order to run an A/B test most effectively, you will want to ensure there is only one variable being tested. For a basic Sponsored Brand ad, this would be testing different versions of copy and keeping the product lineup the same or vice versa.
Establish your copy or product lineup–which variable are you planning on testing? Do you want to better understand if your customers resonate with certain pieces of copy more than others, or if they care about the star ratings and review count of a certain set of products more than another set?
Focusing on one variable will allow you to know with greater certainty what worked and what didn’t. If you test multiple variables, you won’t know which variable caused the success.
A generic name for a product test could be naming the campaigns in a typical fashion but adding “ – Product Test A” or “ – Product Test B” to the end. This will make it easier to quickly search “Product Test” in the Seller Central Ad Console search bar and find them, as well as to see at a glance how each is performing over time side by side.
Having a great variable to test won’t help you until you actually test it. Create any needed assets and get into Seller Central to build out your A/B test.
After two months (a solid test period in which a good or bad one-month period can be ruled out), test your next set of variables to determine the best possible performers within your product and copy sets.
For a Dog Toy Brand, an A/B test was run testing which sets of products featured in a Sponsored Brand would resonate with customers and perform with the most efficient outcome in that particular market – two different version of a stuffed animal toy, two different versions of a treat, and their flagship dog toy in both.(An A/B test had been run previously testing different versions of copy, with an outcome that indicated which piece of copy to use for the Dog Toy Brand’s Sponsored Brand ads going forward.)
Beginning the product test, the copy for each Sponsored Brand remained the same, and the test was run for two months targeting the same keywords with the same bids and budgets. Over the course of the test period, Test A outperformed Test B handily with an overall higher return on investment of 3.42 compared to Test B’s 1.26, a higher click-through-rate (2.61% vs. 2.22%), and overall more consistent performance. After analyzing the learnings, Test B was turned off in favor of Test A which was then allocated the remaining budget.
While running an A/B test may seem like a small detail, it can save advertisers and brands a lot of heartache in the long run. In the test above, for example, running the A/B test allowed us to see what people were actually looking for and were more likely to convert on - simply choosing what products you think will be best without testing options leaves room for potential lost sales and a disconnect with the market.
If only the products/copy contained in Test B had been built out and we had not tested it alongside Test A, we may have been left with an underperforming Sponsored Brand ad and drawn incorrect conclusions about what needed to change. In the advertising space, adaptability will always be necessary as markets and circumstances change, and with A/B testing you can rest assured knowing that the best possible Sponsored Brand ad for your brand is the one that’s left standing at the end.
Want to learn more about advertising best practices? Check out our blogs on Keyword Match Types on Amazon and Hidden Tricks to Maximize Efficiency on Amazon DSP, or download our ebook: The Experts' Guide to Amazon Advertising Strategy.
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Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.