• Alexis Ott

When A/B Testing Doesn’t Tell You the Whole Story



Nothing gets the blood pumping like a good old A/B test!


A/B testing (also known as split testing or bucket testing) is a marketing method used to compare two versions of a website, landing page, app, or ad against each other to determine which one performs better.


This method of testing is quick to run, and for marketing nerds like ourselves, is quite fun to see the results come in. Once you get started, you are off to the races!





It's hard to think how we survived without it. If only we could have this opportunity with our major life decisions: simultaneously play two reels of our options to determine which ones are correct.


A/B testing, on the other hand, may quickly become a waste of time if not done properly. Here's how to make A/B testing work for you.


Use It To Test A Hypothesis


Use A/B testing to compare subjective suggestions about how to address a problem against objective, data-based information to see if they're solid.


When done correctly, A/B testing follows a simple formula. Begin by identifying an issue that you'd want to address. Maybe you have statistics or user research to back up your suspicions, or maybe it's just a well-informed intuition based on your understanding of your product and target demographic.


Create a hypothesis based on what appears to be the most effective solution to your situation. Then, in order to confirm or refute your theory, conduct your test. Finally, put what you've learned into practice.


Now here is when you shouldn’t use it:


When You Don't Yet Have Meaningful Traffic


A/B testing has grown so common in the mobile and product development worlds that it's difficult to envision a world without it. Diving into the deep end of the testing pool before getting your feet wet, on the other hand, may be a mistake.


In testing, statistical significance is a crucial notion. You can establish what the average user likes by evaluating a big enough sample of users, making it less probable that the preference you discover is the product of sampling error.


If you don't have enough consumers to get meaningful results, you could be better off focusing your efforts on acquiring new clients rather than experimenting. If you decide to start a test when your user base is still small, you may need to keep it running for many weeks before seeing relevant results.


When You Can't Safely Spend the Time


Split testing, no matter how inexpensive and effective A/B testing plugins have gotten, is still a management-intensive process. Someone must invest time to determine what should be tested, putting up the test, then confirming and applying the test results.


Despite the fact that these activities are relatively simple to do, they nevertheless demand a lot of "mental data bandwidth," which is "the scarcest resource in any firm (particularly an early-stage startup)." Spend time determining what to test ahead of time so you can make the most of your A/B testing time.





When You Don't Yet Have An Informed Hypothesis


Collect information and determine the source of your issue. Establish a hypothesis. Then put your theory to the test to discover whether you're correct. Treat the A/B test as though it were a real scientific experiment! A good scientist will never start an experiment without first formulating a hypothesis.


A/B testing is a valuable tool. Across the digital environment, smart, straightforward decisions based on clear results from well-applied testing have accelerated success.





When it's time to be patient and conduct a relevant test, successful firms know when to do so. They also know when to trust their instincts or other sources of information and when to forgo the seeming safety net of a lengthy or early testing phase that adds little value.


If you found this article useful, spread the word. If you think that you are ready test but are unsure how best to do so, we can assist! Here at The Endurance Group, we help fellow businesses optimize their website, landing page or ads with A/B testing, without falling for the most common pitfalls. Contact us today if you have questions! Otherwise…


Happy testing!