Using the Holidays to Experiment With Web Conversions

by: | December 14, 2011

For the majority of e-commerce stores, the holiday season brings a spike in traffic and sales. How would you like to carry that jump in sales past the holiday season, and throughout the year? It’s possible to do just that if you take advantage of the season and begin to optimize your website for conversion.

When you optimize your conversion rate, you actually split test a current version of your site (your control version) against a new version (the test version). The test could be something subtle, like the headline on your best-selling product. It could also be something drastic, such as a sales video.

And now, Google makes it even easier, giving you all the tools you need with Google Website Optimizer. It’s an incredible (and free) tool that allows you to show half of your visitors one version of your website, while the other half sees another version. Then, it tallies up which version led to the most sales, and after a large enough sample is taken, it declares one version a winner.

If you test during the holiday season, you’ll be able to get results from your tests quicker since you’re getting a lot of seasonal, motivated traffic. You are able to gather meaningful data in a matter of weeks, as opposed to months of testing during non-peak times.

Then, once you implement these changes across your entire site, you’ll see an increase in conversion rate throughout the year.

Here are some things you might want to consider testing on your site:

  • Create a benefit-heavy headline for your best-selling products
  • Add video to your home page
  • Test a lower price for your best-sellers
  • Test a higher price for your best-sellers (you may be surprised)
  • Add a reviews section for your products that allows potential customers to read what others have to say
  • Test the color & text of your “Add to Cart” buttons
  • Create better product pictures

I’ve personally seen increases in conversions from each of these suggestions.

For more conversion rate suggestions, check out It offers a variety of tests conducted by e-commerce websites and the results. I encourage you to continually test your website and try to increase your conversion rates.

A little testing goes a long way, especially during a prime time like the holidays!Marketing Zeus

Posted in: Analytics, B2C, Branding, Content, E-Commerce, Local Search, Optimization, Usability

About the Writer:

Travis Zboch graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with a degree in Economics. One month later, he began his career in e-commerce and never looked back. In the past six years, Travis has worked on multiple multimillion-dollar startups. Through his experiences, he finds that the most fulfilling part of his online ventures is creating jobs and opportunities for others. Travis is an avid baseball fan, and often takes an objective approach to the sport, much like his approach to online marketing. You can learn more of his perspective at his blog, StoresOnSteroids.

View Full Bio »

More Articles