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Optimization KPIs for Testing a Checkout Process

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funnelMulti-step checkout processes and conversion funnels present some unique testing and optimization challenges. Most complex conversion processes like these track campaign and website success across multiple dimensions – conversion rate, number of items bought, total dollar value, gross profit, etc. In a testing environment those items are sometimes way downstream (I once worked on a site that had 29 steps – yikes!!!). Using both a primary and secondary KPI can help you achieve statistical significance faster in your testing and optimization program.

A continual challenge for site side multivariate and A/B testing is that statistical significance can be tough to reach in a reasonable length of time – 2 to 4 weeks is the general range. Using a primary KPI like click through rate on the test page will yield a much greater sample size since it’s further up the funnel. In most cases it’s substantially faster than waiting for an adequate sample size to shake out downstream.

The secondary KPI will be used to validate that we’re sending quality traffic through the funnel with our optimization program and not just tricking people to click on a bright shinny object. In this case we could use total dollar value and compare that against our website’s historical benchmarks. Statistical accuracy isn’t as critical at this point, we just need enough conversions to see if our optimized page is in the ballpark of the norm – 80% confidence or less would be fine if you see enough life on your primary KPI. If these validation KPIs are way off then we need to let the test run longer to gain more significance and start analyzing the pages to determine why we’re generating a lot of low quality clicks. Overall this should greatly boost the testing cycle time of your optimization program.

To learn more aboiut web analytics and KPIs pick up a copy of Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics from Amazon.com today!

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Written by Greg M

July 24, 2009 at 10:59 am

Posted in Tips

Tagged with , ,