How to A/B test a PrestaShop site, and why is it important?
A/B testing and PrestaShop, both are the trending topics in eCommerce today. PrestaShop is a famous open source eCommerce website solution that provides the website owners with a convenient CMS to manage an eCommerce site. While the A/B testing is a completely different topic that deals with conversion optimization of the websites. Though these two topics are very different from each other, but they are strongly in relation with each other.
PrestaShop in one hand always tries to provide the website owners with a site that is optimized in both the SEO and conversion point of views. The latest Beta release of PrestaShop 1.7 can be considered as a similar innovation by PrestaShop which has equipped with most of the trending and useful SEO and eCommerce conversion optimization considerations. In spite of so much of considerations, it’s an eCommerce website solution; not an eCommerce website as a whole. You will definitely perform your modifications and customizations, otherwise, a generic PrestaShop site will not be enough to match up with the growing needs and requirements of eCommerce conversion optimization.
Like any other website owner, your expectations too would be seeing your site among the top selling eCommerce websites. No doubt, eCommerce conversion optimization is the only strategy that would be effective in this case. For example:
You might want to get a customized theme - I can enlist 101 reasons to avoid using the generic theme according to the conversion point of view (not SEO). One of the most important reason is that you would not want your site’s front end to look similar to your rival’s.
You might want to get a custom module- PrestaShop has a number of functionalities onboard with the default installation itself. If we consider the conversion optimization’s point of view, you would want to get a custom module and install it on your site so that it would be equipped with the latest and desired features. With the custom modules and features, your eCommerce site gets the functionalities to secure a competitive advantage over your rival sites. So, it is obvious that you would want to have more conversions than your rival sites.
Now, while getting a new module and a new theme for your website, you are actually considering a signification variation on your site with an aim to increase its conversion rate. The A/B testing works here by helping you perform some variation on your site without degrading the current conversion rates. Let’s take an example, For months or years, you have a CTA button “Buy Now” in green color. Now with the introduction of the new theme on your site, you want to replace the “Buy Now” text with “Checkout Now” in orange color with a hope that customers would like it better and you would get a better conversion rate. But, how to know that? It’s the A/B testing tool on your PrestaShop site that would help you know this.
I will take the above case as an example to explain how you can employ an A/B testing tool on your PrestaShop website.
Step 1 : Download the Heat map and A/B testing tool PrestaShop module for free from the link.
Step 2 : Follow the following steps to install the PrestaShop module on your site:- In Admin panel, go to Modules >> Modules (Modules and services>>Modules and services for PrestaShop version 126.96.36.199 and above) Click on add a new module button. Now click on choose file and select mockingfish.zip file. Now click on Upload this module button. Once it is uploaded, click on install button against the module name MockingFish.
Step 3 : Now, visit MockingFish Official website and Sign up for free . The sign up takes less than a minute and is very easy. After a quick Sign up, you will be directed to your own Mocking Fish Dashboard from where you can create your A/B testing Projects and manage them.
Step 4: Now, You can see the Dashboard. For Adding your PrestaShop A/B testing Project, you have to click on “Add new project” as shown in the screenshot below:
Step 5: Give a Project Name in the next Screen as below, I named it as “Project 1- CTA Button Product Page”:
After adding a project your project will be visible on the dashboard with the name you have given it.
Step 6 : Click on your Project and you will be directed to a page where you can add you new experiments.
Click on the “Add new Experiment” and you will be directed to the interface to add your new experiment.
Step 7 : Enter the URL of your product page on which you want to perform the A/B testing. Give a name and description to your experiment and click next.
Step 8: Now, the next page will ask you to add a start and end time of your experiment. I would recommend using at least a month duration for the experiment.
Step 9: After Scheduling the task, will be directed to the main interface where you can see your original page and you can add variation pages. You can perform your changes on the variation page. Here is a screen shot of options that you can have:
After performing the desired change, click on “Save” to save your work.
Step 10: Click on “Audience” to add new audience who will see your original and variation pages. You can define your audience using multiple parameters. For example, you can select the audience for your variation page on the basis of browsers used by them, devices used, Traffic source, Referrer URL, language and so on. Save the audience settings to return to the experiment page.
Step 11: Click on “Start experiment” You will see a pop with a message “ Please copy the below code/script and install it on your site”. You have to copy this script and go to to your PrestaShop site.
Step 12: A PrestaShop Backend, Navigate to Modules >> Modules (Modules and services>>Modules and services for PrestaShop version 188.8.131.52 and above)
Step 13: Search for MockingFish module that you had installed in step 1. Click on “configuration” and will be directed to the following page. Please enable the module if not already enabled.
Step 14: Paste the copied script in the “MockingFish Script” field, and click “Save”. Your A/B testing is now successfully started. You can always check the status of your experiment by visiting your Mocking Fish account.
Performing an A/B testing for free on your website is not a heavy task. The steps above can help you get a free A/B testing tool for your PrestaShop site. These were some easiest steps you can follow to get a free A/B testing tool for your website and as a bonus, a free heat map tool is also attached to the same account.