TradeMe search A/B testing

We looked at TradeMe search optimisation here, here and here. This article is about testing the findings.

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing is a fancy industry term for running two versions of the same content in parallel and analysing the results. The winning version is then used with more confidence that you are not missing out on sales and conversion.

There are many tools and services that help with fining the optimal content for web pages. We will explain the basics of how to do it for TradeMe listings.

1. Create multiple TradeMe listings

Our goal is to test the difference between different variations of listing titles for the same product. We will create several listings for a Blind joiner:

blind-joiner

These listings are identical except for the title.

2. Check TradeMe view counters

Every TradeMe listing has a view counter that tells how many times this page was viewed. Open the listing and scroll to the bottom below bids and comments.

TradeMe-view-counter

Remember that every time you look at it the counter add a view, so take it into account.

3. Compare the number of views

Open every listing and check the counter. The example above got these numbers:

  • OUTDOOR BLIND Joiner for connecting Patio Blinds – 4
  • Outdoor Blind Joiner for connecting Patio Blinds – 3
  • Outdoor Patio Blind Joiner – 5
  • Patio Blinds Joiner – 11
  • Patio Blind Joiner – 5

with Patio Blinds Joiner being a clear winner.

Watch out for pitfalls

Quite often these experiments are not reliable, but constantly comparing your test results should give you a better picture over time.

Don’t rely on a small sample. For example, a listing may be viewed multiple times by a hesitant buyer coming back to it again and again.

Check the numbers before the listings hit page 5 or 6 in the category view because then people look at the very first one and skip all the others. For example, this seller makes multiple identical listings:

trademe-save-barn-list

The very first listing got 17 views and the two others got 7 each. You really need to start checking the view counter every day and stop when you notice that the listings are moving closer to the front of the category queue.

Not just the title

You can do A/B testing of any part of TradeMe listings – subtitle, photo, description. Just don’t change more than one parameter of the listings or you will not know which one of them made the difference.

Automating A/B testing

Our TradeMe connector for Magento automates a large part of A/B testing by helping you to list multiple variants of the same product. Save time, gain insight, sell more.

 

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