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econsultancy-usability-testing-for-conversion-rate-improvement-nov11.gif38% of companies currently employ usability testing to improve conversion rates, representing an increase of about 40% from the 27% who used the method last year, according to [download page] an October 2011 report from Econsultancy in association with RedEye. Data from the “Conversion Rate Optimization Report 2011” indicates that the proportion of companies carrying out multivariate testing also increased by about 40% over the past year, from 17% to just under one-quarter (24%). Meanwhile, A/B testing (53%) has become the most used method for improving conversion, jumping about 20% and 3 spots from last year, now more widespread than customer journey analysis (47%) and copy optimization (44%). Among the agencies surveyed, 62% say their clients typically use A/B testing, followed by copy optimization (55%), which fell almost 20% from 68% of respondents in 2010.

2 in 3 Plan A/B Testing

econsultancy-planned-use-testing-for-conversion-rate-improvement-nov11.gif67% of companies say they are planning to use A/B testing in the future, ahead of customer journey analysis (59%) and copy optimization (56%). Usability testing once again has grown in importance, from 34% of companies planning to use the method in 2010 to 53% planning its use this year, a 56% increase. Cart abandonment analysis (46%) is also growing in stature, increasing by 70% from 27% of companies in 2010 that planned its use. Although 67% of agencies also say their clients plan to use A/B testing, the supply-side perspective is quite different: fewer agencies say their clients plan to use online surveys / customer feedback (37%, compared to 55% of companies) and event-triggered behavioral email (41%, compared to 52% of companies).

A/B Testing Seen Most Valuable

Almost all companies find A/B testing to be a highly valuable (52%) or quite valuable (45%) method for improving conversion rates, giving it the top spot among the various methods. Despite relatively few organizations (24%) using multivariate testing to improve their conversion rates, 51% of companies consider it highly valuable, a slight increase from 48% in 2010. 49% of the companies surveyed also consider customer journey analysis to be a highly valuable method, followed closely by usability testing (46%). Among agencies, 41% say their clients find A/B testing and cart abandonment analysis to be highly valuable.

MarketLive: Online Merchants Gain Q3 Visitors, Revenues YOY

The online merchants who comprise the MarketLive Performance Index made solid year-over-year gains in areas such as visitors and revenues during Q3 2011, according to an October 2011 report from MarketLive. Results from “The MarketLive Performance Index Vol. 16” indicate revenue rose about 18% compared to Q3 2010, while visits increased almost 16%. Other areas where online merchants showed year-over-year gains include conversion rate, which grew 5.24% from 4.43% to 4.66%, and engagement rate, which rose 8.47% from 9.66% to 10.48.

About the Data: Econsultancy’s data is based on more than 700 global respondents to an online survey conducted in July and August 2011. Respondents included both client-side (in-house) organizations, and agencies, vendors or consultancies (supply-side).

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