Mobile A/B Testing: Best Practices And Tools

As the world keeps going mobile, it is increasingly becoming difficult for new apps to break through the stiff mobile app market and for old apps to remain as relevant as when they first launched. To retain, engage, and convert new and existing customers, mobile app marketers have had to implement several mobile marketing strategies.

If you’re constantly seeking to keep your app competitive, you’ll find that some features and trends that formerly attracted customers no longer attracts them. There is a need to always experiment on different aspects of your app or marketing strategy to see which provides a better experience to the users. This is primarily what A/B Testing is about.

A/B testing allows you to test what works in your app’s experience to be able to increase conversion rate. Several app marketers have been using A/B testing applications to boost their conversion and general app experience. Grene, an eCommerce brand in Poland used the VWO mobile A/B testing to increase their overall conversion rates from 1.83% to 1.96%.

You too can uncover the reason why a certain experience of your app has failed to convert through mobile A/B testing tools. But first, let’s show you all you need to know about A/B testing and the best tools to experiment.

What is Mobile A/B Testing?

Mobile app A/B testing, also known as split testing, is similar to the A/B testing done by most retail companies. The difference is that while retail A/B testing software test for experiences within the store’s website, mobile app A/B testing tools allows you to test for different experiences within your mobile app.

The way it works is that your audience is segmented into two or more groups and shown a different experience. After you’ve seen a good number of users through this experiment, you can then uncover with statistical backings which version of your app brings greater conversion.

With A/B testing, you’re able to identify the user experience with the best potential that you can immediately implement for great results.

To best explain A/B testing, let’s take a scenario of mobile game A/B testing. If you have a mobile game that requires users to purchase in-app to access extra levels, with a mobile A/B testing tool, you can try out different banners for the level and observe the banner with the most click.

Doing this does not only help you pick the banner with the most conversion but also gives you insight into your users’ preferences.

Why is A/B Test Important?

Generally, the main advantage of A/B testing is how it boosts conversion rate. It is the reason why 75% of the 500 internet retail stores use A/B testing applications. In addition to increasing conversion rates, with a good mobile app A/B testing tool, you can uncover the issues in your conversion funnel that hinders full conversion.

The best split testing tool will also help you achieve a higher return on investment from the traffic coming to your app. It would be so sad if you spend so much on ads to drive traffic to the app store to install your app and at the end of the day, more than half of the traffic does not install the app because they didn’t like the icon, color, or description of the app.

Another great importance of using the best mobile A/B testing platform is that you will be able to improve your users’ experience, which will, in turn, boost engagement and retention rate.

How Does Mobile A/B Testing Work?

The way mobile A/B testing works is that you’ll set up two or more variants of a page, function, section, or action of your mobile app and experiment on them by showing them to grouped users. You’ll set conversion goals that you want to monitor, and through statistical analysis, you’ll determine the variation that performs better based on your set goals and implement that variation.

Mobile A/B Testing Framework

The A/B testing framework is a continuous process. Most A/B testing applications will require you to perform the following actions:

  1. Formulate a hypothesis: This involves researching and analyzing the hypothesis that will define the variable you’ll be testing. For an eCommerce website, the marketer could hypothesize that displaying fewer products when you open the app will increase the session time.
  2. Split up your audience: Once you have your hypothesis and variables, the next thing to do is to split your audience into groups and test your versions A and B on them. It’s best to have a sizeable audience as it will provide you reliable data to work on.
  3. Analyze the Experiment: Using important metrics you’ve laid down, analyze the result of you’re A/B test by determining the variant with the best result.
  4. Enforce changes: After your test, you may have gotten a positive result. If this is the case, apply the changes to a larger audience. If, on the other hand, your result is inconclusive, you’ll have to update your hypothesis with the data you’ve gotten.
  5. Adjust your hypothesis and repeat the test: A/B testing is a continuous process as you should always be looking to improve on your users’ experience and conversion. So, keep adjusting your hypothesis on the data you’ve acquired and implement successful tests.

The Best Mobile App A/B Testing Ideas

No matter how similar your app is to another app, it is quite different from the other app. Also, what you may want to change on your app may not be what the other app is willing to change. So, there is no stipulated checklist of what must be tested using A/B testing applications.

However, most app marketers conduct A/B testing on user onboarding, engagement rates, retention rate, and the processes in the app that maximize conversions. Ideas of things to test using a good mobile A/B testing tool are ad placement within the app, the text used to announce your CTA, new features in the app, the regularity of push notifications, and the number of sign-up forms needed to register for an account.

If you don’t know the areas to perform A/B testing for your mobile app and you have an analytic tool in place, it’s time to look into your data to find areas you can improve on.

You can also get mobile A/B testing ideas from the following A/B testing scenarios:

  • Houseparty app used A/B testing to increase its user onboarding opt-in rates by over 15%
  • Duolingo app used A/B testing to grow its userbase from 3 million to 200 million
  • Pinterest used A/B testing to acquire and retain users on the platform.

What are the Mistakes to Avoid While A/B Testing?

In a bid to make the most of mobile A/B testing tools, there are certain mistakes you may make that would affect the result you get. Here are some of these mistakes:

#1. Ending Your Tests Early: Most mobile app marketers conducting split testing for the first time get too anxious to conclude their test. The danger of ending your test too soon is that you will have insufficient data and your result will be less precise. Ensure to run your A/B test from three to six weeks for the best result.

#2. Not Sending Enough Traffic to Variants: When segmenting your users, avoid being too cautious. Allocate enough traffic to your variants that aren’t the majority of your users. The best practice is to allocate at least five percent of users in a variant.

#3. Using Numerous Variations: Although it is quite tempting to test multiple variations (multivariate testing), please do avoid the temptation. The dangers of multivariate testing are that you may have very few users for each variation or your result may show multiple winners because some of your variations are similar. At best, use between three to five variations.

#4. Ignoring Seasonal Changes: All days of the year are not the same, especially if your business is seasonal. So, it is important to factor in seasonal changes when planning and executing A/B tests to improve the efficacy of the test.

#5. Conducting Multiple A/B Tests Simultaneously: Mobile app marketers do this because they have so many things to test and it takes such a long time to complete one A/B test. Avoid the temptation to run multiple A/B tests concurrently as there is the possibility of the test interfering with each other and ruining the result. If you must run two A/B tests at the same time, ensure that AB’s variations are in XY’s control group and vice versa.

Benefits of Mobile App A/B Testing

The benefits you’ll get from mobile app A/B testing tools are similar to those you’ll get from mobile website A/B testing. Mobile A/B testing software allows you to test different hypotheses of user experience within your app to be able to provide your users a better experience of your app using real data.

Because A/B testing is a continuous process, it will not only improve users’ experience as you test new features to roll out but also conversion. When you perform A/B testing continuously, you’ll be able to improve on personalization on your mobile app just like Facebook, Amazon, and other big names using A/B testing.

Also, depending on the mobile A/B testing platform you’re using, one advantage of A/B testing available to you is the ability to effect changes directly to an iOS app already published in the Apple app store without going through the review process.

Another advantage of A/B testing is that it increases in-app engagement for your app as the experience must have given you a better understanding of your users. Also, it allows you to observe the impact of a new feature as well as gives you fresh insight into your audience preferences.

Finally, A/B testing eliminates the guesswork in your marketing campaign by providing you data that you can use to make good decisions.

How to Analyze Mobile A/B Testing Metrics

When you look at the A/B testing framework of most A/B testing software, you’ll get the hint that each process is simple. This is not the case, however.

Analyzing the result of your experiment is more than just selecting the best result. There are a couple of things you should do to properly analyze the result of you’re A/B test. They include:

#1. Look Past the Result: At the end of an A/B test, the next action is to review the result. If you’re testing for two variables, most mobile A/B testing platforms will tell you that Option A won, Option B won, or that the result is inconclusive, which means that neither option won. Don’t go straight ahead to implement option A, check it against the conversion metrics you set.

#2. Query the Test: By reviewing the test results against your conversion metrics, you question the validity of the test. This is the right thing to do to avoid sharing invalid facts. Ask yourself questions like was the just concluded test statistically significant? Does the new knowledge from the test apply to all users? Were your samples representative enough? Does the result affect other metrics? Did any of the users make a selection error?

#3. Run More Analysis: The numbers may be convincing enough to make a decision but you should consider visualizing the data from the experiment. When you visualize the data gotten from the A/B test, you may discover complex relationships in the result that connects to a bigger objective of your business than what you tested for.

#4. Learn: The whole process of analyzing the A/B testing metric is a learning process. Understand why the test has the effect that it did by looking past the quantitative insights of the test to the psychological or qualitative insights.

#5: Share the New Knowledge: If the knowledge you’ve gained from analyzing the A/B test is valid, significant, and worth repeating, then you should share it with your team. It is important to capture all the right data in your report. So, you may want to have a testing log that contains the description of the test, the stage of the funnel involved, the user flow, the goal of the test, the start and end date, the hypothesis, and the key points to be taken from the test.

The Best A/B Testing Tools and Platforms for Mobile Apps

There are several A/B testing applications out there in the mobile A/B testing market that selecting the best split testing tools can prove challenging. To save you the stress, here is a review of two of the best mobile A/B testing platforms in the market:

#1. Mixpanel Mobile A/B Testing

Mixpanel split testing is one of the best split testing tools you can find in the Mobile A/B testing market. This A/B testing platform allows you to easily test changes to your mobile app with the click of a button – no writing of codes involved. There is almost no aspect of your app that you can’t test with Mixpanel split testing, be it funnel conversion, marketing copy alteration, or alteration of game mechanics. All you need to get started with Mixpanel A/B testing is SDK which should be installed and initialized in your app.

#2. Optimizely A/B Testing

Optimizely is another of the best A/B testing software that you can find in the mobile A/B testing market. You can use it to conduct mobile website A/B testing and mobile game A/B testing. Unlike Mixpanel that requires SDK to get started, you can install Optimizely A/B testing with SDK, Objective-C, Java to run successfully on Android and iOS apps. Optimizely provides you one of the best real-time statistics for your test results that you can confide in. Also, with Optimizely, you can easily push out bugs from your app without having to code or pass through the Apple app store review.

Final Thoughts

A/B testing is compulsory if you must stay at the top of your game in the competitive mobile app market. However, this beautiful strategy that helps you improve your conversion rates and enhance the user experience of your app can go sour if you don’t do it the right way. Follow the framework of a good mobile app A/B testing tool and avoid costly mistakes that can ruin your test results.



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