A/B testing lessons you can learn from Booking.com
A/B testing is a great tool to be deployed by businesses who want to boost their conversion rates across a whole range of channels, from web design to email marketing. The method for creating optimal content can help hotels boost their reservations, converting leads that were on the fence and generating greater levels of interest. But can too much A/B testing for web design lead to lack of innovation? Booking.com’s website suggests so.
Booking.com has a reputation for being a website that is heavily tested. All aspects of the page, from colours to the font, have been tested to drive up conversion rates. You might think this would mean their website is slick and well-designed but a study suggests that’s not the case. Instead, it’s cluttered distracting design received a score of just 32 out of 100, compared to the industry average of 71.
While Booking.com might be an online travel agent, many of the same rules still apply to hotel internet marketing and there’s a lot you can learn from the A/B testing of the brand.
Uplifts become more difficult to generate
There are only so many different aspects of a web page that you can A/B test. Eventually, generating uplifts in your conversions will plateau despite you still investing in the process. When you look at Booking.com’s page, little has changed in the last ten years. New features have been added and the style has been updated but overall the design remains the same. So, while A/B testing might initially indicate that it’s boosted conversion rates, there’s little room for it to develop further.
Isolation is a useful tool
With huge amounts of traffic, Booking.com isolates every little detail on its page to see what’s having an impact, from the image that’s used to advertise a destination to the font size. The isolations are excellent for measuring each variable. It’s something that you can’t do if you overhaul your website design but through the isolation method, Booking.com is able to try out alternative banner placements or highlight certain portions of text. With data being gathered at all points, you’re able to create a website that’s optimised for conversions.
But sometimes a redesign is better than optimising
While Booking.com proves how useful isolating A/B testing can be, it also presents an argument for redesigning.
Websites that have been optimised will reach a point when there is no where else they can go. Despite tweaks to content and features, there is a wall that they will hit. This is where redesigns need to be considered. A redesign allows for the website’s structure to be considered, reflecting the changing market and consumer trends.
In Booking.com’s case, a redesign would be the solution to the current cluttered and distracting challenges it faces. It would enable the brand to embrace a contemporary, simplistic web design that’s become more popular. A modern redesign could help the brand to create the seamless customer journey travellers now expect to improve conversion rates where optimising is no longer have such a large impact.