Most companies using Salesforce Commerce Cloud have a primary goal: to increase their sales. Of course, most companies have secondary goals as well, such as keeping their tech costs reasonable, ensuring continuity between dev teams, and so forth.
To achieve this primary goal, there are arsenals of weapons you can use. One of our favorite weapons is A/B testing, which we’ve discussed before in relation to Salesforce Commerce Cloud. So, any recommendations we give below must always be preceded by the reminder that each situation is different, and whatever you’re considering doing, you may want to test, test, test.
But what, specifically, should you test?
Here’s one possible test you may want to experiment with: requiring logins, making them optional, or not even having them, in order to complete a purchase.
This is a great test because the results can lead to sales rates that are substantially better or worse (in particular, lower drop-off rates during the sales funnel). And Salesforce Commerce Cloud can easily enable this test in a fully comprehensive way.
In theory, there are lots of arguments on all sides of the triangular table — to require, not even enable, or give users the option to, login — and lots of people argue that their method is the Golden Secret to lead to lots and lots of conversions & sales!
On one side of the triangle, the “no login” camp vociferously argues that any impediment to checkout makes the checkout less likely. If there are six stumbling blocks between here and the goal, the potential client will have 6 opportunities to potentially stumble, and each stumble makes it more likely that they don’t continue the course to the end.
On another side of the triangle, the “always require login” camp just as vociferously argues that, when we require a login, we capture lots of information about them — say, their email address — so we can more easily keep on reminding them about us in sophisticated ways, until they keep coming back and buying more from us. It also is a symbol of greater loyalty and commitment: I myself am much more likely to register for a site that I think I’ll go back to than those I think I never will.
On the third side of the triangle — the side that emerges victorious, most commonly — is “let’s just give people the choice!” While this is the most common strategy, I’ll admit that on a personal level — so what follows in this paragraph isn’t the UV opinion but my personal one — I was too influenced by a classic Joel on Software article when I was a teeny-bopper software developer in 2000, in which he geniously argues that giving users the option to choose is usually the result of a compromise because the team can’t decide on a strategy. (Going back and looking at that article now, for the first time in almost 20 years, I love the screenshots of the dialog boxes: very modern for 2000 but… some user interfaces age like wine, some like vinegar.) My instinct, as a result of that article and then a few decades of experience, is that choosing a path and going with it all the way is more likely to yield a better result than the hesitant middle-ground.
But that’s just an instinct and you know what’s great about instincts? They’re often wrong. And A/B testing is a great way to prove them right, or wrong. And Salesforce Commerce Cloud is designed for comprehensive testing of user experiences of this sort. So what are you waiting for? Time to design your test!
Here at UV, having performed hundreds of large-scale tests for clients over the years, we’ve developed our own process for precisely this sort of optimization and testing. The heart of it, for most such projects, is to use the conversion pipeline to track where the customers are being lost on the journey towards checkout. Then, having pinpointed the areas at which they’re being lost, we usually try various methods to optimize that part, such as A/B testing that one part, or applying best practices there — and then tracking the resulting metrics as compared to those of the previous version. Rinse, repeat, and we push the conversions into the right direction: towards the top-right of the quadrant! Interestingly, it gets infinitely complex because it’s not just “oh, on the checkout page, they’re not buying enough” but “on mobile devices, for products of this particular type, in that price range, for users of this sort, they’re dropping off more than they should. Now let’s creatively brainstorm how to fix it”. And therein lies the magic!
Need a helping hand to take your Salesforce Commerce Cloud website and figure out the nuances to run with such testing? You know what to do: give us a call!