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Back in February 2012, we published a case study on how adding a product filter to an eCommerce website affects revenues. Buyakilt.com A/B tested the inclusion of a filter on their product pages, allowing visitors to “slice and dice” through all the options available and quickly arrive at what they wanted to buy, helping the website increase revenues by a whopping 76%.
Today we’ve got a case for you which shows how benefits can be accrued by removing the product filter. Although filters are found all over the web and are almost de-rigueur for eCommerce websites, the folks at UKToolCentre theorized that for this specific category (a brand of woodcare products called Cuprinol), the filter menu was unnecessarily adding extra options to the page which wasn’t required.
Here is the page they conducted the test on. It had a filter menu for all products just above the Cuprinol listing.
In the variation, the filter menu was removed from the category, the hypothesis being that when focused on a particular product, a user did not need the menu to distract him/her away from it.
And the results? A surprising increase of 27% in engagement on the product page. What happened was that visitors were less distracted by the filter and the easy option of leaving the page that it provided. This increased site engagement meaning they clicked around more and had a better look at all the products on the page.
What learnings can be derived from this?
Don’t distract your visitors with unnecessary options and try to provide them exactly what they want. When they are looking for something, give them the tools to make that search a breezy affair. After they have found it, let them stay and look around undisturbed by other options.
Also, we cannot stress enough the importance of regular testing. Buyakilt.com experienced an increase in conversion rate when they added a product filter while UKToolCentre saw the increase after removing the filter. This just goes to show that there are no hard & fast rules and you should run tests to see what works best on your site.
More optimization awesomeness
Know all that you need to get started:
- What is A/B Testing?
- Is it compatible with SEO?
- How to start your first A/B test?