Amazon recently launched a new tool for running A/B tests on A+ content called “Experiments Learning Center.” The tool offers vendors a way to load two separate versions of content onto high-traffic ASINs. At the end of the experiment, Amazon offers to provide sales and predictive metrics.
This is the first time the retailer is offering something of this nature for A+ content. Yet, while content experiments seem like a promising concept, brands should remember that the tool is in beta and the usefulness of the data is still unproven. And, when designing tests, brands should carefully consider their long-term content strategy.
How Do Amazon Learning Center Experiments Work?
An Amazon A+ content experiment is a simple A/B test – also known as a split test – where vendors can create two separate versions of A+ content for the same product to see which is more effective. Shoppers will then see one of those versions throughout their browsing and buying cycle. This could help you determine what type of content you should be investing in for your products.
Premium and Basic A+ content can be evaluated. We tested and found that this applies even when comparing Premium content to Basic content, offering potentially valuable learnings about whether Premium content is worth the price tag for your brand. A brand would need to pay Amazon for Premium modules before building the A/B test.
Vendors can choose to run experiments for 4-10 weeks. Amazon has restricted the Experiments Learning Center to high-traffic ASINs, to ensure there is enough data for a meaningful results since high-traffic ASINs typically see several dozen orders per week. If your ASINs are not seeing enough traffic, Amazon Advertising may be a helpful solution to ensure your products are being discovered.
What Can an Amazon Experiment Tell Me?
At the end of the experiment, Amazon says it will provide unit sales for each version, as well as some predictive metrics on how well the content would do over the following year. Once the experiment is running, results will be updated weekly, but it is recommended to allow the experiment to run the entire duration even if early results are promising, as they could be misleading.
Amazon is also encouraging experiments with “significant and noticeable” content changes, as minor changes are less likely to affect customer behavior.
The experiment will only indicate which version of content performed better overall. It won’t provide details about individual modules, images, or words.
The value of these metrics remains to be seen, as many things can influence content effectiveness throughout a given year.
The Value of Having, and Fine-Tuning, Your A+ Content
Overall, A+ content is a crucial part of a strategic content approach. Good content creates a complete digital shopping experience and makes a strong first impression. It can boost discoverability in an organic way and satisfy the curiosity of a number of different shopping styles.
But, while having A+ content is an important step toward a successful product page, we at content26 know that not all content is created equal. According to a study of more than 10,000 shoppers, “just right” content can increase purchase intent by more than 10 percent. The study, conducted by the University of Washington’s Sales and Marketing Strategy Institute in partnership with content26, offers guidance on the type of experience customers are looking for, as well as advice on design elements.
Advice for the Savvy Brand
We have begun working with clients that are part of the Experiments Learning Center beta to see how the experiments function, and if it makes sense for their products. Though it is still early for the new tool, our experience with content tells us that there is a right and a wrong way to approach Amazon A+ content.
When it comes to testing A+ content, brands should think about the long-term value the right content can have, both on their product page and on the brand as a whole. A haphazard approach will be a waste of time and effort, while a strategically crafted test can help drive a brand forward.