9 Ways A/B Testing Can Make Gap Inc. Millions

By January 16, 2014Optimizely eCommerce

By Kent Shimek


It’s the time of year where companies highlight the major initiatives that will help them grow their market share and increase revenue. (Read our list of big bets for online retailers.) With all the talk of big ideas and trends, it can be hard to know where to actually start.

Which is why I am writing today with some ideas for how online retailers big and small can increase conversion rates—and revenue.

We’ll start this conversation at the same place that many of our e-commerce customers first start testing their sites, their product pages.

Why Gap should test product pages

In reaching the product page, the shopper has finally entered the dressing room of the online shopping experience. Marketing, creative and design all work hard (and spends big) to bring potential buyers here. Product pages are where shoppers visualize themselves wearing or using the item, and often where the decision to buy or not buy is made.

Running tests on product pages is lucrative for any online retailer, but especially for high traffic sites.

Take Gap for example.

Gap Inc. is a multinational retailer operating six widely known brands: Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta and Intermix. Gap Inc.’s prevalence in online retail is evidenced by their sales numbers: $589 million in online sales in Q3 2013. At such high volume, even small, incremental gains will have huge payoffs. If Gap Inc. increased online sales by 1%, they would stand to make more than $5,000,000 in additional revenue.

The following test ideas are designed to help Gap Inc. uncover such gains by testing their layout and calls to action on their Gap brand (www.gap.com) product pages.

Disclaimer: Gap.com, Gap Inc., and affiliated brands are not Optimizely customers and the tests proposed here are purely theoretical.

Test page layout

By the time shoppers lands on a product page, both the brand and the shopper themselves are invested. It took a number of clicks to get here. The brand’s goal is to sell this product by providing specific information about it. Gap has many elements in play on their product pages that may or may not be helping to sell the current product. Instead of assuming the current design is doing the best job of selling the product, Gap could test many variations of the design to see which version leads most shoppers to add the product to bag and buy.

A gap.com product page.

To increase purchases, Gap could test…

  • increasing product image size. The product is the reason visitors come to this page to begin with. Is bigger better? Does the location matter?

  • different forms of product imagery. Try using model vs non-model photos as the default product image. Gap could test the impact on a sampling of products to determine the impact of changing to non-model photos. Even if they find that the two perform equally, Gap could save money in not having to spend for the more expensive model shots. Gap can also consider testing product videos, 360

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