Radio Buttons vs. Dropdowns: How knowing the right way to collect customer information led to a 15% lift in orders

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Think for a second about the last time you needed to create a form on your site. Whether it was for a shopping cart or lead generation, it probably had a field where you asked the customer to select one of multiple options. Perhaps the field was:

• Credit card type
• Subscription length option
• Company revenue range
• “Yes” or “no” to newsletter opt-in

Whatever it was, you probably didn’t think too hard about whether you should use a dropdown or a radio button to let your visitor select their option. Most of us decide quickly as we’re creating the form in our CMS or form software.

But what if choosing the right format, radio buttons or dropdowns, for a single question in your form meant seeing a performance differential of 15%?

In this Web clinic, we’ll walk you through an experiment where that was exactly the case. Getting the question format right generated a 15% lift in total orders.

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Radio Buttons vs. Dropdowns: How knowing the right way to collect customer information led to a 15% lift in orders

  1. 1. Radio Buttons vs. Dropdowns How knowing the right way to collect customer information led to a 15% lift in orders
  2. 2. We’re sharing on Twitter! #WebClinic
  3. 3. Today’s speakers Austin McCraw Director Content Production Jon Powell Senior Manager Research and Strategy MECLABS @McOptimize MECLABS @jonpowell31 Lauren Pitchford Optimization Manager MECLABS
  4. 4. Experiment: Background Experiment ID: TP1774 Record Location: MECLABS Research Library Research Partner: [Protected] Background: A large people search company catering to customers searching for military personnel. Goal: To significantly increase the total number of subscriptions. Research Question: Which subscription option format will produce the highest subscription rate: a dropdown or radio button? Test Design: A/B single factorial split test
  5. 5. Experiment: Treatment 1 Treatment 1
  6. 6. Experiment: Treatment 2 Treatment 2
  7. 7. Experiment: Side-by-side Treatment 1 Treatment 2 Which treatment won?
  8. 8. Experiment: Results 15% Relative increase in orders In this case, the radio button field outperformed the dropdown field by 15% in order rate. Design Order Rate Stat. Significance Treatment 1 – Radio Buttons 11.73% - Treatment 2 – Dropdown 10.69% - 14.6% 92% % Relative Change:
  9. 9. Experiment analysis Treatment 1 Treatment 2 15% Order Rate Shouldn’t the shorter form produce better results?
  10. 10. What we discovered F Key Principles 1. One of the most effective ways to improve the performance of the webpage is to reduce friction (psychological resistance).
  11. 11. What is friction? Definition: Friction Physics: A force that resists the relative motion or tendency to such motion of two bodies in contact. Marketing: Psychological resistance to a given element in the sales process. For more on friction: MECLABS.com/LPO
  12. 12. What is friction? From this To this Protocol ID: TP1267 40% Revenue per Visit
  13. 13. What is friction? Protocol ID: TP1341 From this To this 189% In Conversion
  14. 14. What is friction? Protocol ID: TP1291 From this To this 201% Capture Rate • Treatment asks for one less piece of information
  15. 15. What we discovered F Key Principles 1. One of the most effective ways to improve the performance of the webpage is to reduce friction (psychological resistance). 2. However, in our attempts to minimize friction (length-oriented), we must beware of undermining the conversation with the customer in 2 ways: i. Intensifying difficulty-oriented friction
  16. 16. Danger #1. Increasing difficulty fSC = lT + dT © Wherein: fSC = Friction of sales conversion lT = Length (time) dT = Difficulty Design Elements • Eye Path • Options Selection • Button Design • Organization • Flash Video For more on friction: MECLABS.com/LPO
  17. 17. Danger #1. Increasing difficulty • By moving from a radio to dropdown field, we significantly reduced the perceived length of the form. Radio Dropdown
  18. 18. Danger #1. Increasing difficulty • However, length is only one form of friction. By reducing the length, we inadvertently increased difficulty. • Now, instead of clearly seeing all of the options available to the customer, they have to click and squint to examine the options. Dropdown
  19. 19. Danger #1. Increasing difficulty Example Protocol ID: TP1666 Page 1 Version A Page 2 Page 3 • Version A is a 3-step cart checkout process. The length of the process is significant. • Our analysts hypothesized that by shortening the steps into a one-page accordion checkout process, we could reduce lengthoriented friction.
  20. 20. Danger #1. Increasing difficulty Example Protocol ID: TP1666 Page 1 Version A Version B Page 2 Page 3 Page 1 29% Conversion Rate
  21. 21. Danger #1. Increasing difficulty Example Version B Page 1 ! What You Need to Understand: While we may have reduced length, we increased the perceived difficulty of the checkout. As a result, the conversion rate dropped. 29% Conversion Rate
  22. 22. Danger #1. Increasing difficulty Example Protocol ID: TP1055 Control Treatment 60% In Revenue ! What You Need to Understand: By not suggesting donation amounts, we made the form shorter, but the value of the donation was undermined by 60%.
  23. 23. What we discovered F Key Principles 1. One of the most effective ways to improve the performance of the webpage is to reduce friction (psychological resistance). 2. However, in our attempts to minimize friction (length-oriented), we must beware of undermining the conversation with the customer in 2 ways: i. Intensifying difficulty-oriented friction ii. Eliminating necessary value force
  24. 24. Danger #2. Undermining value Cost Force Value Force VfAc - CfAc = Nf
  25. 25. Danger #2. Undermining value Treatment 1 Treatment 2 ? How might Treatment 2 be undermining the value in Treatment 1?
  26. 26. Danger #2. Undermining value Treatment 1 ? Which price format do you see first in Treatment 1? a. Per month b. Total
  27. 27. Danger #2. Undermining value Treatment 2 ? Which price format do you see first in Treatment 2? a. Per month b. Total
  28. 28. Danger #2. Undermining value Treatment 1 • By de-emphasizing the savings and/or placing the total price before the monthly price in Treatment 2, we undermined the value. Treatment 2 • Between the lack of emphasis or and/or the point-first structure of the price, the savings are clearly bolded and easier to understand in Treatment 1.
  29. 29. Danger #2. Undermining value Experiment - Background Experiment IDs: TP1662 Record Location: MECLABS Research Library Research Partner: (Protected) Background: An addiction and mental health rehabilitation facility. Goal: Increase the total number of leads captured. Primary Research Question: Which page will obtain the most form submissions? Approach: A/B multifactor split
  30. 30. Danger #2. Undermining value Experiment - Treatment Version A • Version A is long copy information on the treatment centers. • The call-to-action is at the bottom of the page.
  31. 31. Danger #2. Undermining value Experiment - Control Version B • Version B short-form page template with a rotating banner. • Call-to-action is on the righthand side above the fold.
  32. 32. Danger #2. Undermining value Experiment - Results 69% Relative decrease in capture rate The shorter version B decreased capture rate by 69%. Design Capture Rate Version A 2.48% Version B 0.78% % Relative Change: ! 68.5% What You Need to Understand: The shorter length of the page made it more difficult for the right customers to gain the information they needed. By decreasing the length, conversions decreased by 69%.
  33. 33. Danger #2. Undermining value Experiment - Treatment Protocol ID: 1700 Treatment Control 36% In Total Sales
  34. 34. Danger #2. Undermining value Example Control Treatment 16% In Conversions Protocol ID: TP1362
  35. 35. Danger #2. Undermining value Example Protocol ID: TP1740 Not this But this 24% Purchase Rate ! What You Need to Understand: By adding two fields (start date and number of copies per day) we also added clarity and value to the form. The control form was undermining the value by 24%.
  36. 36. Radio buttons vs. dropdowns? Radio Buttons Dropdown ? Which capture technique should you use?
  37. 37. Summary: Putting it all together F Key Principles 1. One of the most effective ways to improve the performance of the webpage is to reduce friction (psychological resistance). 2. However, in our attempts to minimize friction (length-oriented), we must beware of undermining the conversation with the customer in 2 ways: i. ii. 3. Intensifying difficulty-oriented friction Eliminating necessary value force In the end, increasing conversion is less about the technique (dropdowns vs. radio buttons), and more about understanding the entire mental impact (value vs. cost).
  38. 38. Live Optimization
  39. 39. Live optimization Cornerstones4Care Primary Audience: People with diabetes Primary Objective: Resources http://bit.ly/1hgb98I #WebClinic
  40. 40. Live optimization SunPro Solar Primary Audience: Home owners Primary Objective: Lead generation http://bit.ly/1llD1Mb #WebClinic
  41. 41. Live optimization Netelligent.ca Primary Audience: B2B availability services Primary Objective: Lead generation page http://bit.ly/1jAhoED #WebClinic
  42. 42. Live optimization HRSA Primary Audience: Public interested in census health data Primary Objective: Informational site http://1.usa.gov/1pteftT #WebClinic
  43. 43. Live optimization Zycus Primary Audience: Professional organizations Primary Objective: Lead generation form fill http://bit.ly/1fTPzmi #WebClinic
  44. 44. Live optimization Strayer University Primary Audience: Prospective students Primary Objective: Recruitment http://bit.ly/1fTQ9k5 #WebClinic
  45. 45. Next Clinic: Background Experiment ID: TP1785 Record Location: MarketingExperiments Research Library Research Partner: (Protected) Background: A large global media company seeking to sell premium software to businesses. Goal: To move visitors to the next step in the funnel. Research Question: Which call-to-action will result in a significant increase in clicks and leads captured? Test Design: Single factorial A/B split
  46. 46. Next Clinic: Side-by-side Treatment A Treatment B Treatment D Treatment C Treatment E Which treatment won?
  47. 47. To see the results Live March 12 at 4:00 p.m. EST Join the live 35-minute Web clinic • • • • What is the best color for my CTAs? What is the best position? How many CTAs are optimal on a page? What is the best CTA copy? To join live, register at the link below: MarketingExperiments.com/EffectiveCTAs
  48. 48. See how you can conduct research with us MECLABS conducts rigorous experiments in the new science of optimization. We apply our discoveries to help leaders optimize the financial performance of their sales and marketing programs. Learn more about how you may be a fit for a MECLABS Research Partnership: • Select Research Partnership Opportunities on the postwebinar survey • Contact us directly info@MECLABS.com 1-877-635-0565 x

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