A/B Testing in ASO: An Iterative Approach to Growth
Nowadays, ASO A/B testing has become an everyday activity in performance marketing. It’s hard not to find a marketer who doesn’t mention or use A/B testing in their day-to-day activities.
Table of Contents
- What Is A/B Testing?
- Define, Setup, Test, Learn & Repeat: Why Try A/B Testing?
- What About A/B Testing in ASO?
- ASO A/B Testing: 4 Ideas for Implementation
- Understanding ASO A/B Testing and Results to Implement the Right Learnings
Whether we are talking about paid campaigns, creative assets, or App Store Optimization, ASO testing (AB testing) is the basis of any company’s growth activities.
Moreover, growth—especially in a performance context- results from experimentation and innovation. But how can we experience any of these without testing new ideas? However, trying new ideas without tracking results and effects on the bottom line is impossible in a data-driven world. And that’s how A/B testing helps us establish a systematic and data-driven decision-making process.
What Is A/B Testing?
A/B testing is split testing that refers to a randomized experimentation process within two versions of a variant. It is a useful approach that allows marketers to gather the right data when developing, launching, or growing a mobile app.
In this article, we want to look at how our team of experts at REPLUG has applied this process to App Store Optimization activities and how our partners have benefited from this approach.
In ASO, more specifically, A/B testing refers to the process of testing different versions of one element (textual or visual) of the Store Listing to see which one performs best. In addition, performance (in this case) is defined as the change (positive or negative) in the conversion rate of our Store Page.
Before jumping into more details, it is crucial to understand why ASO A/B testing is important in a data-driven context.
Define, Setup, Test, Learn & Repeat: Why Try A/B Testing?
Before dipping our toes into the deep waters of ASO A/B testing, let’s talk about what this process really means and how it can help us improve the long-term growth strategy of our mobile app. As we said, testing and comparing changes to the user experience before actually implementing them will help us improve the performance of our mobile apps and user acquisition efforts.
The A/B testing process is relatively straightforward—we take a group of users and divide them into two groups (called “variants”), which will be subject to different experiences according to their group.
The experience is promoted in the following ways:
- Group A: it has a standard experience, and that’s why it is called a “control group”
- Group B: it has the alternative experience, and that’s why it is called the “variant group”
What is more, the period of time of the test is decided beforehand or until we gather enough statistically significant data to compare results and establish a winner.
The hypothesis we want to implement through an A/B test might have a positive, negative, or no effect at all, but that shouldn’t stop us from testing. In addition, any learning we gather through A/B testing is good learning that will help us move a step forward.
In performance marketing, we can test almost everything we want. In our experience, a positive change may be triggered by a slightly different user experience—like a call-to-action (CTA) on an ad, something related to design (the color of the checkout button), or even the registration process.
Additional Tips on A/B Testing
It is fundamental to keep in mind that:
- Our goals and hypotheses should be established before doing the test to have a more precise opinion of what we want to achieve
- The user sample size should be equal
To sum it up, here is the A/B testing visualization framework we implement at REPLUG:
When thinking about implementing this process in our strategy, there are a few more things to keep in mind:
- A/B testing can test the change of a single variable or one of many
- It is recommended to test one element at a time
- If we decide to test multiple variables at the same time, identifying the determinant factor might be too complicated
- A/B testing is valuable because various audiences may behave differently, giving us valuable insights into diverse subsets of the audience
- Assumptions of the AB testing environment are critical to the success of the process.
What About A/B Testing in ASO?
After understanding how the A/B testing process works and the critical role it plays in the performance marketing area, it’s time to focus on its role in the App Store Optimization process.
ASO A/B testing can help us improve two main factors:
- Conversion rate
More specifically, by applying this iterative process to our ASO strategy, we can identify improvements on specific elements of our Store Listings, both textual and visual, for example:
- Video Preview
- Subtitle or Short Description
ASO A/B Testing: 4 Ideas for Implementation
Depending on the testing environment, there are several alternatives to perform A/B testing when talking about App Store Optimization. Here below, we take a look at the four most common ways we have experimented with our partners:
1. Google Play Experiment
This is the easiest, perhaps the fastest, and cheapest way for us to perform A/B testing on our Store Listing. It is implemented directly in the Google Play Console and is relatively simple to use. Despite the obvious advantages, we need to consider the following drawbacks:
- There’s no customization on the elements to be tested
- Android users don’t necessarily behave in the same way (or respond to the same stimuli) as iOS users
2. Third Party Platforms
If we want to experiment also for our iOS users, we might need to rely on 3rd party tools, such as Store Maven and SplitMetrics. These tools basically mimic the Store Listings on a web page to study how the users interact with the variant of the original. Although these tools offer greater flexibility, they come at a cost that does not always justify the benefits.
3. Apple Search Ads’ Creatives Test
Although this is a “hack,” it is still a valuable alternative and way to implement A/B testing in the iOS environment. Moreover, it allows us to test organic search traffic in our Store Listing’s creative sets. However, the main drawback of this method is that there’s little flexibility.
4. Country Split
This is a simple and free-to-implement ASO AB testing idea. If we are active in more than one country, we can A/B test different variants in different countries. Although it allows us to operate in the Store environment, there are some significant drawbacks. For example, the audience in a specific country can react quite differently because of cultural reasons rather than preferences, which cannot be universally applied.
Understanding ASO A/B Testing and Results to Implement the Right Learnings
Generally speaking, in an A/B testing environment, if one variable is better than the other, you have a winner, and you should replace the losing variant. Moreover, if neither is statistically better, then the element you tested may not be as important as you think or result in a statistically significant improvement.
Although understanding when one variable is better than another is not necessarily complicated, we need to track the results of the different tests—to ensure that the learnings we implement are significant over time. As a matter of fact, our hypothesis might be linked to different tests that need to be tracked, understood, and eventually implemented.
ASO A/B testing can highly improve the conversion rates of our Store Listings. It is an iterative approach to growth that needs to take a leading place in our strategy. At REPLUG, we implement this process methodically for our partners to challenge the status quo and create a growth mindset.
Are you looking for the right partner to go international with your app? Get in contact with our experts and learn how we have helped multiple partners succeed.
P.S. download our ultimate tracking and MMP setup checklist. Our expert consulting team worked hard on every single detail. Therefore, you will be 101% sure that you are on the right path.
What Is AB Testing in Android?
A/B testing can assist you in determining the most successful phrasing and messaging variables for attracting users to your app. Securely introduce new features. Only launch a new feature after ensuring it achieves your objectives with a smaller group of consumers.
What Is AB Testing in Mobile App?
Testing different variants of a particular factor, such as design or copy, is known as A/B testing for mobile applications. This testing method involves dividing an audience into two or more separate groups, introducing each group to a distinct version of the variable, and assessing how the variable impacts user behavior.
Why Is A/B Testing Important in ASO?
A/B testing enables you to make data-driven choices in order to determine the ASO tactics that will boost the conversion rate of your app. Furthermore, A/B testing allows you to monitor how the traffic you obtain behaves.
Originally published on April 27, 2021. Updated on February 3, 2023.