December 19, 2006, 12:00 AM achieves 14% lift on conversions with optimized landing page

Using testing and optimization services from Offermatica, tried different page elements against a control to come up with a winning category page redesign that boosted sales.

When peak selling time lasts only four weeks a season, an online retailer must pull out all the stops to make that time count. Online bookseller experienced a 14% lift over two weeks in its textbook line, a key component of its business, after redesigning its “Textbook Central” landing page based on results from web site testing and optimization provider Offermatica.

Peak selling time for textbooks clusters around a few weeks every academic semester. To maximize online conversions of textbooks during that time, conducted a multivariate test using different combinations of landing page elements including promotional images, the inclusion of an international textbook search, and new copy above the fold.

Varying those elements, AbeBooks, No. 67 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, tried alternative layouts against a control layout. The layout deemed the winning combination of page elements produced a 14% higher conversion over two weeks than the control layout which had not undergone the testing and optimization process. In particular, analysis of contributing elements revealed that inclusion of a search field bar on the textbook category landing page had a 93% influence on conversion.

For AbeBooks, one of the most interesting learnings was the ability of Offermatica’s process to test the merchandising of international edition textbooks – paperback versions of U.S.-published textbooks produced offshore, and cheaper – that are available but not yet widely accepted.

“Using Offermatica enables us to test a variety of elements quickly and get real-time results. This was important for us during the narrow window for each textbook season, which only lasts about four weeks,” says Chris Burdge, marketing manager at


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