Difference Between A/B testing and CRO

Difference Between A/B testing and CRO

On Jul 12 2022 | Be the first to comment

CRO or AB testing are two terms often confused. Several people misunderstand CRO with AB testing. A few years earlier, organizations were aloof about AB testing. But those days are long gone.

At present, AB testing and CRO are the need of the hour. They have become one of the fastest-growing disciplines in the digital marketing world. Undoubtedly, both tools are essential for companies to soar high and set their mark on the web. These tools help enterprises find the problematic areas in their websites and offer solutions based on detailed research.

Furthermore, there are several platforms, tools, methods, and techniques for testing. However, select the testing platform after meticulous research and analysis. The platform must adhere to your business' requirements and match the needs. 

The most commonly used tests are:

  • A/B tests

  • Funnel tests

  • Multivariate tests

  • Redirection or split tests

The horizon of these tests is endless. There is complete liberty to strategize and personalize these tests according to one's requirements. 

Let's cut to the chase and understand both A/B testing and CRO in detail.

What is A/B Testing?

Why testing?

In any project, there is always some room for improvement. However, it is essential to have enough traffic on the website to run some tests. There are ample benefits associated with testing, such as:

  • Customer insights

  • Enhanced performance

  • Increase in conversion rate

  • Providing better customer experience

A/B Testing is used to escalate the conversion rate of your website.

In A/B testing, A means 'control,' or original testing variable. On the other hand, B means 'variation,' or the new version of the original variable.

A/B testing is also known as bucket testing or split testing. It is a way to compare different versions of an app or a web page to analyze which one gives the best performance. 

In A/B testing, the users are introduced to two or more web page versions. After that, the team conducts an intricate analysis based on the targeted conversion rate. This analysis helps determine the best option that drives business metrics and attracts users.

Furthermore, A/B tests can increase the efficiency of the marketing efforts of an organization and boost conversion rates.

Benefits of A/B Testing

A/B testing is an excellent method to check the hypothesis by testing your idea directly on the targeted audience. It helps to validate the changes or improvisations made to the website. 

There are a wide array of benefits of A/B testing. Here is a list:

  • Upscale conversion rate: to enhance the general conversion rate, A/B testing helps optimize your website and improve user experience.

  • Analyzing the user's behavior: The testing allows us to understand the user behavior. It analyses the impact of variations in the website on visitors. This results in formulating better strategies to attract customers and turn them into potential buyers.

  • Boosting visitors' engagement: A/B testing helps you understand the audience's requirements. Furthermore, it suggests modifications based on the data as per the user's needs.

  • Time and budget management: Running an organization is not a smooth walk. It requires a lot of dedication and consistency. A/B testing assists in investing time and budget in the most effective way to bring in the expected results and conversion leads.

  • No guesswork, better decision-making: There is no space for guesswork with the results and analytics. Testing results in better decision-making based on solid data and research.

As evident, A/B testing provides a transparent insight into the analytics of your website or app and proposes effective solutions. However, there are some essential pointers to remember while performing A/B tests.

Things To Remember While A/B Testing

Here are some vital points to remember while performing A/B testing:

  • Set objectives: Understanding and analyzing goals and targets is vital before beginning testing. Start with one metric and gradually perform the tests on other metrics. This strategy results in clear and practical data.

  • Select the element to test: There are various elements in the website to test, such as layout, landing page, buttons, images, etc. Ensure choosing the elements after proper research based on the user's requirements.

  • Perform complete analysis of the existing data: It is crucial to analyze the current data of the website. To accomplish the same, use reliable tools such as Google analytics. It presents detailed analysis regarding ROI, customer engagement, content performance, marketing, products, and much more. This data becomes your foundation and the deciding factor for further improvement. 

  • Develop variants of the existing page: Variant is the modified version of a current element or web page. In A/B testing, the team presents the original and variant pages to the customers and analyzes the result metrics to make changes.

  • Select the best A/B testing tools: This step requires diligent research and development. Compare the best available tools and check their provisions. If it matches your proposed target metrics, then go for it. 

What to test in A/B Testing?

Here are some elements to test:

  • Titles and headers: Making minor changes can create a big difference. Modify the content of the blogs or the font size, font style, and color to make them more presentable and attract the visitors.

  • Forms: Ensure all the forms on the website are straightforward and user-friendly. Add or modify the titles, format lines, font size, color, or columns to appeal to visitors.

  • Call to action: CTA buttons are essential for your website. Formulate attractive buttons such as buy, purchase now, order, etc., to enhance conversion rate and convert visitors into buyers.

  • Images: Images are a vital part of the website. Keep them attractive and relative to the proposed content. Avoid inserting gaudy pictures and maintain clarity. In addition, keep the recommended size as per the website so that it does not affect the website's loading speed.

  • Navigation: Navigation allows customers to access multiple pages of the website. The engagement of customers rises with proper navigation. 

  • Landing pages: A/B testing assists in comparing multiple versions of the landing page by changing several designs, layouts, buttons, font size, headers, colors, etc.

  • Page structure: The web site's page structure must be clean and well crafted. Add images, new products, carousel, CTA buttons, relatable content on the pages.

  • Business models: A deep understanding of your business model results in better analysis and testing. Keep the targets clear and follow a structured approach. 

  • Algorithms: Different algorithms result in different customer behavior. It is one of the most effective strategies to convert visitors into customers.

The next segment presents an insight into CRO or Conversion Rate Optimization.

What is CRO?

The ultimate objective of CRO or Conversion Rate Optimisation is to provide customers with a better and more compelling experience. 

It is essential to curb the friction for website improvisation if any. Now, what is this friction? Various elements or pages on a website may not work with total efficiency, such as dead links, non-working buttons, static content on pages, outdated information, and much more. 

However, with the help of CRO, it is easy to fetch out such core reasons hindering the progress of your website. Several ways can lead to improvised and seamless user engagement, such as running polls, interacting with the customers, understanding their needs and requirements, and much more. 

In addition, interacting with customers regularly is one of the most influential and productive ways to keep your site updated.

Once you remove these blockages, it leads to a higher lifetime value LTV or AOV Average Order Value from the customer's end. 

Why is CRO important?

Conversion rate optimization is essential as it escalates the value from the visitors and lowers your customer acquisition costs. It further helps to increase revenue per visitor, increase customers, and grow business. 

The two most essential pointers associated with the benefits of CRO are: 

1. Boost In Sales

Even if an enterprise achieves 1 million monthly visitors but has a conversion rate of 0%, it fails to make any revenue. Therefore, conversion rates are the most crucial aspect of the growth of a website. Naturally, every organization wants to convert visitors into customers. CRO makes it possible!

2. Traffic is expensive; CRO helps to make the most of it!

It is a valid argument as Google ads, Facebook ads, or any pay-per-click platform boosts traffic by costing millions. With the help of CRO, it is feasible to convert a high percentage of paid traffic and even increase ROAS (Return on ad Spend). 

In the initial years, the target of every business is to get as much traffic as they can. However, once a company receives a reasonable monthly visitor, CRO tends to become a more cost-efficient path to increase sales. 

Here is an example. 

Suppose there are 1 million monthly visitors, and they convert at the e-commerce industry standard of 2.03%. The target is to increase total sales by 25%. 

Which of the two options according would be more costly?

  • By increasing the number of monthly visitors by an additional 1 million per month?


  • By hiring a CRM specialist to increase the conversion rate from 2 to 3%?

In this case, organizations must select the option to hire a CRO specialist to increase their traffic. This option is more viable and cost-effective. 

As evident, CRO is an extremely powerful way to make progress!

Working of CRO

The mechanism of CRO consists of three main components:

  • Website experimentation

  • Customer and website analysis

  • Experiment analysis implementation and evolution

1. Website experimentation 

Making improvements to the website is a rather complex procedure. The core reason is that it is impossible to accurately predict which change will impact user behavior in what way. It's a hit and trial. Each change becomes a hypothesis that leads to more tests and analysis.

2. Website & customer analysis

CRO examines the health of the existing site and the visitor's behavior. It helps to understand the needs of visitors and the methods to adapt for formulating a higher converting experience for them. 

At this stage, evaluate both quantitative and qualitative data. Various tools are used to review the product page, homepage, webpages, and checkout. 

In addition, do check if the homepage and the product page have low conversion rates or if the checkout has a high bounce rate. It is also beneficial to carry out standard user testing and evaluation of customer feedback. The removal of all these bottlenecks helps to increase your conversion rates.

3. Experiment analysis, implementation, and evolution

After successfully conducting the steps mentioned above, analyze the results and implement the statistics. 

Furthermore, the accurate results of the systematic creation and testing of new iterations over a significant period can be seen at a later stage.

These reports and metrics help understand which page performs better, the existing one or the new one. If the new page does not achieve pre-defined goals, you must make significant changes and reiterate tests. 

Additionally, there are some key elements to optimize during the CRO process. Take a look:

  • Site Navigation 

  • Copy

  • CTA

  • Forms

  • Page Speed

  • The layout of the Landing page

Difference between A/B Testing and CRO

There are some significant differences between A/B testing and CRO. However, take note that:

CRO is a testing process; A/B testing is a technique involved in that process!

AB testing tests your ideas and acts as an enabler. These tests are an indispensable component of CRO. The testing follows this cycle:

  • Ideas

  • Prioritizing the ideas

  • Testing them

  • Performing analysis 

  • Optimization

Conversion optimization is a repeatable technique, whereas A/B testing is a statistical tool. 

A/B Testing helps you decide

With A/B testing tools, it is feasible to understand the pros and cons and make effective decisions based on metrics and report analysis. There are two choices as mentioned below:

  • Frequentist method of computing

  • Bayesian method of computing

Frequentist method of computing: This approach reduces the improbability of wrong output in understanding the result based on the statistics. It further helps to know the probability of receiving an inaccurate result. 

Bayesian method of computing: This method calculates the probability of the result, i.e., the conversion rate, and puts it into a range. This technique works well for researchers who utilize the accumulated data and information to make quick progress. 

Both approaches require an efficient team.

The team members must inhabit some skills to attain maximum benefits. Take a look below:

  • Data Analysis: Data analysis is the process of monitoring the data of a website and user behavior. This further helps to understand the areas of leaks and friction. The job of a data analyst is to know CRO and teach the team members about the test results and improvisations.

  • Developing Strategies: it is vital to decide the key metrics or goals for the CRO program and a strategy for hypothesis building to A/B testing.

  • Designing according to Conversion: Design plays an essential role in CRO. This is a direct channel between you and your users. Hence, you must understand the design principles thoroughly.

  • Web Developmen: In a CRO ecosystem, the role of a web developer is indispensable. It's in his hands to provide users with a smooth and bug-free experience.

  • Copywriting: Apart from design, persuasive copy is significant. Hire proficient writers to enhance the quality of your content.


In the end, you must remember that,

  • CRO is a process, whereas A/B testing is a technique of that process.

  • There are several A/B testing platforms, and you must decide which suits your requirements the best based on target metrics.

  • CRO is not just a platform but requires a proficient team to run it.

Both A/B Testing and CRO software fulfill different organizational needs.

This article provides a detailed insight into A/B testing and CRO and their associated benefits and comparisons. 

As we have reached the end of this article, we hope that the information provided above helps you in the best way possible. 

Keep exploring! 


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