Split Testing, also known as AB Testing in software development circles, is something that the FMCG industry is yet to embrace. A simple definition of Split Testing is comparing 2 different versions of the same thing to see which performs better. Software Developers use it regularly to test slightly different versions of the same feature to see which one is more impactful. In their world, they create two different versions of a web page – let’s call them A and B. Half of the day’s visitors get directed to A, and half get directed to B. It’s all done in a live environment. At the end of the period of time for testing, the Developer looks at the data to see which page version has solicited a more positive reaction from the visitors on whatever it was the Developer was trying to test.
Imagine if you could do that in the FMCG sector? Surely, the benefits would be huge? Unlike in web development, it needs to be done pre-production; unfortunately Tesco don’t have shelf space to test 2 different versions of the same Ready Meal… Here at VYPR, we’ve put Split Testing at the heart of our latest release. Here’s 3 ways how our clients can make maximum use of it during their development cycles:
1. Recipe comparisons.
Unsure whether there is any tangible consumer benefit between that standard ingredient and it’s more expensive named version? Simply set both variants up as a Split Test. Using the same image, keeping all other variants the same, you can then see if that ‘Ham & Cheese Bake’ is going to have the same appeal as a ‘Ham & Cheddar Bake’.
2. Packaging designs.
If you’ve got 2 or 3 different versions of a potential pack design, the normal course of action would be to ask a few people which one they prefer. This is actually quite tricky for a consumer and doesn’t relate to what they would see in store (they would never see myriad versions of the same thing in a store). So, why not set it up as a Split Test? Keep all other variables the same, changing only the design in each of (say) 3 options and send it out as a Split Test. The results could be very surprising.
3. Product naming.
This is something we see all the time at VYPR, as it can have a huge impact on whether consumers pick up a product for the first time. It’s often massively overlooked by the trade and tends to be a variant on whatever is entered in that first specification sheet when the products are first created in the kitchen. So, be bold and try lots of different options. We’ve seen plenty of naming Split Tests when the difference in results is huge. Same image, same product, same price – but different name.
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