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A/B Testing for Startups. Yay or Nay?

If you've found this blog post, then the chances are you've gone online with your business or you are about to. Regardless of the case, well done for moving on to bigger and hopefully better things in your life! Enjoy the excitement and don't let your motivation die down because you've just launched a startup, and its future is still uncertain.

Now, I know that you are in search of a solution for your A/B testing needs but the question is, is your business ready for it? If you are here to know more about A/B testing and if it’s right for your startup, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s not beat around the bush anymore and get started!

What is A/B Testing?

You've done science experiments in school, right? They are crucial to test out theories and proving a hypothesis (ohhh scary big word), and the world of startups isn't so different. Most startup owners need the guarantee that what they or any of their colleagues are proposing is likely to succeed.

Now, there are a couple of things you can do to test out these ideas, but one experiment that offers a great return on investment (ROI) is A/B testing.

It is an experiment where you present visitors on your website with two modifications of your site. These variants are labeled as A and B to make data collection easy and keep it precise. Some visitors will choose A over B and others B over A, and you need to bring forth a comparative study to conclude your testing.

Bear in mind; you don't need to put up two utterly different website alternatives for this testing. Slight changes in the two varieties are still changes that can cloud your mind with uncertainties, and you can also test them out via this experiment.

Startups and The Need for A/B Testing:

After reading what A/B testing is, it might seem like a viable solution to know what's suitable for your startup. But don't be too hasty as there are a few conditions that make an A/B testing experiment successful. 

You need to consider the following variables:


Most startups don't have much money at the beginning, which is understandable. Putting up an A/B testing on your site won't burden you financially. There are both free and reasonably priced services such as Split Hero that make things a reality without costing you a limb or two.

Setting up an A/B testing isn't expensive, but creating two different alternatives for your startup might cost you some extra bucks. You will be spending money on preparing two variations of your startup and to reach precise results, you need to make them look their best. 

You must reach accurate results; hence, the efforts being invested in creating these alternatives should be on par with each other. Once you have your results, know that one of the two choices will go in the bin along with the money you've spent on it.

The key to making your results reliable is the amount of traffic. Your website's traffic needs to make you confident about the conversion rate of the site. We recommend at least the high hundreds/low thousands of unique visitors per month as a benchmark for A/B testing.

Unfortunately, some startups don’t have the luxury to indulge in big marketing strategies to draw the required traffic.

Time Restrictions

We’ve characterized A/B testing as an experiment as you need to follow some basic guidelines to make the results reliable. Each A/B test needs to run on your site for more than a few days to collect plenty of data for precise conclusions.

It is impossible to determine what hundreds of visitors on your sites prefer in just a few days. If you are running a test for a week, maybe some of your regular visitors hadn't had the time to visit your site during the testing period.

There are tools and software that let you know how long you need to run an A/B testing on your site. It depends on the rate of conversion, the number of daily visitors and results you want to achieve, etc.

It is challenging to keep customers on your startup site for a while and get them in the loop of any funnel. That is why running an A/B test for an extended period of time is required but sometimes not favorable for a startup.

Success Probability

Apart from being bound by money and time limitations, most startups are not sure about what direction they want to pursue. They have ideas that they have polished into prospects, but they are not equipped with the expertise that one needs to determine their success. 

Your team and you are investing your efforts in testing when you are not sure about the direction or stability of your startup. You might pivot multiple times before finding your exact gap in the market.

After reading through our findings so far, you might have figured out that...

A/B Testing is indeed A… Nay for Startups!

At least, for the majority of startups. No matter from what perspective you look at, it is just not meant for a startup. From a start-up point of view, you need to have a lot of resources such as money to bring in traffic, time, and workforce to carry out this testing without bearing any losses.

Startups generally speaking struggle to get traffic or do not have many resources to spare, which means there is a need to look for alternatives to get rid of your indecisiveness.

Search for An Alternative

Most successful entrepreneurs recommend startup owners in investing in qualitative research instead of A/B testing. Markets are filled with experiments that are more suitable for startups because of affordability and minimum splurging of resources.

Determine your goal and monetary restrictions before using any experiment and testing method you come across. Remember you are just starting so the things that bring profits and results to most established sites might not work for you so tread carefully!

Adam Lacey
Hi 👋 I'm the founder of Split Hero. I love chatting about conversion rate optimisation and all things tech. I'm a self-confessed geek. I love pizza, the seaside and Disney World. I live in Somerset, UK with my wife, daughter and dog Loki.
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