Results: Did the horizontal or vertical table format win?

Did the horizontal or vertical table format win?

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Difference Between Versions:

Version A – Smart phone plan, formatted horizontally
Version B – Smart phone plan, formatted vertically


Key Performance Indicator (KPI): 

Clickthrough Rate (CTR), Prepaid Phone Plan Purchases


Test Goal:

Increase the number of browsers clicking and purchasing a pre-paid phone plan

 

Traffic Source:

Direct traffic

 

Audience: 

Users interested in a Verizon prepaid phone plan

 

Organization: 

Verizon - America's largest telecommunications provider

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Test Run By and For

Verizon

Test Run On

Adobe Target

WINNING VERSION

B

Poll Results - The Best Guesses:

Did the horizontal or vertical table format win?

  • Version B
  • Version A
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The vertical table format stacked up as the big winner

Beyond formatting, there was much more going on. Several versions were tested. And, the results were surprising! Keep reading to learn more. . .


Test Details & Background:

Verizon Wireless — America’s popular telecommunications provider, with over 118.7 million wireless subscribers, conducted this terrific table study in-house, on their site.

The testing team’s goal was to determine how formatting and featuring the “AutoPay” option, for prepaid phone plans, would impact purchases of the phone plan.

Originally, phone plan information was formatted in a small grey table. Customers could choose their monthly plan price, plan option, and data preference. While the table format worked, it wasn’t performing optimally. The original (control) format looked like this:

Original/Control

verizon-control

The team wondered if they could improve conversions by optimizing the table format.

To do so, they created four different table views and tested them against the control. Each format featured the AutoPay option slightly differently.

The first version (Treatment 1, T1) appeared most similar to the control. It used the same grey table. But, an extra “Total Data” column was added to feature the AutoPay option. This column was highlighted in red. It appeared like this:

Treatment 1

T1_Enlarged

Treatment 2

The next version (T2) was very similar. But, the Call To Action (CTA) button was moved below the blue “Add more data to your plan” text. The version with CTA below the blue text appeared like this:

T2_Enlarged

 

Treatment 3

Another version (T3) was created that altogether differed in format. Instead of a grey table, phone plan information was placed in a white, horizontally configured chart. All phone plans were detailed. However, the Prepaid option was placed first and highlighted within a red box. The white, horizontal table format appeared like this:

T3_Enlarged

Treatment 4

The final format (T4) aesthetically borrowed from the version above. But, instead of featuring information in a horizontal table, the phone plan information was placed vertically, in small boxes, or pods. The AutoPay feature was placed first and highlighted in red.

The vertically formatted pod design appeared like this:

In creating these four formats and testing them against the control, the team wondered if:

  • One format would outperform?
  • Highlighting the AutoPay feature would increase Prepaid conversions?
  • Putting the AutoPay option closer to the CTA would impact Prepaid conversions?

 

Hypothesis:

The team suspected putting the AutoPay feature closer to the CTA and changing the format, from a table to small pod-like boxes, would make the information easier to quickly scan, increasing how easy it was to understand and ultimately purchase a PrePaid plan.

However, the team also realized there were a lot of different variables at play. So, decided to test what format worked best.


Test Set-up:

To tease out their hypothesis, a Multivariate Test (MVT) was set-up and run on Adobe Target.

The test ran for 2 weeks. During this time, over 225 thousand visitors took part in the experiment. Traffic was split evenly across the 5 test variants.

Clickthrough rates and PrePaid phone plan purchases were tracked across all variants.


The Real-Life Results:

Winner: Version B – the vertically formatted phone plan with the white boxes (T4) stacked up as the clear winner.

Clickthrough Rates (CTR)

Compared to the control, it increased CTR conversions by 19.5%. Results achieved 96% confidence.

The version with the CTA below the blue text (T2) performed the worst. It resulted in a -6% drop in clickthroughs, compared to the control. This result likely occurred because the CTA seemed out of place. Visitors looking to convert not only had to take in the phone plan information, but also had to actively search for where to click next.

Here is a more complete results breakdown:

verizon_results_chart

Phone Plan Purchases

Interestingly, changes in CTR did not translate to a statistically significant difference in prepaid phone purchases.

Therefore, the winning variant was declared based on only CTR conversions.


How Trustworthy Are The Results?

Given the fact the sample size was quite large (45 thousand visitors per group), the test ran for an adequate time period (2 weeks), and results achieved 96% confidence, it’s highly likely the study findings are valid.

However, it’s important to note, of all the elements and conversion metrics tested, only one combination achieved statistical significance. This finding shows the importance of carefully examining the data — across all data sets and factors to derive meaningful results.


Analysis:

Why did the horizontal white box design (T4) outperform? There are likely a couple reasons:

1. Visual clarity increases conversions

While the winning format didn’t markedly impact phone purchases, it did have a strong impact on whether visitors decided to click through to the next stage in the conversion funnel.

This layout likely worked best because it clearly displayed plan information that may have otherwise been missed. Visitors didn’t have to search to piece together important data details. Everything was clear and upfront. So shoppers felt confident proceeding to the next step.

Research shows clarity converts. Confused visitors don’t.

To increase conversions, it’s important to make key details clear, easy to see, and easy to scan. However, it’s also important to realize, that just because a visitor gets through one step in your conversion funnel, it doesn’t mean they’ll continue all the way through to the end — unless the entire process is equally seamless and clear.

2. Clearly laying out info impacts conversions

Tightly tied to clarity is the way you format and layout information. Whether you place text in a horizontal or vertical layout may influence conversions.

In this Verizon test, the horizontal format likely lost because the way the information was presented was confusing; it was unclear if each box related to a separate phone plan, or how the information was supposed to be read for each item within the phone plan.

However, this GuessTheTest case study supports the idea that, at least for price comparison tables, a horizontal format appears optimal.

So, what gives? To convert best, should your layout be horizontal or vertical? The answer is likely not so black and white.

Likely more important than choosing whether to display information in a horizontal or vertical format is featuring your information in an easy-to-scan style that simplifies the selection process.

When you clearly present key information in an easy-to-understand, quickly scannable format, it’s more likely to convert.


Tangible Takeaway & Immediate Application

Horizontal or vertical format does not seem to matter as much as clearly presenting your information in an easy-to-scan style that is clearly grasped on first glance.


What Do You Think?

Why do you think the “pod” version won in this study? And, what are some other ways to format information so it converts best? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Poll Results - The Best Guesses:

Did the horizontal or vertical table format win?

  • Version B
  • Version A
Loading ... Loading ...

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