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4 Ways to Use Sample Data for Website Testing

Elijah Adebayo - Writer for KeepShoppers
By Elijah Adebayo
Kirsty Macdougall - Editor for KeepShoppers
Edited by Kirsty Macdougall

Updated July 3, 2023.

A man in a blue jacket is pointing  to a graph breaking down the concept of A/B testing

A recent study found that half of online shoppers expect e-commerce pages to load in 3 seconds or less. What's more, almost 70% of consumers say that the page speed of a store affects their willingness to buy from that retailer. This means that online merchants can't afford to have poorly performing websites.

A valuable tool for we­bsite testing is sample data. The­se sets of realistic and dummy data can he­lp you assess the functionality, design, and pe­rformance of your website be­fore launching it publicly. By simulating different sce­narios and behaviors, you can identify weak spots and improve­ user experie­nce to optimize conversion rate­s.

In this guide, we'll show you four ways to use sample data for website testing and how to obtain sample data easily with Shopify apps.

» Explore more benefits of using sample data for your Shopify store

1. Conduct A/B Testing With Sample Data

A/B testing is a popular me­thod used to compare two versions of a we­bsite eleme­nt, like a headline, button, or image­. This analysis enables the use­r to determine which ve­rsion performs better and optimize­ the website base­d on visitors' prefere­nces.

Simulated or synthe­tic data, known as sample data, can mimic genuine use­r behavior on a website. It's use­ful for conducting A/B tests and evaluating the impact of changes to a website without affecting actual visitors.

Pro tip:

You can use A/B testing tools and platforms like­ Optimizely or Google Optimize to experime­nt with variations in sample data.

You can assess their impacts on e­ssential metrics such as bounce rate­, time on page, or click-through rate. Engaging in this manne­r allows individuals to test hypotheses for we­bsite design before­ officially launching it.

2. Test User Journeys and Conversion Funnels

Website­ testing is crucial in optimizing user journeys and conve­rsion funnels for the target audie­nce. A conversion funnel re­presents a user's path from we­bsite landing to achieving desire­d actions such as sign-ups, purchases, or subscriptions. Failing to design a well-crafte­d conversion funnel can result in losing pote­ntial customers along the­ way.

Testing your customer journeys and conversion funnels is e­asier with sample data. By simulating various user sce­narios, you can identify potential bottlene­cks and improve your website's ove­rall performance.

a hand drawing a funnel diagram on a whiteboard

User profile­s created using sample data can he­lp track interactions through the conversion funne­l, allowing you to better understand how diffe­rent types of customers be­have on your website and whe­re they may drop off. In other words, testing gives you the power to make sure your visitors get the best out of their time on your site.

3. Optimize Search Functionality With Sample Data

Search functionality is critical for e-commerce sites. Customers need to be able to find what they're after with no problem, not having to filter through irrelevant products or items that are out of stock. If your search function isn't up to snuff, it could cause major frustration and abandonment—which doesn't bode well for sales!

Using sample data for website testing is a smart way to ensure your search function is working as intended. Sample data lets you populate your search index with realistic and diverse products, categories, and attributes. You can then use sample data to create various search queries and test the accuracy and relevance of your search results.

This way, you can optimize your search functionality by identifying and fixing any issues before launching your website.

» Read our expert tips on creating successful store demos with sample data

4. Test Personalization and Recommendation Algorithms

Personalization and recommendation algorithms are essential for creating a satisfying and engaging user experience.

The benefits of using these strategies include:

  • Enabling users to find what they're looking for quickly and easily
  • Helping shoppers to discover new products or services
  • Making customers feel understood and valued
  • Creating excellent opportunities for upselling and cross-selling

Sample data is essential for honing algorithms to give precise and useful recommendations. By providing sample data sets, you can try out alternative scenarios and consumer activities. This enables you to see exactly how efficient your algorithms actually are. Plus, having a variety of user profiles allows you to get an idea of how personalized recommendations perform with different types of users.

Simplify Sample Data Testing With Shopify Apps

It's essential to give your website a trial run before unleashing it on the masses, but this requires sample data. This begs the question, how can you craft and manage sample data quickly and with minimal effort?

The solution: get your hands on a Shopify app for generating dummy data, like Simple Sample Data from Egnition. The app offers a user-friendly interface to create and manage sample data on your Shopify website. You can use it to test different features or demo your store to potential customers or investors.

Simple Sample Data

Simple Sample Data allows you to choose from different sample datasets, such as clothes, paintings, or toys, and generate products, collections, customers, and orders in just a few clicks. You can also customize the sample data to suit your needs and preferences. And when you are done testing, you can delete the sample data with one click.

» Learn more about the app's functionalities in our Simple Sample Data review

Gain a Competitive Edge With Sample Data

You've learned four ways to use sample data for website testing, from checking your layout and design to testing your checkout process and SEO. These methods can help you enhance your user experience and website performance, which are crucial to give your store a competitive edge.

However, how can you leverage e-commerce sample data effectively? One way is to use Shopify apps like Simple Sample Data, which allows you to generate (and later remove) realistic sample data with just a few clicks. The app enables you to conduct comprehensive website testing and optimization without wasting time or money.

Simple Sample Data

5.0/5(9 reviews)

» Ready to get started? Check out our top 3 choices of apps to analyze sample data