Why we disabled our live demo
Several months ago we announced that a new, live demo was available where you could test out AffiliateWP in a sandbox environment. This was a fun, exciting way to show off AffiliateWP to potential users, and it made it easier for users to decide whether they wanted to commit to making a purchase.
Or that’s what we thought.
The demo has not been online for a couple of months now due to some technical difficulties, but while it was running, we collected some really interesting data.
When it was first launched, we decided to run some A/B tests to see if we could accurately determine whether visitors to the site were more likely to become a paying customer if given the opportunity to test out a live demo of the product.
The results were quite interesting.
For the duration of the test, we collected statistics from about 10,000 visitors to the site. When landing on the site, each visitor was given one of two versions of the site:
- A version with prominent links to the live demo
- A version with no links to or mentions of the live demo
For each of the 10,000 visitors, we tracked several key actions across the site:
- We tracked each time a visitor clicked on the Get Started Now buttons
- We tracked each time a visitor clicked on any of the Buy Now buttons
- We tracked each time a visitor clicked on the Pricing links
- We tracked each time a visitor made a successful purchase
All three of these actions saw a distinctive increase from visitors that were given the non-demo version of the site. In other words, when not presented with the option to view a demo, visitors were far more likely to proceed to the pricing and purchase pages. How much more likely? Our results saw as much as a 39% increase for visitors that were given the non-demo version.
For each of these actions, we also tracked how many went on to make a complete purchase. Visitors without the demo were more likely to complete a purchase every single time.
The Buy Now buttons, for example, were tracked and 3.43% of visitors who were given prominent demo links made a successful purchase, but 5.06% of visitors who had no demo links made a successful purchase.
After the A/B tests were concluded, it was very clear which version of the site was better for us as a business.
So what about potential customers that are worried about the risk of purchasing software that doesn’t have a live demo available? That’s simple, actually. We have a guaranteed 30-day refund policy on all purchases. If there is any doubt on whether AffiliateWP will work for you, there’s nothing to worry about because you can purchase it 100% risk free. If it doesn’t work for you or you are unhappy with it, we will refund your purchase in full.
We believe it’s also important to tell you all of this because along with trying to build great affiliate marketing software, we also want to help you build a better, stronger business, for you and your affiliates.
We take the time to A/B test our own website so that we can not only improve our business, but so we can also better help you improve your business, and improve the success of your affiliate program.
Do you sell software? Do you have a live demo? It is possible that the presence (or lack of) a live demo is actually hurting your sales. Now, our data should in no way make you decide to suddenly close down your live demos; every software is different, but I would encourage you to test it. Collect the data and find out which option is better. Optimizely.com is a tremendously powerful tool for A/B testing websites.