White Space

Imagine you’re shopping online. You’re lucky enough to find something you want, so you add it to your cart. After you’re satisfied that you don’t want to add anything else to your cart (such self-discipline!) you click a button marked “Proceed to Checkout.”

Only what greets you isn’t checkout, exactly: it’s the page where you have to sign in or register to check out.

It’s incredibly common for e-commerce sites to experience a great deal of fallout on these types of pages. On the site we were optimizing, half of all visitors who made it that far dropped out on this page.

So we tested it. And tested it. And tested it.

Each time we tested, we found slight lift. 6% lift here, 5% lift there. But none of the variations we tried yielded the big breakthrough we were looking for.

WhitespaceUntil one day, one of us thought to try adding a little bit of white space above the “proceed” button. Just about 10 pixels, actually.

And it worked. It really worked. Out of a 7×2 multivariate test (meaning 7 elements with 2 variations each), it was the only element that contributed to lift. And how much was the lift? Let’s just say it was well into the double digits.

All because of 10 pixels of white space.

Which begs the question: how confident are you that you’re trying everything you can to optimize your site, and how do you know what’s working?