Media

Maxymiser to Optimizely: A/B testing’s a thing of the past

Most web-based startups go through testing to make sure their sites appeal to their target audience.

Website testing services like Optimizely usually test out several different versions of a Web page with live users and measure the effect each version has on users’ actions — a process called A/B testing.

But Optimizely competitor Maxymiser says A/B testing alone is outdated. Maxymiser, whose clients include Sony, HarperCollins, Hewlett-Packard, Lufthansa and Virgin Mobile, says despite a recent $1.2 million all-angel round of funding for its competitor, the future for “smart websites” now lies in “multivariate” testing — and it’s likely to stay that way.

Maxymiser president and co-founder Mark Simpson told Venture Beat that advanced, segmentation/behavioral targeting and website personalization “are where the big brand players are now.”

Requests for comment from Optimizely were not immediately returned.

Maxymiser, which is currently one of the top three website optimizer providers in Europe, says it recently saw a $350,000 in  additional revenue for Virgin Games, owned by Virgin, in a single small test.

So what does that sort of success with multiple testing methods mean to the future of A/B testing alone?

Simpson predicts the entire online marketing industry will soon move in that direction — although new startups too often grab at any testing model they can find, he says.

“The are a lot of small companies jumping on the testing bandwagon,” says Simpson.”However, most are not doing it properly or thinking it through, and it results in an incomplete solution for what today’s market needs.”

The London-based company competes in a rapidly crowding arena of companies, including the aforementioned Optimizely, Unbounce.com and Google’s Website Optimizer, all of which are trying to help brands figure out how best to test and build their websites to keep consumers engaged and spending.