Conversion optimization tools are critical to the success of modern businesses. When I wrote my 18,000-word in-depth study about this segment of marketing technology, the average return on investment — across almost 3,000 practitioners — was almost 224 percent.
But to get the most from conversion rate optimization (CRO), you need to move beyond standard desktop and mobile web conversion rate testing. And personalization — which is closely related to optimization — needs to be on your radar too.
Optimizely announced the launch of Optimizely X today at its annual user conference, Opticon 2016, in San Francisco. In a move that takes the company beyond website testing, Optimizely X allows experiments and personalized marketing across any platform, device, or channel.
Optimizely X is essentially a testing and personalization platform that includes a suite of connected modules. These allow marketers, product managers, and any customer-facing stakeholder to create hypotheses, test assumptions, find winning combinations, customize the user experience, and ultimately increase revenues, retention, and relevance.
“It is a single, unified experimentation platform,” Linda Crawford, chief customer officer at Optimizely, told me. “By bringing marketing, product, and engineering experiments together on a single platform, companies can now optimize the customer experience across every touch point, every channel, and every device. With real-time results, powered by the Stats Engine, it’s easy to see results across different experiments.”
Optimizely X Web Experimentation runs tests across your website. Optimizely X Web Personalization allows you to incorporate your first-party and third-party data, along with behavioral targeting, to deliver tailored experiences. Optimizely X Web Recommendations adds product, category, and content recommendations to any web page. And Optimizely X Full Stack runs experiments on any app built using Python, Java, Ruby, and Node (Optimizely promises more SDKs in the future.)
And that’s not all (he says in an infomercial-style voice).
Optimizely X Mobile allows optimization of apps built on iOS and Android, with the ability to instantly roll out new features without waiting for App Store or Google Play review. And Optimizely X OTT is a brand new offering that enables experiments in any over-the-top (OTT) TV application using tvOS or Android TV. Experiments are possible in areas such as navigation, app layout, site design, featured content, or integrated message testing.
When it comes to implementation and the required resources, each module has different requirements. However, the company has clearly learned lessons from the simple install process used in its web optimization tools.
“Using Optimizely X Full Stack or Optimizely X OTT, companies can start testing immediately,” Crawford said. “A single developer can create and run a server-side experiment in minutes. In addition to freeing up valuable development resources, companies can now experiment with different sorts of algorithms, pricing, and new product features, and see the results in days or even hours, before deciding to roll out major changes.”
All of this bodes well for the future of conversion and customer experience optimization, which is a keystone in any modern marketing and product development strategy.
“It’s not enough for marketers to experiment on the web and mobile,” Crawford said. “We now engage with brands on multiple devices every day, not just from a computer or mobile phone, but through apps on the TV, video game consoles, and smart watches. Brands and businesses need to experiment everywhere to stay connected with their customers.”
In our study of conversion tools, we noted that the average “stack” of conversion products contains — on average — five different solutions. In the world of CRO, there are almost no vendors that provide a single, one-stop-shop for everything you’ll want to test and measure. Optimizely X is a serious step in that direction.
“We’re providing the ability to experiment from beginning to end,” Crawford said. “Now your marketing teams, product teams, and developers can experiment across the entire customer life cycle, deep into your technology stack and broadly across every channel and device.”
The suite also opens up the opportunity to test more than textual or graphic experiments.
“Developers can now experiment on the full stack of the product or customer life cycle on things such as the order of search results, pricing changes, or site redesigns,” Crawford said. “This also integrates with our Stats Engine to help businesses make smarter, more informed real-time decisions on the success of their experiments.”
So what’s next for Optimizely X? Crawford was quick to add that this initial set of tools is only the starting point.
“This is just the beginning, as we plan on expanding our feature set and adding support for more languages,” she said.
Apparently, Optimizely is moving beyond mid-sized and large businesses with these new tools and is now targeting enterprises and those with multi-channel marketing requirements. Optimizely X is available from October 4, 2016, with prices starting at $999 per month.