Optimizely and Contentsquare are announcing a new partnership to help brands achieve a virtuous cycle of experimentation — from figuring out the most impactful testing to optimizing experiences in real time for continued performance success.
This partnership brings together Contentsquare’s unique customer behavior insights with Optimizely’s progressive delivery and experimentation capabilities. Combined, the two platforms empower digital teams to innovate confidently and drive maximum value from their Customer Experience actions.
Optimizely is the world’s leader in Progressive Delivery and Experimentation. Its platform includes technologies for modern software development, such as feature flags, A/B testing at scale, AI-powered personalization, and streaming analytics. Millions of experiments and feature flags have been run on their platform to understand what works – and what doesn’t – eliminating guesswork. The world’s leading companies choose Optimizely to power their product development and experimentation teams, including Visa, H&M, StubHub, IBM, Atlassian, BBC, and many more.
The Contentsquare experience analytics platform tracks and visualizes billions of digital behaviors, delivering intelligent recommendations that everyone can use to grow revenue, increase loyalty and fuel innovation. With Zone-Based Heatmaps, this view into customer behavior becomes granular, enabling teams to pinpoint which elements of a test are driving what result. The platform’s Insights module means teams never miss an opportunity to increase engagement and conversions, and Session Replay allows them to visualize stumbling blocks along the customer path.
This bi-directional integration ensures brands can test iteratively and bolster their experimentation strategy with a robust, always-on optimization mindset driven by true customer understanding.
Joint Contentsquare-Optimizely customers can deep dive into how visitors are behaving in the control versus the variant, and gain insight at speed into why an experiment is successful or not. In a world where brands are competing on experience, this allows CX stakeholders to truly understand which site or app elements are engaging visitors, and which are obstacles along the user journey.
Integrating Contentsquare’s holistic customer behavior metrics with Optimizely’s agile experimentation capabilities unlocks a whole new level of digital optimization and customer-centered innovation.
“Using both platforms together allows you to deep dive into what visitors are doing on the control versus the variant and give you answers at speed as to why things lose. It helps you iterate on that variant whatever the outcome and crucially helps you avoid an experimentation brick wall with you throwing 50 ideas at a wall to see what sticks.” Andrew Warne, Product Analytics Manager, MoneySavingExpert.
“The past few months have magnified the critical importance of digital transformation, and brands everywhere have been accelerating their digital maturity to keep up with customer needs and expectations. Brands today don’t have the luxury of not being able to adapt their digital experience in real time, or to shy away from innovation because the risk or implementation are too great. Bringing a sophisticated understanding of how and why customers react to the experiences that are created for and with them is a game changer for digital teams today.” Gilad Zubery, Vice President, Global Business Development & Partnerships at Contentsquare.
With more than 30 joint enterprise customers today, both companies are looking forward to creating greater efficiencies for digital teams and transforming the way brands approach experience building.
Driving Personalization through Marketing and A/B Testing
This article was written by our partner REO, as part of our series highlighting direct insights from our large ecosystem of partners.
In 2019, for the first time ever, digital ad spend represented more than 50% of total global marketing spend. Whilst the UK was considerably ahead of this trend (63.8% of UK’s total ad spend was attributed to digital in 2018, 66.4% in 2019), the US has now joined the group with online ad spend going from 48.6% in 2018 to 54.2% in 2019. With eMarketer forecasting a 17.6% year-on-year growth (to $333.25M) in worldwide digital marketing spend, the need to ensure each of your marketing channels is delivering the best possible ROI has never been higher.
Within the conversion rate optimization (CRO) space, most brands conduct A/B testing without fully considering which marketing channel or source their customers have come from. Customers are typically bucketed into various user segments based on their purchase history, onsite behavior, geographic and demographic data. However, users within the same audience segment can often demonstrate varying behavioral attributes when navigating through the purchase funnel, across countless online and offline touchpoints.
Let’s Take Paid Search as An Example
If a user arrives on your website via paid search, you already know what they searched for and which ad they clicked on; however, users who click on the same ad, but searched for different terms/items, will often experience the same customer journey. For instance, if a customer has searched for “luxury men’s white shirt” – not only do you know the item they are looking for, you also know they are looking at the higher end of the market.
A/B Testing the landing page a user is taken to is quite common, but you can go a step further and explore how to change the experience for the customer based on their search criteria.
A potential testing idea could involve pre-sorting these shirts by highest price first, and on the Product Listing Page (PLP), displaying all the available men’s white shirts. This can develop into personalization if the user has visited the site previously, within the cookie period; e.g. by storing size data within the cookie, you could pre-select the shirt size which the user filtered by on their previous visit.
Reducing the number of clicks and filters it takes a user to find their item can only have a positive impact on conversion rate, especially on mobile. So, by showing a customer the items they’re looking for, sorted by their desired price point and filtered by their size, you will make the purchase journey more tailored to that specific customer.
Understanding a visitor’s context (location, date and time of day, device, internet connection, etc) as well as their intent (are they here to complete a quick purchase, to research and compare products, to seek inspiration, to test a coupon, etc) add an invaluable layer of behavioral understanding to your analysis, and will allow you to execute a more impactful form of personalization.
Making the Affiliation between A/B Testing and Voucher/Cashback Partners
By applying this testing method to the affiliate channel, you can optimize the largest click and revenue drivers; namely voucher and cashback websites. After all, you can already assume that users coming from these two affiliate types are both online-savvy and price-sensitive.
Voucher and discount websites should have a conversion rate of at least 20-25% on mature affiliate programs – so any of these affiliates who have a conversion rate lower than that, represents an opportunity for incremental revenue. For cashback sites, expect this figure to be upwards of 40%.
A test idea for these two affiliate types could be to re-enforce the discount or cashback offer listed on the affiliates’ website. For instance, if the deal was “Save £15 when you spend over £100” – you could use a “loading bar” at the top of the page which gradually fills up as you add items to your basket, until the user hits the spend threshold to activate the discount.
For cashback sites, you could test a cashback calculator onsite, which automatically calculates the amount of cashback the user will earn if they purchase everything currently in their basket. This type of gamification can be incredibly effective in increasing the number of units per sale and, in turn, the average order value.
Serve Less Content, but More Dynamically
“Content is King” – we’ve all heard it before, but how can you be smarter in how you serve it? Content, and specifically dynamic content, is another channel where source-based A/B testing can improve engagement, click-through-rates and leads/ sales. If you know the article or blog post a user has come from, you can use this insight to serve them relevant and dynamic content, making their customer journey more seamless and less detached across the two sites.
User journey analysis shows that visits to content sites usually happen in the “Discovery Phase” of the sales funnel – including on product review sites, influencer social posts, news/magazine sites and blogs. Such content is informative and persuasive; perfect to push the user towards the bottom of the funnel.
Some of the more content-heavy merchants, such as insurance brands or high-end technology retailers, will have an eclectic and extensive array of content across their website, making navigation more muddled. A solution? Reducing the amount of content on-site and instead, storing the less frequently visited content pages elsewhere, to then be served dynamically.
For example, if a user looking to buy insurance is reading up on excess and the impacts it has on a claim and future premiums, the existing content about excess could be tweaked accordingly – which could be as simple as changing the title of an article, calling out the keywords or changing the order of the content on that page.
Again, a granular analysis of how customers are interacting with individual elements of content will help paint the complete picture of engagement. Measuring clicks alone will only tell one part of the customer behavior story: tracking metrics such as exposure, attractiveness and conversion rate per click (to name a few) will give a more complete view of how content is contributing to (or stalling) the user journey.
As the capabilities of A/B testing and personalization platforms continue to evolve, the way you test and analyze a customer journey should follow suit. One of the major challenges of channel/source-specific testing can be a lack of traffic volume. If you have insufficient traffic, it will take a while before a test reaches significance. For example, the 5th highest paid search term, or 4th largest voucher site probably won’t have the volume to justify running an A/B Test on.
Want to Know More?
Contact us! REO is a digital experience agency. We are an eclectic mix of bright and creative thinkers, embracing the best of research, strategy, design and experimentation to solve our clients’ toughest challenges. We work across a variety of sectors, with companies such as Amazon, M&S, Tesco and Samsung.
Also invaluable to our company is our scope of partners, including Contentsquare, which allows our customers to capture the nuances of their end users’ behavior for even more sophisticated segmentation and ultimately, deeper personalization.
Whatever the challenge may be, REO applies design thinking to identify and deliver big growth opportunities.
Hero image: Adobe Stock, via blankstockDriving Innovation: How Brooks Bell is Helping Brands Achieve Experimentation Excellence
Can you tell us a bit more about Brooks Bell?
Founded in 2003, Brooks Bell is a consulting firm focused on building world-class experimentation programs for enterprise brands.
Working out of our headquarters in Raleigh, NC, we’ve spent the last 16 years helping companies better leverage their data, technology, and workforce to learn about their customers and deliver a smarter and more profitable online experience.
Our team is 43-strong and made up of creative thinkers, data scientists, developers and strategists. Everyone—from our operations team to our senior leadership—has a genuine appreciation for the art and science of optimization and a deep understanding of the challenges of experimentation at top-tier companies.
Our client roster consists of many large enterprises and recognizable brands that have trusted our team to assess their experimentation maturity and consult on multi-year “test and learn” roadmaps to achieve true customer-centricity.
What are some of the different ways you work with businesses?
Most of our engagements begin with a maturity assessment to benchmark and measure the growth of an experimentation program. This comprehensive, data-driven review scores your program against our proprietary framework consisting of six main categories: culture, team, technology, process, strategy and performance. The results of this assessment are used to create an actionable roadmap to get your program to the next level. What that roadmap looks like and the scope of our services depends on where your program lies on the maturity spectrum.
For clients that are very early in their experimentation journey, we offer a “we do, they watch” type of partnership. In this, our team comes in and fully manages a client’s experimentation program: learning their business and customers, organizing data, building a strategy, launching tests and analyzing and reporting the results. This partnership model is most effective for programs that need to prove the value of testing before going all in.
For clients that are a little further along, we take a more collaborative approach focused on educating what is needed to build a high-functioning program In this type of partnership, our team works alongside theirs. As we run end-to-end tests, we teach the team our methodologies, practices and frameworks. Through this model, we’re able to build the foundational knowledge and practices to set the experimentation program up for scale.
Finally, as the experimentation practice becomes more mature, we transition our services to be less tactical and more strategic. We’ve helped many clients bring their experimentation efforts fully in-house through building training and on-boarding programs, aligning the experimentation process across teams, establishing an Experimentation Center of Excellence, and offering strategic advice in response to new trends, technologies and business challenges.
How critical is experimentation for driving innovation today?
Critical is putting it lightly.
In order to compete in today’s market, companies need to have a scientifically sound method in place to learn about customers, to change and to innovate—all while limiting risk, streamlining operations and reducing costs. Experimentation offers the best way to accomplish all of that.
That means, for us, our value is not simply in running tests and helping our clients make more money—though that is definitely a major outcome of our efforts (and one that we’re very proud of). Rather, our work is about empowering our clients with the data, skills, processes and technology to use testing to glean powerful customer insights AND operationalize those insights across your entire organization.
How do you help brands elevate their experimentation/personalization strategy?
Our Maturity Assessment is really only the tip of the iceberg here. Over the last 16 years, we’ve built and honed many frameworks, training programs, practices and even proprietary technology to help our clients elevate their testing and personalization strategies.
For instance, after witnessing some very messy brainstorming sessions, we developed our ideation methodology, which provides a guided approach to developing and prioritizing test ideas in a large, cross-functional group.
Our Insights framework offers a method for connecting your experiment results to bigger picture customer theories and insights.
And finally, we built Illuminate™, our testing and insight management software, to help program managers store, share and learn from their A/B test results. Fun fact: Illuminate was originally built as an internal tool to help us keep track of our client’s tests. In 2018, after many years of tweaking, testing, gathering feedback (and some rave reviews from our clients), we decided to make it available to the public.
These are just a few examples of how we provide value to clients. I should also add that we host Click Summit, an annual conference where digital leaders gather to swap ideas and share tips on testing, personalization, analytics, and digital transformation.
Click Summit trades in all the typical things you’d find at a tech conference: sales pitches, powerpoint presentations and fireside “chats” held in giant auditoriums. Instead, the agenda is built around a series of small-group (15 people) conversations, each focused on a specific topic.
With attendance is limited to just 100 digital leaders, it’s a unique opportunity to tackle your biggest challenges by talking it out with people who have been there before.
What constitutes a good partnership for you?
We love partnering with companies and tech providers (like Contentsquare!) who share our vision of helping our clients find the people within their data and seek to make every day better through optimization.
There are tons of ways in which we can translate Contentsquare’s excellent user experience analytics into optimization opportunities.
Here are a few off the top of my head:
- Defining and prioritizing your customer segments, uncovering answers to complex questions about your customers and their journeys to and through your website
- Uncovering and optimizing the most profitable areas of your website, as well as solving complex UX issues
- Building a testing or personalization roadmap using data from Contentsquare as well as other sources
What are your plans for the future?
When Brooks Bell was founded back in 2003, testing was in its infancy. Now, it’s rare that we come across a client that hasn’t run at least a few tests. This is exciting! It means we get to focus on working even closer with our clients and making a bigger impact.
I’m talking more than just conversion increases and revenue lift. The task before us no longer ends at proving the value of experimentation. We’re now in the business of generating insights. By helping companies learn about their customers and fostering experimentation at a cultural level, our clients will be equipped to deliver the best digital experience for their customers.
Investing in experimentation requires taking both a short and long-term view. We look forward to celebrating the day-to-day wins with our community, while also staying focused on the vision of building customer-centric, digitally-forward and insights-driven organizations.
Datawords and Contentsquare Partner to Provide a 360-Degree Solution on Global Consumer Behavior
PARIS, France & NEW YORK, NY, May 16, 2019 — Contentsquare, the leading digital experience optimization platform trusted by brands like GoPro, Sephora, Walmart and LVMH, and Datawords, the global leader in e-multicultural technologies that works with brands like L’Oréal, Audi, Benefit Cosmetics and Harry Winston, announced today a strategic partnership to provide their clients and prospects with a solution that combines culturally-relevant digital content with digital user experience (UX) insights to improve customer engagement and revenue around the world.
Today, consumers expect a more personalized experience wherever they are and however they connect. In order for premium brands to stay competitive, it’s vital that they understand and anticipate the unique expectations of customers across borders. With globalized UX insights, brands will have the power to understand how customers in different regions are interacting with their apps and websites, and therefore be able to quickly adapt to boost engagement and conversion.
Now brands can quickly understand how and why their visitor behavior varies by region and customize local experience to increase business across the board.
“We are always looking for innovative solutions that immediately help our clients improve their Digital Happiness Index scores and bottom line results,” said Jonathan Cherki, CEO and founder Contentsquare. “With an increasing number of our clients operating across borders, we are partnering with Datawords to give these multi-nationals another advantage. Now brands can quickly understand how and why their visitor behavior varies by region and customize local experience to increase business across the board.”
Datawords’ multicultural understanding of the international digital landscape combined with Contentsquare’s leading expert knowledge in user experience will allow digital marketers to unlock the doors of new opportunities with international consumers.
Together, we will help international brands get a deeper understanding of their customers’ UX all over the world as well as adapt and streamline their digital campaigns to the local tech environment and cultural context.
“We are thrilled to announce this new partnership with Contentsquare, a company with which we already share many values and clients in different sectors,” said Alexandre Crazover Co-founder of Datawords. “Together, we will help international brands get a deeper understanding of their customers’ UX all over the world as well as adapt and streamline their digital campaigns to the local tech environment and cultural context.”
Created in 2000, Datawords combines the understanding of local cultures and technological expertise to implement the international strategies of major global brands on any digital platform. Headed by a team of co-founders, Datawords is today established in Europe, Asia and the USA. Datawords differentiates itself with e-multicultural technologies and the diverse backgrounds of its 600 employees who represent 50 nationalities and more than 60 languages. Datawords recorded a $75m turnover in 2018. Vanksen, 87seconds and Digiprod are also part of the Datawords Group.
More info on www.datawords.com and on LinkedIn.