08 - 05 - 2023

Several months ago, it was announced that Google Optimize will no longer be available after 30 September 2023. Companies around the world are working to identify an alternative, as many were relying on Google’s tool for their Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) activities.

The key to a data-driven user experience

Google Optimize has so far enabled companies of all sizes to manage the user experience on their websites in a data-driven manner, by testing their hypotheses directly on user actions. Thanks in part to the presence of the free version, Google Optimize has allowed them to experiment and initiate paths that have since led to more mature and established practices.

Google Optimize, in fact, enabled many of the activities that fall under the so-called CRO:

  • A/B Testing: activate different experience options on the site that point to the same goal and show them to homogeneous user groups, thus verifying and implementing the most effective option.
  • Optimization: implement the most effective option highlighted by the tests, thus optimizing the user experience, minimizing friction and uncertainty, and easing the users’ path to the desired goals.
  • Personalization: create groups of users who share common characteristics and offer each audience a dedicated experience, so that each can receive the most interesting content, or the most appropriate next-best action suggestion by building personalized navigation paths.

Why is Google Optimize shutting down? The official press release states that it is shutting down because, “Optimize, while a long-standing product, does not have many of the features and services that our customers require and need for testing trials. We have therefore decided to invest in more effective solutions for our customers.”

How to choose the next tool for Optimization and Personalization

Every company, and every corporate contact person for user experience and digital properties, is now in the ideal position to reconsider its needs and priorities — even from an evolutionary perspective. It can select the tool that will allow it to respond best in the long run, by optimizing costs according to actual needs.

What elements should you evaluate when choosing the best Google Optimize successor for your company?

  • Activities: Do daily operations rely heavily on testing activities and their outputs, or are they based on spot checks that are conducted as needed?
  • Vision: Do you want to maintain optimization and personalization activities at the current level or rather experiment and introduce novelties?
  • Objectives: What use cases would you like to implement? Now is the time to imagine potential scenarios.
  • Users: Who will use the platform? People with more technical skills or more business skills? Are there roles that will have different needs and viewpoints?
  • Ecosystem: Should the tool be integrated into an already adopted marketing platform? Depending on the platform, this constraint can strongly influence the choice that you make.
  • Budget: Specialized tools have a wide range of costs.

Selecting a new tool represents a critical moment, as it is useful to be able to see the feasibility of your most important use cases, the usability and effectiveness of the tool for your users, the ability to scale, the level of personalization attainable, and the simplicity or difficulty of integration within the existing marketing suite, firsthand.

Many tools offer trial periods and the possibility of performing Proof of Concept, but we always recommend relying on professionals in the field. These professionals have experience with multiple tools and will be able to provide well-thought-out proposals that are based on the desired use, type of company, and degree of maturity and experience that is needed when putting the tools to the test in various, real-world cases.

In addition, the time needed for migration can vary greatly depending on the activities underway, those planned, and the teams involved. In this respect, it is highly recommended to involve an expert who can assist with the optimal management of the migration timeline to the new CRO tool and facilitate the progressive implementation of new experiments and new features.

Why invest in a CRO tool?

The importance of CRO activities is such that Google felt it was “shutting down” a tool that could not adequately keep-up with market needs, which have matured greatly over the years. The market required increasingly advanced and refined implementations in terms of audience management, content selection for presentation, and integration with other components of the MarTech suite.

For example, Google Optimize never allowed recommendation activities to be implemented. Today, there is no doubt that a fundamental and highly effective application of personalization is showing each person a product or content that is tailored to his or her characteristics. The process of selecting recommended content and deciding which audience segments to show it to, can be developed to the point of relying on machine learning algorithms. Today, it is difficult to find a company that is willing to do without recommendation activities, above all but not only if it is customer oriented.

A/B Testing, Optimization and Personalization activities, alongside customer experience monitoring that is carried out with special tools, allow companies to find factual answers about online user behavior. For example, one can find information about why a certain conversion rate has declined, what caused sign-ups to be higher or lower than expected, and whether the navigation overhaul was well-received. In addition, they also allow companies to work toward improving results, with personalized recommendation systems and the implementation of constant navigation improvements.

An adequate Conversion Rate Optimization tool that is ready to grow and scale is a key enabler for teams that are responsible for the digital customer experience. This tool allows them to produce real results, both in terms of conversions and a better user experience. It is only by leveraging this type of tool that one is able to base their work on specific data: data collected through timely experiments within the specific context of the company’s site, page, and audience of interest. There are no benchmarks or surveys — just your audience, site, and target.

It is no coincidence that at BitBang, which has at heart the data-driven approach as the basis of MarTech, the team dedicated to Online User Experience Optimization and Personalization was among the first born and has been able to expand its skills over time to cover a wide range of platforms, but more importantly use cases and customers.

It is no coincidence that at BitBang the team dedicated to Online User Experience Optimization and Personalization was among the first to be created, because of BitBang’s data-driven approach to MarTech. This team has been able to expand its skills over time to cover a wide range of platforms, but most importantly use cases and customers.