For any business, the moment when “we think” becomes “we know” is always a critical turning point. Knowing what your customers want and identifying the experiences that drive conversion — as well as the experiences that are driving customers away — is fundamental to delivering the types of consistently great customer experiences that build trust, loyalty, and revenue.

Opening the Sitecore DX Boston session “From Google Optimize to Sitecore Personalize”, Velir’s Jill Grozalsky Roberson offered some valuable advice: “Marketers need to stop making assumptions as they go into campaigns and (instead) leverage optimization data that allows them to know what’s working and then use that and apply it to those experiences so that it’s continuously working for them.” She also shared six mistakes made by marketers that negatively impact CX.

Common assumptions by marketers

  • Brands assume that they know what customers want
  • Brands assume they know what works
  • Brands assume that all customers are coming to an experience in the same way, and they all want the same exact thing
  • Brands assume that just because they recently launched their site, they don’t need to iterate
  • Brands assume they know where there is friction in the customer journey
  • Brands assume their customers will remain loyal

Moving forward with clarity

Roberson said the key to gaining clarity is optimization, but the part of optimization that is often overlooked is testing, “With testing we can understand what’s actually working best and apply it.”

chart 

Using a QR Code, the audience was invited to take part in a live poll to share their company’s optimization status.

chart 

According to the poll results, most of the audience were running both testing and personalization and were also developing a personalization strategy.

On getting personalization testing right, Sitecore’s Rick Bauer highlighted the importance of having the right team involved to manage and run the process, saying personalization is a heavy lift – you need to think about segments and strategic objectives, regardless of the tool.

He shared an interesting statistic – 76% of consumers are willing to provide their data for an improved experience. And yet only 17% of organizations feel they understand their customers “well”. Bauer said a CDP can provide a deeper data picture, but tools like Sitecore Personalize allow companies to carry out testing to fully understand what really resonates.

Reasons to test

Speaking from experience, Bauer said Sitecore had seen conversion improvements on forms of over 70% just by optimizing fields, changing the color of a button, and streamlining an experience. In addition, he said 71% of companies that experienced a significant sales increase ran tests on their landing pages.

Why companies aren’t testing

The audience was invited to take part in another poll which asked why they thought companies weren’t testing.

chart 

According to the attendees who took part, “not enough time” and “no right testing method or approach” were considered the top reasons why companies don’t invest in testing and optimization. Echoing the findings of the audience poll, Roberson pointed to research that showed time, tools, and testing methods are the most common barriers to testing.

She also shared figures from BuiltWith revealing that around 150,000 companies have relied on Google Optimize for testing over the last six years. With this tool set to sunset on September 30 this year, she spoke about how companies are now preparing to transition to a new testing and optimization solution.

How Sitecore Personalize can help

Introducing Sitecore Personalize, Roberson said the tool “provides a seamless transition with world-class A/B testing functionality alongside personalization so businesses can start to develop those strategies in tandem. Brands can go from a state of “we think something about our audiences” to “we know it’s actually working.”

chart 

As Sitecore Personalize also offers both client-side and server-side testing, it is both a great replacement for Google Personalize and an excellent option for organizations getting started on their optimization journey.

One of the other advantages of Sitecore Personalize is that it provides optimized, predictive testing – with Sitecore Personalize it’s possible to run A/B testing with low volume traffic and achieve results quickly, allowing brands to act fast and make changes that deliver real results. Meanwhile, plug-and-play integration means you can seamlessly connect Sitecore Personalize to your tech stack.

honeycomb 

Sitecore Personalize optimized testing benefits

  • Ease of use: A market friendly interface without heavy configurations
  • Ease of implementation: Simply implement the Personalize tag to get up and running
  • Barrier-free: Predictive automation that doesn’t require heavy traffic volumes
  • Best experience: Remove dependence on statistical significance

Takeaways for testing success

The presenters closed out the session by highlighting three important takeaways for testing success:

  1. You can test today: With a lower barrier to entry, testing is a great way to start learning about consumer behaviors.
  2. Optimized testing with Sitecore Personalize: Removes barriers around traffic volume and statistical significance.
  3. Testing is iterative: Get into an iterative process of listening to data, hypothesizing, testing, and learning.

Bauer added one additional point – celebrate success. If you are testing and you have something that works, share it. Circulating learnings creates momentum, which in turn leads to further wins.

Sitecore Personalize is helping some of the world’s best-known brands understand their customers. Find out more about its industry-leading capabilities.

Fiona Hilliard is a Content Marketing Manager at Sitecore. Connect with her on LinkedIn.