In order to increase conversion rates and user engagement, web marketers are always looking at improving the user experience and design on each of their platform (website, mobile app…). A/B testing allows them to test different versions of an element on a website (ex: call to actions) to compare how users respond in each case. The San Francisco-based startup Optimizely has become the number one website optimization platform with its easy-to-use A/B and multivariate tests. Our team here at Prime along with our colleagues from the Paris Region Economic Development Agency (PREDA) recently met with Travis Bryant (their VP Sales) to learn more about their solutions and expertise in website optimization.
Can you tell us about your optimization platform?
Optimizely is the world’s most popular web and mobile optimization platform. Our 7,000 customers have performed 300,000 experiments, and 2.2 billion visitors have participated in an Optimizely experiment. Optimizely makes it radically simple to test changes to design elements on your site (buttons, colors, text, images, positioning) and use real data from visitor behavior to make decisions, rather than gut feel or intuition.
What makes your solution different and innovative compared to your competitors?
Optimizely makes it easy for business users to setup and execute experiments without needing technical expertise. We are built on technology that frankly didn’t exist when the first-generation testing tools came to market, and provides a much simpler experience to creating, launching, and interpreting the results from a test. Anyone can give it a try by going to www.optimizely.com and typing in a website URL in the main box. We’ve extended that same design principle to iOS mobile app testing, allowing non-technical users the ability to test code changes within an app without having to modify the code directly.
What is the financial impact or other metrics that your solution has on customers?
One of the key reasons that Optimizely is so widely adopted is its direct impact on goals a client has for their website. These goals typically fall into 3 buckets:
(a) increase page views on site to serve more advertisements (typically Media and Publishing clients), (b) improve the cart conversion “checkout funnel” (typically Retail/E-Commerce clients),
(c) increase form completes for capturing new Leads (typically B2B or High-Tech clients).
In each of these scenarios, experimenting with design changes can have a tangible effect on these key revenue goals, making it easy to justify the cost of our solution.
How do you see the website optimization changing in the next few years?
There are two key trends we see in website optimization specifically. The first is an increase in the trend of sites behaving more like apps, meaning more dynamic and interactive. This means optimization platforms like ours have to stay ahead of these trends like Single Page Apps and Responsive Design to continue to allow non-technical users the ability to setup and execute tests. The second is the desire to unify strategy across channels: no website lives on an island anymore, but needs to be part of a comprehensive optimization strategy across web, mobile, ads, email, and beyond. Consumers want a unified, personalized experience when working with a company.
Optimizely was founded by two former product managers at Google. Can you tell us more about your executive team?
We’ve worked diligently to create a diverse executive team, both in background and in mindset. Dan and Pete (co-founders) bring a strong product focus. Jessie Becker (CMO) comes from Netflix, really representing the “voice of the customer” since she was such a strong advocate for testing there. My background, as well as Eddie Nguyen (our VP of Customer Success) is in enterprise software, myself at Salesforce.com and Eddie at Marketo. Gabe, our VP of Engineering, has experience in both enterprise and high-scale consumer software (gaming company CCP). More important than background thought is the diversity of thought, and the willingness to look outside of one’s own department to tackle cross-functional problems – in my opinion, we do this exceptionally well.
Who are your main clients? In what verticals are they?
What’s exceptional about Optimizely is that our market could include anyone that has a website or mobile app, which is quite a wide range! Our 7,000 clients, 25% of whom are outside the US, span a wide range of verticals but we do see concentration in Media/Publishing, Retail, Travel, High Tech, and Online Services.
What are the future product plans for Optimizely?
The long-term vision of Optimizely is to enable the world to turn data into action, and our product development will reflect the effort to achieve that vision. Most recently, we’ve announced key updates in the addition of iOS mobile app testing, as well as our Developer Platform which allows programmatic access to core Optimizely data like Experiments and Audiences. A key area under development is to increase the ability to deliver experiences through Optimizely, meaning not just the ability to setup an experiment and analyze the results, but to put those results into action by targeting personalized content to specific groups of visitors.