What we have Learned about using Optimization for Promotions and Sales

Posted by Chris Gentile on July 24, 2017
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In short, yes testing works, and no, not all Band-Aids are for boo boos.

For the most part, e-commerce companies use optimization tools for two main reasons:

1) To test different ways to promote a sale on their site

2) To what we like to call “Band-Aid:” a specific functionality the site needs addressed

While both methods are great examples of how to utilize optimization tools, certain instances call for one or the other. The following will hopefully give some insight on to when you’d opt for either.

In all, whether you want to test certain functionalities before implementing them permanently, or you need quick fixes that would take too long otherwise, start looking into testing tools today.

At Multiplica, we’re well versed in Monetate, Adobe Target, Optimizely, Dynamic Yield, Google Optimize, Convert, and VWO, so feel free to contact us at optimization@multiplica.us if you have any questions about testing!

Using Optimization Tools for Testing

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Generally, most of the websites I’ve worked with use optimization tools to test data driven ideas targeted at increasing their sites’ bottom lines. Depending on the effectiveness of the test, the optimization tool will conclude if an idea is worth implementing on site, we call these winners, based on the significance level. It’s important to note that not all metrics will reach significance, but the findings from the test will always give some sort of finding to make a decision.

Again, in my experience, this is the go to way most e-commerce websites are using testing tools. Your users ultimately determine the success of your business, so testing different ideas is crucial when it comes to listening to what your users are trying to tell you.

Unfortunately, it can take a lot of time, effort, and money to make permanent changes to your company’s website. However, if you’re not one for commitment, you’re a prime candidate to give optimization tools a try! The worst thing that will happen is you’ll learn something your users don’t like, which is still kind of a win when you think about it.

Depending on the testing tool you choose, if an idea is a winner and you don’t have the resources on hand to implement it on site, you could promote the winning idea to 100% through the tool. Certain tools have traffic limitations so be sure you know this before you burn through your monthly limit!

Using Optimization Tools for 100% Implementation without Testing

If you work with tools such as Monetate or Adobe Target, then monthly traffic limits are something you don’t have to worry about. Lucky you, you can bypass the months it takes to get a code push through, and implement right on site! This is precisely what enterprise level e-commerce companies tend to do.

One of the websites I work with really doesn’t test too much. On the contrary, they implement monthly sales to 100% that they know would take too long for their IT department to get up and running. Typically, we call this band-aiding what’s on site now. Likewise, when websites like this do test and an idea is a winner, the testing tool is used to carry the winning variation at 100% until a code push happens (no lie, we’ve carried winning variations for months for this very reason).

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The downside to using a testing tool in this manner is that you’re not actually testing, so you’re implementing something based on what you think your users will respond well to. At the end of a sale, sure you’ll have the numbers of how well the sale did, but you won’t have actual testing reports to see if users converted more with one variation as opposed to the other.

In all, whether you want to test certain functionalities before implementing them permanently, or you need quick fixes that would take too long otherwise, start looking into testing tools today.

At Multiplica, we’re well versed in Monetate, Adobe Target, Optimizely, Dynamic Yield, Google Optimize, Convert, and VWO, so feel free to contact us at optimization@multiplica.us if you have any questions about testing!

Topics: Test and Optimization, Optimization Tools, User Experience, Travel Industry Optimization, Travel, Travel Industry, AB Testing, E-Commerce, Optimization, Promotion, Sales

Written by Chris Gentile