How to Move Beyond the Limits of A/B Testing in a Post-Google Optimize World 

How to Move Beyond the Limits of A/B Testing in a Post-Google Optimize World 

This blog is from Monetate’s Director of Solutions Consulting (EMEA), Darren Ward.

The sun officially set for Google Optimize and Google Optimize 360 on September 30, 2023.  

This announcement from Google generated a wave of panic amongst the tool’s customer base, as users scrambled to find a replacement solution.  

The timing of the sunsetting was especially stressful as retailers were going to be well into planning and preparing for peak season and Cyber Week 2023 during this timeframe. 

But now that Google Optimize and Google Optimize 360 are no longer viable options for A/B testing, what does the future hold?  

Should former customers continue to work with a solution that only provides A/B testing? Or is it time to look at the bigger picture?  

All signs suggest that it’s time to move away from the limitations of just working with an A/B testing tool for testing and experimentation and to move toward solutions that incorporate testing and experimentation alongside product discovery, audience segmentation, and analytics capabilities.  

A/B Testing is Full of Limitations 

 Since the announcement of the sunsetting of Google Optimize, Monetate has been involved in many conversations with companies who are vetting new A/B testing solutions.   

One thing that stood out from these discussions was that oftentimes the mindset of the organizations was to find a like-for-like replacement for Google Optimize instead of expanding the scope of what solution they really need. 

Rather than taking this opportunity to rethink what their business objectives are for a testing and optimization program and how it fits into overall CX and personalization, there seemed to be comfort in staying with the familiar.  

Although Google Optimize provided an easy entry into the world of A/B testing, the limitations of siloed A/B platforms became very clear for many companies as their optimization programs matured.   

For example, these companies started to look for ways to optimize for distinct customer segments rather than the whole user population.  

Also, they started to look for more dynamic approaches to optimization that are driven by uplifting KPIs in their marketing initiatives rather than just a narrow set of learnings. 

Although running a few A/B tests might bring some incremental gains, companies are still struggling to see large impacts to their bottom line from this approach.   

Restart the A/B Testing Conversation

Now’s the time to reset and rethink. Rather than just continuing with the small, incremental gains and limitations that come with basic A/B testing, you should expand your horizons to a more personalization-based approach.  

Advanced testing solutions combined with personalization features is where you can really move the needle in terms of program performance and ROI. You can deliver the improvements to the bottom line that your executives and shareholders are striving for.    

Being able to test and deliver experiences that are more relevant and personalized to each site visitor will have much bigger impacts than just continuous experimentation on the minutiae of your website or apps.  

In a 2022 study, Deloitte Digital found that 69% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that personalizes the experience for them.  

In fact, Deloitte defines great personalization as being empathetic to customers’ needs in the context of that specific moment of interaction and providing a 1-to-1 human connection.  

Pre-Software Selection Considerations

During our conversations with brands who were in the process of choosing a testing solution to replace Google Optimize, we encouraged teams not to be limited by an “experimentation only” mindset.   

To make true personalization a reality and to prepare for the future (looking at you generative AI), we shared the following advice:  

  • Prioritize Targeting and Segmentation: Look at testing solutions that can easily target and segment audiences using a range of contextual and behavioral information – including using data you have in other systems in your company such as CRM, CDP or loyalty systems.
  • Work with other teams in your organization: For example, you may find your trading or merchandising teams are using an outdated or basic product recommendations solution.

    The market-leading personalization solutions, such as Monetate, include advanced product recommendations capabilities out of the box. Hence, why you may be able to consolidate onto one platform to cover needs across the business.

  • Think outside of the box: Consider capabilities that you may not have previously thought about – such as social proof messaging, product finder quizzes, etc. Comprehensive personalization platforms provide these value-adding capabilities, and more.
  • Align with your corporate goals and KPIs:  The best way to get executive buy-in for your personalization project is to show how it can contribute towards the goals they are shooting for. The best personalization vendors can help with this process – providing real-world examples and strategic knowledge of how to build the business case that will excite your senior team. 

So, if you have been forced into re-evaluating your choice of A/B testing solution – why not take the opportunity to broaden your horizons?  

Supercharge your optimization program with a more comprehensive, personalization-based approach (that includes testing!)