Stop Watching the Crystal Ball

Sigrid Werner

Sigrid Werner

Marketers, listen up. Our goal is to achieve the highest possible conversion rates on our website, right? So we know a good user experience is crucial. We also know that relevant content improves the user experience, and that by better appealing to our target audience we can increase conversions.

But are you grappling with these content questions? For example: How do I write the best title or description? How long should the text be? Which images will attract attention? What would be a good call-to-action? And where should I place it?

It’s not easy to answer these questions from my site visitors, since I get no direct feedback from them. And what I really need is to know is their behavior and preferences in detail. Which I’m not going to get from a crystal ball (tempting though that may be). Fortunately there are solid techniques for gathering qualitative and quantitative insights of user behavior. Analyzing these insights helps me understand the preferences of my target audience better and make data-driven decisions around content.

One of these techniques, of course, is A/B testing. Comparing two versions of a page – variant A versus variant B – can help improve conversion rate and reduce bounce rate. And there are also tools that allow you to compare more than two versions of a page, called A/B/n testing. (Note that this is different from multivariate testing, which allows you to analyze all variation items separately. But this approach requires a high volume of traffic in order to yield statistically significant results.)

The good news for CoreMedia customers is that Studio now enables marketers to easily perform A/B/n split testing from right within the platform – no need to add commercial third-party services. The process is simple: Create at least two variants of the content (aka a baseline and a competing candidate) that differ from each other in ways like text length, structure or image. Then fire up the A/B/n test to determine which variant resonates best with visitors.

Let's take a closer look at this with a simple teaser. A merchandiser for an online shop, for example, wants to figure out where place a product on a landing page so as many customers as possible click on it (and consequently buy it). But those questions again: How to illustrate the product best? And what should the wording of the CTA be?

The solution, of course, is to create two variants of the teaser to see which one resonates best with the target audience. But we can’t simply place one next the other on the same page. That would only lead to confusion


Screenshot Chefs Corp

Screenshot Chefs Corp

So in order to compare these two versions and determine a winner, we create a new A/B/n test in CoreMedia Studio and insert both teaser versions as variants. For each variant, we define a “weight” that determines how what percentage of the visitors will see it.

Screenshot Studio

Screenshot Studio

While this experiment runs, each user sees one of the two variants. And this is key: If a user visits the page repeatedly they’re always offered the same variant because their session information is stored in a cookie.

Using Google Analytics, we can track the behavior of all website visitors with relevant insights displayed right in CoreMedia Feedback Hub. This is where I can see how many users were shown each variant and how many of them selected it, resulting in a conversion rate comparison to help determine a winner. (Plus, more detailed information about the user behavior can be viewed on the Google Analytics Dashboard).

Screenshot Feedback Hub

Screenshot Feedback Hub

Needless to say, I much prefer a data-driven approach to a crystal ball. And I can continue to refine my learnings with data generated by further experiments. It’s a never-ending positive feedback loop.

The CoreMedia A/B/n test add-on has just been released via CoreMedia Labs and is available for all customers with a CoreMedia personalization license – available right out-of-the-box without the need to add a personalization solution or integrate any third-party software. So get it while it’s hot.

If you are interested in testing the integration or have any feedback for us, please drop us an email at product-info@coremedia.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Stage 1: Fragmented: Multiple Channels

You’re a digital dinosaur!

You have a beautiful website, but with fragmented digital experiences, you run the risk of extinction.

It’s time to evolve.

Your audiences want a seamless experience, no matter what's happening behind the scenes. When your experience is different or difficult, it’s important to start with the basics, such as cultivating a holistic approach to online digital experiences. Realign your teams, platforms, processes, goals, and metrics around a comprehensive view of the online experience. Focus on the end-to-end customer journey cutting across channels, desktop and mobile.

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Stage 2: Integrated: Multiple channels

You’re a fish!

Signs of exciting life are starting to form. Your DX is responsive and adaptive but it’s not quite personalized yet.

Keep swimming!

The integration of your brand content across every touchpoint (website, online store, social media, emails, apps, point of sale) creates immersive experiences. These flagship sites combine content-rich brand experiences with immediate conversion capabilities. Business teams and marketing are closely aligned. However, while the digital experience is responsive and adaptive, it’s not yet personalized.

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Stage 3: Instant: Global expansion

You’re a crocodile!

You’re taking it global. Speed and scalability are key and just like a crocodile, you’re fast…but you’re clumsy.

Oh snap!

In this stage, the online digital experience becomes completely dynamic. You need content that is global, yet relevant, with plenty of local insights: Who is the user? Are they using a mobile phone? Is it raining where they are? Is it snowing? If it is, maybe they need warm, waterproof boots. All of this contextualized information creates a better user experience. With one global orchestration, you’re able to adapt everything, in whatever country or language you choose – while keeping turnaround times low. So keep evolving.

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Stage 4: Dynamic: Real time personalization

You’re a lion!

You’re reaching more customers in more countries and languages than ever before, and now you’re finally hunting and collecting info with precision.

But you can do more to keep your brand roaring!

As you graduate to the Instant level, you’re able to rapidly update everything - not just in one language and for one country, but in 20 languages and for 100 countries. Speed and scalability are key, driven by the need to roll out global campaigns in all languages and all touchpoints and make updates in minutes or hours, not weeks. But there’s still more to do to reach nirvana.

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Stage 5: Immersive: Elevated experiences

You’re Captain Content!

You’ve done it! You have opposable thumbs AND you’re saving the world with your seamless, elevated customer experiences.

You're a superhero in the digital space.

Your digital world and your physical world are blending together in the most complementary way possible. When shoppers visit your store, they’ll be greeted with their pre-selected products. Language changes dynamically depending on country of origin – it's like the whole store was set up just for your one specific customer.

In this final stage, your customer experience is truly immersive and superior, and your flagship store merges your physical and digital world into one, with a truly personalized individual experience.

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