Optimization is the process of serving unique experiences to each individual in your digital space by tailoring content and design to their specific needs and preferences. According to Forrester , continuous optimization is “an analytics-driven approach that seeks to leverage every customer interaction to evolve the understanding of the customer, which is in turn used to evolve and optimize current and future customer experiences.” In today's age, optimizing yourdigital presence to meet the needs of consumers is vital in promoting new sales, customer loyalty, and business growth.
Often times, while some members of an organization may wish to start moving towardoptimization, there are factors that actually prohibit their ability to achieve it. Common challenges that businesses are faced with include lack of data available and the misconception that all visitors are the same. It’s important to understand that every user is unique, and not everyone will engage with content or experiences in the same way across digital channels (think email, website, and mobile apps). Without an ample amount of data, decisions tend to be based upon opinions and hypotheses rather than factual evidence.
By utilizing atesting strategy to reach optimization, businesses are able to use data as evidence in deciding what content, designs, and experiences will resonate with people most in order to create better performing user experiences across the board. There are a plethora of reasons as to why businesses should adopt an optimization strategy , but here are a few of the most common reasons:
1) An optimized UX on your website or app shortens the path to conversion for your visitors.
Consumers are constantly looking for the quickest and easiest ways to accomplish tasks, and optimizing the user experience is vital in helping users accomplish this. By testing and collecting data to determine exactly how users interact across digital platforms, organizations are armed with the facts around how to convert visitors quickly, easily, and seamlessly without a conscious thought from the user.
2) Gathering actionable insights allows your business to keep up in an ever-changing marketplace.
Gathering actionable insights is where data collection becomes a true game changer. Monitoring users on a website allows a great deal of information to be gathered, and based on user behavior, areas of opportunity and areas of strength can be identified extremely quickly. This allows business to turn data into knowledge and power, to eliminate the guesswork when planning for future designs and experiences.
3) Cross-channel enablement enhances your ability to foster brand equity.
By testing, collecting data, and gathering actionable insights, business are able to start moving toward a cross-channel approach . Serving users consistent experiences across digital channels not only helps increase brand awareness, but it fosters the idea of brand loyalty and the ability for visitors to remain connect and engaged with specific products or brands that are of interest.
4) Personalized experiences drive lifetime customer value and loyalty.
Using a “one-size fits all” approach in the digital space has the potential to deter existing customers and potential new customers from returning to an organization’s app or website. Collecting data about visitors and understanding their affinities, stages in the lifecycle, history, and interests better prepares organizations to serve the right content, to the right visitor, at precisely the right time.
The path to optimization involves a great deal of learning, and a testing strategy is the most logical starting point. Implementing A/B and multivariate tests allows organizations to begin collecting general data around how users tend to interact with specific elements on a website or mobile app (images, copy, layout, journey, etc.). By starting with simple testing, business are able to use test results and reporting to determine the best way to move forward with digital designs.
As organizations start to gather this general information, more complex and advanced testing can be introduced, where multiple experiences can be served to different groups of users, and more intricate web functions can be assessed and analyzed based on user interaction. As more and more data is gathered, the ability to segment users based on different characteristics allows a greater level of insight to be drawn. With these insights and findings, organizations are able to introduce tailored content and personalization, which is vital in creating the best performing experiences to users across the board.
It only takes a matter of seconds for users to make decisions on a digital platform, which is why testing is essential in uncovering the best performing experiences. It is vital to use an optimization strategy as the center of your digital efforts in order to provide the best possible user experiences for all visitors, at all times, across all digital platforms.
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