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Candyspace Media
Candyspace Media 1 March 2023

Goodbye Google Optimize, Hello Experimentation

Following Google’s announcement that Optimize and Optimize 360 will reach its end of life in September 2023, you may be wondering what this means for Google users running conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and experimentation programmes? Here we’ve outlined what the news means and why it’s more important than ever for ambitious brands to focus on experimentation.

Why is Google Optimize Sunsetting?

Experimentation has exponentially grown over the last few years and looks only to be getting more robust with an ever-growing list of businesses looking for expertise within their teams. From product to marketing, businesses are now even more convinced that experimentation should play a part in every key decision they make. 

With the market shift in using best-in-class tools to build high-performing technology stacks, the Google Optimize product was no longer able to compete with leading tools such as Optimizely from a technical standpoint, especially in full-stack experimentation. 

To support the product roadmap of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), Google has instead decided to invest in building integrations with third-party A/B testing platforms and bolster their ecosystem of strategic partners to include Optimizely, VWO and A/B Tasty.

Google recognises that the Optimize product does not have the advanced level of functionality in testing that more digitally mature organisations need to deliver business benefits from experimentation. The move to building APIs between market-leading experimentation solutions and GA4 is a great way for Google to focus on their core strengths in analytics.

At Candyspace, experimentation forms a core component in how we continually optimise digital products. For companies using Google Optimize that are in the earlier stages of experimentation, we’ve outlined three reasons below why doubling down on experimentation is fundamental to the ongoing success of your digital products.

So why should experimentation be core to your product strategy?

Create a Best-in-Class Product to Stand Out From Your Competitors

Snazzy-looking web and app platforms no longer cut the mustard. Users want a seamless cross-device experience and therefore consistently improving features will ensure customers have a product they love. Running experiments allows you to understand which features are working and why, and how to continually make them better. 

We know from experience that incremental improvements continually evolve your digital product for the optimal user experience. So don’t rely on that one off marketing campaign or a product feature launch to win and retain customers. Little and often works far better.

Increased Profitability, Not Just Revenue

Often experimentation and CRO go hand in hand but at Candyspace, our focus is always on how optimisation will increase profitability as well as improving performance. We can easily increase the conversion rate by offering every customer 20 percent off their order, but how does this impact business profitability and the lifetime value of customers? 

It is important to understand, through real customer data, the impact marketing campaigns are having on your overall sales. For example, a small change such as decreasing a free delivery threshold can often increase sales but are they enough to counteract the cost of fulfilment? Experimentation can help answer business critical questions without any of the noise.

Save on Costs to Drive ROI

The test and learn process allows you to experiment and prove hypotheses before spending time and effort on building expensive features, experiences and campaigns that do not deliver on your KPIs. Being able to test ideas on a smaller scale before spending time and money means you can quickly identify the campaigns and features that resonate with your customers. 

For example, On The Beach tested whether adding “Our Pick” and “Bestseller” badges would drive bookings and through the process of doing so generated an extra 200 bookings within a two-week period. 

Why Optimizely is a Good Migration Choice from Google Optimize

As optimisation experts, we work across a variety of testing tools. For businesses serious about experimentation, we believe Optimizely is the best tool in the market. 

Optimizely Web Experimentation is the world’s fastest experimentation platform, offering less than 50 millisecond experiment load times using Performance Edge. This means multiple experiments can be run simultaneously without affecting page performance or user experience. Its stats engine is best-in-class, ensuring you can make data driven decisions with confidence.

Optimizely is consistently commended by leading analysts and was cited by Forrester in the 2023 Total Economic Impact Experimentation report to:

  1. Increase profits by $9.7 million due to site performance improvements 
  2. Deliver $1.5 million in savings through increased developer productivity
  3. Drive better decision making through enhanced trust in data

Google have announced a key integration will launch between GA4 and Optimizely, and are recommending Optimizely as an alternative platform. Candyspace is partnering with Optimizely to offer an exclusive discount to welcome customers onboard.

Unsure of Your Next Steps?

Candyspace are offering a limited number of complimentary Optimisation Workshops for Google users, led by our expert team of experience, experimentation and UX practitioners, to provide you with in depth and actionable recommendations to improve the performance of your digital product.

Get in touch to book a workshop or for an informal chat about your options.

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