Online marketers spend a ton of time and money collecting visitor data under the pretense of figuring out who their customers are and what they’re looking for. Armed with these insights, they have all they need to make significant strides in improving the customer experience. Instead, many make a couple of tweaks here, a couple of updates there and feel they've sufficiently managed the experience.
If the consumer response is stable, steady and consistent … perhaps they have.
But is making a few changes from time to time really the smartest way to utilize this rich supply of data? Is managing and maintaining enough? Sure, constant small updates may resemble ongoing progress, but the process just described is a reactive (and inherently complacent) one that, at best, results in stability and predictability.
Customer Experience Optimization (CXO), on the other hand, is a proactive methodology dedicated to putting this data to work in real time, resulting not only in a constantly evolving experience, but one that’s tailored around customers’ individual needs.
CXO involves three different tactics: multivariate testing, personalization and cross channel marketing. Here are how each contribute to an active, rather than reactive, approach to optimization.
Continuous Optimizing Means Continuous Testing
Whereas data gleaned from site analytics reveals only limited and reactive consumer behaviors and interactions with site content; multivariate testing (MVT) actually explains why consumers behaved in a specific way (i.e., Why were visitors more likely to convert from these product pages rather than those? What’s making visitors bounce? And so on).
These tests run in real time, presenting different combinations of site variables to customers in order to determine which ones result in the highest conversion rates and, therefore, deliver the most optimal experience.
But it’s not enough to run these tests every now and then when it seems like a website refresh might be in order; MVT must be continual to achieve ongoing optimization. This means embracing a culture of testing company-wide, ensuring nothing appears on the site without first being thoroughly tested.
Make Everything Personal
Through testing we can gain real-time consumer feedback on which aspects of the site are most engaging & productive (as well as what turns visitors off). But arguably all this website data is considered the most predictive and real-time data marketers have access to, so a great next step is to use this data to individually tailor each visitor’s interaction with the brand.