If you’ve ever noticed a Web site offering up different headlines for the same piece of content, there’s a good chance that was down to Optimizely. It’s a big name in A/B testing and has just launched its latest product – Optimizely Personalization.
The company claims it’s been involved with over 30 billion experiences, which it defines as when someone reads an article, buys a product or opens an app. The point of its personalization product is to make more of those interactions.
Jon Noronha, a Senior Product Manager at Optimizely, used a supermarket analogy when talking me through the release:
Grocery stores famously do a lot of A/B testing, but they’re most successful when they personalize the experience – they’ll put the tasty cereals at the bottom where kids will see them and the healthy stuff at the top to catch parents’ eyes.
If you look at the most savvy services online – Amazon, Netflix, Facebook– they’ve got really sophisticated personalization built in. The problem is that hasn’t been accessible to most websites and apps.
That’s what Optimizely thinks it can now provide. The new tools allow sites and apps to optimize the experience they offer based on behavior. The key is ‘visual tagging’, which lets you tag specific parts of a page to measure how visitors interact with them.
The company is also integrating with third-party data providers to bring that information into its user dashboard, so customers can use it to tweak their personalization efforts.
Interactive analytics let you see, in real-time, how different factors affect particular audiences compared to the average. Optimizely also promises that it has implemented machine learning which will identify new audience groups.
I put it to Noronha that many Web users find personalization a little uncomfortable as it sparks questions about where and how their data is being used. He returned to that grocery store analogy:
We show you content where you’ve already shown intent by visiting. The creepy end of personalization is where it feels like it moves into the rest of your life, like the guy from the store chasing after you saying you forgot the Fruit Loops.
Optimizely has launched Personalization in private beta today. You can you join the waiting list here. It’ll open up to everyone in the fall.
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