Optimization is an opportunity to systematically test improvements on a company’s products, services, or offers. Testing the user experience may include elements of design, mechanisms, pricing, locations, colors, words, etc., to reveal which combinations work best for your business and customers.
Testing can be completed on a variety of platforms like digital kiosks, websites, and apps. Not only will testing these platforms create the best experience for your users, but testing also helps you optimize key metrics of your product or service.
For example, if an e-commerce company wants to maximize its profit on their website, they may want to look at their customers’ checkout process. If their current checkout flow has five stages, you can start by identifying any potential points of friction in your customer experience.
Are users having trouble utilizing a certain payment method? Are they having to move through numerous steps that cause them to lose interest? Are coupon codes actually helping generate additional purchases or decreasing overall revenue?
These are just a few ideas that can be tested and where optimization comes in. Now you may be asking yourself, why should I have an optimization practice?
The Value of Having a Strong Optimization Practice
An optimization practice allows businesses to maximize the metrics that they are testing with a systematic approach and progressive discovery that can lead to new opportunities. Testing within a structure of an optimization practice can help better define your product roadmap or digital experience, leading to data-driven decision-making that can have a significant impact on your users.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, businesses are trying to piece together how this “new normal” is impacting their organization.
Thankfully, the basic principles of testing haven’t changed, and neither has businesses’ key metrics and performance indicators. Testing allows businesses to rid themselves of uncertainties in a scientific way. Experimenting and thinking systematically can help address vulnerabilities that COVID-19 has exposed within your business. Even as a business owner or executive leader, you can’t know all the answers. It’s important to be flexible and test when changes occur.
Now is the time to revisit your data and make changes due to the current global situation.
If this practice is new to you, you’re probably wondering how an optimization practice works? I’ll walk through the basic steps of the process that a new team will go through.
Gaining Insights Through Optimization
Before putting a team of analysts together, you need to ask yourself the following:
- What do I want to get out of this practice?
- What are my goals?
- What does success look like for my business?
Once these are defined and you have a team of analysts that are ready to rumble, the following steps will occur.
Step 1: The optimization team will work with the client to help identify their goals and metrics if needed.
Step 2: The team will complete an analysis and recommend that the business implement or change “x, y, and z” by coming up with multiple, rigorous hypotheses.
Step 3: The team will test these ideas to determine what changes to your digital property have been successful based on the goals defined in Step 1, and which ones aren’t.
Step 4: The optimization team will maintain communication throughout the process, developing reports and findings that are easily digestible for stakeholders within your company.
Keep in mind that the more tests being run, the more your business leaders may realize how little they know about the customers’ user experience. Assumptions may fall by the wayside and it is okay to not know all of the answers. That is where optimization and testing can guide the way.
Using this opportunity to grow as a business and rebounding once the COVID-19 period ends is essential for success. If your business doesn’t have the capacity to test, use this time to look inward and think about improvements you want to make to your testing program. Some improvements may include how to manage testing, how to better evangelize results to stakeholders, or how to better identify tests and hypotheses.
Our eBook, How to Build a Strong Optimization Practice, goes into this process more in-depth and the resources you should have on-hand. If you have questions, need to assess the current state of your analytics practice, or just bounce off some ideas, contact us today.
Remember to think BIG, don’t be afraid to test, and don’t hit the pause button on improving your digital properties.
In the next couple of weeks, we’ll have some additional content on tools to help optimize your testing. Stay tuned!