Should you build it or buy it? That’s a question that keeps percolating up when I talk to my colleagues in the optimization world. After many discussions and much thought on the topic, I think I’ve found the answer to a big question: Should I reinvent the wheel or not?
Recently I presented at the Gartner Digital Marketing event with one of our great customers, Staples, and the subject of data silos got me thinking. Conversion after conversion, presentation after presentation, I heard about data sitting in disparate systems that marketers need to use. According to Forbes, "The average company invests in 16 separate marketing technology platforms." As a result, companies that are trying to improve personalization need these systems and data to be integrated in order to be really useful.
I recently attended the 2017 Click Summit conference produced by Brooks Bell. It was a fantastic event where testing and optimization experts came together to learn, share and connect. I was able to participate in four different panel discussions to engage and hear from the testing community. Two themes grabbed my attention: Single Page Apps and the Build vs Buy paradox. In this two-part series, I will explore both of these topics and discuss how they impact the customer experience through testing and optimization. Let's start with Single Page Apps or SPAs.
The evolution of optimization and testing is not unlike an endurance athlete chasing his or her next endorphin high. Maybe it all started with a local 5k, but the next thing you know the marathon medals are on displayed and the Ironman deposit has been made. The incredible feeling of accomplishment upon reaching a goal is only temporary as the thirst to push one step further grows.
Optimizing the customer experience to drive revenue, with the goal of connecting the back end to the front end, is not new. McKinsey wrote as much back in October of 2016, with some specific actions that digital leaders are taking to drive five times more revenue than their peers. Most marketers know what they need to do, and they know why they need to do it. The question is how to get it done, quickly, for maximum ROI?
Amazon’s AWS cloud outage last week is a good example of a rare lightning strike. Every cloud-based solution provider puts safeguards in place to meet that 99.99% uptime guarantee. But in Amazon’s case, it wasn’t a virus or malware that caused the disruption – it was just a simple human error according to this Fortune Magazine article.
Earlier this year, I embarked on the journey of a lifetime, travelling to Tanzania, Africa, to climb Mount Kilimanjaro - the highest freestanding mountain in the world. This was a decision that tested me physically and mentally, and was one of the best personal and professional risks I ever made.
The ‘Customer is King’, the ‘Customer is always right’, ‘customer obsessed’ or whatever term you want to supplant - all companies claim they focus on the customer. And why wouldn’t you? No customer wants to hear they are not the central focus.
Getting customers to complete a transaction is the ultimate goal for every retailer, but customer loyalty - and thus repeat purchases - drive long-term revenue and sustainability. However, e-tailers face many barriers when it comes to gaining a customer’s loyalty, which is heavily influenced by their online retail experience.
The holidays are just around the corner and retailers are preparing to create an optimized online shopping experience that will drive the most revenue possible. Last year, nearly half of holiday retail shopping transactions were conducted online and with such high competition for consumer holiday dollars, stores need to ensure they are on their game. Read more about some quick website testing tips for retailers to best prepare for and succeed this holiday season.