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The days of deploying your site changes to production without first testing functionality and cosmetics are long gone. 

So too will the days of deploying website changes that are not conversion tested. 

How can companies ensure that their site meets the varied needs of it's valued customers? How can they guard against conversion decrease upon launch of site changes?

These issues have long been on the list of every e-commerce manager. Conversion testing with multivariable optimisation is one of the best ways to address these challenges.

Imagine if in your daily life you could gather all the observations, impressions and interactions of all the people you encounter and adapt so to optimise your relationship with them.

What a great impression you’d make – assuming that were your aim. On the dark side, imagine doing the opposite. Scary concept – maybe there’s a film in there, somewhere between ‘What every woman wants’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ perhaps.

What is science fiction for human beings, though, is rapidly becoming science fact for website designers. The ability to morph your site’s pages to the preferences of millions of customers is here already, and some companies are starting to use this optimisation technology as a kind of insurance policy for redesigns.

In the past, the designers and developers had to make the best guess of what could be ‘The Perfect Page’ based on some historic data and their own feeling for what would modernise and  upgrading the user experience.

New programmes and pages would need to be proven over a period of time and then kept or removed. The problem was that you may have already lost customers by this stage.

Today, with optimisation code built into the redesign, the design is largely left up to your customers.

When the site goes live, what works is very quickly established from initial interactions with graphics and text falling into their optimal positions based on how the customer is interacting with the site. The uplift in user experience rapidly converts to higher spend.

In this sense we’re seeing the separation of functionality and presentation in the web optimisation world where the functionality is planned but the presentation is largely left up to the consumer.

Taking the uncertainty out of consumer reactions is the ultimate insurance for serious online players prepared to invest in it.

Greg Kelton is the Managing Director of  Optimost EMEA.

The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those held by the publisher.


Published 18 August, 2008 by Greg Kelton

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