Start-Up Watch COD

If you are responsible for the website of your brand, chances are you have seen small content and design changes make big differences in metrics and site performance.

Especially if your site is an online store.

The most sophisticated e-stores are constantly testing and optimizing content. What’s most interesting about THAT, of course, is that often the most sophisticated sites sport designs that are anything but clean and simple, which is what I think most people would default think was most powerful.

My “home page” on Amazon, for example, features 62 products and two banners, along with a couple dozen tabs and what have to be hundreds of text links to various sections and content. Plus about 400 words of content. Who’d a thunk that this page would drive the best results? But it surely does if Amazon is delivering it to me. Over the years Amazon has tested and optimized hundreds of store page designs. It’s a process of continuing incremental improvement that has been a major contributor to their retail power.

But for somewhat smaller operations, there are often resource and “turf” challenges between marketing, website and IT teams that limit the scope and frequency of site testing. Which is rather a shame because little things can mean a lot. And while best practices provide general guidelines, you never know when a change in button color can drive a huge increase in sales.

Monetate is a SaaS offering that helps sites test, optimize, and personalize content quickly and easily. The idea is to ease the process of both directing, implementing, and analyzing testing scenarios. The service offers the benefits of one-time cut-and-paste integration, and enables a remarkably broad range of capabilities, including:

  • A/B/N testing of photos, colors, copy, headlines, offers, even sales “badges” like “our bestseller”
  • Multivariate testing to identify the best combination of components to drive sales.
  • Dynamic graphic rendering to add personalized text to pages
  • Audience segmentation and page personalization based upon a variety of criteria, including geography, gender, first time visitor/repeat customer, and environmental targeting.
  • Sentence-based campaign builder interface that makes it dead simple to identify the target, offer, layout, and testing scenario for the site.
  • CRM targeting and data appends
  • Easy to implement mobile solution
  • Catalog item and flow analysis

That’s a pretty darned cool feature set for a SaaS because it means that a marketing team could test virtually every aspect of a site to see how it impacts performance. And because of the simplicity of implementation, IT and the web team experience a whole lot fewer headaches.

Monetate already has a fairly long list of clients. A few tier ones and a whole lot of what I would call 1.5s, meaning national brands that likely sell millions online. But perhaps not hundreds of millions. That seems a particular sweet spot for this offering. If you know you should be doing more site testing in your online store, I suggest you give these folks a look.