The Benefits of an Optimization Platform

| By: Albert Liu

I was recently having lunch with a colleague who is the Email Marketing Manager at a tech startup company. I asked him a simple question: “What platform does your company use for optimization?” Surprisingly, he replied, “Our co-founder doesn’t believe in optimization.”

He explained to me that he pushes out emails and does the best he can with the high-level data available, but would love to see deeper data to help optimize his campaigns.

This disregard for optimization boggled our minds. It’s a pretty simple concept. If your goal is to make money, shouldn’t you be using every strategy at your disposal to drive sales?
 

The Case for an Optimization Platform

 

Optimization strategy regularly gets lost in the shuffle in ecommerce organizations. With the full-time responsibility of managing sales targets, acquisition rates, promotions and conversion, there is little time to be spent digging into the data. Even if you did find actionable data, implementing these actions might prove difficult and require heavy development work. In addition, with the fast-paced, non-stop environment of ecommerce, last week’s data may not even be valid this week. So how can retailers create instant experiences that will provide them with actionable results?

This is where optimization platforms like Monetate shine. It makes the testing and analysis process near instant. Being able to easily insert elements like banners, text and creative, and measure those effects on site visitors in real time, is invaluable. With a simple-to-use interface, a Marketing Manager can easily test different concepts and behaviors to create personalized experiences for their visitors.

The best analogy is shopping at a retail store. Most merchants will likely have these types of visitors:

  • Promotional Shoppers – People who are driven by price and promotion
  • Casual Shoppers – People who like to browse and maybe purchase
  • Need Shoppers – People who know what they want or have a need for an item

In a retail environment, it’s up to the customer service staff to manage the needs of all these types of shoppers. They will be tasked with creating the shopping experience by educating the visitors on the store layout, promotional offers, specific item locations and prices.

An ecommerce website obviously doesn’t always have this level of personal interaction. But what if it could?
 

Targeting Shoppers Online

 

By optimizing your site properly, you can. Using Monatate, or another similar platform, you could create customized experiences for each of these visitor types.

In the same retail situation above, a targeted experience could show the Promotional Shopper the “Sale” section on your site faster. The same could be done for the Need Shopper, helping that visitor find their item faster and increasing the chance of conversion. For the Casual Shopper, showing items with higher affinity will also improve the chances of conversion. Each shopper has different needs and behaviors, and keying in on these behaviors can vastly improve your site experience, and in turn, revenue.

An example of an actual situation is a client who sells home improvement products. This retailer noticed that sales spiked in certain regions when weather events occurred. By identifying this behavior, they set up targeted experiences triggered by those weather events. These experiences were offered in select regions, featuring products that were related to the weather event. For instance, shoppers would see snow blowers and shovels during a snowstorm, or sandbags and umbrellas in a rainstorm. This generated significant lift, and it allowed the merchant to optimize their limited windows of opportunity.

Performing data analysis and creating tailored experiences for customer segments can seem like a daunting task. Thankfully with an optimization platform, retail businesses have a valuable tool that makes the process easier.

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To learn more about how an optimization platform can help your business, get in touch with our team