Strategies for Successful Testing: Optimizing Conversion Rates with Real-time Intelligence

By Adam Figueira

November 29, 2011

There's a saying in the intelligence community: "Good information has an expiration date." For those of us involved in conversion rate optimization, it's an equally relevant phrase.

When a visitor first lands on your website, you only know a fraction of the information needed to deliver the most relevant shopping experience possible. Let's face it—knowing that a visitor clicked on a Facebook ad, is located in California, and is using an iPad is important, but you'll need deeper insight (and the ability to act on it) to consistently outmaneuver competitors.

As visitors move throughout your website, they provide a "scent" of their interests, needs, and budget. Did they view a particular category or brand? Does their cart have a certain number of items or exceed a particular value? More importantly, can your testing solution update visitor segments in real-time to take advantage of how these visitors are engaging your website?

A weakness of many solutions is that visitor segments update at some point in the future (such as after a nightly processing run) rather than in real-time. By the time these solutions can update visitor segments, your shoppers are long gone. They've walked out of the showroom, and they're not coming back!

The game changer: the ability to measure and act on in-session behaviors as they occur in real-time. The applications are nearly endless, and your conversion rate will show it:

  • Serve targeted offers based on brands, categories, and products viewed
  • Reduce site abandonment on "Product Out of Stock" pages
  • Automatically apply coupon codes

A former colleague of mine once said, "He who owns the data controls commerce." But having data and being able to act on it are two different things. Real-time intelligence and decision making may be just the competitive edge you've been looking for.

Adam Figueira is a former product marketing director at Monetate.

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