May 15

Optimize 360: Implications of the Google’s new offering

Optimize 360: How It would affect the CRO tool Market

2017 could be a milestone in the field of Conversion Rate Optimization because of a single development by the tech giant- Google Optimize, and Google Optimize 360.

Both of these testing tools were in beta mode for a long time. However, after a prolonged stay in beta, both were finally made available to the general public.

So, what can we expect from the tech giant’s new offering here? How much will it impact on the already established and popular testing tools?

Well, Optimize 360 is just a small part of the bigger picture. It’s Google Analytics 360 suit that competitors would need to worry about.

The offerings of Google’s Analytics 360 suite is definitely something that would lure the website owners: – Analytics – Tag Manager

  • Optimize
  • Data Studio (Beta)
  • Surveys
  • Attribution
  • Audience Center

Optimize isn’t Google’s first A/B testing tool

It’s not Google’s first attempt to break into the A/B testing market, but it can be told as the first direct attempt in the same.

With current A/B testing offering with Google Analytics, Google provides a free solution which is quite popular among the website owners. Though it has some downsides like:

  • No visual editor
  • No Multivariate testing and
  • No multi-page testing

Despite these downsides, Google Analytics’ A/B testing is a perfectly enough solution to start with the A/B test and optimization. For anyone with simple needs and high interpretation capabilities, Google Analytics experiments won’t disappoint for sure.

However, the market has become full of better solutions than the ‘Google Analytics experiments’ and they are better in every aspect. They have not spared a single chance to overshadow the Experiments with their:

  • Easy to use interface
  • Simple to understand reports
  • Multi-page testing options
  • Multivariate testing options and
  • URL and audience tracking

With so many independent solutions providing a better tool (in most of the aspect) to users, Google had to head up its game which brought it to Optimize and Optimize 360.

Don’t miss to read our post on Google Optimize where the free option (Optimize) has been explained in detail.

Google’s entry in premium CRO tool market – Google Optimize 360

With both the free and premium options as Google Optimize and Optimize 360, the tech giant has this time directly attempted to enter the Premium CRO tools market. Here is what Google Optimize 360 offers to the premium users:

Visual editing interface- With the added visual editor in premium Optimize 360, it’s very easy to make simple text and image changes. The same visual interface also extends to mobile web pages. This is a key addition because, without any WYSIWYG tool, it’s hopeless to compete with the established tools like Adobe Target, or Optimizely.

Native Google Analytics 360 Integration- Some of the tools in the market do provide the easy integration with other Analytic tools, but Google has moved a step ahead with inbuilt Native Google Analytics 360 Integration. GA is widely popular already and is being used by millions, so an assurance from Google regarding the error free numbers in tests will definitely be a plus point for the tech giant.

Powerful URL and audience targeting- While only a few of the existing A/B testing solutions provide efficient targeting, Google Optimize 360 has used this ground to prove its efficacy. With the use of cookies, Data Layer variables (GTM), geographies and marketing channels, URL targeting, behavior targeting etc it determines who should see what on a site. Most of these targeting options are also available in the free Optimize version.

Easy experiment setup and deployment- Easier user interface has always been a pro for third party solutions. However, Optimize 360 is not far behind this time. The Optimize tag is a butter to implement using the Google Tag Manager.

Extended testing capability- Where GA Experiments could only provide small A/B/n testing, Optimize 360 goes a step forward by its ability to handle complex MVT structures. Do you think it as a USP for a Premium tool? Almost every premium tool in the market provide complex MVT handling with better UI. What do you think?

How would you compare?

Google Optimize 360 is undoubtedly a better solution than the GA Experiments, but it be won’t precise to compare the both. GA Experiments is Free of cost, Optimize 360 is expected to cost you $150,000 per year.

However, looking at the features of Optimize 360, it automatically takes me the current third party solutions. Almost all the features can be found in one or another competitor. Moreover, I could not find these features in the Google’s advertisement which third party tools effectively provide:

  • Multi-page experiments
  • Mobile App testing
  • Use of non-analytics goals
  • Integration with third party tools (heatmap tools etc.)
  • Ability to Pause & update tests

Maybe Google has put these features in the line, and they might hit the floor anytime in the future. Till then third party tools does not seem to lag in any of the features Optimize 360 offer.

One thing that would definitely provide the traction to Google is its recently announced free version – Google Optimize. It turns out that despite many restrictions, it’s the only free A/B testing available. However, currently, there are some tools which provide free trail but just for a limited period only, except for MockingFish A/B testing tool which gives a free trial period of a whole one year.

What could be the implications?

Google is a huge brand. Any person or business seeking a solution or product would be definitely lured to take a look if Google also provides that solution. Same goes with the Optimize or Optimize 360. Businesses looking for a CRO tool would want to at least try the free version once because it’s from the Google.

That’s great. A trusted brand with its new offering that everyone would like to try. However, we must not ignore that fact that Google is new in this field and its self-serve knowledge base might not be a comprehensive enough. It is most likely possible that False-positives would be frequent.

I don’t see Google killing other solutions here. Optimize 360 is a luxury for small and medium sized businesses. With its high cost (around $150000 per year) only big enterprises can afford it. While the small businesses would have to manage with the free version which is limited but sufficient to meet fundamental requirements. Alternately, the affordable tools are already there that may suit the small and medium sized business better.


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