Google just announced that on September 30, 2023, it will sunset Google Optimize, its AB Testing tool.
The news shook the Experimentation and AB Testing world since Google Optimize was one of the most popular tools around since it was the only big player that offered a free plan.
And now you might have a lot of questions. Why are they doing this? What should I do if I’m an Optimize user? How does that impact CRO and Experimentation?
But don’t worry! We’ll cover all this and much more in this article.
(Make sure to check our list of alternative tools at the end!)
Officially, Google says it wants to change focus from an “experiments provider” to a “machine learning and measurement platform.”
Google is also saying that they now believe they will deliver more value to Experimenters by offering a stronger and easier integration with any third-party AB Testing tool instead of trying to create their own.
The official date for the sunset is September 30, 2023. But before that, we expect to see Google rolling out some new GA4 integration features to other AB Testing providers.
This would allow GA4 users to move to a new AB Testing tool in a much better scenario than what they would have to face if moving right now.
Google says its vision for AB Testing analysis within GA4 is very exciting and offers many new opportunities.
What exactly it will look like remains to be seen. But we’d like to see, at least in the short/mid-term:
If you are a Google Optimize user, my recommendation is to leave as soon as your context allows it.
Considering what “sunsetting” is all about, it wouldn’t be a surprise if some features suddenly stopped working properly and bugs started to multiply. And, of course, don’t expect any new features.
Using a tool its creator does not fully support anymore can hurt your business in many different ways. Avoid that.
So start working on everything you need to migrate, like:
If you have already migrated from Universal Analytics to GA4, congratulations, you can ignore this step.
But if like most companies, you still haven’t migrated to GA4, it might be a good idea to plan the AB Testing tool migration with it.
This will save you the headache of migrating from Optimize 360 to GA4’s Optimize (only to leave it a few months later.)
And, with this, integrating with the new AB Testing tool will be just one more to-do in your GA4 migration list while you still have a team focused on it.
Straight to the point: I don’t see much change for online experimentation.
You might see some people freaking out with the free option for AB testing going away.
But let’s be honest. The free Google Optimize was only good enough for small companies/initiatives. And most small companies simply don’t have enough traffic for Experimentation.
I’m not saying these small companies should ignore CRO. After all, Conversion Rate Optimization is a long process that uses AB Testing “only” as a last step to validate its results.
By all means, small biz should still do CRO if they want to grow. But AB testing validation is a luxury they don’t have for traffic volume restrictions. So they shouldn’t miss Google Optimize.
And for the big companies, it’s simple: there are a lot of affordable tools around. If a medium/big company says it can’t afford an AB Testing tool, it has more serious cultural problems to handle before worrying about the end of Google Optimize.
And it’s also worth adding that open-source AB Testing tools will probably become more robust from now on. So everyone will still have this option.
We might even see some of the current paid solutions offering free plans to take this huge market Optimize will leave behind.
So, really, whoever you are, don’t freak out. ✌️
That’s the obvious question now, isn’t it?
And we’ve got you covered!
Of course, the right tool will depend greatly on your context. Not only the budget but maturity level, traffic volume, number of experiments, specific features needed, and more.
That’s why there’s no “right” answer here. You have to do your own research and find your match.
But luckily, there are a lot of great tools available. We got in touch with some of them and asked a simple question that I believe will help you:
“Why should companies moving from Google Optimize choose you as their solution for Experimentation?”
Here are their answers:
AB Tasty offers a scalable experimentation & personalization solution for companies prioritizing CRO in their digital strategy. AB Tasty has a major focus on customer service and customer satisfaction, ensuring customers get the most value out of their subscription.
– Layla Khan
Convert.com is the most affordable enterprise-ready tool for A/B testing and is used by Hubspot, Mozilla, Datadog and thousands of other websites. Transparent pricing, fast in-app chat support directly with human experts with deep technical knowledge (second line hardly needed). All the Google Optimize features but then based on users not sessions will make your A/B testing program more solid. Look at every feature we have and don’t have compared to Google Optimize (360).
You get a really strict privacy-oriented partner, with carbon-neutral infrastructure in Frankfurt Germany that has a carbon positive impact on the world (yeah we buy a lot of trees).
– Dennis van der Heijden
Mature testing programs see personalization as the next step in their CRO program’s growth. Dynamic Yield is recognized by Gartner, G2, and Trust Radius as being a leader in the personalization and optimization space. Our customers that switched to Dynamic Yield from Google Optimize are able to launch more experiments with less dev support thanks to helpful tools like our Template Editor. We also offer advanced capabilities for building customer segments, and targeting them with personalized content, messaging, and product recommendations. Dynamic Yield is an omnichannel tool that delivers a consistent personalized experience across the website, email program, and mobile app.
– Jordan Hawkins
Kameleoon is the only optimization solution with web, full-stack, AND feature experimentation capabilities in a single unified platform.
Since Kameleoon is unified, Kameleoon is the only solution that lets teams build “hybrid experiments,” which makes building server-side and feature experiments MUCH easier on developers.
Kameleoon also delivers the most accurate experimentation data. It is the only solution with in-app sample ratio mismatch alerts, a customizable attribution window, and Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) control measures.
Kameleoon also has the highest data security and privacy safeguards. It is HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA compliant and offers customizable consent management features.
With 30+ native integrations, Kameleoon helps both marketing and product leaders increase their test velocity and leverage their tech stacks.
– Collin Crowell
Optimizely is recognized as a leader in the Forrester Wave™: Feature Management And Experimentation analyst report. Optimizely has the largest market presence score. Optimizely received “differentiated” scores in the following criteria: experimentation, audience targeting, and vision.
– Diane Schmidt
Sitespect is an all-in-one solution – no browser cookie interference, Ab, multi-variant, and personalization
– Bill Cunningham
VWO is an all-in-one optimization platform. We have advanced experimentation capabilities that GO lacks, and our experimentation is tied to behavioral analytics to understand better why a certain variation won/lost. More details here.
– Arjun Kunnath
Besides the tools above that kindly answered our questions, some other options we have experience with and that you might want to take into consideration are:
Yes, we know that a list of starting prices could help you a lot. But most AB Testing tools don’t share pricing publicly (we tried).
But expect pricing mainly based on your traffic volume + a setup fee (most of the time).
Choosing the right AB Testing tool (and migrating to it) can be complicated.
But Seer can save you time and reduce your risk by helping find the right tool, install it, and connect it to your stack.
Not only do we have experience and strong partnerships with multiple AB Testing tools, but we are also a Premier Google Partner, so we know how to empower you with all the benefits of the new GA4 integrations for AB Testing tools.
Get in touch, and we’ll happily discuss your scenario and how we can help you.
Source: www.seerinteractive.com, originally published on 2023-01-20 08:00:00