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Optimizely releases new products signaling its emergence as ‘an Experimentation Platform’
The company, known for its A/B testing, now adds server-side access, OTT devices, and even smart refrigerators to its repertoire.
You may know Optimizely as the A/B testing company for Web and mobile. But today, the San Francisco-based firm is unveiling a new version of its product line that signals its full emergence as “an experimentation platform” for any connected device, in any channel.
The new product line is called Optimizely X. It includes enhancements to its previous web and mobile products, as well as two major new components.
One is X Full Stack, a tool for developers that allows them, for the first time, to conduct server-side experiments via Python, Java, Ruby or Node languages. Previously, brands could only run Optimizely tests on the client side.
For instance, a retailer can now test out sales performance for shoes that are sorted by price against ones that are sorted by type of shoe or by reviews. These sort criteria require server-side access.
Another example, Chief Customer Officer Linda Crawford told me: Vacation rental site Tripping can now use Optimizely to test various queries in its on-site search engine — which also requires back-end access — against different page presentations. Here are screens from X Full Stack:
The other new product: X OTT, enabling experimentation like navigation, site design or messaging on devices employing the tvOS or Android TV platforms. For instance, Netflix on Apple TV might want to experiment with different kinds of movie lineups.
Both new products highlight the company’s ambition to enable experimentation on virtually any connected platform, including virtual reality devices, Amazon Echo or smart refrigerators, Crawford said.
Echo, she noted, supports Python and Java, and can communicate with Optimizely through an API.
A marketer could thus manage the results of testing on various platforms through one consolidated Optimizely set of tools. This universality as a testing platform, Crawford said, is a key differentiator from competitors, which she said tend to be homegrown internal solutions.
Interestingly, Adobe Target released today a new enhancement, called Auto-Target, that it says goes beyond its previous emphasis on rules-based A/B testing, to automated optimization of the many variables in personalized user experience.
In others words, both Optimizely and Adobe Target are growing up, beyond their origins in A/B testing.