Google is pretty clear that support for the product will be fully terminated in September – this means if you have any experiments running in the platform on that date, they will be stopped. The date is the same for both Google Optimize 360 users as well as the free version – hinting that an extension to the product sunset date is unlikely.
How To Prepare
Google has not specified yet whether they will be replacing Google Optimize with any other product. While the announcement says ‘we understand the value of A/B testing for marketers, and will be sharing new ways to bring experimentation at scale to businesses in the coming weeks’, at this point we cannot guarantee Google will be releasing another product.
This doesn’t mean you should jump into meetings with testing vendors just yet. As we wait for more information on Google’s next steps, Google Optimize being sunsetted is a great opportunity to re-think your experimentation program, its strategy, and what business needs it fulfills. This way your business will be prepared and ready to act, regardless of Google’s next steps.
How to Futureproof your Experimentation Strategy
At Incubeta, we view experimentation as the core of Business Strategy – and it is most successful when viewed as part of a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) program. Not only does it have the potential to bring great returns, it also brings more attention to the value of the website/app journey – a brand’s virtual ‘shop floor’. In short, optimizing your customer experience has the potential to significantly increase the returns of your existing assets.
Therefore, the first step should be to review your current experimentation strategy, technology and roadmap – asking yourself the questions listed below. Be sure to consider what your business really needs from an experimentation tool.
Strategy – what business value does my experimentation program drive?
- What decisions do you make based on your experiments? Do they impact your holistic understanding of customers?
- Is your experimentation a part of a wider CRO strategy?
- What is the monetary impact of the changes you implement as a result of your experiments? Is the real-world impact matching the projections?
Technology – how does my experimentation tool connect with my website/app
- How does your current experimentation tool integrate technically with the website/app
- What measurement solution do you use to understand the test results?
- How do you act on the test results – what is the ‘release to live’ process?
Roadmap – the future of your experimentation
- Do you plan to scale up my experimentation? If yes – in what timeframe?
- How many elements of the website/campaigns are you testing?
- How often do you review the past experiments and the roadmap based on this data?
What Does this Mean for me?
If you are not a Google Optimize user, then there is no action you need to take, as no other products will be affected.
If you use Google Optimize – whether the free or the premium 360 version – you will need to migrate to another tool. As we mentioned above, it’s a great opportunity to rethink your experimentation needs and strategy.
We recommend reviewing your strategy while we wait for Google’s update on their approach to experimentation. This way you’ll be able to select a vendor matching your specific business needs – whether Google releases another product, or not.
What About my Data?
Google is very clear that you will not be able to access any data past the sunset date: ‘You won’t be able to access your experience inference results or your historical Google Analytics 4 raw data after the sunset data’. For this reason we encourage users to download any data they wish to keep. If you want to keep a record of your historical data from Google Optimize, you can either download the reports or export the data using API. If you need help in planning the data download, our data team will be happy to help! You can get in touch with us at [email protected].
What Do I Do Now?
We know the upcoming changes may seem daunting. At Incubeta, we have vast experience across various testing partners, and should the need arise, would be happy to help you choose the right tool for your specific business needs.
We are here to help ensure that your ongoing testing strategy stays on track through September and beyond – contact us at [email protected] to find out more and book in a chat with our specialists.