The terms “A/B and multivariate testing” sound like something out of a college statistics textbook. However, it’s something businesses with an online presence need to consider in order to iterate quickly and improve their customer’s journey.
SiteSpect was founded in 2004 by CTO, Eric Hansen. Hansen was motivated to start the company after several years as a serial entrepreneur and digital consultant. In the early 2000s, businesses increasingly had a digital presence when more and more people were going online to conduct transactions.
He repeatedly encountered that the companies he worked with would experiment with the type of content and functionality they presented online to the end user. Often companies would be taking educated guesses to determine what factors impacted conversions.
Hansen explained that his customers would often ask, “Is there some way to try a couple of different designs and see which one is most effective with the end-user and ideally be able to measure their behavior with someone voting with their wallet – did they purchase something or did they not?”
“The emphasis became that companies needed to have an effective, usable and persuasive experience online,” Hansen explains. And that’s when he set out to build a product that would allow site operators to use experimentation and optimization to create experiments and measure their end-user’s behaviors.
“Traditionally A/B testing had been done offline. Try something new, see the results and compare to what you did before – the idea of test, learn, repeat,” Hansen says. “Now, online you can do testing with massive scale, with fast timing and turnaround and can learn a lot about what is influential and important to your end users.”
That’s where SiteSpect comes in. The platform provides a suite of tools and techniques that make it possible to conduct A/B testing, multivariate testing, personalization and behavioral targeting at scale.
The technology gives people the ability to run experiments and see how it impacts end user’s behaviors. Hansen explains, “The worst thing you can do is roll out a change to your website which reduces or hinders your business KPI such as conversion rate or average order value and not realize it.”
“That’s become a big part of what we do is,” Hansen adds. “Not only figuring out what works better but also identify what actually hurts performance and give the user the ability to revert that change to get things back to the original which was performing better.”
When it comes to SiteSpect and the company's culture, Hansen describes that an emphasis on individual ownership is a key component. “When you join, there is a lot that you can influence and work on,” he says. “If it’s your project or you’ve agreed to deliverables – you own it and the success or failure for following through. That can either be terrifying or immensely empowering to someone.”
Hansen went on to explain the mindset that someone must have to be successful at a small company or startup is, “They’re looking for ways to own something, make it their own, shine and drive success as opposed to being responsible for a small aspect of a project and not seeing the big picture.”
Overall, Hansen shared, “My professional mission is to make digital technology easier for people to use and benefit from.”
SiteSpect works with a range of organizations including, Staples, Bed Bath & Beyond, Expedia, Target and Esurance.