We all like to know what we are getting before we buy, right? Well the same is true for e-commerce merchandisers, marketers and executives. Who doesn’t want to know how something will look or behave on their website before pushing it live? (I know I do.)
In the past, this has been handled by staging environments. Yet, as time goes on, the work required to control all of the elements and features on your pages has decreased and the need to make pages more dynamic has increased. Nowadays, skilled third parties provide useful, proven technologies that greatly reduce the level of effort required. The benefits of these solutions are twofold. First, they decrease the time and effort required to control page elements and make simple changes on a page. Second, they do not require internal resources to make and maintain the solution. As a result, these technologies positively impact a company’s productivity and saves resources. However, it’s often difficult for third parties to work within an organization’s internal staging environment, making it challenging for web teams to get a clear view of what their pages will look like before a release.
Imagine being able to enter a URL or product ID from your website or catalog, experiment with the settings and visibly see (or preview) what the recommendations would look like before updating your website. This is a huge benefit to productivity as it eliminates a lot of unnecessary changes to the site and it provides confidence and security that personalization features you are offering your customers will meet their needs and increase your revenue.
Add A/B Testing to this equation and e-commerce marketers and merchandisers have applications at their fingertips to increase efficiency and improve their bottom line in a way that they can effectively measure, track and report. As an example take a look at Baynote VUE’s preview feature.
When evaluating third party solutions, be sure to check out what they offer in terms of productivity improvement tools and the ability to preview changes before going live on your site.