December 15th 2016

12 CRO predictions for 2017 - Part 1

Written by Andy McKenna

In the spirit of the 12 days of Christmas, we have put together our predictions of what we think are going to be the 12 hot CRO trends in 2017. We’ve already seen a few of these this year, but we feel that 2017 is going to be the year that they get real traction.

Here are the first 6. The next 6 will follow in another blog post:

The demise of the multivariate test 

A growing number of CRO experts, including ourselves, have been recommending A/B/n testing over multivariate testing for a little while now. According to Optimizely, the most effective number of variants to run in a split test is 5. Add to this the time and resource needed to create and analyse multivariate tests, not to mention the traffic required for them to provide a conclusive result, and it soon becomes clear why lots of CRO experts are steering clear of them. 

More companies tailoring more content to more segments

We predict that most companies still won't be engaging in full 'personalisation'. However, many more will start dipping a toe into the water - using insights from the performance of different segments in A/B tests to inform targeted messaging and content. Others that are already dabbling in retargeting will take the next step along the personalisation maturity curve.

Google will disrupt the optimisation tool market

Don't get me wrong - Google's Optimize tool doesn't have the grunt of its bigger competitors in the market (Maxymiser, Optimizely, Adobe Target). But it's definitely good enough for companies that are starting out with CRO. And, most importantly, it's free. Once it has come out of beta, don’t be surprised to see companies switching their testing platform over to Google.

Hypothesis creation and planning will be key

After a long time of it falling on deaf ears, we think the 'importance of a hypothesis' message is finally hitting home. There's certainly been enough emphasis placed on it on CRO blogs and in the Twittersphere. While the days of running experiments based on gut feel and a whim may not be totally dead, in our experience more and more companies are starting to root their optimisation programs in data and hypotheses.

Re-usable content creation for tests

Companies can feel that the creation of multiple experiment variants is an unnecessary expense. Especially as they might never go live. That's why creating scalable content is becoming the vogue, and this will become more and more prevalent in 2017. Companies like Optimizely – with their Optimizely X platform – are allowing companies to run experiments anywhere in their technology stack.    

Upsurge in testing across devices (Apple TV, apps) not just desktop/mobile

We foresee that the current trend of testing solely on desktop and mobile will shift over to other devices. This includes Apple TV and mobile apps. There is a great opportunity for companies to optimise these devices not just for ecommerce sales, but also for in-game purchases and cross-sell/up-sell.

Keep an eye out for the next blog post where we predict another 6 trends to look out for in 2017.