Sitecore Personalize: The Solution to Google Optimize

5 April 2023

By: Natalie Waite, Chief Experience Officer

Category: Blogs

Bye Google Optimize… Hello Sitecore Personalize

With the news that Google Optimize and Optimize 360 will sunset at the end of September 2023, brands worldwide are now deciding which direction to take their experience testing. Optimize was launched over 5 years ago by Google and allowed brands to gently ease their way into the world of experimentation and personalisation with an easy-to-use and free tool, that connects directly into GA.

Google remains committed to enabling businesses to explore testing and are investing in third-party A/B testing integrations for Google Analytics 4, by way of: collaborations with AB Tasty, Optimizely and VWO, and making APIs publicly available to allow anyone to integrate their A/B testing tool with Google Analytics in the coming months. However, after 30th September 2023 Google Optimize and Optimize 360 will no longer be available and any experiments and personalizations will cease. So… the count down is on and user demands for friction free, relevant experiences stands firm.

In light of this news it comes as no surprise that the usual suspects in experimentation and personalisation are flexing, with some entering into new territory by offering lower priced versions to rapidly capture the market that Google will ultimately release by the end of September.

Convert, for example, have tiering structures that start from $99/month for their entry level Convert Community Web package, allowing brands to limit their risk and exposure during their initial phases of experimentation maturity.

Optimizely, named as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) for four consecutive years and recommended by Google, have a temptingly strong offering with their Optimizely Experimentation product. With a solid background in the category, having ‘created the A/B testing category over 10 years ago’ and with claims to being the ‘the world leader in digital experimentation’, and of course, as noted above it integrates seamlessly into Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads. Powerful stuff. Optimizely is even offering a ‘Special discount for Google Optimize customers’ – a one-time-only platform + migration services discount to entice experimentation teams try test out their offering. Tempting stuff. A great offering.

However, it would be remiss of me not to draw your attention to a firm favourite of mine… Sitecore… also regularly named in the Leader category of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs)… six consecutive years for Sitecore!

Now, since the new world of Sitecore has formed and made its way onto the stage, it’s no secret the compatibility, flexibility and scalability of the SaaS based portfolio is rather mouth watering… but SItecore Personalize…. Hellooooooooo, my friend!

Gartner Magic Quadrant

Figure 1. showing the Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines

Sitecore Personalize has been named A Visionary in Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines, and Gartner makes reference to the pricing structure being one of the simplest in the category, which is always a bonus when selecting and procuring a new tool for business use. Simply put it’s an elegant powerhouse – underpinned by sophisticated A/B testing and personalization capabilities and boasting an intuitive simple to use interface, it picks up where Google Optimize fell short on its offering for businesses that are serious about continuous experimentation and optimisation.

Personalize is Sitecore’s SaaS offering and it presents huge leaps forward from their on premise solution that Sitecore XP offers, in many ways (forever and always an XP fan ❤️). The software is a cloud-native, API first platform and forms part of their composable DXP suite… so it offers businesses great flexibility, scalability and connectivity. This step change in its offering really allows brands to up their game by delivering connected personalised and optimised experiences across channels, rather than siloed, isolated testing. Whilst it can work beautiful as a solo act, it becomes infinitely more powerful when connected to a CDP. Which means more context via the connected data sets, more informed and powerful decisioning. – Customer data across various channels can be captured and merged to trigger customer experience where and when it’s needed.

From a users perspective it is quick to get up and running, and easy to use with simplicity baked into its user-friendly interface that allows marketing and optimisation teams to move quickly with the creation and management of personalisation and tests. Out of the box the tool offers customisable templates that are simple to update, which means less dependancy on technical expertise and the ability to be reactive when needed. As you’d expect it comes ready loaded with lots of out-of-the-box personalisation rules and options, such as location and behavioural targeting for teams to get started with from the off… so personalisation is truly just a click away. Lovely jubbly.

What can I say… I’m a fan!

Of course, we are huge advocates of Sitecore and will naturally pose a Sitecore product where we sit fit. However, we are also acutely aware that businesses have differing needs and expectations regarding the tools they invest in. Our Optimisation team is clued up on all products and is on the same page as Sitecore… we are friendly neighbours and ensure the tools we put in front of our clients have been assessed against the market and are in accordance with the business requirements to create experiences that convert.

If you’re looking for advice and support on where to go next with your testing and optimisation plans we can help.

Want to know what else Sitecore has on offer? Check out our breakdown of Sitecore XM Cloud, their latest SaaS headless platform, here.

About Sagittarius

Sagittarius is an award-winning digital agency that helps brands create high-converting digital experiences. Established in the UK with over 40 years of experience, we’re a multinational team of innovators, visionaries, strategists, and problem solvers who will optimise your web experience and use data-led decisions to power up your CRO, content, and UX. We take a marketing-first approach to our development, baking in performance and measurement to deliver impressive ROI on your technology investment. We specialise in Sitecore as a complete or composable DXP platform and have our own Sitecore Optimisation Consultancy and training academy to empower your people.

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