All posts by Ankur Sharma

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How De Nieuwe Zaak Improved Productivity Using The VWO API

About De Nieuwe Zaak

De Nieuwe Zaak is a leading full-service digital agency based in Zwolle, Netherlands. With a team of over 90 experts, they provide innovative, high-quality digital commerce solutions for retailers, wholesalers, and brands alike.

They have been using VWO since 2012 to conduct A/B tests and optimize websites for many of their clients. Being such an extensive VWO user, they are constantly investigating how they can make use of the platform to make their processes more efficient and produce faster results.

De Nieuwe Zaak recently started using the VWO Application Programming Interface (API), which has drastically improved the productivity of their development teams with regard to building A/B test campaigns by using VWO. They recently published a blog post sharing their experience using VWO and the API; you can read it here.

Challenges Before Using VWO API

De Nieuwe Zaak has more than 12 years of experience in implementing and creating web applications. In these years, they have standardized their development process.

For them, setting up A/B tests is a collaboration between CRO & UX consultants and developers. The CRO & UX consultant analyzes the user research data and comes up with a hypothesis for an A/B test, and developers write the code for it.

Front-end developers work in their own Integrated Development Environment (IDE), such as Visual Studio, Sublime, or Webstorm, as these editors provide excellent support for writing code in HTML, SCSS, and JavaScript. After a piece of code is complete, it is stored in a version management system such as GIT and Bitbucket so that it is never lost.

Before the front-end developers at De Nieuwe Zaak started using the VWO API, they used to write the code for the test variations on the VWO code editor. However, they wanted to be able to write code in the IDE familiar to them for improved efficiency.

How VWO API Helped Improve Productivity

Developers at De Nieuwe Zaak used the VWO API to visualize tests in dashboards, analyze test results, and implement code changes in their campaigns. Here is how the process worked:

For any API to work, 2 applications are required. With one being VWO, developers at De Nieuwe Zaak wrote a small NodeJS application that now runs on their computers with the help of extensive documentation provided by VWO.

The NodeJS application communicates with VWO by using an automated task runner called GruntJS and an asynchronous request initiated by the browser, also known as an Ajax call.

With the first version of the VWO API, front-end developers at De Nieuwe Zaak were able to retrieve the JavaScript and CSS code pieces from their version management system, and then push the changes to VWO. Further, they could accommodate using SCSS instead of CSS, which is easier to manage and write code in. Below is a schematic representation of the process:

Summary of Benefits

De Nieuwe Zaak is one of the first VWO customers worldwide that started using the VWO API. In addition to improving their efficiency and reducing the overall time spent from scratch till the end for implementing a test, the development team at De Nieuwe Zaak has been able to:

  • Improve code quality by using SCSS, instead of plain CSS.
  • Write code in an environment familiar to them.
  • Ensure safety of their code by using version management.
  • Create and extend the API link to further accommodate their use cases.
  • Follow their existing processes and frameworks to develop websites.

The VWO API is very extensive and is very well documented. At De Nieuwe Zaak, we use the API for visualizing reports in dashboards and implementing test. Particularly, the process of implementing tests with the API made the implementation more sustainable.

– Pascal Alferink, Developer at De Nieuwe Zaak

The post How De Nieuwe Zaak Improved Productivity Using The VWO API appeared first on Blog.

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How De Nieuwe Zaak Improved Productivity Using The VWO API

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Results From Our Latest A/B Test: Here’s The New VWO Logo!

Over the past 8 years, we’ve made some key (and some minor) changes to the look and feel of our brand. Around this time last year, we revamped our website for the launch of VWO Conversion Optimization Platform™.

As an organization that thrives on a culture of experimentation, we are always looking into data to discover insights for optimization. By turning our opinions into hypotheses, we test changes for almost everything which could have a significant impact on the business, and then derive the next logical step. Based on this simple framework, we recently made a minor change to the VWO logo. Before we delve further into the hypothesis behind this change, look at the logo in its full glory:

The Hypothesis: Making The Letters V, W, and O Prominent Will Improve Readability

In the beginning, our product was called Visual Website Optimizer. However, over the years, people (including us) fondly started abbreviating it to VWO. This is what the VWO logo looked like during this gradual change:

More recently, we dropped the accompanying text “Visual Website Optimizer” completely, and also started referring to our product as just “VWO.”

With this change, we realized that it would be hard for someone unfamiliar with our brand to read or understand our logo. We hypothesized that if the letters “V,” “W,” and “O” were made distinguishable, the brand name VWO would stand out more clearly.

The Test: Conducting an A/B/C Test to Choose a Winner

After the hypothesis was finalized, our design team created a new variation of the logo, per the new specification. Next, we decided to test the hypothesis by conducting extensive user testing through 5-second tests on UsabilityHub.

Five-second tests are a method of usability testing, where the participants are shown a visual for only 5 seconds, and then asked questions corresponding to it.

For our tests, we selected a sample of participants from across the globe, with varying demographics, location, and other attributes. They were showed the 3 variations of the logo—the existing one, the proposed one, and the one with VWO written as well-spaced plain text. Next, we asked the participants the question “What do you read?” to which they had to type in a response.

For the proposed logo, we got 90% of them answering “VWO”, as opposed to only 66% for the existing one. For the variation with VWO written as well-spaced text, the response was around 96%.

The Result: Reinforced Belief in the Potential of Testing

As an obvious next step, we decided to make this minor update to our logo which can now be seen to be live across all our digital properties. We’re proud of the fact that the basic tenets of experimentation continue to give direction to our efforts.

If it wasn’t for validating our initial, seemingly insignificant hypothesis, VWO wouldn’t have got a brand new identity. We strive to uphold this culture in our organization for the years to come.

What do you think of our new logo? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

The post Results From Our Latest A/B Test: Here’s The New VWO Logo! appeared first on Blog.

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Results From Our Latest A/B Test: Here’s The New VWO Logo!

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VWO Partners With HubSpot To Create An 8-Week CRO Planner

It’s 2018, and CRO isn’t just a buzzword anymore! Over the past decade, savvy businesses have been growing by not only investing in traffic acquisition strategies, but also ensuring that visitors to their website are converting into customers.

At VWO, we understand how daunting and time-consuming CRO can seem, so we joined hands with HubSpot to bring you a DIY guide, which will help you learn and implement process-oriented CRO for your business.

DIY Guide to increase website conversions

In our experience of working with 5,000+ customers across the globe, we’ve seen that the journey from start to first few home runs in optimizing conversions usually takes 8 weeks.

Therefore, we’ve designed this guide to take you on a week-by-week journey on how you can lift your conversion rates in a methodical, sustainable manner. Here’s what the 8-week of conversion optimization journey will cover:

  • Understanding the goals and principles of CRO
  • Conducting a conversion rate audit for your website
  • Identifying areas of improvement in your conversion funnel
  • Conducting qualitative research into your visitor behavior
  • Constructing educated hypotheses and prioritizing these for testing
  • Choosing the right experiment and setting up your testing platform
  • Analyzing and learning from your A/B test results
  • Ensuring continuous growth through CRO

…and more!
Guide from VWO and HubSpot on increasing website conversions

After you’ve followed this guide, you’ll be equipped with the know-hows to increase conversion rates time and again, instead of doing it just once.

What’s more, even if your company is young or on a shoestring budget, you would be able to effectively practice conversion optimization in-house, all by yourself.

Grab your copy of The Complete DIY Guide To Improving Conversions in 60 Days here.

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VWO Partners With HubSpot To Create An 8-Week CRO Planner

How New Year Resolutions Can Help You Optimize Your Life

We’re all aware that our time on this planet is limited. It’s an undeniable, yet liberating fact about human life.

This is one of the reasons that as humans:

  • we aspire to achieve greatness in everything we do,
  • we aspire to take the world forward,
  • we aspire to be our best possible selves, and so on.

To achieve success and improve our lives, we’re trying to optimize the limited time we have.

At the start of 2018, many of us would have made New Year resolutions for the year, in the hope to change an undesired trait or behavior, achieve a personal goal, or otherwise improve any aspect of our lives.

We make new year resolutions for them to serve as a personal roadmap in meeting the goals for the next 12 months.

In this blog post, we’ll focus on how you can achieve your new year resolutions by following and applying conversion rate optimization principles.

New Year Resolutions and CRO

At VWO, we champion the idea of following conversion rate optimization as a structured, methodical process.

Over time, CRO experts and practitioners have realized that being methodical and data-driven in your approach can increase the propensity of your success manifold.

Without it, you’re just shooting in the dark, hoping for something to stick.

Similarly, if you follow a framework for optimizing your life (read “achieving your new year resolutions”), the chances of your success will increase.

Step 1: Research: Identify Key Areas of Improvement

The first step of the Conversion Rate Optimization process is to identify key areas of improvement by tracking your visitors’ behavior.

You begin with analyzing the quantitative data you have available from tracking goals and funnels, to pinpoint what parts of the conversion funnel needs fixing. This data tells you where customers are dropping off in your conversion funnel.

Next, you look at the qualitative data available from your visitors’ visual behavior analysis, website surveys and form analytics, to figure out the reason why your they are dropping off.

Only when you know what needs fixing, can you go ahead and plan to fix it. Which is why research is the most crucial step of your conversion rate optimization process.

The more thorough and comprehensive your research, the better your chances of success.

Takeaway for Your New Year Resolutions

Just like the first step in the CRO process is finding what to improve, the first step in setting new year resolutions for yourself should be to identify what habits, behaviors, or aspects of your life you wish to change.

For this, you’ll have to rely on the corresponding empirical information about yourself you already know.  

Consider this example: for the previous year, you have been running low on money at the end of every month. You now know the where of the problem.

The reason being, the exorbitant shopping and regular cafe-hopping, among many others. This gives you the probable why of the problem.

With this information available, you are now aware of one aspect of your life that you can improve. Apply the same to figure out more in a similar manner.

Step 2: Hypothesis Phase – Construct an Educated Hypothesis

After the research is complete, you’re able to identify the pages that have the highest drop-off and hence, scope of improvement.

Per this information, you should be able to construct a hypothesis about what changes to your pages or funnel can bring about a desired change.

At its core, a hypothesis consists of 3 parts:

Here’s an example of a good hypothesis: I believe moving trust signals closer to the billing form will result in 5% more checkouts because it instills confidence in the payment gateway.

Takeaway for Your New Year Resolutions

From the research phase, you can glean enough information to make an educated guess about the changes you can make to your life and their possible impact.

Building on the example shared in the previous step, consider the following hypothesis:

I believe freezing 20% of my monthly salary in advance will result in having adequate money at the end of the month with me because I won’t be making unnecessary expenses.

Similarly, you can create more hypotheses for your new year resolutions, based on the areas of improvements identified from your research.

After you have a number of hypotheses available, prioritize these as the next step.

Step 3: Prioritization Phase – Prioritize Test Ideas

After you uncover areas of improvement for your funnel and create hypotheses for testing, you need to plan out your testing schedule. What do you test first?

Several frameworks exist to help us out here. One of the most popular is the P.I.E. framework formulated by Chris Goward at WiderFunnel:

Takeaway for Your New Year Resolutions

Depending on what you’re aiming to improve and the many ways possible for you to achieve it, you’d have created a number of new year resolutions, which you can go ahead and follow.

However, not all new year resolutions would be created equally. Perhaps you’d want to focus more on being physically fit than cutting down on your spending habits. Which is why you should prioritize.

Just as it would make more sense to reduce drop-off on your eCommerce store checkout page first compared to the home page. You need to determine what new year resolutions you should focus on more and then aim to follow the plan through the end.

Step 4: Testing Phase — Choose the Right Test and Set It Up

After the hypotheses are created and prioritized, it is time to test these per the complexity of the change to be implemented by using A/B Test, Multivariate Test, or Split URL Test.

Testing helps validate or invalidate your hypothesis, else it can give you learning to implement in future optimization efforts.

Thankfully, the operational aspect of setting up and measuring your tests can be taken care of by an A/B testing software, which also comes built-in within VWO’s conversion optimization platform.

Takeaway for Your New Year Resolutions

By now, you would have prioritized the actions you need to take to achieve your new year resolutions. You should go ahead and implement these.

You can track the progress of the results you achieved for fixed durations (say, two months), and see if these are close to the expectations.

For the example we had been considering in the steps above, you can do the following:

Save an amount that you would need by the end of the month, in a bank account other than your primary one. See if you are able to manage without having to spend it before the d-days arrive.

In case the plan for improvement you have created is not helping, you should go back and create a new one, based on fresh research and analysis.

Step 5: Learning Phase — How To Analyze Test Results

Learning from your test results is the last but an equally important task as any other in your conversion optimization journey.

If your hypothesis is validated, that is, your test is successful, go ahead and implement the winning version on your live website. Also, share your learning with team members and other departments.

If your hypothesis is invalidated, that is, your test has been unsuccessful, jot down all the key learning points for future optimization experiments. Make sure you don’t repeat the mistakes, if any.

Takeaway for Your New Year Resolutions

Based on the success, or the failure, of the improvement plan you’ve set yourself on, you should decide whether to follow it till the end, or to change things altogether while including learning from your efforts.

Are You Ready to Optimize Your Life?

Let’s face it. Following up on your new year resolutions, acquiring good habits, and so on is… tough, to say the least. It requires a whole lot of determination, will power, and focus to bring a drastic change in your life.

As optimization and experimentation are our bread and butter, with this post, we aim to contribute our perspective on how you can achieve your new year resolutions, keeping in mind the concepts of conversion rate optimization.

We believe you can follow the CRO framework to optimize your new year resolutions, and hence, your life. At the very least, you’d have experimented with something new and practical.

Well, isn’t that what optimization is all about?

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How New Year Resolutions Can Help You Optimize Your Life