VWO is an “A/B Testing and Conversion Optimization Platform”. It is a place where – qualitative and quantitative – visitor research and A/B testing is combined. It is possible to set up a roadmap for experimentation and then keep on running experiments.
While VWO provides personalization possibilities, their main focus is user research and optimization. Basically, they are very scientific about it. You can create segments, identify needs and create experiences that would match those needs. This works across different devices and domains.
VWO has a 5-step process: Track, Analyze, Plan, Test and Target. Create variations of your website, set goals for what you want your visitors to do (signing up, purchasing, downloading etc.) – then as any testing tool, split your traffic and look for the best performing option.
In the research phase you get to know your visitors and their tendencies on your website through heatmaps, analytics and more. The information gathered is then used to come up with ideas for better suited personalizations. Because if you want effective personalization, first you need to know your audience, according to VWO.
VWO has separate prices for its Testing and Conversion Optimization. Testing, in the standard plan, for startups is 49 USD per month and 129 USD for businesses. The enterprise plan is custom, starting from 999 USD per month.
The Conversion Optimization Platform consists of the classic testing and personalization features and more. It has three plans:
- Growth package at 299 USD per month,
- Pro package for 599 USD,
- Enterprise package for which you must contact sales.
To get started, you need to add some code to your website.
There is a 24/7 support department that you can reach with phone or email, but this is mainly for Enterprise users.
- A/B testing: test different versions of your pages
- Multivariate testing: test multiple changes, all at once.
- Split URL testing: test more significant design changes with redirect experiments.
- Multi page experiments: show tailor made designs to your visitors.
- Mobile App testing: test two different versions of a mobile map.
- Visual and code editor: make visual changes as well as code changes.
- Preview experiment: see how your experiments will appear on different devices.
- Heatmaps and visitor recordings: observe how visitors interact with your pages.
Our respondents were particularly happy with the following features.
- Integration with Google Analytics 360 is possible.
- 3rd party integration with heat map technology is possible.
- Their research and analysis features are better than in some other tools.
- Goal setup is easier than in some other tools.
- They have many integrations available: https://vwo.com/integration/
The following caveats were mentioned in the survey results.
- VwO has a strong background in A/B testing, but is rather new in personalization. There is a lot to be done.
- The cheaper plans, Growth and Pro, are both limited in what they offer for that price.
- It’s a solid product, but you need the Enterprise plan to really benefit.
- Even geo-targeting is in the Enterprise plan.
- There is no built-in multi-page testing functionality (across navigation, check-out etc).
- It can be hard to create tests across pages with complicated URLs.
- Most importantly: if you want to be able to scientifically approach your personalization efforts all the way from A/B testing and up, you need a lot of data to get significant results. Almost nobody does.
The verdict about Visual Website Optimizer
VWO has a strong focus on visitor research and conversion in general. They seem to be adding new features and are now entering the personalization market. This could mean good things are coming. It could also mean that the transition will take time as well, with possibly some trial and error.
VWO’s Testing feature is great for beginners and casual testers, as features like heatmaps could provide more inspiration for various test ideas. If you are an experienced marketer or designer, who already has the knowledge regarding your visitors and customers, you could look at the more powerful options they offer for personalization.
However, in general, we really appreciate the solid, almost scientific approach that VWO has to offer. The company tries to do it right: after all, navigating on gut feel is risky. However, while the suite seems very suitable for early stage marketers from a UX point-of-view, reaching statistical significance may be within reach of enterprise customers only.