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.
In VWO, personalization is tightly integrated with research. They offer over 20 predefined segments for personalization, including new versus returning visitors, browser, and query parameter. Keep in mind, in order to use VWO as a personalization solution you will have to opt for the enterprise tier of the CRO platform as only this plan includes advanced targeting and goal tracking.
VWO recently updated its pricing. They still have separate packages for testing and conversion optimization. Testing includes A/B, Multivariate, and split tests that can be deployed on web and mobile as well as heat mapping. The latter encompasses these capabilities plus advanced targeting, scroll maps, visitor recordings, funnel reports, form analytics and a variety of surveying tools.
In total, you can choose from five pricing tiers. Advanced segmentation and targeting options are reserved for enterprise while goal tracking is only available in the CRO suite. There is no visible pricing on the website but you can expect a contract that includes all personalization features to start at $20k/year.
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.
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.
- It can come across as pricey.
- 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.