What is Optimizely?
Optimizely is a digital experience platform that can help enterprises deliver engaging web experiences and success through data-driven decisions, continuous experimentation, and constant innovation. Until its acquisition by Episerver back in 2020 , Optimizely was a platform that helped developers create and conduct A/B tests to optimize user experiences on their websites.
But since then, Episerver, who themselves rebranded as Optimizely, has undergone a transformation that has seen it recognized as a leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms . It now boasts commerce, content, optimization, and real-time intelligence services in one platform that personalizes experiences at scale.
Furthering its position in the market, Optimizely announced it would acquire Welcome Software, a content marketing platform. With Welcome now added, Optimizely aims to provide a content marketing platform (CMP), marketing resource management (MRM), and digital asset management (DAM) as part of its growing list of marketer-friendly features.
Let’s take a closer look at the main features of Optimizely and why enterprises are adopting it.
Features and Product Offerings on Optimizely
With Optimizely, enterprises can deliver engaging digital experiences. To achieve this, it offers several products such as Digital Experience Platform, Content, Commerce, Web Experimentation, Intelligence, and more. Let’s dive into a few of these products, including their features and benefits.
Digital Experience Platform
Like all DXPs, the Optimizely Digital Experience Platform offers a range of products and features that help enterprises create compelling experiences and customer journeys across all channels. With it, you can leverage features that will help improve brand awareness and interactions through personalization and experimentation.
Other out-of-the-box capabilities include content creation, commerce, experimentation, AI/ML personalization, and customer data. Which means that you’re always ready to meet ever-growing demands of the modern consumer.
Content is at the center of all modern digital experiences. Consumers want to receive relevant, personalized, and contextual content. Optimizely offers Content Cloud for such purposes. It enables you to create targeted content and accelerate content delivery as the needs of the business change. How does it accomplish this? Here’s how:
- Content Management: Marketers need the autonomy to create targeted content experiences without relying on IT support. With a market-friendly platform, they can manage content across all channels with lesser developer overhead compared to other platforms.
- Authoring and layout: Marketers also get advanced features for creating and editing content and templates, including drag-and-drop layout, and content preview functionalities with easy-to-use interfaces. On top of that, you can easily create, reuse, edit, and map content to drive conversions and interactions.
- Omnichannel experiences with headless capabilities: Optimizely centralizes an enterprise’ digital presence, delivering across multiple channels, along with AI-powered personalized recommendations to enhance user experience.
- A/B testing: Have you ever wondered how your consumers will feel about a new feature or component? A/B testing enables you to run different test variations for more insight into your customer preferences. It’s a quick way to see which elements convert best and make instant changes to the buyer experience.
- Media management: Optimizely provides several options for media update and delivery including an in-browser editing tool, automated content delivery tailored to visitor behavior, and a fast and reliable Content Delivery Network (CDN).
- Project collaboration:One advantage that comes with leveraging Optimizely for your enterprise is the number of features available to you. Optimizely Content Cloud provides your team with features to manage project pipelines within the platform, where you can comment and share them for external review and approval.
- Targeting: With Optimizely Content Cloud, you can gather real-time or historical data on your visitors to create better and more compelling experiences.
With Optimizely Commerce Cloud, you can take advantage of the seamless integration of Content Cloud on your eCommerce business. It incorporates everything you need in an integrated commerce suite such as CMS, cart, checkout, personalization, search, A/B testing, promotions engine, multi-site, and more.
Before its acquisition and then rebranding, Optimizely’s core products revolved only around optimization. Intelligence Cloud is a platform for delivering innovation, scaling experiments, and optimizing experiences. For the best experiences, you need to rapidly analyze, understand, and generate actionable insights from your data.
Optimizely uses AI to test and evaluate new features and personalize every interaction. Here’s how:
- Web Experimentation: It is one of the most effective experimentation platforms available, offering features that elicit valuable insights and compelling experiences.
- Personalization: It enables enterprises to deliver targeted messages, tailored offers, and relevant recommendations.
- Email: With Optimizely, you can create, automate, and optimize email campaigns.
Why Enterprises Are Opting for Optimizely
Optimizely is one of the highest-rated DXP leaders, according to Gartner. Many enterprises have adopted Optimizely to help build engaging omnichannel digital experiences and scale their business. Here are a few reasons for their increasing popularity among top enterprises:
- Best-in-class enterprise CMS: An enterprise should strive to deliver scalable experiences across all its touchpoints. For this to happen, it’s crucial to have features for omnichannel content delivery, digital asset management, intuitive authoring and layout with WYSIWYG editor, and advanced personalization features. Optimizely offers a robust CMS that meets the needs of the modern enterprise.
- Robust eCommerce solution: In line with having a robust CMS, enterprises need modern sales and commerce solutions such as a cart, catalog, PIM targeting, multisite, one-to-one personalization, advanced search features, analytics, and AI-powered product recommendations.
- Advanced optimization: You can’t just be the best right now; you need to stay the best for the foreseeable future as well. How do you do that? Continuously improve, experiment, and innovate. By leveraging Optimizely, enterprises can optimize digital experiences and foster engagements across all their channels. With that, they can future-proof their tech stack, ensuring that they’re agile and flexible enough to meet present and future demands.
- Intuitive interface: No digital experience platform is complete without an intuitive, marketer-friendly interface and ecosystem. Optimizely is an easy-to-use platform with drag-and-drop functionality, visual editor, customizable experiments, content authoring and approval workflows, and many more.
- Data and analytics: Data remains the cornerstone of any personalization or AI-powered platform. Optimizely helps you gather, analyze, map, and deliver relevant data for better digital experiences and personalization.
- Cloud-native hosting: With the use of a cloud-hosted platform, you can quickly scale your site to meet your needs.
- Detailed development support: Having the right support is crucial for any implementation or platform usage. You don’t want a platform with a long turnaround when a feature or service is down. Why? Because the hidden cost of website downtime can impact your business significantly. Enterprises can benefit from the support that Optimizely offers to assist with any issues they might encounter.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing Optimizely
Optimizely enables enterprises to deliver engaging and immersive digital experiences. But it may not be the best option for all enterprises. In some cases, Sitecore may be the more suitable choice. Let’s take a look at some of the crucial factors to consider when choosing a DXP:
Optimizely’s DXP is an amalgamation of different products, including acquisitions, making it a siloed platform. While this shouldn’t be a problem, it can still be a hassle for enterprises looking to get these features out of the box.
In comparison, Sitecore offers seamless out-of-the-box integrations with its products. As a result, enterprises get readily available features to help drive their digital experiences.
Not all enterprises come with a sizable marketing budget. Depending on where you fall on that spectrum, you’ll want to choose your DXP platform very carefully. With Sitecore and Optimizely, you’ll need to budget for costs associated with partners and agencies when it comes to migration, implementation, or maintenance due to the platform’s complexity.
Sitecore costs more in the long run compared to Optimizely. Even with this, Sitecore offers several out-of-the-box features that make the investment worthwhile.
Partner Support and Technical Feasibility
Having the right solution partner is essential in implementing a DXP. Sitecore boasts of an extensive list of experienced partners and support teams. Their network includes almost 800 partners across the globe.
Despite Optimizely’s claim to be easy to use across all products, it requires substantial development work for deployment and maintenance, and often, their partner ecosystem isn’t mature enough to help. Moreover, they don’t have as many partners as Sitecore.
Read more: Sitecore Support Options for Enterprises
A quick glance at Sitecore’s architecture reveals how much more complex it is when compared to Optimizely. This complexity can be beneficial for some customers but cumbersome for others. Moreover, initial Sitecore rollouts can take twice as long as Optimizely, and platform upgrades can take even longer.
In contrast, Optimizely enables enterprises to accomplish more with fewer features, ensuring a faster time to market.
AI and Personalization
As with many Sitecore features, customers often have difficulty maximizing all its potential due to its complexity. Even though the platform recently acquired Boxever and has an internal AI module, it relies on third-party vendors to provide artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.
Optimizely integrates automation and artificial intelligence with a comprehensive customer data platform that facilitates better marketing decisions.
How to Get Started With Optimizely
So far, you’ve learned about Optimizely and how it helps you build a digital experience platform tailored to your needs. With it, you can leverage advanced AI and personalization features, an intuitive CMS, modern commerce experiences, and an optimization platform. When used effectively. It can help brands deliver greater business ROI if you implement and use it effectively.
Oshyn is a trusted Optimizely partner that has created exceptional digital experiences for brands and creative agencies globally. With some of the best Optimizely developers in the market, Oshyn helps businesses grow by leveraging their content more effectively and improving customer experience.
One company that leveraged Oshyn’s help in implementing Episerver, now Optimizely, to outstanding success is TCDRS. In just 7 days after deployment with Oshyn, the company saw a remarkable 42.7% decrease in bounce rate.
Want to know how Oshyn made this possible? Find out more about this case study.