Testing Websites on Users

Web_Testing_MVT_AB_TESTINGRecently in the UK press there has been a lot mentioned about how websites are testing their users.  Facebook and an online dating site are the ones which received press via BBC News.   However, I am questioning why did it get press?  Websites are living breathing organisms in my mind.  Things are constantly changing to ensure better conversion rates, better engagement and ultimately more profit to the company.


Does the public think that website managers are going to get things right first time?

Does the public think that filling in their personal details won’t influence what they buy?

Does the public think that sites won’t use behaviour and personal details to optimise on-site marketing?

Maybe because I’ve been in the internet game for so many years I’ve become hardened to this but, on the other hand can the public be so naive?

What about Amazon?  They look at your purchases and what you look at and serve recommendations.  If you’ve bought Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone then according to their research their is a high percentage chance that you’re going to like the second in the series.  They may look at your age and decide that you may also like The Worst Witch (or more importantly have you started buying baby stuff and they can assume that you’ve had a new addition to the family).  How can the public not see this as testing or more importantly CRM analytics.

This also brings into the frame a/b and multi-variant testing.  If you’re running a direct credit card site with online account servicing.  The user has logged into the site and you’ve set a cookie to manage the session but, this cookie also contains and indicator that stipulates that you’re an existing customer.  This can then be used to ensure that you are served only adds for other services e.g. loans, information on how you can use your purchase points and more.  Again this is testing / CRM Analytics.  However, would the public view this differently?

MVT or  a/b Testing also enables the web site managers to look at websites and test different pages according to an almost limitless number of factors.  People who come from a particular referral, online campaign or have specific demographics are shown “PAGE A” whilst others are shown “PAGE B”.  The web site managers are then able to crunch the numbers and see whether “PAGE A” (The new page) increases conversion / engagement or registrations.  This all comes down to enhancing the customer experience and site visitors spending more time on the site or spending more money.  After all that is the aim of ecommerce sites – to sell more and increase profits.

What’s your thoughts on this?  Have you had any experiences that you want to air?

Please comment and we’ll respond with our thoughts.



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