There have been ongoing rumours in the CRO industry about Google sunsetting Google Optimize (both 360 and free versions). Google has now officially announced that this is indeed the case. See the official statement.
Users have until September 30, 2023, to find a new A/B testing tool. We know that sounds like a long time away, but we recommend you start planning for the transition now. We recommend you take your time choosing a new A/B testing tool. There are multiple considerations for marketers, including:
- Current tech-stack
- CRO maturity
- Internal procurement procedures
- Internal resource availability, to name a few.
It’s crucial to start planning now to ensure that you have a new tool in place for the September deadline. It might seem far away, but making an informed decision takes time, and once you’ve made a choice, there is still implementation and migration to factor into your timeline.
Sebastian Larrson, Senior Conversion Strategist
So what is Google doing?
Google announced in 2021 that running A/B tests in Optimize would roll into Google Analytics 4 and no longer exist as a standalone product.
When working on this, they encountered challenges and ultimately decided they didn't want to spend the resources needed to create and maintain an industry-respected A/B testing platform. Their focus will now be on machine learning and measurement rather than experimentation.
What should you do now?
Unfortunately, it's time to look for a new tool. While there was the 360 version, Google Optimize was the only free option on the market, but it also had its limits. If you've been using Optimize for a while, it allows you to upgrade to a better quality tool with fewer limitations, continued investment, support and more functionality.
The downside is that you will now have to make room in your budget. There may also be procurement processes to consider, so start planning as soon as possible.
- Understand your budget.
Options are abundant in the AB testing tool market, so knowing what price tier you are looking at will help narrow down the available options.
- What is your current tech stack?
How is your website built, what CMS are you using, and what other tools does the new tool need to integrate with? How will it all fit together?
- What if you have a lot of experiments running in Optimize and no developer resource to hardcode it?
Now is the time to plan that hard coding, or you may find some vendors willing to assist. For example, Webtrends Optimize [link] will help new clients migrate optimisations and personalisations and offer a 30-day free trial of their platform.
- What is your CRO maturity?
If you're using Google Optimize, you will likely be somewhere at the beginning of your experimentation journey. It's essential to understand your level but also to start considering where you are going and what the new tool needs to be able to do, and how it scales with you as your organisation matures. If you need help understanding your current maturity level, look at our CRO Maturity Audit.
Do you need help choosing a new AB testing tool? We can help
We are tool agnostic and have extensive experience in helping our clients with all the steps in selecting a new A/B testing tool. We have helped multiple clients with implementation, planning and execution, and migrating tests and personalisations to a new tool vendor.