Optimizely, which enables businesses to test different versions of their digital channels, has today opened an Australian office to grow its local customer base.

Previously Optimizely’s Australian customers, including Atlassian, Optus, AGL Energy, Chemist Warehouse and Fox Sports, were serviced by a team based in the company’s San Francisco headquarters.

Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand, Dan Ross, told Which-50 the company “reached a point of critical mass” in Australia. Its product usage in Australia grew 257 per cent year-on-year and, in June 28 million online impressions were served up through Optimizely’s platform locally.

The opening of the Sydney office, the company’s fifth location outside the US, also marks Optimizely’s expansion into APAC.

Optimizely is hiring a full go-to-market team with roles in Sydney and Melbourne. Ross said the company wants to promote the ‘test and learn’ cultures found at internet giants such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Netflix.

“The companies that do this well, it’s embedded in their DNA,” he said.

Ross said the company has experienced what it calls ‘the Amazon effect’ — a sharp lift in the number of experiments being conducted by local retailers to strengthen their position ahead of Amazon’s arrival.

“Given the complexity of customer journeys today, no person, no opinion and no amount of experience can create the best possible customer experience,” Ross said. “The only way you can figure out what is the best experience is by testing and by experimentation.”

“Nothing is sacred — everything can be improved.”

The product goes beyond A/B testing. Ross said globally the highest likelihood of success is when businesses have four to six variations of a digital customer journey they are testing.

According to Ross, the sophistication of an experiment isn’t determined by the number of variants but rather how the audience is segmented based on attributes such as age or gender.

Success of an experiment is determined by different business measures. For example a retailer might measure conversion rates or a decrease in cart abandonment while a media company might be more concerned with pageviews or time spent on site.

“We’ve found some really cool differences where customers will test something and it will increase their average order value but maybe decrease the number of orders,” Ross said.

“So then they have to make the business decision do we want more high level customers and fewer customers overall or, would we rather have a higher volume of low value customers?”

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