One of the main draws for companies to purchase Sitecore is the robust marketing functionality; the ability for marketers to set up on their own, campaigns, email automation, personalization, AB tests and see the analytics from all of these efforts.
While Sitecore has a lot of out-of-the-box (OOTB) marketing capabilities, some functionality requires a little bit extra. Marketers have been able to run a component test in Sitecore for many versions now and in Sitecore 8, page-level testing was added. The new testing type provided a solution to testing multiple components together as one experience versus another set. However, this experience has to be page-specific or in other words, all of the components on the page are participating in the test, even inadvertently, or none of them. If you want to perform an AB on a landing page using two components as one experience and two different components as the second, this presented a problem if creating a new version or copy of the page to do the test.
Problem Solver 3000: SCORE 22.214.171.124 Snippets
A skosh of a backstory: SCORE is an all-in-one accelerator to get you from Sitecore OOTB to up and running with 40+ templates for pages and components to start building now. It gives our Sitecore customers everything they need to jump-start their implementation down the right path to deliver efficiently built sites – whether it is the first site or the fifty-first. Snippets are one of the templates that come with SCORE.
As Sitecore continues to add new marketing features, we at Brainjocks continue to add complementary features to SCORE as well. One of the first exciting features was the ability to personalize using Snippets (For more information on macro personalization with Snippets, check out Brian Beckham’s blog series.)
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Recently, Snippets were upgraded so that not only can you personalize your site using snippets, but you can now AB test them too! Now, let’s look at an example of one of the 3000 problems this solver solves: Testing shared content such as a main navigation.
More often than not, and even with the components available in SCORE, a main navigation is built using multiple components. A dropdown menu here, a featured product component there. It’s logical to dissect a main navigation into small components that can be easily reused and rearranged in different ways.
Assuming this approach is how your main navigation is built, AB testing presents a challenge: How do I test multiple components as one experience that span multiple pages when the testing options are content testing, dependent on a data source, and page testing, dependent on everything being on a page tested against another page or version of the same page?
Remember the Problem Solver 3000? The new update to Snippets allows users to build a collection of components or in this case, the main navigation, in a snippet outside of the context of a specific page. A Sitecore component test can then be set up on the Snippet using the same test objectives such as goal triggering (and if you are using SCORE, Jill Grozalsky explains how Experience Rules make this a breeze in her blog post, Introducing Experience Rules).
Once the test is set up and started, the main navigation Snippet can be added to the standard values of all your page templates (if not already), published and ta-da: the test is running, added everywhere the Snippet is referenced across your site and providing a consistent experience for the visitors participating!