Episerver acquires Optimizely

This is Episerver's third major acquisition since being acquired itself by Insight Partners in 2018

Chat with MarTechBot

Commerce, CMS and digital experience platform Episerver announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire delivery and experimentation vendor Optimizely for an undisclosed figure. The transaction is expected to close in Q4, until which time the companies will continue to operate independently.

Major acquisitions. This is Episerver’s third major acquisition since being acquired itself by Insight Partners in 2018. Last year, Episerver picked up analytics and personalization vendor Idio, and Insite Software, a commerce vendor focused on the manufacturing and distribution industries.

Optimizely, founded in 2009, offers a set of digital experimentation technologies, including A/B and multivariate testing. Customers include eBay, Gap, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Microsoft and the Wall Street Journal.

No change for Optimizely customers. We asked Episerver’s Chief Product Officer Justin Anovick what the acquisition would mean for Optimizely’s existing customer base. “We legitimately have no plans to change [the existing relationships]. Their top customers, they have built their own CMS or commerce engines. Do we have the aspiration of going in and replacing something like that? No. It would be silly of us to do that, because people are at different parts of the digital journey, and we don’t want to say—you have to take our whole thing or not.”

The benefit to Episerver customers, he explained, would be a tight integration with Optimizely.

Testing, targeting and recommendations. With Idio’s automated, AI-driven content recommendations already integrated with Episerver’s Digital Experience Platform, what does Optimizely add? “The ideal way to do overall experimentation is targeting, testing and recommendations,” he said. “Optimizely is more manual-driven; there’s a little bit of automation there, but not as much as we bring from content and product recommendations. Soon, when someone wants to use Optimizely, they will get all three aspects, because we’ll include our capabilities as part of the package.”

Experimentation and outcomes go together, Anovick said. “One thing we’ve built as a proof-point is what we’re calling ‘outcome-driven creation.’ That puts the power in the hands of the marketer to be able to see what’s needed from a content perspective, all the way through content recommendations and the experiments to run.”

Why we care. There is no question that, as traditional eCommerce evolves into the provision of cross-channel digital experiences, vendors in this space are racing to differentiate their offerings.

About the author

Kim Davis
Kim Davis is currently editor at large at MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for almost three decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Shortly thereafter he joined Third Door Media as Editorial Director at MarTech.

Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

Fuel for your marketing strategy.