Use cases for the total value metric

  • Updated
  • Optimizely Web Experimentation
  • Optimizely Web Personalization
  • Optimizely Performance Edge
  • Optimizely Feature Experimentation
  • Optimizely Full Stack (Legacy)

Total value is a type of metric that lets you quantify visitor actions beyond simple conversions and revenue. With total value, you can track the performance of a custom event numerically per conversion, per session (with Optimizely Web Personalization), or per visitor (with the other Optimizely Experimentation products).

For example, in an Optimizely Web Experimentation experiment, you measure the number of items purchased as a custom event. With the total value metric, you can track the trend for the number of items purchased per visitor or per conversion. 

Total value lets many experimentation programs better align the metrics they attach to experiments to higher-level business goals.

The following sections give real-world examples of how to use the total value metric using Optimizely Web Experimentation to demonstrate. You can set up similar total value metrics in Optimizely Feature Experimentation.

Ecommerce and retail

If you have an ecommerce business, you probably track units per order or items per order (IPO) as a key performance indicator. Use total value to track IPO performance in your experiment.

For example, you run a retail shoe site and experiment with the number of shoes displayed on a product category page. You hypothesize that displaying a few large product images on each page helps visitors browse and buy more shoes. You track Add to Cart clicks as your primary metric. But, you are also concerned that visitors exposed to fewer shoes may purchase fewer items overall. So, you use total value to track IPO—and ensure that a key business metric is headed in the right direction.

To add IPO as a metric for your Web Experimentation experiment, follow the instructions to build a metric based on a Units per Order click event and use the following parameter settings:

  • Winning direction – Increase
  • Numerator – Total value
  • Denominator – Per conversion

For information about numerators and denominators when creating metrics, see Create a metric in Optimizely Web Experimentation

More total value metrics for ecommerce and retail:

  • Number of items added to or removed from cart.

  • Number of items per order.

  • Number of products viewed.

  • Number of filters applied.

  • Number of related products viewed.

  • Category page scroll depth.

  • Page load time.

Travel

For example, your site offers flight and resort packages for Hawaiian vacations, with ancillary products like snorkeling outings, surf lessons, and spa appointments. The total value metric can help you track the number of ancillary products added to a transaction in an experiment.

Suppose that on your site, visitors go immediately to the checkout page after they select a vacation package. On the checkout page, they can complete checkout or choose to see your ancillary products. You hypothesize that if you send visitors to a page of ancillary product options before the checkout page, more visitors will add them to their vacations. Use total value metric to track the number of ancillary products visitors add per conversion to determine if your hypothesis is correct.

To add the total value metric, build a metric for Number of Ancillary Products and use the following parameter settings:

  • Winning direction – Increase
  • Numerator – Total value
  • Denominator – Per visitor

Suppose you also want to increase the total dollar amount of ancillary products your visitors add to their vacations. You might hypothesize that listing higher-cost products earlier on the page will increase the dollar amount your visitors spend on ancillary products. you can use a total value metric based on a “dollar amount spent on ancillary products” event with the same parameter settings:

  • Winning direction – Increase

  • Numerator – Total value

  • Denominator – Per visitor

More total value metrics for travel:

  • Number of items added to or removed from the cart.

  • Number of ancillary products purchased.

  • Steps of booking funnel completed.

B2B and lead generation

Sites that rely on lead generation usually use forms to gather key information. Your forms must capture enough visitors' information so your sales team can identify valuable leads. At the same time, forms cannot be so long that visitors will not complete them. You must optimize your forms to gather enough information and your visitors actually complete them.

Use a total value monitoring metric to learn how many fields your visitors typically complete. For example, if you discover that many visitors abandon your form after completing 4 questions, you can design forms to capture the information you need in 4 questions or less.

Add a total value metric for the number of form fields completed. Build a metric based on a “number of completed form fields” event for the form you want to track. Use these parameter settings for your metric:

  • Winning direction – Increase
  • Numerator – Total value
  • Denominator – Per visitor

More total value metrics for B2B and lead generation:

  • Number of form fields completed.

  • Video consumed.

  • Unique pages per visit.

  • Page scroll depth (25/50/75/100%).

Media

If you have a media site, you are probably interested in increasing the number of pages viewed per visitor, especially if you have ads on your site.

For example, your site includes a blog with ads. You might hypothesize that adding a weekly newsletter with your latest blog posts will increase the total number of blog articles (and ads) each visitor views. You can test your hypothesis by using total value to track the number of articles per visitor and learn whether your email newsletter is getting your visitors to read more of your blog articles.

To add a total value metric for number of articles per visit for your experiment, build a metric based on your “total pages viewed per visitor” event and use the following parameter settings:

  • Winning direction – Increase
  • Numerator – Total value
  • Denominator – Per visitor 

If you run an Optimizely Web Personalization campaign, you might also want to test whether adding suggestions for three related articles at the end of every blog article will increase the total number of articles a visitor views per session. You can test your hypothesis by using total value to track the number of articles per session and learn whether your article suggestions are working.

In this case, you would add a “number of sessions” event in your Optimizely Web Personalization campaign and build a total value metric with these parameter settings:

  • Winning direction – Increase
  • Numerator – Total value
  • Denominator – Per session 

More total value metrics for media:

  • Measure reader engagement and content consumption:
    • Ad units per visit.
    • Ad viewability rate.
    • Video play duration.
    • Article scroll depth (25/50/75/100%).
    • Article page load time.
    • Number of articles read.
    • Number of videos watched.
    • Article count per page.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of website messaging and content in generating qualified leads:
    • Average lead score.
    • Pieces of content downloaded.
    • Number of form fields completed.
    • Demo video play duration.