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A/B Testing vs Multivariate Testing


A/B testing and Multivariate Testing (MVT) are the two most common website testing methods in terms of conversion rate. Even though A/B testing is preferred in many cases as it gives faster results, MVT can add more value in some cases. To choose between them, it is important to know about them and their advantages.

A/B testing

In an A/B test which is the simpler one of the two, we create different versions of our webpage - version A and version B but it is not necessary to limit it to 2 versions. Certain percentage of the visitors (50% for 2 versions, 20% for 5 versions) are displayed with one of the versions and the rest of the traffic with the other versions. We let real traffic interact with our webpage to see which version offers the better results. To make sure the visitor who has already interacted with one version doesn't see another version in action when visiting the website again, we use cookies.

Successful B2B Lead Generation Ideas

Advantages:

1. Dramatic changes such as the navigation structure, social proof, images and UX experiences can be tested

2. A/B Tests are faster than MVT. Because of the dramatic changes, the improvement is usually higher and yields faster results

Limitation:

1. A/B testing doesn't give any information about interaction between elements in the webpage and for that, multivariate testing is the right option

Multivariate Testing

In multivariate testing (MVT), we experiment with elements inside a specific webpage instead of creating 2 completely different versions of a webpage as in A/B testing. We identify the important elements of a page and then create variations for these elements. To be technical, the original element is called the 'control' while the modifications of the original element (control) are called 'variations'. Combining all these variations will generate unique versions of the webpage and these versions can be subjected to live traffic to find which version yields the best results.

Successful B2B Lead Generation Ideas

Advantages:

1. Multivariate testing can be used to know about the impact of certain elements and interaction between different elements in a webpage

2. Multivariate testing can be used as a method of website optimization and in getting insights to user behaviour

Limitation:

It requires huge traffic as there are a large number of versions of the page. This is because combining the variations of different elements usually leads to a large number of versions of the page

Both testing methods have their unique advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the need, one can choose either of them or even both to optimize their website. Instead of seeing them as opposites, try to see them as two methods that can go hand in hand for website optimization.


Know the Author

Deepak Selvan
CEO - VizConn

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