What is Multivariate Testing? Best practices

With Conversion Rate Optimization becoming more and more popular every quarter, the answer to the questions of “What is a/b testing?” and “What is multivariate testing (MVT)”, and what’s the difference between the two also gradually becomes more important.

To help you find out what is AB testing, we’ve already created an article called What is A/B Testing in Digital Marketing, and today we will review its companion — multivariate testing.

Let’s begin!

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Photo by David Travis on Unsplash

CRO process

Conversion Rate Optimization best practices including multivariate testing are complex, multi-level operations that usually require a number of specialists to monitor the results of the said conversion optimization. The complete step-by-step order of the proper CRO process you should undertake to achieve high conversions is described in our signature article here.

To answer “What is CRO?” question concisely, Conversion Rate Optimization is a number of digital marketing practices like creating a hypothesis, conducting experiments, analyzing achieved results, which also includes multivariate and A/B testing.

Testing is required before implementing any major change on the website to avoid a drop in sales or conversions. If your newly-chosen Scarlet Red colour of the CTA button repels customers instead of enticing them, you would want to know, right?

This is why we use either AB testing or multivariate testing, or the combination of both, and right now let’s find out what is the real difference between these two.

Multivariate testing vs AB testing

Multivariate and AB testing are types of CRO techniques, aimed to determine which version of an ecommerce website or a mobile app will convert more leads into customers, or simply put, inspire your app or website visitors to purchase your product (or buy a subscription, or any other goal).

Now, these two types — AB and multivariate testing are often confused. So what’s the difference?

What is AB testing?

In AB testing there are two different versions of a website, and your whole traffic is split in two with exactly half dedicated to each version A and B, and the one that is turning website visitors into buyers better is deemed a winning version.

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This type of testing is mostly used if you have two completely different versions of a website. Say you have different colour schemes — one pastel and one tropical, or different landing page layouts — one with a hero banner and the other with the video. AB testing works best if you want to test the general website design, a single idea like having a featured sales category, or a single element like the colour of your call-to-action button.

In these cases, and if you are only building your traffic, AB testing is your best bet, which you can find out more about in our What is A/B testing article here.

What is multivariate testing?

Multivariate testing, or MVT, is a type of a CRO test that helps you determine the combination of elements that convert your customers best. That means instead of comparing two different website versions, the multivariate test compares multiple different variables of the website.

Say you want to find out which combination of a headline text and a supporting image inspires customers to buy the most. In that case, you will have 4 different variations to test and only one that will turn out to be the winner.

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Multivariate testing allows testing multiple elements of the same landing page, forming in combinations as opposed to pairs, like in AB testing. Multivariate tests are mostly used in cases where a number of website elements are controversial, and what you want to find out is which variation of all combinations will appeal to your visitors the most.

Multivariable optimization requires larger traffic than that needed to conduct an AB test, as a multivariate test splits the whole traffic into multiple combinations, and each combination has to reach a certain number of visitors in order for you to retrieve meaningful insights.

CRO testing best practices

Now that we established what is a multivariate test and what the A/B is, here’s a number of articles on Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) best practices, mindfully split into two categories:

Ecommerce

If you have a high volume ecommerce website, you are going to have to test a lot. Like a lot — a lot. Each banner, each landing page, each CTA button could have different placement, shape or colour and only by applying multivariate testing you can find out which combination of those will result in the biggest sales revenue.

Mobile Apps

Mobile applications with a large number of new customers will highly benefit from implementing mindful and thorough multivariate testing practices. Luckily, our team experts already prepared some cheat-sheets for you to define the areas of testing easier, which you can find and access for free below.

Conclusion

Multivariate testing is crucial to any ecommerce or mobile app business that is focused on increasing its sales in a smart, progressive, modern-day way. All you have to do is create a hypothesis, run experiments and voila — the website version that will bring you the most revenue is right on the table!

Run you own multivariate experiments, or even better — contact us so we can create, run and discover the money-making CRO insights for you 😉

Originally published at https://insightwhale.com on October 30, 2019.

Written by

Fully remote team of professionals providing Digital Analytics, Conversion Rate Optimization and Business Intelligence services for clients around the world.

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