Multivariate testing is an advanced version of A/B testing, so that it will have same core system mechanism of A/B testing. However, it requires more variations, longer time and also provides more reliable results.
In this test, your website will be divided into different sections/parts such as headline, call-to-action, forms or text. With each section, you will create different variations which will be combined to create different versions of your site. Then, you also split your website traffic among different versions. Our goal in this test is to define which combination has highest performance and optimize existing design.
Some necessary notes:
• Before putting versions into test, you should do preview all combinations because random combination sometimes looks oddly.
• Don’t include too many sections in a test. The larger the number of sections is, the longer test duration will be.
Distinguish between A/B testing and multivariate testing
Usage: This type of usability testing often used to test only one element on the page at a time. Only the impact of the design as a whole on conversion goal is tracked, not tested individual elements.
Advantages: A/B testing is the simplest way to execute usability testing. With this test, you can find easily which elements have efficient effects on conversion rate. In addition, it takes a shorter time to get results because of a small amount of variations and traffic.
Disadvantages: If you have more variations, A/B testing process will be longer and may not reveal reliable results.
Usage: On higher level, multivariate testing helps you to test more than one element simultaneously across one or more pages. It is often applied for sites which have substantial amount of daily traffic.
Advantages: After completing testing process, you can know the significance of different sections. Your results you get in this test will be more reliable than in A/B test.
Disadvantages: Multivariate testing requires longer time to get results since the number of variations can increase exponentially. Due to combination of different variations in one version, it is difficult to define effect of individual variations.
In conclusion, both A/B testing and Multivariate testing are powerful methods that complements one another. Choose your suitable type or combine them together to get the most out of your site. Good luck!