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Comparison in Multivariate Testing and A/B Testing


You must question whether to conduct a Multivariate test or an A/B test.


A/B testing is typically the initial step in conversion rate optimization for websites. Make two versions, then compare the results. Multivariate testing functions well as a way when it comes to testing numerous possibilities. Which should you choose: A/B testing or multivariate testing? How do they differ? When does one work efficiently?


Table of Content 

  • Definition of A/B Testing
  • Advantages of A/B Testing
  • Definition of Multivariate Testing
  • Advantages of Multivariate Testing
  • Comparison of A/B and Multivariate Testing


Lead In:

The same idea underlies both A/B testing and multivariate testing: distributing visitors among different versions of your website or webpage to see which leads to more conversions. Planning for conversion rate optimization often raises this straightforward yet essential topic. The most popular practice in Conversion Rate Optimization programs is A/B testing. Running a multivariate test, however, can occasionally offer much value. Sometimes you have enough room to take either test.

The main advantage of testing involves your audience in the creative process.

When done right, testing eliminates the element of guessing from conversion optimization, enabling you to reach the point where every decision you make is based on data.


1. Definition of A/B Testing

Compared to multivariate testing, A/B or split testing is much simpler. It often comes down to testing one thing at a time. By comparing the treatment and control conversion rates to one another, you can quickly identify which of the two variants had the greatest impact on the visitors' behavior. Consider comparing the efficiency of a modest CTA button to an all-encompassing CTA button in terms of conversion rates, for instance.

A/B testing lets you compare two basic designs to see which one converts better and declare the winner. You are running an A/B/N test if you are testing more than two designs.


A/B Testing


2. Advantages of A/B Testing

The use of A/B testing has various advantages. Using A/B testing, you can improve user engagement, lower bounce rates, boost conversion rates, reduce risk, and produce content more successfully. Your website or mobile app can benefit greatly from running an A/B test. The best part is that they're simple to execute, offer tremendous returns, and help your team learn important lessons.


Better User Engagement

A/B testing is a savvy strategy to enhance your website's content and boost interaction. You may test the color of a button on your website or mobile application, for instance. Once the A/B test has been completed, you may determine which variation performs better and preserve it.


Reduce Bounce Rate

What to optimize can be determined using analytics. They assist you in locating high-traffic regions of your website or app. Pages with low conversion rates or high drop-off rates can be improved. Change the copy, pictures, and blog post headlines to maintain visitors for longer.


Increased Conversion Rates

A/B testing is a potent tool that businesses can use to test various user experience components, understand what works best, and make changes that produce favorable outcomes. Businesses can find out through AB testing what kind of content encourages website visitors to make purchases. It's an effective marketing strategy for learning more about your target market. To determine which one the consumer prefers, a website might, for instance, modify the phrasing on a sign-up button. It can change from "sign up now" to "sign up now!" and then compare which one receives more clicks.


Minimized Risks

You can run an A/B test to observe how a new feature or element on your site affects your system and how users respond to it if you're unsure how it will perform. You can lower risks by using a feature flag, which allows you to roll back changes made to your site after the tests have been completed.


3. Definition of Multivariate Testing

Multivariate testing is a method for testing a hypothesis that involves changing several variables. Finding the variation combination that performs the best overall across all potential combinations is the aim of multivariate testing.


Multivariate Testing

Websites and mobile apps are constructed from a variety of interchangeable components. A multivariate test will alter several variables, such as simultaneously altering the headline and image. Six material variants are compiled from three image variations and two headline variations and are evaluated simultaneously to determine the most effective version.


4. Advantages of Multivariate Testing

There are good reasons why only websites with large budgets and lots of traffic conduct multivariate tests. Let's discuss the advantages of conducting an MVT exam.


A large sample size is necessary.

You'll have more variants the more element changes you test. You will need to wait longer to acquire accurate data because each version needs to generate enough traffic to reach stat sig. Due to a lack of traffic, many websites cannot do MVT tests.


MVT tests require time.

Every version needs traffic, and lots of it, as we just indicated. The more choices you test, the more variants there are, and the longer the wait.

But in most CRO circumstances, this is acceptable because it would take more time and traffic to divide an MVT test into a series of A/B tests.


Running costs are higher.

To create and QA each variant, more time (and money) will be required. Because of this, you must have good reasons for choosing to do complex tests rather than more straightforward A/B tests; otherwise, your test ROI will suffer.


5. Comparison of A/B and Multivariate Testing

Comparison in A/B & Multivariate testing

A/B and multivariate testing differ in several respects, even though some of the same principles and technologies are utilized in both.


Combinations of Differences

Because there are more combinations of variables, many people believe that multivariate testing is more complicated than A/B tests. In addition, unlike an A/B test, it is not an either/or situation. To contrast and compare, there may be dozens of different variable combinations. In contrast to an A/B test, you are also testing how different variables interact with one another on the page.


Pages in the Tests

There will only be two web page versions in an A/B test (sometimes three or four). On the other hand, a multivariate test may consist of dozens of distinct variations of the web page due to the testing of various variable combinations.


Needs for traffic

Both A/B and multivariate tests require an equal distribution of traffic among the web pages. Therefore, compared to an A/B test with only two-page versions, a multivariate test can contain numerous page versions. It requires more traffic to achieve statistically significant results.

Each page in an A/B test would receive 500 views, for instance, if your landing page received 1,000 views in a week. However, each of the 12-page variations in a multivariate test would receive just about 83 views.


Local vs. global optimization

Multivariate testing is typically used to determine the best version of distinct website elements, whereas A/B tests are frequently used to find the best overall page. The global optimum vs. the local optimum is another name for this.


Big versus small changes

A/B tests typically compare vastly different sites that have undergone significant changes. The variations are typically more subtle in a multivariate test. Therefore the differences aren't as obvious. An A/B test compares two completely different versions of a web page. In contrast, a multivariate test compares various features on the same web page.


Understanding the Outcomes

Because there are fewer and more drastically varied test pages, the findings of A/B tests are typically simpler to understand. The findings of multivariate tests can occasionally be less definite due to the subtle changes and quantity of various pages.


Duration of Results

Since only two options are being compared, and they are both distinct, an A/B test will yield results much faster. A multivariate test can take months to perform, depending on the traffic volume and the variables' complexity.

versions of testing



A subset of A/B testing called multivariate testing compares multiple variables on a website in a live setting while still using the same experimentation methods. It goes against the grain of conventional scientific thinking and lets you, in a sense, run several A/B/n tests on the same page at once. It's a more time-consuming and complex process overall. Still, it yields detailed information about how various page elements interact and which combinations optimize your site the most.


What is A/B testing and why it is important?

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