Jul 20

Difference Between A/B Testing and Multi- Variate Testing


Difference-between-AB Testing and Multi-variate Testing decoded | Mockingfish

It is a common scenario that when we are provided with multiple options, we want to choose the one based on the features, functionalities and services it provides to us. Similarly, in the field of web testing, there are mainly two types of testing approaches that are mostly popular- A/B testing and Multi- variate testing. Both these web testing techniques has their own importance, use, advantages and limitations in the online business scenario for grabbing maximum conversions and sales.

We can’t choose any of the web testing approaches for our online business without having clear idea about some of the critical questions like-

  • What is the difference between A/B testing and Multi- variate testing?
  • What are their specific applications and uses?
  • Is there any web testing tool that can offer A/B testing and multi- variate testing at an affordable price?

Before we go much further regarding these two web testing approaches, you need to have a brief understanding about the two. Let us have a quick insight about these two web testing approaches that are described below:

A/B testing- This web testing approach involves testing two different web pages or variations of your site and can deciding the winner web page based on the conversion rates achieved by each individual web page. The page with no changes or the original web page is known as the “control page” whereas the web page with the desired changes is known as the “treatment page”.

Multi- variate testing- In this web testing approach, multiple combinations of a site elements are tested simultaneously for understanding their individual productivity and usability. Here, multiple variations are tested together to have a clear insight about which one grabs the maximum customer attention and sales. It will help in improving the usability and performance of your individual site elements.

Advantages of A/B testing over Multi- variate testing:-

Both these web testing approaches has their own advantages and limitations in the online testing environment. By having a clear understanding about the advantages and limitations of these web testing approaches, you can save a lot of time, money and efforts from being wasted. Here are some of the advantages of these two web testing approaches that are mentioned below:

  1. A/B testing can help in testing a more effective layout, design, page leads and grabbing higher value propositions which is not possible in case of multi- variate testing approach.
  2. The test duration of an A/B testing is much less as compared to the multi- variate testing approach and it can be implemented on a much lesser time.
  3. A/B testing results can help you achieve conversion rates in a better way as compared to the multi- variate testing approach.
  4. A/B testing requires a less site traffic for its implementation than multi- variate testing as the traffic is distributed equally into different variations in the case of latter and thus multi- variate testing needs more traffic.
  5. There are less number of javascript coding in the implementation of A/B testing as compared to the multi- variate testing.
  6. A/B testing can be used to install and evaluate analytics in case of mouse click tracking, phone call tracking and analytics integration which is not possible in the case of multi- variate testing.
  7. A/B testing can play a more constructive role in the critical task of conversion rate optimization as it can deliver quick, measurable and reliable results for your site as compared to a multi- variate testing approach.


Downsides of A/B testing as compared to multi- variate testing:-

Inspite of having multiple advantages, A/B testing do have certain limitations over this multi- variate testing approach. Let us take a quick look below at some of the limitations of this A/B testing approach when compared to multi- variate testing approach:

  1. Multi- variate testing approach can help in effective refinement of your site elements and is a better choice for implementing follow- up optimization. This is not possible with the A/B testing approach.
  2. Multi- variate testing helps in providing a crucial insight about the interaction of various elements on your site which does not occur in case of A/B testing approach.
  3. Multi- variate testing is superb for landing page optimization campaigns than A/B testing and thus helps in improving the overall impact of your site.
  4. Multi- variate testing helps in effective targeting of redesigning efforts unlike A/B testing and can provide a clear idea about the conversion potential of each individual site elements.
  5. Multi- variate testing does not require any page redirects as in case of implementation of A/B testing approach as all the desired changes are implemented and tested within a particular page only.

With this comparison of A/B testing and multi- variate testing, you can now decide which one to implement on your website depending upon your business requirements, site design and traffic volume. Don’t jump into conclusions so early, both of these A/B testing and multi- variate testing has their own merits and demerits. You need to have a better understanding of your online business in order to choose the right web testing approach for you. It is all about making the right decision that can help you achieve the desired business goals in a smooth manner.