When it comes to Conversion Optimization it can be confusing which testing method to use between A/B Testing and Multivariate Testing. Opinions differ on this question as both of them are widely employed and have some advantages as well as disadvantages. Both techniques play an important role in the process of Conversion Optimization and neither should be neglected.
A/B Testing is more frequently used by vendors who do not depend on sophisticated technology.
If you do not need to take full advantage of testing tools this may not be the right choice for you. Quite often, the same results may be achieved without using developed technology and therefore A/B Testing is more convenient. With this method you can test more drastic layout, variations in value propositions and page consolidation. This type of testing is not time consuming and for each of the variations more up-to-date analysis can be implemented. For example, phone call tracking or mouse tracking information can be evaluated for each variation. Given that you can test bigger portions of information, you receive more results. Also, the timing of getting feedback is much faster because of the speed of page changes.
However, you need to carefully design the testing steps if you aim towards measuring how isolated elements interact between each other. Additionally, in cases you want to improve the quality of your products or services and you need a robust statistical method, you will have to go with manual work.
Multivariate testing on the other hand, seems to have certain benefits and drawbacks in regard to its optimization. With this method you are able to separate a number of page elements and examine their impact on the conversion rate. You can also measure the way isolated elements function in their interaction which enables you to get complex effects. Thus, you can obtain an important statistical analysis of the effects of interaction. Multivariate Testing allows more traditional conversion rate improvement. Interestingly, since this testing can provide evaluation of more than one of the components on the website in a living environment. We can say it is a running multiple A/B Testing on the same page and at the same time. It can provide very accurate results in statistics analysis.
Nevertheless, Multivariate Testing needs more variable combinations to be able to function and bring desired results. You need to be involved in more traffic get the best feedback in comparison to A/B testing. Moreover, significant layout changes are not possible and testing set ups are limited which affects marketing creativity.
In conclusion we might say that both testing strategies are recommended providing marketers have enough traffic. Each of them has different and particular effect on each optimization programme. That is why using both methods together can help you gain the most of your website. Anyway, the first step prior testing is creating a Conversion Optimization plan where you will emphasize where to begin testing and at which point to use A/B Testing or Multivariate Testing.