Multivariate testing is a better, more sophisticated form of A/B testing and is designed to test different combinations of your websites page elements to decide which is more compelling to your customers. Every time a customer visits your site you should be following and tracking their journey through the site. Their preferences should determine how to design and develop your site, not yourself or the advice and expertise of company members. Of course you need the contributions of ideas and advice from consultants, colleagues and company members but the real and precise information you need is the feedback from your customers. Multivariate testing allows you to make the right decisions based on what they want or don’t want, their likes, dislikes, preferences and favourite versions of pages.
Multivariate testing can operate without the customer’s knowledge as most individual customers don’t often get to see the different versions of a page, and more than often these differences are very small. The page that produces the right results i.e. Capturing an interested visitor’s email address, the most effective at the common goal, collecting sign-ups for a free trial, successfully selling a product etc..would denote this page becoming the final version, or at least a strong possibility. By using multivariate testing you are trying to ascertain which version of a web page will most appeal to your customers and perform best. The performance you require has to be determined before you start testing so you will need to define precisely the expected results. With this in place the chosen page version can be designed, remembering that each page should be designed to achieve the same common goal, accepting that maybe some may have small but significant differences.
Design decisions are often made by experts in the field and consultants within the company but the true design experts are in fact the visitors to your site. They are the ones who are providing you with their opinions and preferences every time they visit, or leave, your website.
A multivariate test can present great difficulties when trying to set up but there are tools available that make it a lot easier. Multivariate testing involves specific elements on the page and determines any changes that will improve and increase conversion rates. Maybe you are confident in the layout of your pages but not so confident in the text content. Or even the choice of using a red ‘sign up’ button as opposed to a blue one, multivariate testing will make the right choices for you. On the other hand if you just wanted a broad test of the general features of your website, like the layout of your main page, then a simple A/B test will suffice giving you two different versions of the page on a random basis proving which one leads to the most conversions.