Understanding Multivariate Testing in Web Development

Posted on June 29, 2013 by

Owners of online business always want to increase conversion rate and some methods, including the multivariate testing, can help boost their bottom line. A/B split testing has been around in the web development industry for quite a while and most successful online marketers have employed it. The method offers detailed results as they can scrutinize one element at a time. One obvious drawback would be the time and effort needed. Multivariate testing uses a different approach; it tests multiple elements simultaneously to save valuable time.

Multivariate testing requires specific software installed on a server which can handle many variations. Based on your requirements, the test can be very simple or very intricate. There are many elements that can be tested, including background color, layout, font, headlines, product price and many others. After all variables are added to the multivariate test software; it will generate results dynamically. For example, you could find if light gray or pure white background can generate more sales.

Multivariate testing is ideal if you want to perform more tests with less effort and the least amount of time. Unlike A/B test, it is not necessary to construct different webpage to test each website element. You don’t need make disruptive changes to your business operation to facilitate the multivariate test. Everything can work as usual.

The procedure used to run multivariate test is quite straightforward. Check your website and make a list on elements you want to improve. Ask visitors, colleagues and friends to point out possible problem areas on your site Group these elements into several batches. The first batch will be filled with multiple elements you want to test first.

After allocating elements into several batches, you can run the test immediately. After the test is completed it is time to collect results and make accurate analysis based on specific results, such as changes in sales and number of clicks. It should be relatively easy to determine which variation that works best. Finally, you can officially apply most appropriate changes on the website and proceed with the next batch.

Multivariate testing has greater importance in web development industry as there’s a decrease in attention span among website users. People are getting used to in making snap decisions moments after they arrive to a website. Responsibility in making top-notch first impression lies with the web development team and multivariate testing can help them do that.

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