Automotive A/B testing, multivariate test or multi-page testing is a good way to find you why you have lots of traffic but low conversions. There are two main goals of a marketing strategy – driving traffic to your website and converting your traffic into leads/buying customers.

But what if you are only succeeding with the first goal.

The answer is not as simple as changing text or budget if you are not even sure what the cause is of these low conversions. Incorporating a b testing will help understand why conversions are not made and what to do differently.

With these conversion rate optimisation (CRO) experiments, you can make decisions for your automotive dealership based on real data. Remember: real data leads to real results. Guessing what your customers may or may not like is not always the most accurate approach.

To further understand the importance of automotive dealership a/b testing, multivariate test and multi-page test, we have compiled an article filled with the pros and cons, how they compare with each other and how you can be sure that you are choosing the right test for your car dealer.

Automotive Dealership A/B Testing vs Multivariate Testing vs Multi-Page Testing

Choosing the right test depends on what your goals are and how you want to reach them. Let’s discuss the differences:

A/B Testing

A/B testing (also known as split testing or bucket testing) is a method of comparing two versions of a webpage or app against each other to determine which one performs better.”

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A/B Testing Can Be Divided into 2 Different Testing Types:

  • A general A/B test involves testing one or more elements on a page that has been identified as a problem. These elements will be tested to see how an add-on or elimination impacts consumer decisions. As a car dealership, to be able to create multiple copies of an original landing page, each with a variation – no matter how minor. The original page (i.e. control page) then gets tested against these challenger pages.

An example of this could be testing how the colour of a specific vehicle’s specials banner can influence conversions or click through rates.

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  • On the other hand, compare different versions of a landing page, each with their own URL. This is called a split URL test or split test.

Both these pages will have the same goal conversions. By splitting your traffic down the middle (between the 2 pages), you will be able to see what works and what doesn’t.

An example of this could be testing the performance of different versions of an inventory page.

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Maybe three columns will work better than four? Maybe your customers will respond better to an inventory page with a calculator instead of a form?

When to Use A/B Testing

A/B testing’s goal is to identify the biggest conversion blocker. If you want to pinpoint which landing page layout (including changes to images, copy, forms, etc.) results in the most conversions, start with an A/B test. It’s the broadest way of testing.

Multivariate Testing

Multivariate testing is a technique for testing a hypothesis in which multiple variables are modified. The goal of multivariate testing is to determine which combination of variations performs the best out of all of the possible combinations.

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So, in other words, multivariate means to change and test a group of elements on a page. This results in multiple versions of a landing page, each with their own set of elements. Note that it is recommended to test 2 elements at a time.

An example of a multivariate test could be testing four versions of your automotive homepage with a different combination of images and headlines. There are many experiments to conduct to find out exactly what works best for your car dealer.

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When to Use Multivariate Testing

Multivariate testing is usually conducted on the winner of an A/B test or a high-performing landing page that you want to optimise even further.  

Multi-Page Testing

Multi-page (also known as “funnel”) testing is similar to A/B testing except that rather than making variations to a single page, the changes you make are implemented consistently over several pages.”

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In other words, multi-page involves testing different buying journeys or funnels with the goal to find the best performing one. It’s similar to an A/B test, but the difference is to test multiple pages. This way, we will determine which funnel design is the most effective.

 When to Use Multi-Page Testing

A multi-page test can be conducted to make high-level decisions across your entire buying journey. For example, testing two different checkout or quote processes.

There are two ways to do this:

  • Test your entire funnel (all pages) – i.e. create a new (challenger) version of your funnel and test it against your original (control) funnel. This is called multi-page funnel testing.

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  • Another way is to test elements that are visible on all the pages of the funnel-like security badges or contact details. This is called classic multi-page testing.

Pros and Cons of Car Dealership A/B Testing

First of all, if you are still a bit unsure of what A/B testing is, GrowthLab has a very informative video on what it is and how to use it.

The Pros of A/B Testing

  • Easy to implement: Running an A/B test is easy to set up and does not require too many resources. It is a good way to see which landing page converts the best.
  • This method of testing needs less traffic: An A/B test does not require as much traffic as a multivariate test.
  • It’s a short-term test: These tests does not have to be long. If you have enough traffic you can see results within 2 weeks.

What Is the One Disadvantage of A/B Testing?

  • A/B tests offer top-level insights: Because youre testing landing pages and not single elements, your results are per landing page. This, however, gives the opportunity for further a/b testing.

If you want to know which tools you can use to conduct A/B testing, you can read through our A/B testing services page.  

Pros and Cons of Multivariate Testing

The Pros of Multivariate Testing

  • You can make micro-decisions regarding conversion: You can make micro-decisions regarding conversion: With a multivariate test, you are looking at how different elements on a page perform if you change them. This means you take out the guesswork.
  • Gain deeper insights into what works When doing the multivariate test, you are able to determine how different combinations of elements impact user decisions. Unlike with an A/B test, you don’t just test stand-alone elements but are able to determine how multiple works together in persuading users (or not).

The Cons of Multivariate Testing

  • A lot of traffic is needed to see results: Looking at the math behind a multivariate test, you’ll soon realise that the number of versions that you should test can grow immensely. This can be overwhelming. The number of elements you would like to test, and all of their variations can really add up quickly. Say you use the test to try out combinations of a call to action button. Three colours: one control, two challengers and three copies – one control and two challengers. You will end up needing to create 3 x 3, i.e. nine versions in total. Also having enough traffic to split among so many versions can be a challenge – even for high-traffic websites.
  • These tests are more complicated to run: Planning and setting up a meaningful multivariate test can be quite tricky. This is thanks to the sheer number of combinations of the different elements on your page that could test. Determining what combinations to try – e.g. a headline, hero image and hero area CTA or a headline, USP and header – can take a great deal of effort. Also, keep in mind that to test too many elements during the test can skew your results.

Pros and Cons of Multi-Page Testing

The Pros of Multi-Page Testing

  • Identify weak spots in your funnel: Google Analytics data will show you any drastic drop-offs on certain pages of your sales funnel. You can then set up a multi-page test to find out what can reduce them and lead to more conversions
  • Gain deeper insights into customer behaviour: Multi-page test makes it easier for you to pinpoint the different elements of your control and challenger funnels users engage with most. Insights like these can help you make even more informed design, copy and user experience decisions.

The Cons of Multi-Page Testing

  • These experiments take longer to run: Business to business buying journeys are long, often stretching out over months at a time. Because of this, B2B multi-page tests can run for months on end.|
  • Gaining insights from a multi-page test’s results can be tricky: Should your challenger version experiment with too many variables, you might not be able to tell what change led to more conversions. If, for example, you experiment with both the design and copy of a challenger, you might not be able to tell if it was the design or the copy that won you more conversions. When creating a bunch of challengers (e.g. one for testing design and one for a copy), you’ll have to split your traffic in three. Websites that don’t get thousands of visitors might not have enough traffic to get statistically significant results when running too many variants.

If you want to know which tools you can use to conduct these tests, have a look at the following tools HubSpot recommends.

  1. VWO
  2. Optimizely
  3. Omniconvert
  4. Crazy Egg
  5. AB Tasty
  6. Freshmarketer
  7. Convert

6-Step Process To Get Your Test Up and Running

There are 6 steps to follow to get your testing strategy up and running:

Step 1: Collect Data

Thebest first step is to determine where you should begin a b test. Most of the time, the data collect determines which goals you should focus on. Google Analytics is a great tool from Google that will show which pages/elements on your website are performing well and which aren’t.

Step 2: Identify or Sort Through Your Goals

Before running your test, you have to determine what your dealership’s goals are.

Do you want to increase newsletters subscriptions or quote requests? Do you want more page click-through’s from vehicle landing pages to vehicle-specific pages? Do you want to decrease your quotes process bounce rate?

Step 3: Identify the Elements You Want to Test

Once you know what the goals are, you can decide which elements you want to test.

Some of these elements can include:

  • Adding a video to your vehicle specific page vs just imagery
  • Adjusting of the order of your vehicle inventory
  • Adding more text content to your vehicle specific pages
  • Adding a from vs no form on your homepage
  • Testing call to action button colours and placements
  • Testing headlines
  • Etc.

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Step 4: Create the Assets for Your Test

Now that you have your data, your goals and the list of elements you want to a/b test, your next step is creating your plan or hypothesis. Here is how:

  • Identify the page you are going to change
  • Identify the elements on that specific page you want to test
  • Identify whether this experiment will add any value to your car dealership

Step 5: Start Testing

With your plan created and ready to go, you can now launch your test. Once it has started, monitor the progress and wait until you have the results you need.

Step 6: Examine Your Results and Optimise

Each test will take a different length of time. No experiment is the same and you should be patient throughout the whole process. The longer you allow these tests to run, the more accurate your results will be.

Once your test is done, it is time to examine the results. If the outcome is positive, your test has been successful. If the outcome is less desirable, don’t see it as a missed opportunity but as a learning experience. Consider other ways you can test your landing page – look at what your competitors are doing..

In all honesty, this process should be an ongoing optimisation plan. Continuous optimisation is the true key to success.

There you have it: a short, but sweet, guide on what the difference is between multi-page, multivariate and automotive A/B testing.

These experiments take time and resources. If you need help, contact us or schedule a free 15-minute car dealership digital strategy assessment! 

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Found this article interesting and informative? Have a look at our ultimate guide to car dealership digital marketing.