Most of the times, A/B testing and Personalization are considered the same. Both of them enables you to create variations of your WebPage and serve a particular audience. But both are not the same.
Lets see how it differs:
- A/B testing uses numerical data to report the winning variation for a general audience, whereas Personalization utilizes the collected data to segment the audience and serve the group of audience with the correct or preferred content.
- A/B testing is more of verification for your view on content effectiveness whereas Personalization is to optimize the targeted audience’s experience.
Using A/B testing, you can try out different layouts of the same page and have the traffic divided to both the variations. After a particular period, maybe a business cycle, you can have the winning variation for the entire traffic. A/b testing is comparing two or more versions of the same page to find out which one performs better.
Using Personalization, you can have the variation for a particular audience who will be more engaged than the rest. If you are running a campaign which has many variations for a landing page, you can use Personalization to target a particular set of audience for each of those variations, with A/B testing the variations can have only one set of audience.
To clarify the difference between A/B testing and Personalization, let’s consider a simple use case,
You have a central website, which serves for both Australia and Germany. You are coming up with a campaign in the month of November to sell winter clothes. The sale will be useful in Germany whereas in Australia the market for winter clothes is close to none in the month of November. To overcome this issue, you need to understand your audience and provide them with the content effective for them.
Now using Personalization, you can have two landing pages targeting different set of audiences. This helps you understand your audience base and optimize for better conversion. A/B testing is more content focused whereas Personalization is target driven.
Another use case to illustrate the difference between A/B testing and Personalization,
Consider you have an e-commerce website and in the month of November, you want to run a campaign for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Having a central website you cannot have the same variation for all geographical audience. Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be obsolete in Asian markets. For such a situation, you can have three variations, one for Black Friday, one for Cyber Monday and one for rest of the market.
For each variation you cannot have the same set of audience like you would in A/B testing. Using Personalization, you can have a different set of audiences for each variation, i.e Variation A will be visible only on Black Friday for users in USA and Variation B will be visible only on Cyber Monday ( This can be set up the week you want to have the variation live), the Original page for rest of the world where you don’t want the variations to be viewed.
Use of A/B test will help you determine which layout has more activity among the audience. And Personalization is to run campaigns in accordance with the user’s behavior.
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