Webtrends is pleased to congratulate UK customer Moneysupermarket.com for winning a Gold Ribbon at the recent WhichTestWon awards celebrating the Best 31 Online A/B & Multivariate Tests.

Moneysupermarket.com, the leading British price comparison website specialising in financial services, insurance and travel products, won the honor for running a multivariate test in the Credit Cards channel that looked to better understand visitor behaviour based on gender. Their testing showed that men and women responded differently to the presentation of credit scores when applying for credit.

This “blew away” the judges and netted a gold medal in the Finance category.

A Closer Look at the Tests

Female Segment – Optimal Page

Using Webtrends’ Optimize technology and services, Moneysupermarket.com ran a multivariate test of hundreds of possible combinations on the Smart Search Results page segmented by male and female. The focus of the test was to drive more visitors to provider pages.

It was discovered that the two genders responded differently to the presentation of credit scores and the chance of being approved for an application, as two separate winning results were achieved. In fact, Anne Holland, the founder of WhichTestWon.com, even exclaimed “it blew [her] away” that there were such stark differences.

Male Segment – Optimal Page
Male Segment – Optimal Page

Women responded well to a star rating format when it came to their credit scores, while men preferred copy – “Excellent”, “Good”, “Fair” – which is the standard used by most credit rating agencies. Star ratings tend to be quite commonplace for a variety of types of products on retail or travel websites.

Some online consumer behaviour studies indicate that women tend to favour ratings and reviews more highly than men – perhaps this is the explanation for why females responded more favourably to a star rating system and were more likely to follow through to a credit card provider. This, despite males spending more online than females on average per year in the UK.

Further testing showed that males were far less likely to click through to a card provider if the credit rating was omitted entirely from the page. Conversely, this had no significant impact on women’s clickthrough rates. Dare I try to explain why there is a difference here? Perhaps we should look at this in the same context of an ‘impulse buy’. Studies have shown that women tend to have have higher levels of brand commitment than men which translates into higher levels of impulse buying in comparison to men.

Drawing Conclusions

While there are many ways to access demographic and visitor profile information for the purposes of segmentation and targeting, many of these methods can be technically complex or arduous.

In this particular scenario however, the only requirement was to have a question higher up in the customer journey that asked the visitor to confirm their gender. Simply dropping a cookie allowed Moneysupermarket.com to gain a more granular insight into their visitors. Pretty simple stuff. If you’re working in the conversion optimisation industry, make sure you consider these opportunities in your future tests.

For more about A/B and multivariate testing, you may be interested in reading our whitepaper on Landing Page Optimization.