Amidst the scramble to get good content, boost SEO, and other time-honored marketing efforts, most of the marketers underestimate the importance of ensuring top-notch UX in driving sales.
The user experience (UX) is the feeling users encounter when interacting with the website, app, or any other online digital channel. Website owners try to enhance UX by improving the design, accessibility, usability, and other crucial dimensions that influence interaction between the prospective customer and the product.
UX plays a key role in making things easy for the visitors on the site, and in leaving a lasting impression. A good UX can eventually turn the visitor to a buyer.
The quantum of online business is often a multiple of three factors:
- Number of unique visitors to the digital channel
- Conversion rate
- Loyalty rate
While it takes extensive marketing efforts to lead prospects to the website, app, or any other digital asset set up for the purpose of making online sales, the actual sales depends on whether the prospect remains in the digital asset and makes a purchase. The conversion rate and loyalty rate may depend on several factors, but a good user experience (UX) is a key factor. SEO, which plays a big role in attracting unique visitors to the digital asset, is itself influenced by UX. A good UX boosts SEO, bringing in more visitors.
Having taken the trouble to bring in prospects to the website, app or other digital asset, pay heed to the following UX considerations, to increase the chances of conversion, and enhance sales:
- Understand what target customers want: At the end of the day, UX is subjective, depending on the whims and fancies of the users who actually interact with the digital channel. While no two individuals are alike, they can still be grouped into several types, depending on their buying characteristics. “Power shoppers” generally seek a technically and strategically sound user experience, whereas “recreational shoppers,” who prefer to hang around seek an alluring experience. Still other “repeat shoppers” prefer to make several visits before making a purchase, and would prefer easy access from where they finally left off.
- Take care of the basics: Regardless of the type of experience users prefer, it pays to take care of the basics. A perfect layout without any glitches is a must. Marketing expert Jeff Bullas estimates that 67% of visitors to an ecommerce website consider quality of product image as “very important” when selecting and purchasing a product. Large display images and images from different angles add to the UX in almost all cases, since images are the best substitutes for the crucial “look and feel” customers get in the brick-and-mortar space. A test conducted on Mall.cz, Czech Republic’s prominent e-tailer reveals that large product images increase both sales and revenue. Similarly, ratings and reviews are relevant in almost all situations, and push users to buying the product.
- Make things easy: Never underestimate the power of simplicity. A complex design may look attractive, but can be difficult to navigate, and may turn away users. Make sure the user experience is lucid and seamless. Make it convenient for the customer to browse everything related to the product in question, and especially make it easy for users to checkout, progress to the payment page, and conclude the transaction. Empirical evidence suggests that most sales take place when the steps between checkout and payment are limited to no more than three. Also, keep form fields to minimum, and make sure registered users are never asked for the same information again.
- Provide Options: Never assume what visitors would prefer. Let visitors take such decision themselves. Whether it is the option to view and pay in native currency for global transactions, or multiple shipping options, or even option to access the ecommerce portal through website instead of app-only never go by popular choice. It is true that 80% of the sales may be generated by 20% of the customers, and businesses would do well to focus on the needs and preferences of this 20%, but businesses that ignore the remaining customers do so at their own peril.
- Automate: Automate as far as possible. As a rule, the more automated the ordering process, the smoother it is. It may also improve accuracy and make back-office processing more efficient. For instance, when the customer enters the post code, the city, and state may be automatically populated.
- Cache: There is nothing more annoying to a customer finding all their data (be it products selected or the form field filled) getting lost owing to some glitch, inadvertent mouse click, or simply because the customer changes his or her mind. For instance, the customer may have completed all the processes, and is just a click away from confirming the order, when he or she changes mind and decides to make a small change, say select a different shipping option. How frustrating it would be if there is no option to go back and all data is lost as they click on the back button. The solution is to cache all information in form fields, and save the progression until check out, so that customers do not have to repeat the process all over again.
- Pay heed to time-tested conventions: Certain practices have become conventions for good reasons. Such practices are what customers have repeatedly preferred, cutting over time and space. For instance, empirical evidence suggests that an “add to cart” option increases the conversion rate, rather than a direct “buy now” option. Likewise, the absence of a “save for later” option in the shopping cart runs the risk of losing the entire sale altogether. Similarly, it pays to visualize all the ‘Payments’ steps, to offer transparency on how the payment will be processed. Also, clutter free area is found to be the most effective. Tailor Gifts, another established online store, found out that bringing buying information and “add-to-cart” button lead to a 10% increase in click-through rates. The e-tailer (Tailor Gifts) also found out that it may be a good idea to include crucial information, such as time of shipment arrival, near the box.
The best UX is when users feel they are well taken care of and they can conclude the transaction in an easy way, without straining themselves. A good UX not just increases the chance of coming back for more, but also makes it likely they would recommend the website or the app to others.
Share your thoughts on how critical is UX in leveraging your sales. To know more about Suyati’s UX design capabilities, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.