What is user experience and why is it important for brands?
User experience, or UX, is the term used to describe the journey that your audience goes through to purchase or engage with your products and services. It’s also what underpins the audience’s perception of your brand. 88% of website users are reported to be less likely to revisit a website after a bad user experience, highlighting its importance for driving business.
People invest in good experiences, which makes sense – of course you’d be interested in doing more of what makes you feel good. With that in mind, it’s not too surprising that brands that invest in UX see a great financial return too. Good user experience and UX design is reported to have an ROI of 9,900%, that’s a return of £100 for every £1 spent!
With brands constantly battling in a highly competitive time and users having more choice and buying power than ever, organisations must work harder to gain a competitive advantage. Brands simply cannot afford to overlook the value of user experience.
The key to success is in your research and analysis
Before you make any decisions, the first thing to do is a situation analysis. Identifying what is working well, what isn’t and where you’d like to be by the end of your UX project. Using quantitative research (data) that can be found in tools like Google Analytics, digital marketers and designers can understand what their users are doing, whereas qualitative research, like heatmaps from tools like Hotjar, tell you why they’re behaving in this way.
For example, your Google Analytics report might show you that your website has a high bounce rate on a certain page. The heatmap and click-map recordings can uncover their experience. Perhaps they were looking to be able to click a link that wasn’t there or wasn’t working? Maybe they did find what they wanted and were scrolling through. Whatever the result, these insights combined will better inform you what needs to be prioritised to keep your users engaged with your content for longer and following a path that will bring them closer to conversion or completing desired actions.
Below is a heatmap that’s measuring the ‘scroll’ element on a page. The rainbow theme starts red at the top which indicates the highest engagement, and as the colours move to blue, this indicates the decline of engaged users.
What the scroll heatmaps tells us, is which areas we need to prioritise information. For example, if only 15% of your visitors are reaching the bottom of your page, it might be better to include call to actions higher up on the page.
Ultimately it’s how this information is collated and used that will impact a brand’s ROI. Running a UX audit and using the insights mentioned is a great place to start.
How eCommerce brands are using data to drive conversions
ECommerce brands must always be switched on to what their audience is thinking. On a Basket/Cart page for instance, the customer wouldn’t want product-related info – that’s on the product page. They likely want delivery charges and returns policy information, or how to get in touch if there’s a problem. Having this type of content somewhere on the Basket/Cart page (but not hindering the purchase!) is useful to the customer and makes the company look transparent and honest. It also stops the customer leaving the page to find the answers to these questions because you are being so upfront. Improving the experience directly influences your sales.
ASOS does a brilliant job of reassuring users during the checkout by highlighting exactly what the delivery charges will be for each user, and what the process is should the user want to return an item. This not only answers any potential questions, it’s a great way to dispel cognitive dissonance. A personalised approach that completely centres the user journey around the…user, prevents them leaving the page which would disrupt the purchase.
Data plays a key part in eCommerce UX hypothesises. Google Analytics can show marketers how their users are navigating pages through to checkout. For example the screenshot below shows that customers are visiting the delivery page from the checkout and cart pages. This tells us that the users want that specific information. Unlike ASOS, this brand is forcing their customers to go looking for delivery information, which risks disrupting their transaction. This data insight, can then inform that needed change to make that information available on those pages.
Feedback specifically for a website should be asked after the user has been on it for a significant amount of time, and shouldn’t be asked before the user has done an action you want them to do (like purchase something). The last thing marketers want is to hinder their customers from converting, aka buying something or offering their details, especially when they might have cost your brand money to get there (e.g. PPC ads). An ideal place to ask for feedback would be on the final page within a journey such as the “Thank You” page which appears when the user has purchased something. Even then, it should be subtle and not cover the screen.
It’s important to remember that not all customers who are on your website will be ready to convert / purchase. Understanding digital tactics such as SEO is useful when looking at the wider user journey. For instance, if the user found your website organically, what was the search query? This gives some understanding of the user intent, however there’s always going to be gaps in knowledge- after all, what people think isn’t always reflected in their actions.
Some users might be having a look, maybe comparing prices or generally exploring the site to familiarise themselves with your brand. For these users you need to provide a memorable experience; one they will remember when they are ready to make a purchase. If you aren’t the cheapest then you need to explain why you aren’t the cheapest; perhaps your product is of a higher quality. Adding social proof, such as reviews from happy customers can also encourage users to purchase from your brand, or remember your business in the future, if they aren’t necessarily ready to buy right now.
How to find out more about your brand’s UX performance
Understandably, not all businesses have a dedicated performance marketing team with UX and data specialists, or the budgets for all the great tools available. This is where we come in. We are TrunkBBI, a globally awarded integrated marketing agency with over a decade of experience in helping big brands to grow and activate valuable audiences. Find out more about our performance marketing services here, or if you’re ready for a chat, get in touch today – we’d love to help with your next project.