UX to meet your customers’ expectations
It’s not easy to build and maintain a successful e-commerce store. It’s not even easy to decide what you’re going to sell, let alone getting all the other steps right. But let’s assume you’ve got your niche figured out, and you’re ready to set up your store.
All you need to do is get a website up and running, use some paid ads to get some traffic, and you’re good to go, right? Eh, not really. Let’s take a closer look!
The digital shopping world is incredibly competitive, and it’s constantly growing. If you want your website to produce enough conversions to keep your head above water, you’ll have to follow a few do’s and don’ts.
Unfortunately, conversions don’t just happen on their own — you need to work hard to optimize them. This is true whether you’re just starting a small online business to make a few extra bucks on the side, or you’re a marketing director at a huge web design company and need to hit your KPIs for the year.
How Can UX Design Help with Conversions?
The user experience of your website is more significant than it seems. Sure, aesthetics is a huge part of any website, and your UI could be holding your e-commerce store back from achieving its full potential, but you’ll likely be able to improve more if you focus on UX design first.
Unfortunately, it may be challenging to figure out where to start as the discipline of UX design is very broad. However, there’s one thing all well-designed websites have in common — meeting their customers’ expectations.
If that sounds like a tricky proposition, that’s because it is. Making your customers happy is not going to be easy, at least not immediately. That said, at least you can avoid disappointment or confusion.
If you want to generate more sales, creating a frustration-free online environment is a must and can be the difference between success and failure. On a positive note, a Forrester study has found that every dollar you put into UX design can bring a $100 return, suggesting a potential ROI of an astounding 10,000%. So… there’s no reason not to give it a try.
The importance of understanding your audience
We have already talked about meeting your customers’ expectations as the common denominator for all UX design. With that in mind, assuming what your customers want to see, unfortunately, won’t cut it.
As the entire structure of UX is built upon your knowledge of your customer’s preferences, you’ll have to do the proper research and make sure you truly understand what they expect. You can’t expect to design a user-centric e-commerce store if you don’t know the user.
Once you’ve done your testing and performed your market research, you can use the data to inform your design decisions. This data will provide actionable insights into your users’ habits and, hopefully, offer much more than nice colours and images.
To help you gather information on the interactions and processes you’ll need to optimize to boost your conversions, we’ll briefly discuss a few research methods.
Create your UX Personas
A well-made UX persona should have the interests, needs, goals, motivations, expectations, attitudes, and technical ability of your average visitor. Be careful, though — not only the people currently visiting your site should be represented. You should also include those you’d like to see in the future, thus expanding your potential customer pool.
First of all, you need to identify the different user types you expect to end up in your store. You’ll then use these personas to test the different buyer’s journeys while employing the mindset of each user type. Designers, developers, and marketers all have a personal bias, so it isn’t easy to look at a website from a visitor’s perspective. That’s what UX personas are for.
Keep the Buyer’s Journey in Mind
The buyer’s journey is the path your prospects take to reach a conversion. A consumer has to complete several steps before a purchase happens. On their end, it includes product research, customer reviews and price comparisons, even before they reach your site. Most often, all these steps don’t happen on a single device or in one session.
If you can map out the buyer’s journey in various contexts in which they may take place, you can take the opportunity to optimize and enhance the experience. This could make it easier for your prospects to reach the end goal, boosting your conversion rate.
Too many barriers, obstacles and distractions on a buyer’s journey result in lost sales and abandoned carts. Refining the journey and optimizing the user experience will do wonders for your chances of making a sale.
You can use many techniques to optimize the user’s journey, but what works on one website won’t necessarily work on another simply because their audiences are different. That’s why you need to do your research and personalize your entire UX design as best you can.
Oliver Deighton, has collaborated with our blog in this post.