In today’s consumer-centric eCommerce marketplace, giving customers a seamless and dynamic user experience (UX) has never been more important. Optimized UX ensures customers can easily navigate a website, quickly find what they need and buy it. When brands make it easy for people to buy from them, they will buy more frequently. Today, the experience brands offer their customers can be even more essential than the product they are selling. UX analytics helps merchants know what’s working and what’s not.
First Impressions Matter
Today’s online shoppers have become more picky and exacting than ever before, and this extends to the websites they visit. According to statistics, 38% of online shoppers will abandon a website if they find the design to be unattractive. In fact, it takes just 0.05 seconds for customers to form an opinion about a website.
If customers do not feel engaged with an eCommerce site, they are not likely to stick around, let alone buy anything. It is even worse if a website is slow, clunky or hard to use. As usability expert Susan Dray said, “If the user can’t use it, it doesn’t work.”
Bad UX = Bad Conversion and High Abandonment Rates
Today’s DTC eCommerce brands must have more than an attractive online presence. They need a website that delivers the type of seamless UX experience customers have come to expect. The quality of the user experience can directly impact crucial conversion, engagement and retention rates.
Poor usability and bad UX are two of the biggest reasons why the current average online conversion rate is 2.42%. At the same time, cart abandonment rates currently stand at just under 70%. These dismal figures can cost eCommerce brands as much as $18 billion in lost annual revenue. It is also why more eCommerce brands are including smart UX as an integral part of their overall business strategy.
What Is eCommerce User Experience, and Why Is It Important?
User experience (UX) is a customer’s overall experience when using an eCommerce website or app. How good or bad the experience is depends on how effectively the user experience has been designed. Good UX should provide customers with an engaging and streamlined experience that will have them coming back for more.
On top of giving customers a rewarding experience, good UX can dramatically improve customer retention and decrease website abandonment. According to Forrester Research, a great user experience can increase a website’s conversion rate by almost 400%. Good UX can also boost customer satisfaction, which in turn greatly improves brand loyalty and trust. Other reasons why good UX is so important to eCommerce brands include:
- Increases conversion rate
- Enhances customer engagement
- Improves SEO
- Attracts new audiences
- Expands market reach
To help deliver these types of results, eCommerce brands need to consider partnering with an experienced and reliable UX provider.
Benefits of Hiring a UX Analytics Provider
Partnering with an experienced UX provider has many advantages over working with freelancers or forming an in-house team. When partnering with a UX provider, brands work with experienced professionals and a fully-equipped team of experts. Experienced providers are also adept at strategic guidance and deliver practical solutions under tight deadlines.
Providers who specialize in working with eCommerce businesses also bring a higher level of knowledge and industry expertise. They excel at conducting market research, evaluating competitors, validating, testing and gauging current eCommerce UX trends and practices. Importantly, they will know how to integrate their systems with a brand’s existing business software.
4 Tips for Picking the Right UX Analytics Partner
Finding the right UX provider takes time, patience and considerable research. Considering the potential benefits, doing due diligence will be worth the effort. Here are some key aspects to consider when looking for a UX partner.
Learn About Their Expertise
When researching UX providers, look for one with narrow expertise rather than a jack of all trades. It is often better to work with a provider with a focus on a single niche than one that services a number of industries. Speaking the same language can dramatically strengthen the professional relationship between an eCommerce brand and their UX partner. Also learn about their expertise with UX analytics and metrics.
Do a Deep Dive Into Their Portfolio
Prospective UX providers should have a strong portfolio that can prove their proficiency and identify their key strengths. How effectively they completed past projects will give a good overview of how capable they are. To that end, online UX design portfolios should also include links to live websites that can be explored and interacted with. A portfolio that shows clients repeatedly coming back for work is also a strong indicator of a company’s credibility.
Investigate Their Work Processes
Even if an agency looks good on paper, learn more about their work processes. It is a good sign if the agency’s approach is based on research and reliable UX analytics. A research-based agency will ask multiple questions about a project to understand past user behavior. Detailed questions and research indicates that they want to have a full understanding of business and project goals before they start.
Compare UX Analytics Pricing Models
UX analytics partners typically offer two pricing models: a fixed price per project or a time and materials-focused price estimate. With a fixed pricing model, a project’s cost is determined when a contract is signed. A time and materials pricing model offers better cost flexibility because it allows the client to supervise the entire process. Always ask about the average time frame for projects if opting for the latter.
The Bottom Line
When researching UX providers, take a hard look at the expertise levels of their team, past performances, case studies and customer testimonials. It is also important to choose an agency that has proven experience in understanding their clients’ business goals and processes. A good UX analytics partner should be as much a business partner and advisor as they are a provider. A strong partnership could spell the difference between falling behind the competition or becoming a frontrunner.
DTC eCommerce brands that demand excellence in customer data analytics choose Air360. With user experience data collected in real-time, Air360lets you turn your UX analytics into actionable insights. Want to learn more? Schedule your Air360 demo today.
Header image: Christina @ Wocintechchat.com