Any business can lose money if the company website is cluttered, ugly or hard-to-navigate. Unattractive websites encourage viewers to look elsewhere--even professional B2B buyers looking for wholesale products with big profit margins. Slow page loads, broken links and lack of self-service options can also cause people to abandon a given website. These deficiencies can also decrease a website’s SEO rankings. The user experience, or UX, plays a decisive role in all aspects of digital marketing. Successful companies concentrate on ways to improve their customers’ user experiences, leading to improved satisfaction to increase conversions and build loyalty.   

Why You Need a Strong UX

Site design, navigability and customer self-service options are all part of the user experience. Well-designed websites simply attract more customers and generate more repeat business, so it’s important to consider design and technical features. Good design generally doesn’t mean exotic typefaces, conflicting colors, designs that are too “busy” and distracting graphics that flash or light up gratuitously. Photos, videos and graphics should always be high-quality images with high resolution. Navigation is the most important part of a website--the simpler the navigation, the easier and the more features customers can find. The best designs are easy to read and include clear directions to each area of the website.  Abandonment rates for eCommerce are the percentage of customers who leave the site without converting by signing up for a newsletter, buying something or requesting further information. [1] Bounce rates describe customers who land on the homepage or welcome page and immediately leave, which suggests the person navigated to the wrong site or the page wasn’t inviting. However, both bounce and abandonment rates increase when websites are poorly designed. Designing an appealing user experience requires extensive testing, regular updates, fresh content and high-quality images and graphics. An important thing to remember is that design does not equal experience.  You can have a great looking website, with terrible navigation and search, and it will perform terribly. Design directly affects the reputation score a user sub-conscientiously assigns to your company, while the experience guides them to what their looking for and helps them convert. We’ve all purchased items from ugly websites, but it’s rare to buy something from a site where you can’t find what you’re looking for.

 

Load Times and Other Features

Load time is one of the most important characteristics of a strong user experience. However, there are other important features that need to work seamlessly to deliver a great UX. These include: [2]  Providing search bar access from any page

  • Highlighting the relevant menu when a customer is on a particular page
  • Using simple terms in navigation menus
  • Allowing users to filter products based on multiple attributes
  • Cataloging products and services logically

 

Responsive Design

One of the biggest issues of poor user experiences is site abandonment based on slow page loads. One study found that customers will leave a site that takes longer than a few seconds to load. [3] 30 percent of customers won’t wait longer than 10 seconds. Google’s recommendations are that every page should load in less than 3 seconds. This issue can be even more complex because websites need to adapt to the Often called responsive design, more and more developers now use the term “adaptive design.” Web displays adapt to the device being used to provide the best layout option. For example, phones have smaller displays than laptops, tablets and computers, so the display needs a different configuration that highlights the most popular features while providing easy navigation to other areas and website features. The user experience should mimic that “standard” usage model of the device. For example, on a mobile phone, we rarely scroll left or right (other than specific swiping actions) to access same page content, but we scroll up and down a lot.  

How to Improve Customer Experience

Improving the customer experience isn’t a one-time job--it requires regular work, testing and maintenance. Links can break and page loads can slow down. Some customers get frustrated when dealing online with technology that they don’t completely understand. That’s why it's so important to simplify, build trust and follow established reading patterns of left-to-right and up-to-down. Some of the key areas of importance for generating an appealing UX include designing Welcome Pages, Support Forms, Deactivation Forms and Admin Pointers.  Welcome pages introduce products, services, applications and features. Support forms can increase interactivity and customer engagement by convincing users to convert immediately. It’s not a sales conversion, but any conversion has value in digital marketing. Deactivation forms reassure customers that they can opt-out of anything that they’ve accepted. Admin pointers provide staff with clear directions on admin pages.   

Customer Engagement

Engaging customers requires the right kind of content--from catalog product descriptions to how-to videos. Content includes web page information, blog articles, photos, videos and explanatory text. Providing plenty of self-service options can also improve customer experience.   

User-Friendly Designs Improve Customer Experience

User-friendly design isn’t universal but depends on who the user is. Users include retail browsers, B2B buyers / vendors / partners, high-end buyers, highly educated people and working people trying to find bargains. Design features should match the profile of the demographic group that a given section of the website is targeting. Most customers only have an average attention span of about 8 seconds. [4] If the website doesn’t capture the attention of the targeted customer in that time, most visitors will abandon the site.   

Important UX Statistics

It’s important to the customer experience to offer customers extended payment options. In 2018, about 80 percent of companies accept payments on-site, and 77 percent accept payments through emails. About 72 percent of companies accept phone payments. B2B mobile becomes increasingly important as 80 percent of buyers use mobile phones in their offices, and half of all B2B queries are made by phone. [5]  UX testing is very important. Trends evolve, applications develop bugs and customers worry about security issues. Some of the top frustrations that hurt the user experience include needing to enlarge the screen to ensure that a viewer is clicking in the right place, slow-loading pages, text that is too small and needing to enter information multiple times. [6]  That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to hire an experienced design company, where UX is a standard part of the design process, to integrate your business applications so that staff only needs to enter information one time. The right development partner can design an appealing website, integrate software, automate self-service features and test the platform regularly to uncover any problems as soon as they develop. These applications improve customer satisfaction and increase conversions. Give us a call, so we can help you with your UI/UX project.

References: 

[1] Invespcro.com: E-commerce Abandonment Rates 
https://www.invespcro.com/blog/e-commerce-abandonment-rates/ 

[2] Wisdmlabs.com: How to Improve Engagement on Your WooCommerce Website 
https://wisdmlabs.com/blog/how-to-improve-engagement-on-your-woocommerce-website/ 

[3] Uxpin.com: Important Considerations for Responsive Design Performance & UX 
https://www.uxpin.com/studio/blog/important-considerations-responsive-design-performance-ux/ 

[4] Wix.com: How to Drastically Improve Your Website’s UX 
https://www.wix.com/blog/2017/05/improve-website-user-experience/ 

[5] Bigcommerce.com: B2B Ecommerce Trends (+ Statistics From Our 2018 Survey) 
https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/b2b-ecommerce-trends/ 

[6] Userzoom.com: 12 fascinating stats about UX and usability testing to help your business case | UserZoom blog 
https://www.userzoom.com/selling-ux-internally/fascinating-stats-about-ux-and-usability-testing-to-help-your-business-case/

Enterprise eCommerce

Don’t get stuck with a platform that limits your range, Sell everywhere all the time with Clarity eCommerce.

image description