The modern retail environment is a far cry from the old days
This changing face of consumers’ retail behaviour means that ecommerce teams need to be aware of the benefits of using solutions such as UX analytics to make the team’s life easier, by offering consumers a better customer experience.
Although many ecommerce teams are still focusing on conversion rates as their priority for success, it’s dawning on more savvy retailers that the customer’s experience on their websites and mobile apps is key to brand loyalty and return visits. By ensuring every customer that visits their website has a simple and enjoyable customer experience, ecommerce teams are boosting their business’ revenue, growth and continuing success in return.
Spikes in conversion are an easy success story for stakeholder meetings, but in reality they aren’t always an indicator of real improvement. Achieving steady, incremental results is almost always the result of an in-depth understand of how visitors interact with the website or mobile app. If consumers have a bad experience while buying online at your site, they are far more likely to go elsewhere, perhaps even to a competitor.
Customer experience consultancy, Walker, forecast that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by the year 2020. With that date not too far in the future, now is the time for ecommerce teams to prioritize the customer’s journey and deliver true added value to the ongoing success of the business by improving and perfecting that overall experience.
As consumers now have more choice over where they shop and a wider variety of ways to access retailer’s sites, a good UX strategy is key. According to a research report by UX School, bad UX could cost ecommerce businesses nearly $1.5 trillion globally, so ecommerce teams must ensure that they already have a dedicated UX strategy in place.
UX Analytics: Ecommerce’s ‘secret weapon’ in the battle of UX
UX analytics is the ‘secret weapon’ that ecommerce businesses are using to understand consumers and respond to their demands, to transform their customers’ digital experiences. Providing an additional layer of insight beyond traditional tools, UX analytics tools reveal consumer behaviour patterns based on actions on a macro level. UX analytics tools offer insight into everything from where consumers hover, how many clicks they make, how fast they are scrolling through content and more, to determine what elements of the website is most attracting, or conversely dissuading, them during their online journey.
Being able to identify where visitors are struggling and why they are having an issue is important and, as traditional web analytics tools do not offer this customer experience insight as quickly as UX analytics solutions do, they are no longer offering ecommerce teams what they need to make informed actionable decisions. Although the standard web analytics tools can collect clicks, bounce rates and site exit figures, they do not capture what is essential – the pages, and individual page elements, that visitors are most engaged with and any reasons why they may be struggling or leaving.
All of the most valuable actionable insights about a consumers’ experiences come from UX analytics, which give digital, sales, marketing and ecommerce teams all the information they need to make profitable changes to website layout, content and images. Where the more traditional web analytics tools only indicate that a user has clicked on an element, UX analytics tools can reveal how many times the average user clicks, which can highlight a frustrating experience – for example, users clicking on an element that is not clickable.
Teams can use this insight to redesign or change the layout and presentation of that page to make it easier for the user to see exactly where the clickable links are, rather than them continuing to click links or images that lead nowhere, which is likely to frustrate them.
Testing less, testing better
The true value of UX analytics solutions over more traditional web analytics is that ecommerce teams armed with the insights UX analytics provide are able to run fewer, more targeted tests based on real data, rather than making decisions based solely on gut instinct or best practice. Add to that the ability to measure the effect of any tests run on actual visitors’ behaviour patterns means that ecommerce teams can quantify improvements to the user experience in metrics from engagement and hesitation time all the way through to checkouts and revenue.
Essentially, UX analytics tools offer an extra layer of insight beyond the traditional web analytics tools for actioning in real-time. Going a step beyond that, ecommerce brands can now harness the power of AI integrated into UX analytics solutions like ContentSquare’s – in the form of a chatbot named Arti – to take their insights a step further. AI offer consumers a more personalised and data-driven visit to their website, so they are more likely to return, and the more they return the better the AI gets to know them and can make ever-more informed recommendations suited to the consumer’s preferences.
Understanding your customers’ journey
Understanding how customers interact with your website is critical to an ecommerce team’s optimisation efforts, and is the core principle they need to concentrate on in order to improve their conversion rates. While the size of conversion rates may still be the ‘quick win’ route to achieving a brand’s business objectives, an enjoyable customer experience is the real driver. And, offering all of the valuable, actionable insights about your consumers’ experiences comes from UX analytics, giving ecommerce, digital, sales and marketing teams all the data and insight they could want to make profitable changes to website layout, content and images.
Matthew Robinson is Head of Marketing UK at ContentSquare.