You may understand what user experience (UX) is, but unless you understand its importance to the success of your ecommerce site from a user-focused perspective, you may miss the opportunity to design it right the first time. Prioritizing your users ultimately benefits your business. The following user-focused reasons are interdependent on one another – improving one helps improve them all.
1. UX establishes credibility – users learn to trust you and your product
When users trust that your product or service will be able to meet their needs, they perceive it as credible and trustworthy. Building trust and credibility takes time and requires consistency with each user interaction and transaction.
If users get the sense that you aren’t professional or know what you’re doing (e.g., if they can’t navigate through your site efficiently), feel like they can’t trust you with their money or private information (e.g., during transactions), or feel like they can’t trust the integrity of the product or service you’re offering, the UX will be negative and credibility will be lost. Up to 95% of new products launched each year in the U.S. fail not because of the quality of the product but because of a lack of perceived credibility. This is why credibility is considered one of the 7 key factors that influence UX.
2. UX improves usability – it’s easy for users to use your product or service
Product usability (another one of the 7 key factors that influence UX, and the most important one), is determined by how easy it is for users to use your product. Users intuitively expect certain pieces of information or opportunities for action at the right time. UX design makes it easy for users to make decisions without having to spend a lot of effort searching for what they need. A simple example of this is to make it easy for users to start an account by only asking for their name and email. This requires little effort, and users have opened the door for future interactions.
3. UX builds customer loyalty, thus increasing your customer retention rate!
Building customer loyalty goes hand in hand with establishing credibility and trust. The end result for you is a higher customer retention rate. Your loyalty to your customers and their needs will result in their loyalty to you. See it as maintaining and building a relationship with them. Empathize with users by anticipating their problems and feelings at various stages in the purchase cycle. Then, take the time to address each. Your empathy brings the human factor to your product, which is the real connection to your users.
4. UX expands your market reach through perfected mobile-friendly design
With nearly 68% of the world owning a mobile device, and 52% of internet searches done on a mobile device, you would be missing more than half of the potential market without a mobile-friendly version of your site – one that is as polished and perfected as your site.
Mobile users expect to access, recognize, and navigate your product’s site like they would if they were using a PC. Although 61% of customers are more likely to purchase from mobile-friendly sites, the majority of users will leave a site altogether if they experience a problem.
5. UX enhances user engagement through aesthetics, writing consistency, and interaction
A significant part of UX is in how interaction with your site makes the user feel. Simple, uncluttered design that stirs the users’ physical senses (e.g., sight, sound), grabs their attention, and makes the user experience memorable, unique, and recognizable, sets you apart from your competitors. Design, and certainly the colors used in the design, should be strategic, as it tells a story and connects with your users.
User engagement and brand recognition is not only accomplished through design consistency, but also in writing-style consistency. If the tone, formality, and language used throughout your site isn’t consistent, it will be jarring and confusing. Visual and textual elements should be intriguing so that users will wonder what’s next and lead them to explore other pages on your site. Interactive elements, including videos (which can increase site traffic by up to 300%), a variety of call-to-action (CTA) buttons, and social media feeds (so users can follow you on multiple platforms) engage users and make them eager to return.
Remembering the importance of UX keeps you focused on the users’ needs and feelings during the design process for your site. Taking the time to perfect UX design early on will save you time and money in the long run.