Buying journeys are becoming increasingly complex with new channels and customer touch points across a variety of platforms (forbes.com). Understanding how users are interacting with your brand is essential to make improvements to ensure you stay ahead of the competition.
The more granular level of detail you gain on performance and user experience across your ecommerce site, the more responsive you can be to ensuring continuous improvement – especially in today’s fast paced digital marketplace – it can mean all the difference to delivering return on your investment (ROI).
Having the right tools in place to measure and assess the performance of ecommerce assets (hotjar.com) is the first hurdle in accessing and understanding truly actionable insights to take across your platforms (martech.org). It’s therefore no surprise that 74% of ecommerce leaders say their current ecommerce infrastructure and applications make it easy to extract data and insights (Box UK, Rethinking Ecommerce 2022). But armed with the data and statistics, how exactly are ecommerce leaders interpreting and applying the insight to create actionable outcomes aligned with reaching the goals and aims of the site itself?
Performance analytics can reveal slow loading pages across your site which users will be encountering along their journey. These analytics also come into their own when you dive deeper to gain insight into what elements of your pages are causing the speed issues, and action suggestions made as to how they can be resolved to positively impact page speed and performance across your site.
Google’s Core Web Vitals report for example (Box UK, Core Web Vitals) can help to explore your pages performance based on a scoring system used to measure the quality of user experience on your website.
Measuring engagement can give you an idea of how and what users are interacting with across your site (Box UK, Google Analytics). A high bounce rate on a page can in some cases indicate low engagement pages which may require closer attention. Adding conversion and event tracking for different elements of these identified pages will allow you to pinpoint areas of high and low engagement which will help to inform improvements to those areas.
Additional insights can be gained through utilising heatmaps and user recordings which allow a closer look at where users attention is being diverted, what actions users are taking on your site and more importantly parts that are being ignored and passed by which ensures the actions you take to correct these parts of your site are well informed.
Understanding the different paths users are taking across your site is important (Box UK, GA4), being able to see what page a user lands on, where they go next and the actions they are taking along the way. This allows you to identify key journeys which are more likely to lead to conversions/sales and which ones don’t so you are able to make adaptations throughout to continually improve those journeys for your users.
Identifying drop off points and other barriers throughout your user journeys will inform changes to those areas which can be analysed more closely with other data and insights to inform what changes need to take place in order to improve.
"76% of ecommerce businesses not currently performing UX health checks"
When it comes to checking user experience (UX) across an ecommerce site or platform, organisations must maintain an ‘always-on’ approach to ensure there are no shortfalls in their experiences which may deter customers from making a purchase. There’s no let up in the pace of change within the ecommerce industry, technologies are advancing, customer expectations are continuously evolving and the demands on businesses to deliver exceptional experiences are high. Staying ahead of the curve is essential to maintaining customer lifetime value and building brand loyalty.
So with 76% of ecommerce businesses not currently performing UX health checks even on a weekly basis (Box UK, Rethinking Ecommerce 2022), the lack of UX testing is putting brands at risk of disappointing their customer with poor experiences resulting in low conversion and reduced ROI.
When evaluating how a site responds to different situations, businesses need to understand not only what is happening, but why it is happening. This will allow them to make more informed decisions about what action to take and how to make that change to impact positively on the customer.
Health checking and carrying out UX testing daily reveals blind spots that can be rectified to increase conversions and revenue alike. Leaving these issues to persist only weakens the ability for organisations to respond to changes and thus run the risk of losing customers and market share to more savvy competitors.
Consumer behaviour is changing constantly, with new ways of searching, discussing, recommending and reviewing products online and the rise of social commerce has meant ecommerce leaders need to align their organisations to the omni-channel experience and to consolidate their technology to provide a clean and consistent experience across all channels.
When conducting UX testing, businesses must not only understand the behaviours of the users who buy from their site but go beyond to understand the behaviour of the users which do not buy from their site and go elsewhere in order to gain a true view of their experience, user pain points, preferred channels and frequent drop off points throughout their journey.
Outsourcing UX testing provides an independent point of view, the researchers are not distracted by assumptions and are not looking to prove expectations bred from familiarity. Obtaining this insight externally is more beneficial for businesses with consultants who can support them in understanding the potential impact of industry and ecommerce trends through trend analysis and user preference analysis to provide invaluable insight into potential opportunities for increased impact.
|Experience||Not every organisation has a specialised and experienced UX team. Gaining a team of experienced UX designers and researchers can be time consuming to recruit and costly to maintain and with training and development.||Allows access to a wide range of experienced UX designers and researchers with the latest and most up to date skill sets for all types of UX projects.|
|Resource||Resources for projects can vary depending on the type of project it is – sometimes unexpected events cause the need for increase/decrease in resourcing which can be difficult to do with tight time scales.||Using an outsourced UX agency means that even if unexpected events occur, extra resources can be drawn in when needed to provide support to the wider team. This resource can be obtained quickly and effectively and be integrated to reduce any negative impact on the project.|
|Specialists||Specialists can provide beneficial impact depending on the type of project being undertaken. To gain highly specialised UX designers or researchers will require significant investment and take time to find, which isn’t ideal for organisations looking to make changes quickly.||Using a UX agency will allow access to a team of UX experts with specialised skills to match the project they are working on.
This could be UX designers, researchers,
Accessing this resource is instant and specialists can be introduced and taken away from the project as requirements dictate.
|Scalability||In order to scale operations and build in-house capabilities, organisations need to invest in new technology and a UX team which have the skill set for current and future needs. This process can be lengthy and costly to find the right team which deliver the best results.||Outsourcing UX allows businesses to scale their operations up or down depending on their current needs. An Agile approach to development and UX allows for hours spent to change as required in terms of activities carried out by the agency. (Kambu.pl)|
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