It doesn’t matter what your website or digital application looks like if people don’t know how to interact with it or they don’t enjoy their experience.
While it is hard to know for sure, Google estimates there are approximately 12-24 million e-commerce stores selling products on the Internet around the world and that number grows exponentially each day. The goal for these retailers, however, is not only to attract more visitors to their websites, but to convert those visitors into buyers. While this may sound simple, it is actually quite complicated, and it’s driven by the User Experience (UX).
User Experience is both an art and a science
It encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with a company, its services and its products. In commerce, UX refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about a particular product or service. It includes the practical, experiential, meaningful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction, as well as a person’s online perceptions of functionality such as ease of navigation. It also requires a deep understanding about your online prospects across all digital applications, including websites, apps, smartphones, smart watches and voice activated devices. Studying and learning what your potential customers need and value, how they behave online, what motivates them to make buying decisions, their limitations and other technical factors — such as accessibility, performance, design, utility, ergonomics and marketing strategies — will improve users’ experiences.
Needless to say, UX varies from person to person and is constantly changing over time. But the fact UX’s intent is to provide positive experiences to turn prospects into buyers and build customer loyalty while simultaneously offering meaningful shopping experiences. In other words, people want to feel good when they interact with a digital product.
What is User Experience (UX)?
UX is not the same thing as usability, although the two are related. UX is the experience, emotion, intuition and connection a user feels when browsing a website or interacting with a digital device.
Usability, on the other hand, is essential to creating the overall user experience and concentrates on the effectiveness of a website design. The common industry term is user-centered design.
Why is UX Important?
Ignoring UX will most likely result in a sloppy application, a negative user experience and cause visitors to bounce (leave the website or abandon their shopping cart). Integrating UX helps foster a positive human interaction and rich experience in which users become buyers and as buyers they return to your website.
The UX concept, does not just apply to mammoth online retailers like Amazon, is also critical for small and start-up businesses. Why? The answer is easy and one you’ve probably heard before.
First impressions are lasting impressions. The same logic applies to companies with small budgets. UX can create the momentum which helps move the business in the right direction.
Get (and Keep) Users’ Attention
Users often leave websites within 10–20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people’s attention longer, according to a study by Nielsen Norman Group. To gain users’ attention for a longer period of time, the business’ value proposition needs to be communicated and resonate with users within 10 seconds.
Google states people continue to leave websites every second, but if they stay for 30 seconds, the bounce rate slows down. If you are successful in keeping users on a web page, or involved with your digital app, for half a minute, there’s a fair chance they may stay longer, often two minutes or more, which is an eternity online.
The Benefits of Good User Experience
Research studies have proven UX benefits e-commerce and the lack of integrating UX increases risk of failure. In summary, the Usability Professionals Association defines six reasons to add — and pay for — UX to the design and development process.
- Increased productivity
- Increased sales and revenue
- Decreased training and support costs
- Reduced development time and costs
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Increased customer satisfaction