How user experience (UX) audits can produce more money for your ecommerce business
Written by Vivian Doan, diff Experience Designer
Return on investment (ROI) is an often-used success metric for business. This is a statistic used to compare the gains or losses of an investment in relation to their cost. The higher the ROI, the better - this is indicative of efficient investment. Since brick and mortar retail has been around for centuries, business owners are well aware of the traditional ways to increase ROI in the physical retail space. Some leading examples include having great customer services, keeping your stock in line with demand, and staying current with customer trends.
But what about ecommerce? How can you effectively increase ROI for your online store? Online conversions are correlated with a seamless and satisfying user experience. There are many factors that contribute to a great website experience, and many of them you may not even be aware of. A User Experience audit (UX audit) can empower your brand by providing a deep dive analysis of your site’s usability. Because User Experience (UX) Design involves information design, layout, and hierarchy of content, a UX audit can also improve your site’s SEO performance, putting you even further ahead of your competition.
Here are 4 reasons UX audits can produce more money for your ecommerce business:
Empower your brand with a user experience (UX) audit
What is a UX Audit? It’s a qualitative review of your site from a user-centric lens across all platforms and viewports. An auditor will dig through your site and note any and all pain points, minor to major, that might deter a user from having an optimal experience. The audit is typically supplemented with a recommendations report, summarizing suggested changes and explaining how those changes would improve your site.
According to the Adobe State of Content report, if online content isn’t fast-loading and easy to consume, you risk losing your audience. More than 7 out of 10 (73%) respondents say it's important that content “displays well on the device,” while more than 6 out of 10 (64%) place importance on an “overall good design.” A UX Audit looks at more than how a site is designed aesthetically — it gives you a strategic plan for how you can improve your online store
Boost your online store conversion rate
To put things simply, a better user experience = higher conversion rates. Implementing suggestions from a UX Audit will improve your site experience, which will in turn improve your customer satisfaction, ultimately leading to an increase in conversion rates.
And the potential increases could be significant. According to a report by Forrester, an improvement in user experience could yield conversion rates of up to 400% more. The 2018 Adobe Digital Trends report echoes a similar sentiment, discovering that organizations with ‘well-designed user journeys that facilitate clear communication and a seamless transaction’ are 57% more likely to have significantly surpassed their 2017 business goals. In addition, the Design Management Institute has found that UX design-driven companies consistently outperformed the S&P stock market index by 228% over 10 years compared to the industry average.
Grow your ecommerce customer base
It’s clear that an improvement in UX does more than yield short-term gains – it’s all about the long-haul. Customer satisfaction breeds trust and loyalty in your brand. What applies to brick and mortar stores applies to ecommerce as well. It’s how we foster that satisfaction that differs, and a UX Audit is a powerful tool that can point us in the right direction.
What exactly does it mean to ‘improve the user experience’? Admittedly, it sounds vague, but that’s because there’s a lot that goes into a good website experience. A typical UX Audit will examine a site based on the 10 usability heuristics developed by Jakob Nielsen, a leading expert on web usability and Co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group. Although these heuristics were established in the mid-90’s, they still ring true today. To put Nielsen’s heuristics into the context of ecommerce, a UX Audit might call out how you can improve the navigation on your site, so users can find what they’re looking for easier and faster. If a user can find what they want, that could be another dollar in your pocket.
Time to invest in a user experience (UX) audit?
Now that you understand the importance of a UX Audit, you’re probably wondering how you should go about having your site audited. Certainly, if you’ve got an internal UX team, they can perform a more formal, sitewide audit (in contrast to the many small tweaks and bugs they’re constantly fixing). However, it’s actually recommended that you make use of a 3rd party auditor (like diff!) to perform your audit. Even with an internal UX team, the value that a 3rd party auditor brings to the table is a fresh set of eyes. It’s easy to form subconscious (or conscious) biases, or to simply miss glaring issues on a website that you’ve been working on for so long. And if you’re a company that doesn’t have it’s own UX team, that’s even more of a reason to bring in experts who can help you achieve your goals.
Return on investment (ROI) on a silver platter
A study conducted by Forrester found that, on average, every dollar invested in UX brings in 100 dollars in return. No matter the size of your company or how many years you’ve been operating, that’s a pretty compelling statistic. Retail is an ever-evolving space, and ecommerce changes at a significantly rapid pace. It’s important to stay up-to-date with best practices and accessibility standards to stay ahead of your competition. An investment in a UX Audit is one of the most effective, lean ways of ensuring that your online business is in the best shape possible.
Diff’s UX team is ready to help you spruce up your website and maximize ROI. Get in touch to find out how we can bring to your site smart design, intuitive navigation, and ensure users achieve a seamless flow through to their conversion point.