2018年10月09日

Helping e-commerce teams focus on retail customer experience


While the size of your conversion rates may still be the ‘quick win' route to revenue, growth and success, many e-commerce teams are continuing to ignore the real driver behind these wholesale virgin hair business objectives — a simple and enjoyable customer experience for everyone that visits your brand's website.


Uplifts 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. If consumers have a bad experience while buying online at your site, they are far more likely to go elsewhere, perhaps to one of your competitors.


This is a key focus that is being recognized by the industry and brands as a whole, with customer experience consultancy, Walker, revealing that, by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.


So, it seems that focusing on driving short-term uplifts in conversion is missing the point, as it is not prioritizing the customers journey and delivering real value through improving and perfecting that overall experience.


Permanent uplift in conversion is a by-product of improving the user experience, which leads very neatly to the question that every e-commerce team should be asking: What is a good UX worth and how much does bad UX cost? A study by Momentum Design Lab back in 2014 found a good user experience is estimated to add between $500m and 1.4bn to the earnings of industries like retail and insurance.


Conversely, research by UX School found that bad UX was costing e-commerce businesses nearly $1.5 trillion globally.


Why traditional web analytics are no longer enough


Being able to not only identify where visitors are struggling on your site but why is essential. However, using traditional web analytics tools to answer this question is like using a fork to eat soup.


These systems are simply not built for purpose in today's environment. They may still be reasonable at collecting information about clicks, bounces and site exits, but they do not capture the UX insights needed to determine where your visitors are having issues, what pages they respond to most and why they are leaving/staying.


Turning to session replay and heat-mapping tools may be an option to shed some light into how visitors are interacting at a page-level, but these tools are often cumbersome and difficult to extract specific, actionable data from. Session replays, while revealing individual sessions in great detail, often require analysts to spend hundreds of hours in order to gain an aggregated view of customer behavior that that testing activity can be based on.


All of the valuable actionable insights about your consumers' experiences come from UX analytics, which give digital, sales, marketing and e-commerce teams all the information they need to make profitable changes to website layout, content and images.


The true value of behavioural analytics


UX analytics is the secret weapon that more and more e-commerce businesses are now using to transform their customers' digital experiences. Providing an additional layer of insight beyond traditional tools, UX analytics tools reveal both how visitors flow through the site on a macro level (where they struggle, where they bounce), but also show how visitors interact with each in-page element using metrics like click recurrence, hover rate and engagement rate.


Click recurrence, for example, shows how many times the average user clicks on an element. This can be used to identify areas where users are clicking on elements which aren't clickable, such as images and text. Hover and engagement rate both give an insight into the proportion of users hovering over content without clicking it.


The result? E-commerce teams armed with this insight are able to run fewer, more targeted tests based on real data rather than gut instinct or best practice. And what's more, they can measure the effect of these tests on visitor behavior — enabling teams to quantify improvements to the user experience in terms of metrics like engagement, hesitation time and, of course, revenue.


Brands can even harness the power of AI integrated into UX analytics solutions like ContentSquare's — in the form of a chatbot named Arti — which is taking UX analytics a step further to offer personalized insights and data-driven advice.


Have your customer as your focus, not your conversion rates


Understanding how customers interact with your website is critical to your optimization efforts, and is the core principle e-commerce teams should focus on when trying to improve conversion rate. Teams seeking to drive conversion gains by running tests based on intuition or gut feeling, rather than data, will struggle to drive long-term success.


In short, focus on improving your customer experience by understanding customer behavior online — conversion comes later.


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