6 Ways To Enhance User Experience and Score More Conversions

Did you know your mobile users are five-times more likely than desktop users to abandon your site if they can’t complete tasks easily. This is more meaningful now than ever before.At the tail-end of 2016 Google announced an imminent shift to a mobile first index coming in 2017. In Google’s “wisdom”, even desktop users are seeing results weighed heavily by mobile experience.

To bend the current and future internet to your will, you’ll need to make a meaningful investment in a premium, cross-platform UX.

A comprehensive website, an easy-to-use app and a killer marketing campaign which understands consumers want an experience, above all, are critical ingredients for a successful user-experience in 2017.

Here are 6 tips to enhance UX and drive up conversion rates.

1. Develop an optimised conversion funnel to deliver a consistent and helpful user experience across platforms and environments

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The way your conversion funnel is laid out has a massive impact on the UX of your ecommerce site. Do customers feel like they’re interacting with the digital version of a used car salesman, a trusted friend, or an expert in their field who is letting them in on a secret?

Your blog is an opportunity to score serious SEO points and create indexed content which can serve as a magnet to individuals interested in your products. If the content is informative and exciting, it could be shared via social media.

As the viewer sinks their teeth into your site, they’ll leave clues behind which allows for conversion funnel optimisation based on user behaviour. Ideally, you’ll see a trail of breadcrumbs which lead from your blog to a landing page or contact form. And, your sales mechanisms (human, digital or cyborg) will guide the customer across the finish line to a successful checkout.

The customer, after receiving their product, or even in excited anticipation, should start helping make additional noise - referrals, surveys and other types of brand interaction online. All of this points to a healthy conversion funnel which has been optimised to both wow customers and grow sales.

By focusing on your conversion funnel optimisation, you’ll help fight the good fight for a better conversion experience; helping to buck the industry trend which has resulted in only $1 being spent on converting, for every $92 spent on attracting new customers to sites (Econsultancy).

2. Create a blog jam-packed with exciting, accessible information for your tribe to engage with

If you’re worth your salt, you already know blogging is way more than an exercise in millennial vanity. It’s a channel you can use to connect and inspire your most loyal current and future customers - by communicating about a shared passion or belief.

Check out this killer ecommerce growth guide for success stories, centred around brands large and small, to serve as inspiration for your foray into the war of words online. Done correctly, your tribe (individuals who share your values) will plug-into your blog’s content and become product evangelists. Of course, this is easier said than done.

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Creating a blog packed with epic content which educates and inspires your target customer is an excellent way to inspire customer loyalty and improve the customer experience across your site. Because a blog is a flexible, living channel, it allows your brand to stay current and up-to-date with the unique needs of your clientele.

If you aren’t releasing a blog post weekly, or even a few times a week, you’re missing out on an opportunity to connect and inspire.

Blog posts should cover:

  • #1. Current events in your industry.
  • #2. Helpful guides and how-to’s to educate and inspire your tribe.
  • #3. Updates on the internal workings of your company - showcasing how your brand actually lives out the values you espouse.
  • #4. Features on your team - spotlighting the aspects of your team who make your brand unique, diverse and more human than a cold stack of servers.

3. Personalise your site’s user experience with some next-gen strategies

Your website needs to come alive as users interact with it. Amazon has blazed the trail on this point - scoring conversion after conversion by fine-tuning the user experience, with custom layouts and information based on individual user behaviour.

88% of consumers report that they made repeat purchases with online retailers who deliver a customised experience (SWIRL).

Here are the ingredients for a personalised e-commerce experience:

  • #1. Use a customer’s geographic location to recommend specific products. Fine-tune your offering to different regions.
  • #2. Empower customers to custom-order products which meet their specific needs. This is an excellent mark-up opportunity, and a proven strategy for growing consumer loyalty.
  • #3. Collect data on your customer in as many ways as possible. Consumers are willing to give up information in return for a superior experience. Google has excelled at this.
  • #4. Use loyalty programs and email marketing to encourage repeat business - providing direct paths to complimentary products and services, based on your customer’s previous purchases.

4. Allow your online consumers to experience new product dimensions

Once you’ve seduced your online visitor with an easy-to-consume UX, it’s time to push the conversion across the finish line by allowing them to see and feel your product in a multi-dimensional environment - from the comfort of their couch.

Virtual Reality (VR) is projected to be bigger than TV within the next 10 years (BusinessInsider / Goldman Sachs). Thanks to the abundance of new headsets and VR-ready computers of all shapes and sizes, the transition is happening faster than you may realise.

Future-ready ecommerce players are paying close attention to what’s possible - and VR is leading the way…

Creating VR-friendly content which places the customer in the driver’s seat of the product experience is a new way to blur the lines between physical retail product displays and online product catalogues.

5. Mirror your core business model to your customer experience

Analyse your core business model. Take a page from Airbnb. Create a more enjoyable experience by investing in complementary product lines - centred around a more comprehensive customer experience.

For example, Airbnb has maintained their lead by pivoting to deliver an enticing experience, leveraging the same core formula for their initial success. Sure, you can still book a beer fart-laden couch in a destination city. But now, you can get the experiences booked which allows you to scratch beneath the surface and create memories to last a lifetime.

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Future-ready brands are quickly moving to find ways to deliver a compelling experience which goes beyond connecting provider and consumer. The end-result is a user experience which is more valuable and harder for competitors to replicate. Anytime you aren’t sure what to do, you can always follow the lead of the best ecommerce sites and adapt their design strategy.

6. Turn 404 frustration into a helpful detour to the information your customer is looking for

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A moment of frustration can cause an emotional response in the viewer that results in an improved ability to recall the moment of frustration, and the immediate moments after (arsTECHNICA). How does this fact impact user experience?

If your site’s visitor experiences a 404 error, especially after feeling excited about a product, how you handle the 404 error will form a lasting memory. Thanks to Gorilla 360’s Ecommerce Bootcamp, we know that there are a couple things you can do to turn this UX tragedy into a win:

  • #1. Find a way to solve the user’s problem by directing them elsewhere
  • #2. A well-developed search box can help the user chart their own detour to the information they were looking for.
  • #3. Your top-performing blog articles are popular for a reason; Why not present them with strong, clickable images that take them to your best content?
  • #4. Provide links to buying guides that educates the visitor in an entertaining way?

The end goal is to create something which turns a customer disappoint into a creative spark or humorous, more forgivable moment.

Now it’s time for you to investigate, optimize and inspire…

A better user experience doesn’t have to be expensive. With a few strategic decisions, you can move the needle without dumping more precious resources into paid advertising and expensive distractions.

Worried about the cost of improving your site’s UX or optimizing your conversion funnel?

  • ESPN experienced a 35% increase in revenue after incorporating customer feedback into their homepage design - delivering an enhanced user experience (Mindtouch).
  • 88% of your potential customers will not give you a second chance after a bad experience (Econsultancy).
  • 75% of a customer’s willingness to trust your brand is based on the aesthetics of your website (BCS)

If your user experience is lacking, you’re leaving a massive chunk of change on the table. Don’t feed your competition by failing to adopt a forward-thinking plan to improve your site’s user experience.

Feeling inspired and galvanised to improve your UX? Well, that’s music to our ears…

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Author

Darren DeMatas

Darren has an MBA in Internet Marketing, but hangs his hat on 10+ years of experience in the trenches. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn ecommerce.
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