Take a moment to imagine that you’re in a shopping centre which is full of shops selling identical products all at the same price. What makes you choose the shop to purchase from? Is it the way the product is displayed? How helpful the shop assistant is? The advertising in the windows? Whether they accept your payment card? All of these factors (and many more) are called the User Experience and can have a significant effect on your customers.
If you transfer these factors to your website and your marketing, it suddenly becomes apparent that how we use and interact with websites and online stores can affect how customers chose to buy.
So, what is User Experience (UX)?
UX is essentially the way that a person feels when they are interacting with a website, app or system. Any form of interaction between a human and a device will provide some kind of user experience. The key is to provide positive experiences to keep a user loyal to a brand and therefore spending money.
If we go back to the shops selling identical products, a wheelchair user would probably choose to buy from the space that is easily accessible and has products that are easy to reach from waist height. A person who isn’t fluent in English, on the other hand, might choose the store that has instructions published in their native tongue.
How do we give our customers what they want?
First of all, we have to figure out what that is. Everyone’s experiences are different and, as a result, we have to consider who the target users are. In marketing, we do this through personas. Personas allow us to design a user (potential customer), thinking about their background, what they are looking for, technical knowledge, and likely social media platforms they use to name just a few aspects.
To put it into more basic terms, we have to create a shop front that is attractive to your customers and marketing campaigns that relate to them. One of my friends recently complained that now she has reached 40 she is now seeing adverts on Facebook for incontinence pads. She joked about it, but it’s quite apparent that the business had seriously missed their target market and may now have alienated her as a future customer. They obviously haven’t got their personas quite right, which is why UX is integral to integrated marketing strategies.
Ok, I need to think about UX, what do I do next?
The obvious and logical answer would be to ask an expert, however, in the simplest form, you should probably ask your existing customers what they think. If you wanted to go one step further, you could ask people in your target market who aren’t your customers what they think.
Listening is the key to this process. Identifying who has a problem and why they have a problem, means that you can then begin to consider what can be done to fix it. A lack of sales could be as simple, for example, as where the ‘buy it now’ button is on your website, or that your pages don’t work very well on a mobile phone. Other examples could be that the content is too complicated or, equally, too vague.
The other important thing to remember is that once you have fixed a perceived problem, you should go back and check to see if they’ve solved the issue. For example, moving a ‘buy it now’ button up a page makes no difference if it’s still impossible to see or is too small or the link is broken.
You also need to consider your user journey. There’s a company who regularly advertises on Facebook who frustrates me every time I see and click on one of their adverts. There’s a very simple reason. They post a picture of something that interests me, so I click, but the link takes me to their homepage instead of the actual product. This means that I either have to begin a search or that I just close the page, bouncing myself out of their shop and saving my credit card. If they just linked to the product instead I would undoubtedly have a much fuller wardrobe, a larger credit card bill and they would have a healthier balance sheet.
If you’re worried about your customers’ online experiences or your Google stats are showing lots of bounces, feel free to have a chat with the experts at Not Another Marketing Agency.