The key determinant of a successful marketing strategy is when you make a sale. That’s why brands advertise the benefits of their product or service. It’s their way of encouraging consumers to experience those benefits for themselves. But if consumers aren’t happy with how a product or service is sold, how would they be convinced to buy?
User experience (UX) is an important digital marketing strategy many small businesses overlook. They tend to put all their focus on the end goal, which is making a sale. However, just because consumers buy something doesn’t mean they liked the whole buying process. For example, if your e-commerce site sells a particular product that’s unavailable on other sites, but your site loads slowly and your payment methods aren’t varied, you might enjoy substantial sales but not satisfied customers.
As a result, you may rarely get repeat orders, much less loyal customers. Hence, you shouldn’t forget to factor in user experience when designing your site and planning your marketing strategy.
Understanding UX in Digital Marketing
UX is a state of having a deep understanding of users. With UX, you can identify what your consumers want and need, as well as their abilities and limitations. UX best practices promote enhancing the quality of user interactions, product perceptions, and other related services.
At the most fundamental level, UX ensures that users (a.k.a. consumers) find value in what a business provides for them. Peter Morville explains this through his UX Honeycomb, where six key UX characteristics are shown:
- Useful — original content that fills a need
- Usable — user-friendly site
- Desirable — design elements evoke emotion and appreciation
- Findable — easy-to-navigate site; traceable onsite and offsite
- Accessible — easily accessible content even for persons with disabilities
- Credible — brand message that customers trust and believe
All of these characteristics form in a valuable UX. Basically, in e-commerce, a good UX is a site that has everything a consumer could want and need. Even if you don’t sell many products, you can still earn customer loyalty and repeat orders because your site is enjoyable and convenient to use.
Why Does it Matter?
Will UX matter if you’re able to earn high revenue without it anyway? Definitely. UX is one of the most important factors for all positive user behavior. A user wouldn’t share content if it didn’t satisfy them, even if it came from a popular source. Likewise, a user won’t order a product from a site that’s hard to navigate. Remember, before a user views a website’s product catalog, they’ll first experience the website’s design elements. If they didn’t like what they saw, they aren’t likely to leave with a purchase.
Research found that 39% of users will stop engaging with a site if its images take too long to load. 38% of will leave a website if its design is unattractive. If a user visits a website referred to them, 50% will use the navigation menu to orient themselves. If a website doesn’t contain contact information, 44% of its visitors will leave it.
These seemingly unimportant behaviors can hurt your business more than you think. Even if you’re just a home-based brand that sells on eBay, your customers will still seek a good experience when shopping from you. They’ll look for high-quality photos, complete and detailed product descriptions, and a return/refund policy if you have one. If you only posted an amateur product photo without complete details, you won’t likely make huge sales, even if the product is cheap.
Steps to Creating a Good UX
Big brands can create an excellent UX because of a sales marketing coach. They invest in these professionals to streamline all their marketing strategies and minimize their mistakes. But for a small business, coaching may be beyond budget, so take these steps instead:
- Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If you’re shopping online, what do you want to see on websites? Apply that to your own e-commerce site.
- Identify the emotions you want to elicit from your customers. Do you want them to feel excited, touched, or motivated? You can elicit certain emotions through colors and/or sounds. Red may evoke passion and happiness, while melodious tunes may encourage relaxation, as if a customer is in a spa, for example.
- Draft your website. Now that you know what to show your customers, see how they would all look on your homepage. If you’re adept at web design and development, you can do this on your own. Otherwise, get help from a professional.
- Test out your site. If you have the budget, you can beta-test your website to gather feedback and reactions from users. From there, take note of what they liked, didn’t like, and suggestions for improvement.
In four simple steps, you can create a high-quality UX and watch your business perform better than ever. Stay updated with what users are looking for so that you can catch up fast and stay ahead of your competitors.