Data is a powerful force. It provides endless actionable insights that improve the ways we go about business. Now, with more transactions happening online, data can be used to empower user experience designs across e-commerce sites.
There are many ways you can utilize UX data to increase the potential of your virtual storefronts. However, the insights you generate are only as good as they are applicable. Understand the importance of UX data before applying this data to greater e-commerce success.
The Importance of UX Data
Design is one of the most subjective elements of any virtual platform. Everyone has their unique preferences when it comes to aesthetics and layout, which is why it is paramount that UX designers garner the opinions of a large group of users who can offer broader insights. Data is the essence of opinion in an easily digestible form.
It is necessary that designers then find methods of generating UX data to inform a data-driven design approach. When Virgin America conducted its web redesign, for example, they employed an A/B test that resulted in invaluable data resources. In turn, this led to benefits like:
- A 14% increase in conversion rates.
- 20% fewer customer support calls.
- A faster, more seamless booking process for customers.
Data allows UX to be broken down into its most accessible parts. These parts represent qualitative and quantitative insights, elements that coordinate with one another to produce a narrative around the performance of your e-commerce site. Quantitative data tells you what is going on while qualitative data is more informative regarding how.
By structuring these insights, you can tell a story regarding your users, their needs, and their challenges. But first, you have to acquire helpful UX data.
How to Gather Insightful Data
Gathering insightful UX data doesn’t have to be difficult. With all kinds of tools at your disposal—from Google Analytics to email surveys—you can build a better approach to UX design that incorporates user feedback.
Here are some helpful tips for gathering this data:
1. Setup quantitative data sources.
Attaching your e-commerce site to data tracking methods on Google Analytics is simple, and Google provides tons of resources to help you succeed. Similarly, insights pages and applications through social media platforms can offer customer engagement info. Find the quantitative data sources that work best for you, and use them to monitor all your important metrics.
2. Explore your KPIs.
Your key performance indicators (KPIs) are the metrics you will use to monitor the success of your e-commerce store. These can range from a customer satisfaction survey threshold to bounce rates on your landing page, and all can improve how you can better integrate UX best practices. Align your KPIs to your overall business goals, and then search for overlapping areas where an improved UX will help.
3. Broaden your outreach.
Do not limit yourself to a single platform for data collection. As useful as tools like Google Analytics are, they don’t paint the whole picture of customer experience. Broaden your outreach with email surveys, social media polls, A/B test groups, and feedback from comment sections and social media walls. There is no limit to the useful UX data you can cultivate.
4. Write better UX tests.
Usability testing should absolutely be a part of your UX process, but not every usability test is built the same. The effectiveness of your written tasks and questions often depends on how well you can put yourselves in a users’ point of view. From there, exploring the site’s functionality can be much more revealing.
5. Translate data insights into human narratives.
Storytelling carries emotion. With this powerful tool, we can better illustrate important points surrounding e-commerce success. Humanizing your data analytics by forming a narrative helps provide context and communicate needs more clearly. Then, no matter where you acquire your data, you can better ensure relevant UX changes are made.
By following these strategies, you can gather enough useful insights to fuel a better UX design. The overall UX of your platform is an essential element in driving conversion rate, so ensuring the best possible user experience on an e-commerce site is a must.
The data points you gather from these sources will inform how users interact and engage with your content, how they shop, where they delay, and much more. In turn, you can apply your data toward e-commerce best practices like consistency, quality, and seamlessness.
However, the application of data is another challenge, one requiring its own solutions and innovations.
Applying Insights Towards Better UX
Good UX is entirely dependent on the ways that a site meets the needs of its users. As great as a highly artistic e-commerce site can look, the visuals will do you little good if the site has a long loading process or an insecure checkout. Finding these problems is often easiest through exploring narratives the data tells you, both qualitative and quantitative.
Gather your insights from all the sources mentioned here, then analyze the data to derive patterns and correlations. Compare these correlations to your business goals. For example, if your goal is a lower rate of carts abandoned during the check-out process, examine everything from load times to customer survey details to create a narrative as to why.
From there, problem-solving and workarounds are up to you. Every e-commerce site has its own set of improvements to be made. Gather data to find yours for a better UX.
Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college, he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but technology and digital marketing are his favorites. When he isn’t writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.