In the current climate, it’s critical to provide a positive and engaging experience for your users.

Ultimately, brands are competing against each other to retain customers and keep them interested – even in the most turbulent times. Peoples’ behaviours and preferences have shifted and as a result, it is becoming necessary for brands to refine their User Experience (UX) practices and streamline processes to meet their customer’s needs.

Improving your website to keep customers engaged

Creating a user-centric website that prioritises the needs and wants of your customers, while also supporting your business goals, is key to success. More people than ever are looking for services and products online, therefore perfecting your UX can provide a competitive advantage.

Brands have had to pivot in recent months to create a more digitally-led experience and therefore have had to adjust at a rapid speed. Recent research shows that 80% of companies believe their business model now needs to be digitised to remain operable. As a result, ensuring your website is equipped with clear messaging and navigation is vital. Using visually pleasing imagery, colours and fonts can help eliminate any barriers associated with conversions. As well as ensuring your website is easy to navigate and clear of any dead links.

The global pandemic has also meant that many brands have had to expand their offerings, such as creating mobile-friendly apps and sites. Although this might be an initial expense, the long-term benefits are greater and well worth the investment.

The role of personalisation has been vital during the current climate to retain loyal customers. Customer needs have shifted significantly since pre-COVID, therefore finding ways to create a more enjoyable and personalised experience is crucial. Personalising emails, messaging and showing recommended products is a great way to make your customer feel special, while building loyalty and increasing your chance of a conversion.

Conducting user research to identify the needs of your customers

With website trends and user preferences changing over time, conducting regular user research and analysis is a great way to identify these developments and make any necessary changes. Engaging users through telephone interviews and questionnaires allows you to gain these insights, providing brands with the ability to create practical personas and identify tangible behaviours. Telephone interviews are a great technique if you want to prompt the interviewee to expand on what they are saying, making it the ideal method for really gaining an in-depth understanding of the topic. They are also a cost-effective way of gaining insight without having to organise a face-to-face meeting.

On the other hand, questionnaires are a much easier and quicker method for gaining information from your target audience, as they give you the opportunity to ask large numbers of people. This method is particularly useful for asking pre-existing customers questions about your website. They are usually more willing to be honest and as a result, they provide a great way to determine the direct implications and benefits of what you can offer.

Besides consumer research, biometric technology can help you identify what stops people from converting, or what’s causing users to leave a website. By utilising a combination of eye-tracking, galvanic skin response (GSR) and facial expressions, you can see how users’ emotions determine the way they think and feel about a website. Therefore, you can understand what is causing them to either make a purchase or not – something challenging in the current climate, but worth keeping in mind when you want to refine your user experience.

It’s time to refine your user experience

The conversion stage has become even more critical than ever before. Retailers need to ensure that they are going above and beyond to retain customers and improve the user experience. Updating your website and making sure it’s visually appealing and easy to navigate are some simple steps to help increase conversions and persuade visitors to return. Integrating user research into your marketing strategy can also make a huge difference by giving you the advantage of getting to know your customers’ needs and wants. Ultimately, those who adapt to the changing needs of users are more likely to recover quicker and be better positioned than competitors.  As we emerge into the new year and slowly back to some normality, this will be imperative.

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