We are becoming a society driven by experience. Consumers are shifting away from ‘things’ – not that we aren’t buying, but we are more likely to choose that trip or to jump from that airplane than we are to buy that souvenir or purchase that jumper. We want experiences. And then of course, we want to share them on social media, to snap, post, live-stream and tweet them.
Validation is changing with the times.
Of course, people are still buying, they are just looking for each encounter to be elevated. Experience is still preeminent. So when your ecommerce site surprises and delights users, when it takes little-to-no effort to create an account and the personalisation features are spot on, that is exceptional and memorable. Furthermore, as more and more of these experiences are digested in micro moments it’s essential to set yourself up for success from the beginning. Research firm Forrester found that brands which focus on strong CX (customer experience) drive superior revenue growth, particularly in highly competitive industries where brands offer differentiated experiences. As many of these CX transactions take place online, a site with excellent UX (user experience)-led design is one of the foremost business differentiators in today’s competitive landscape.
This begs the question: How do you begin to successfully create experience-led design?
At its foundations, disruption is an action that interjects and interrupts, preventing a system, process, or event from continuing as usual or as expected. Put this into a UX context, and it translates to an opportunity for you to differentiate your users’ journeys and interactions with your brand. How can you enhance their experience, going beyond the expected and typical?
You can have grand plans to build an ecommerce site that showcases your brand and looks gorgeous, but if you haven’t taken the time to research and map out excellent wireframes, then you are already putting yourself at a disadvantage. The wireframe acts as a skeleton, it is literally the backbone of site. If there are disconnections and causes of user friction within this it doesn’t matter what kinds of whistles and bows are placed on top, the user will not have the optimum experience.
This means you need to research. Map out all the possible user journeys, identify the bounce and drop off points, safeguarding against dead ends, complications, or disconnections. Build a site with strong bones, that is flexible enough to support growth and future innovations.
Data, useful data
As personalisation becomes the primary differentiator for competition, it is increasingly essential for data to be collected and translated into useful and meaningful engagement creation. Know your consumers– their behaviours and habits, and form actionable and measurable steps to pioneer relevant, elevated experiences. The goals of your business need to be connected to your consumer’s behavior, and meaningful interpretation of data into actionable strategies is key.
As you progress and diversify, enhancing your data collecting, communications, designs and builds, all these elements should seamlessly connect with each other. This ensures that everything that is presented and communicated will be relevant and appropriate for its context, delivering a superior and differentiated experience for your users.
Look for innovation
Don’t deceive yourself by thinking that innovation means taking on every newfangled idea and piece of technology– remember that often the best kind of innovation is realised through simplification. Putting this into practice involves building a team that is diverse, and able to approach issues from different perspectives. When challenges arise, approach them with positivity alongside thorough critical analysis and examination. One of the worst things you can do is get into a comfortable routine where you become complacent, shying away from obstacles instead of welcoming them.
This is one of the reasons we embrace new platforms like Magento 2 for our clients (depending on the fit and need), not because they are the ‘latest thing,’ but because we can see the potential in them to elevate our clients’ sites and enhance the experience of their users.
In this increasingly busy and crowded marketplace it’s easy to fade into the background, sticking with what you know and staying comfortable. But it is in embracing the challenges and seizing opportunities, in the innovation and disruption of an excellent customer experience that you can create competitive advantage.