Yes, the terms are fancy and usually shot off in big marketing meetings and webinars for website performance, conversion rate optimization and more such phrases by hotshot marketers and CMO’s.
Still, the fact of the matter remains that it is the business owners, small and medium, who need to understand these concepts in layman terms to effectively implement and optimize such strategies on their websites.
Today, we will make UX and CJ simple for you; as simple as 1-2-3
Let’s tackle UX first. UX stands for User Experience – whether offline or online, it simply means the experience of the user during the buying cycle now fancifully known as CJ – Customer Journey. The easy way to understand these terms is to equate them to scenarios from our everyday life in the offline world.
Ever been shopping in a nearby store or supermarket? Consider UX to be everything you see around you in the store and everything you can interact with – the aisles, the racks and stacks, the products and even the labels on products with pricing or warranty information. You view or touch the products while walking through the aisle, browsing the stacks and racks. You look around at where and how products are placed. Even the lighting, floor and ceiling – which can be considered as UI (User Interface) finally contribute to your experience in the store, thus UX.
In short, what you see and how you interact comprises your user experience in the store.
Imagine picking up a product from a shelf to look for pricing and expiry date. You wonder if it is on the top of the lid or at the bottom of the jar; it may even be on the side of the can on a separate label. Sometimes, this info is in very small font size or is hardly visible due to low color contrast. All this creates a negative impact on your buying experience. Similarly, on a webpage, it is important to place all elements and information relevant to the customer at the right position to help the customer quickly make up his mind to buy the product. Animating interactions such as hovers and clicks enhances the user’s experience on the webpage. Multiple such elements are the UX components of a webpage.
Now back to viewing & prodding products on the shelf in the aisle combined with the ambience around you in the store. Add 10 people in the same aisle with 5 of them looking at the same shelf and product. This limits your access making the overall process slow. The same happens on website when the server becomes slow due to heavy traffic. The slow loading of pages or rendering of elements creates poor UX and should be dealt with quickly and effectively.
Finally, ever seen a category or discount sign on products, shelves or aisles? These create excitement and help you make faster decisions. The online version of these signages are called CTA’s – Call to Action buttons. These are subtle hints as to what needs to be done next on the webpage.
To enhance user experience, it is important to play around with elements and content to collect data of user interactions. Poor UX will lead to low conversion rate on the website. The following pointers can help you improve UX on your website:
- Changing positions of elements and CTAs based on data
- Content should be engaging and relevant to the user
- Use CTA’s and test their position to make them more visible and relevant to users
- Implement visible changes to actions on website – hovers, clicks & transitions
- Follow RAIL model guidelines to create a world-class user experience
Every page on the website has its own UX and every element on a webpage is part of this UX. Now, the question is if all this is UX, then what is Customer Journey?
When the customer moves through multiple pages on the website, it creates a Customer Journey. Every element of UI and UX present on the webpages visited by the user are part of this customer journey.
Back to our imaginative shopping spree in a crowded supermarket – finding right aisle or category of the product you are looking for, reaching the shelf where the product is placed, going through product details such as price and expiry date, moving through the aisles for more products and repeating the process, finding discounts and offers, followed by dragging your shopping cart to the cashier, standing in the queue to get stuff billed & finally exiting the store after making a purchase or in some cases without a purchase. This is the customer journey in the offline world.
Let’s compare online CJ to our daily offline one. Finding the right product category and right product page with pricing and warranty details of the product easily accessible. Building an online cart looking for discounts and offers. Smoothly finding the cues to the next steps till you reach the checkout page to make payment. Once payment is made, receiving a thank you message, product delivery date and loyalty bonus is cherry on the top and makes for an amazing customer journey. In some cases when the user intends to leave before completing the payment process, we see a pop up with more info or better offer. All this is part of customer journey on the website.
Think of every channel – organic, direct, paid or social as an entry door to your online store. The aisles are the categories that you make available on your website while every product on the shelf becomes a product page on the website. In a store, the top selling category and products should be placed first and be easily visible – the same should be followed on the website. Showcase your top products, categories and offers on the homepage.
The time taken between these steps while moving through the buying process on the website and the drop offs (users exiting the website or not moving to the next step) are important elements to be kept in mind while improving the CJ on a website. Bad CJ negatively impacts the conversion rate on a website.
UX and CJ are data driven in the online world. The advantage here is that UX and CJ can be customized for various demographics or personalized for the customers. Such personalizations and customizations help enhance the overall experience of the user on the website, thus bringing back the customer for more. It tells the customer, intrinsically, how much you care about him/her and how you are working towards enhancing their buying journey.
Building such perceptive and amazing UX and CJ is what Mindless does day-in and day-out.
Our team members have worked on UX and CJ of more than 400 websites, helping clients create witty personalized touches for their website users thus increasing conversion rate by up to 25%.