User Experience is becoming more and more important and most companies are aware of this but sometimes convincing managers to do UX research is a hard nut to crack. Conducting UX research has great benefits which can be translated into benefits for sales, benefits for development and also benefits for the company itself due to its effect on operation costs, development costs and the effect on sales revenue. We will cover these benefits in the hope that it will help you persuade your client or prospect.
1. Making usable products and detecting sales obstacles
It is an option to test or analyze an existing website and optimize it based upon user insights. But it would be even better to start building a new website/ product based upon insights you gathered by using different UX research methods. When you know from the beginning what your users want you are able to make a product according to their needs.
It may always occur that certain webpages form a bottleneck, through analytics you can detect where visitors leave your website and sales obstacles are created because people are leaving at a critical page or moment. Thanks to UX Research you can find out why these pages/elements are bottlenecks for your sales. Get to know your user and his/hers behavior. See how they interact with your website and what goes wrong. You’ll find out how to optimize your website, ultimately leading to higher sales, more visitors and returning customers.
2. Get to know your users
Traditional research uses average statistics to recapitulate the ideal customer. However the average person doesn’t exist, for example if you want to target the average Belgian household, you need to target one that spends 10.434 Euros on housing, 2.091 Euros on household appliances, products and tools. One that has a capital of 400.000 Euros and consists of 2.98 people. Good luck finding those! Average statistics can be helpful in certain ways but they aren’t helpful if we try to understand the population for which we are developing products. It’s no use to design for an average person, you can better design for a real specific user based on qualitative research like a persona.
List all the information that you need to know:
- What do you already know about your customer?
- What is his situation?
- What does he really need?
- What are his priorities?
- Does he use similar products/services?
- How does he inform himself about the product/ service? Or who informs him?
3. Great UX leads to increased revenue
A usable website leads to increased revenue because potential buyers are able to find and purchase what they’re looking for. The fact that users can finish their tasks on your website will increase sales, improve customer satisfaction and decrease complaints which has an influence on the loyalty. Providing your users with a usable website is more important than you think.
“79% of website visitors will search for another site to complete the task if they can’t find what they’re looking for” (source)
Don’t lose potential customers over a website. There is an easy solution, thanks to UX research you can pinpoint how users want to navigate (or use a product), based on those insights you can make a website (or product) that’s intuitive to use. Because of this people find your website (or product) easy to use and this along with the added value it gives, they will be inclined to pay a premium for what you’re selling online (or a product that makes their lives easier). This increases user adoption and satisfaction.
Companies who invest in User Experience research have a greater revenue than companies who don’t invest in it (UX Probe).
Research of Forrester shows companies who have implemented user experience in their business strategy have gained 43% in performance of 6 years whereas S&P 500 companies only gained 14.5% over the same period of time. Companies who don’t invest in UX lost 33.9%.
Go to solutions.forrester.com to view the full report.
Next to the fact that your users are inclined to pay a premium for great UX (and so leading to increased gains from the investment), you can also ultimately increase revenue by not spending as much on development and so reducing the cost of investment.
4. Focusing on User Experience leads to 3 ways to reduce costs
- Development time: When you’re doing User Experience research, you are able to reduce the development time of a project by 33% to 50% (source) which inevitably will lower development costs. The time spent on development is lower in UX projects because you know from the start what the user wants and how he will use your product; which leaves you to simply focus on implementing those tasks.
- User requirements: Did you know that 70% of projects fail due to the lack of user acceptance? (source) This is mainly because project managers fail to understand the requirements properly and rely on assumptions. Thanks to UX techniques you can gain insights in those requirements. Make sure you get confirmation by iterative testing. We always say, fail early, fail often, this way in the end you’ll have a product that will surely meet the needs of the user.
- Developments costs: Another advantage is detecting errors early on in the development process. Fixing errors after development costs a company €100, fixing the same error before development costs only €1, so to speak.
5. Investing in UX research leads to an essential competitive advantage
Thanks to UX research you can exactly find out what your customers want, need and expect from you. This gives you a competitive advantage towards other companies in your market. But be aware, more and more companies are investing in UX and customers are very demanding, they have growing expectations and are very intolerant for bad experiences. So they can easily decide to shop elsewhere.
“89% of consumers purchased from a competitor following a poor customer experience.” (source)
On the other hand there is also a hidden advantage, thanks to UX research you can ‘spy’ on your competitors. You can benchmark different websites (or products) and find out what users find good or bad about company x, find out why they shop there or prefer another company.
These advantages prove that it pays to offer more than a ‘good enough’ website or product. It’s definitely worth investing in UX research.
We’ve already written two articles on this topic, go to our corporate blog to view them more in depth.