December 8, 2014 | Written by: Henrietta Akpata
Categorized: Customer Analytics
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Today’s web and mobile sites are dynamic and ever changing. This can create unknown usability issues that negatively affect how customers perceive and respond to digital content, images and target messages. Organizations need tools that surface actionable insights about customer behavior and intent in order to remove sources of confusion and struggle, and improve customer engagement.
Usability analysis is based on a simple premise: the purpose of any interactive system or application is to engage and meet its users’ needs, whether in the home, physical store or on a website. A common misconception is that a pretty website with a lot of sizzle makes for better usability; this could, in fact, increase user confusion as they navigate through the page to find the content they need. A functional website that offers a positive user experience is better positioned for improved business performance and competitive advantage. Usability analysis looks at visual design and layout, easy user interface, and overall brand experience.
Most organizations can now recognize a clear correlation between good usability and high conversion rates. They are beginning to embrace design, because the usability it creates has a direct positive impact on the business, including increased number of orders, reduced customer service costs, increased ROI in advertisements, and positive customer engagement with the brand.
Part of a comprehensive usability analysis includes interpreting user clicks and hovers. By understanding why a customer hovers and then clicks, versus only hovering, companies can analyze both visitor intent and action to uncover site flaws.
Customer Understanding for Improved Return on Investment (ROI)
One of the strengths of usability analytics is that it allows you to gain deeper insight into the behavior of your customers and prospects.
Site owners face a big challenge in understanding their customers. For example, does moving a promotion from one part of the page to another part draw more clicks, hovers or successful conversion? Why did a viewer hover but not click? Why did customers abandon one form field more than another?
Armed with a better understanding of customer behavior, you can optimize individual landing pages, page flows and navigation, all of which can result in improved conversions, increased orders and an uptick in ROI.
1+1=3: Total Customer Experience Management
Traditionally, ecommerce teams use web analytics solutions to monitor website health. For organizations that want to gain deep customer insights beyond high level reporting and metrics, web analytics alone is not sufficient. Web analytics can tell you where people are coming from, where they are going, where they are falling off, where they are abandoning. It does not provide the context of why customers are clicking on particular fields during their session.
Different tools are needed to better understand why a customer behaved in a particular manner on a website or a mobile device. Heatmaps, attention maps, link analytics, and form field analytics are some of the ways that usability analytics can be used to evaluate customer behavior.
Usability analytics provides you the ability to learn more about customer intent, while web analytics provides insight into online transactions. Understanding that some customers clicked several times on a button or abandoned at a specific field tells a more complete story than just the fact that they abandoned on a form.
Customer experience management when combined with usability analytics can provide powerful and valuable insight into customer behavior.
Characteristics of a Superior Usability Solution
Many usability solutions do not meet the expectations of the customer. The reason is because they focus too much on the user rather than on the design. It is important to address the root of the problem (the design) not the symptom (bad user experience). By focusing efforts more towards the elements of design, organizations can improve their users’ experiences by identifying ease-of-use issues.
A superior usability solution enables you to capture, segment, and visualize customer behavior across online and mobile sites in order to take intelligent actions that enhance overall site usability. It uses heatmaps, link analytics, comparison analytics, attention maps and other tools to provide a better understanding of customer intent. Additional capabilities to look for include:
- Customer segmentation
- Data that encompasses all customer interactions, not just sample data
- Connecting aggregate usability data to individual session replay
- Real-time responsiveness
I encourage you to take a look at this ebook that discusses how you can optimize your ROI from clicks and hovers by harnessing the power of usability analytics. And, to learn about how IBM ExperienceOne Tealeaf solutions can help you strengthen understanding of user intent for more profitable outcomes and improve the digital experience for customers, visit http://www.ibm.com/software/products/en/cx-overstat.