Is your solution to increasing your sales based on attracting more visitors to your site rather than getting more sales from the visitors you do attract? Brands and businesses spend tens of thousands of dollars each month on SEO, PPC, etc., all to get more people to their site. Yet, they only make a token effort to convert those visitors into buyers. What if you could spend 10X your monthly spend, once, instead of 5X each month to make your business 5 times more successful?
Here are three reasons why you should invest in UX design now:
1. Higher Conversions
An average site realizes conversion rates around 2 percent. The top converting sites clock in at well over 10 percent.
If visitors are coming to your site, something appealed to them that drove them there. They are a warm lead. If you can’t convert 1 in 10 warm leads, then something is seriously wrong with your site design.
The most crucial step in the conversion process occurs once the user actually visits your site. Sites live and die on the UX design’s ability to affect conversions. So, why is that the part of the design process where companies try to cut corners? Of all the places to cut costs, the most critical point of the user’s journey is not a good place.
Websites need more than a token UX design effort. UX design, just like of marketing and development is a highly specialized field that relies on trained and skill practitioners.
Avoid making the common mistake of hiring the cheapest UX designer or the one that shows you pretty pictures. Find a true UX professional. Yes it will cost you more, but you’ll make more, too.
2. More Revenue
Even with a scant 2 percent conversion rate, you can achieve success when you bring in enough visitors.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that investing $10,000/month in PPC marketing brings in 1 million unique visitors that convert to 20,000 sales. You would have to quintuple your spend ($50,000/month) to earn 100,000 sales/month. Moreover, you would have to continually feed that monster just to maintain that 100,000 monthly sales quota.
No matter what you spend, your margin remains the same. Is that sustainable?
However, if you approach the problem from another perspective, say by increasing your conversion rate to 10 percent, then you can achieve your goal of 100,000 conversions without making any other changes in spending. This just requires a one-time expense for a top notch UX design that converts at 10 percent. Not only is this a sustainable revenue model, but it dramatically increases your profit margins, as well.
Doing the math, if you committed $100,000 to a more successful UX design that achieved 10 percent conversions, you would make up that cost in just over 2 months versus a 5X monthly spend. Let’s not disregard the higher profit margin and the effect a better UX has on customer retention, either.
3. Brand Loyalty
Customer perceptions of the ease of use of a website colors their perception of the value of the business and it’s products. Good usability and UX design translates into customer loyalty. Apple is a prime example.
It is well-known that customers are willing to spend more for the same product if they trust that brand more than other ones. It’s not always about getting more features or a cheaper price; it’s about risk management. Customers don’t want to make a mistake.
Any difficulty a customer experiences in their interaction with the brand erodes their confidence in that brand.
The Big Difference
So, what are top performing sites doing differently than most others to achieve conversion rates at 10 percent or higher, increased revenue, and greater brand loyalty?
I can’t speak for all of them, but I do know that most of those top sites have a more mature UX process than the mediocre sites. To them, UX is more of a commitment than merely an afterthought. These top sites realize that website conversion is the critical step in the sales process and, therefore, don’t cut corners on that most critical step.
In poorer performing companies, UX designers typically start working on a site after the developers or graphic artists have designed it. This leaves little time or opportunity for the UX designers to apply meaningful changes.
The right process isn’t disruptive, but it does require moving UX design closer to marketing than to development. UX design should lead your design and development, not follow it.
UX Is An Investment
Focus on a real UX effort, not the more common lipstick-on-a-pig approach. Don’t leave this most critical aspect of your site design to graphic artists and web developers who claim to be UX designers just to save a few dollars. It will end up costing more in the long-term than you save now.
To achieve 10 percent conversions, you need to invest in an experienced UX team to help develop the right process for your company, solve the immediate design problems, and help find good UX designers for the longer term. This won’t come cheap, but success is rarely cheap or easy.
The sooner you commit to this investment, the sooner you reap the rewards.
Do you agree that investing in UX design now is a wise long-term investment?
This post originally appeared on Momentology, republished with permission from the author.
About the Author
Larry Marine is Director for User Experience at Intuitive Design. He is one of the fortunate few who earned his degree in User Experience/User Centered Design from the master, Dr. Don Norman. Larry has been a design expert for more than 20 years and has created some of the most successful designs across the web, including e-commerce, medical, enterprise, and consumer products.
Larry’s impressive client list includes FedEx, American Airlines, Novartis, Proflowers, Pyxis, Vanguard Mutual Funds, Roche, and many top brands. His talks, though infrequent, are always attendee favorites, and his depth and breadth of experience and knowledge puts him in that rare breed often referred to as a true expert.