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UI/UX improvements using 80/20 rule - what's best practice?

     
6:58 am on Feb 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Having rebuilt an e-commerce site [ new api / front and back end ] that has limited funding at present, we have enough traffic to recognize, that our conversion ratios are too low to be launching active marketing. To be honest they are around 1/5th where we were at previously, but direct comparisons are not possible with the new funnel.

There are no issues with the products - they are great value and comprehensive, with excellent information. So the issue is UI/UX.

We have Google Analytics installed, but a fully tagging and funnel visualization is yet to be completed.

We do have people registering on our website, and are sending out personal emails and phoning those that have agreed to be contacted for feedback. We're making improvement recommendations as resources permit, using eye checks, but I'd be interested in some expert opinions.

Using the 80/20 rule where would you start to place your priority of resource effort, to pick up the conversion rates. At the top of the funnel, or at the payment end.

Or should we be concerned at this stage about the conversion rates, ahead of other factors in the UI/UX. What is best practice, or is there one?
9:01 am on Mar 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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How about presenting some example choices, Whitey, to give a clearer sense of what you have in mind. I'm having a hard time getting into the nature of the answers that you'd find helpful.

Guidance.
3:33 am on Mar 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Using the 80/20 rule where would you start to place your priority of resource effort, to pick up the conversion rates. At the top of the funnel, or at the payment end.

This is the crux of the question. Generally speaking, and mathematically speaking, where are the best returns of effort usually found in the funnel?
5:53 pm on Mar 11, 2016 (gmt 0)

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we have enough traffic to recognize

Are you sure? Is this traffic varied enough to give you a good overview?

The reason why I'm asking is that I worked on a relaunch of a B2C store and had my Adwords budget cut to 0 so for the first 3 months while we built up the social following and content strategy, the only source of traffic was Coupon Sites (lol) and the conversion rate was abysmal. In hindsight I feel mighty relieved I didn't tamper with UI/UX at that point because once the organic traffic started to flow in, the conversion rate went through the roof. It was just a lousy source of traffic and no issue with the store.

So if you're not getting enough traffic or it comes from predominantly single source, it would be unwise to make any decisions. If you cannot get a temporary boost in traffic for a week to properly analyse user interaction, I'd suggest throwing $300 at MTurk. Post a questionnaire and get people to go through the purchasing journey, including checkout. Yes, you will need a PayPal Sandbox to do this properly.

If you're confident in your current traffic and you're worried about the conversion rate, your best course of action is to study your pre-rework Analytics and your old orders. You need to build the "identikit" of your typical customer. This is the key to success.

You usually optimise e-commerce sites for a particular target audience. In other words, if you were to apply the 80/20 rule, the factors that matter the most would differ depending on who is your target audience.

Generally speaking, and mathematically speaking, where are the best returns of effort usually found in the funnel?

The keyword is "generally speaking" because without knowing the type of the store, it's difficult to tell.

In my personal opinion, the 3 biggest funnel drop outs are these. The first two are relatively easy to fix. The last one is a tough one.

1. Problems finding the thing you want

Unless you're using PPC, where you can strictly define the landing pages, organic and social traffic will land on a bunch of various pages, which might not be your best-converting pages. To mitigate this, you should make sure it's easy to get to the right path even if I've lost my way. If I land on your ToS page by accident, am I likely to bounce or is there something to entice me back to the right path?

The general rule of thumb from a few years ago was maximum of 3 clicks to get to the desired piece of information. That's way too generalised, I know. You could look at the competitors and see how many clicks their sites take to deliver the most important info. If it's 10 clicks on the competing sites, then aim to achieve it within 9 clicks, etc...

2. Complicated checkout process

One of the worst funnel drains is the time needed to fill in the forms. Do I have to fill in the address twice? Are there any optional form fields? If it's optional, delete it.

3. Lack of confidence in the brand
with excellent information

Is this the same information/photos that were there before the redesign or is this a new set of content? If it's new, when you say "excellent" it's essentially what you think, not what your customer thinks - and it's not always the same thing :)

  • Do you have testimonials (fully integrated with Schema)?

  • Do you have social media presence?

  • Is your brand considered an expert in the field? If I need to research Red Widgets, am I going to think of you as one of my Top10 go-to-places for researching the products?

  • If you're a new brand, I might not want to trust you with my credit card details. But I might be quite happy to check out using PayPal or other alternative methods.


Other Things to Consider:

  • If we're looking at a situation where the conversions used to be good and now they're not, then I'd be willing to scrutinise the new frontend. A new frontend doesn't necessarily mean a better frontend.

  • Think about the message. Can your typical customer relate to the language of your copy and images? I often come across stores that are either too sophisticated or too simple for their target audience. If you're going to sell Red Widgets to housewives, you're not going to talk about the fabrication process. You're going to say how wonderful it looks on the kitchen wall and how it makes life easier etc...

  • When you finally have your tags set up, make sure you segment your funnel data (mobile, desktop, location, landing page). Then work on each segment separately and address the issues that it throws at you. But as I said at the beginning, unless you feed it well-varied data, you won't get anything conclusive out of it. If anything, it will lead you astray.

  • Also, thing to remember is that only linear funnel instances are helpful for analysis. So you should use both Funnel Visualization and Goal Flow to view loopbacks or other behavioural aberrations.

  • Also, do you have the Enhanced ecommerce reports set up on Analytics?
    [support.google.com...]
    The Shopping Behaviour Analysis is pretty awesome!

  • And finally, are you using custom code or is this one of the out-of-the-box packages? For example, Magento, you need a plugin to be able to set up the goals properly (it's to do with checkout stages) and there are little quirks for every ecommerce script out there.
9:14 am on Mar 14, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@adder - great post +1 for the contribution and food for thought.

I didn't answer any of your questions, because i felt that they were rhetorical, invoking further questions.

Since i posted this, we have prioritized greatly faster results [ no results returned in more than 10 seconds ] , filtering on a range of preferences currently missing, and improving the visibility of genuinely good value products we believe the customer wants. My rationale is that if the user get's something they want fast, they are more likely to persist at the lower end of the checkout [ until we get that fixed as well ].

But this post is about learning from others, and the above post certainly introduces some great inputs. Thanks.
11:57 am on Mar 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@Whitey, thanks.
i felt that they were rhetorical, invoking further questions.

Yes and no :)
Some of the questions were asked in a hope that we could continue the discussion as you implement the tests and figure out what was your 20% that made the biggest impact.
12:26 am on Mar 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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as you implement the tests and figure out what was your 20% that made the biggest impact.

We have very limited resourcing, so we had to make a choice for the next move.

So, improving the site speed and filtering is really about addressing a key need that we perceive is required by users wanting "what they want, fast and personal on their cross-device/desktop' - in under 10 seconds. Currently, the site is taking way too long to do this. [ i'd be embarrassed to tell you how long ].

Given that we have to research on the methodology first [ it involves some complexities around large api calls on live pricing and availability and static data storage] before implementing the changes, it may be some time before i can report on this move. I've taken note of what you have suggested, and will look into this as well. My hope is with this resolved we will have a larger data sample deeper into the funnel to observe.
 

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