It’s the User Experience Stupid!

What makes a product succeed in the marketplace?  Or, more specifically for auto dealers, how do vendors like us design websites that get shoppers onto your floor or in your service bay?

Opinions vary – some say that a product or website’s design drives success, others say it’s data, and another group say that feature-rich products perform best.

For a long time, the “features first” mindset has separated vendors and auto dealers from the needs of their shoppers. And, today, with the advent of analytics, big data risks reducing the user experience into just numbers.

Some companies, such as SurgeMetrix, see the user experience as essential to shopper success.  Others claim you can’t measure the ROI of the user experience. However, the people who think this last thought are wrong:

The Smart View: A Better Experience Improves ROI

Putting the experience of a website or application first is smart for these reasons, among others:

  • Customers get what they want out of a product or website experience, so they stay happier
  • Happier customers stay loyal for longer
  • Loyal customers spend more money

Case in point: according to Giorgios Zacharia, CTO of the wildly successful travel company KAYAK, the user experience of their shoppers trumps everything.

KAYAK isn’t the only smart company out there.

Digital technology has impacted practically every commercial industry, forcing old habits to die hard and opening opportunities for innovators. Look at the auto industry… According to the Wall Street Journal, US car shoppers spend an average of 11 hours online and 3.5 hours offline. Since people spend more time doing online research, auto dealers have to consider the role that digital products play in the sales funnel.

Plenty of research proves that the experience-centric products and websites make more money and more sense.

So it’s not surprising that the companies that think this way often have analytics center around the user experience of their shoppers.  We do that for our websites and KAYAK does the same.

KAYAK runs a many usability tests but they want to know “how fast they can [a customer] find what they’re looking for, and then of course how much money we can make. And at the end of the day, we chose the best user experience that has the highest monetization for our partners and for us.”

Plenty of research proves that the experience-centric product makes more money and more sense.

Experience Dynamics, an award-winning UX consulting firm, compiled some statistics that starkly demonstrate the ROI of UX.  Let’s look at what they found:

  • 70% of projects fail due to lack of user acceptance
  • User involvement during UX development can decrease work time by 33-50%, helping teams focus on what the users actually want
  • One website, after it was optimized for mobile, saw a 30% increase in sales and a 70% increase in the quantity of products sold
  • In other words, the more you focus on the people who will actually be using your product, the bigger and better your bottom line will be.

Be Smart: Put Your Users in the Driver’s Seat

Usability authority Jakob Nielsen says that it’s 100 times cheaper to fix a design before launch, because, whether you like it or not, “your design will be tested by users — your only choice is whether to run the test yourself before launch.”

Does that mean you should only perform pre-launch testing? Not at all. In two separate studies, he found that redesigning a product for usability increased KPIs by up to 135%.

At the end of the day, we all want a products and websites that blow our customers and our competition out of the water. To ensure acceptance and success, put your users in the driver’s seat.

After all, your users are your biggest investors, so it pays to let them run the show!