Before you lift a finger to improve your site’s user experience (UX), it’s important to sit down, weigh your options, and do the math. Only once all of this has been taken into account can you properly execute a UX strategy that addresses your users’ experience and your bottom line at the same time.

The Link Between Web Dev and Your Bottom Line

User experience (UX) is all the rage these days — and with good reason. The $3.5 trillion e-commerce world is booming, and businesses small and large want to get in on the action. However, running an e-commerce storefront is a completely different animal from a brick-and-mortar operation, and the struggle to provide a good experience for your online customers can be profound.

When you fail to meet your online customers’ needs, it can have a serious effect on your success. In fact, 88% of online consumers are less likely to come back to your website if they have a bad experience while using it; 88% — that’s nearly nine out of ten people.

This looming threat propels the concept of web development to the front of most entrepreneurs’ minds. As they pour time, effort, and resources into increasing their site, the question begins to arise — how do you turn this thing off? At what point does your ROI for UX investment fail to deliver?

If you’re at this point in your UX journey, it’s important to do three things:

  • Break down what quality e-commerce UX really means.
  • Figure out how to measure your site’s UX effectiveness.
  • Implement changes and improve your UX ROI.

Let’s start with the first step.

What Is Good UX?

Good user experience is a nuanced concept that can take an infinite number of forms. However, there are several themes that tend to apply to all applications of good UX, no matter what industry, niche, or audience your web development is aimed towards:

Good UX is Easy on the Eyes

While back-end development may focus on behind-the-scenes code and website function, front-end web developers prioritize aesthetics such as text, images, and other visual elements that audiences will see on your webpage. This will all be tailored to the interests and tendencies of your target audience, from color and image choices to tone and voice in your text.

Good UX Includes Quality Content

From sales funnels to engaging articles, quality UX depends on establishing yourself as an authority with information and solutions for your customer’s problems.

Good UX Is Functional

Along with aesthetics and purpose, a good user experience hinges on functionality, such as fast loading speeds, being mobile-friendly, and maintaining general web accessibility for your readers at all times.

Good UX Connects with Readers Where They Are

Empathy is a key characteristic in business these days, and not just behind the scenes either. You want your content to resonate with your customers on as many platforms as possible.

Good UX Is Always Evolving

A website with good UX today may be outdated tomorrow. However, this can be prevented if the developer practices social listening, gathers feedback, tracks analytics, and then adapts to changes in customer taste, mood, preferences, and expectations.

If you can hit all of these on your website, you can develop a stellar user experience for your readers. The question is, does the time and cost involved make it worth it in the long run?

How to Measure and Manage Your ROI for Your UX

While investing in UX is important, it’s also essential that you make efforts to track the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of your site’s UX in order to justify or adjust the costs involved. You can do this in several ways.

Plan Ahead

Always plan your UX efforts ahead of time. Start simple by only doing what is absolutely necessary, such as creating basic landing pages or establishing a single social media account. At the same time, consider how you’ll ultimately be able to scale your efforts if you are successful.

Track Expenses

Next, track the time and cost that you put into your customer’s UX. Some things are easy to track, such as hiring a freelance writer to create content. Others are trickier, such as time spent by an employee working on site navigation. While it isn’t a perfect science, it’s important to do your best to track and estimate whatever you can.

Identify What You Can Measure

Along with tracking expenses, you must make an effort to measure whatever you can in order to see if your UX efforts are making a difference. You can do this in a variety of different ways including:

  • Conversion rates: This is how often someone reaches the end of your sales funnel and makes a purchase.
  • Star ratings and online reviews: These provide easy insight into what customers think.
  • Time spent on page: This is also known as dwell time and shows you how long a customer spent engaged with your content.
  • Drop off rates: How many people abandon your sales funnels before reaching the end.
  • Increases in sales: This can be an easy indicator that UX is improving.
  • Better productivity: If your UX maintenance helps reduce the time and money spent on your site, it can indirectly impact your ROI.

Of course, some things cannot be measured, such as customer loyalty, but in general, try to measure whatever you can.

Reduce Costs

Finally, use the above information to identify where you can reduce costs in your UX efforts.

One effective way to do this is to use a single usability metric (SUM). This strategy allows you to measure the effectiveness of various UX functions on your site and helps you pinpoint errors where you can improve functionality or aesthetics. You can also find out where your customer experience is lacking by directly asking your customers through surveys and responding to feedback.

Whether you use the SUM method, gather feedback from customers directly, or come up with your own strategy to identify where you can improve, it’s important to make an effort to do. This enables you to maintain your site’s UX and make improvements wherever possible.

Prioritizing the ROI of your UX

User experience is important. However, measuring your user experience efforts is also important. If you don’t consider how effective your UX is, you won’t be able to know if your site is functioning correctly, if there are errors in how your customer journey plays out, or if you’re overspending for results that you can attain at a more affordable rate.