Website Optimization: Not testing can cost you money

I’ve had some pretty terrible online shopping experiences. I’ve dealt with impossible product pages, awkwardly laid-out shopping carts and some sketchy checkout processes.

It seemed as if companies were simply allowing customers to shop online, not encouraging it — especially smaller, specialized stores.

Then came the rise of sites like Amazon and Zappos.

Today, there is no excuse not to optimizing and improvng the customer experience.

At IRCE 2014, MarketingSherpa Reporter, Allison Banko, sat down with Lisa Foreman, Marketing Conversion Manager, Nations Photo Lab, to discuss the necessity of testing.

“If your website is not user friendly, then you’re just not going to convert the customers,” Lisa said. “And it’s easy.”

Lisa explained that the testing technology available rules out any excuse that marketers may have had before when it came to not testing.

“As a marketer without technical experience, I can set up tests on my own without the help from my developer … and I can declare statistical significance as soon as they are ready and get them rolled out,” she said.

The barrier to beginning a testing program without knowing how to code is deteriorating, Lisa added, which is great news for marketers in a world where customers demand instant, seamless experiences across devices and pages.

Developing savvy-looking sites might get your internal marketing department excited, but Lisa warned her peers, “You should be testing it first.”

She suggested that money spent on the development of a new template or designing new pages and experiences are wasted if these changes don’t actually improve the customer’s experience.

Related:  [Infographic] How to Create an Effective Testing and Optimization Plan

 

Don’t leave user experience to chance

“You’re leaving money on the table if you’re not [testing],” Lisa said, emphasizing that user experience cannot simply be guessed and put into action.

She uses analytics tools to “notice where customers were getting confused and make tweaks and [then] rerun the test,” before rolling out new designs throughout the entire site and for all segments.

Watch the entire interview below to see what Foreman is testing now and what she is doing to make sure “everything is always improving” across the site.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Maylee says

    Brilliant post Jessica, wish all customers would read this before they try and keep the main awful features of their awful ecommerce sites!!

  2. Terrance says

    I have had my downfalls with leaving user experience to chance, I have learned to test and get rid of all the superfluous variables that can cause problems. Great article very informative keep up the good work.

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