Changing the lens on UX. Are you looking at the whole picture?

It’s a common misconception: UX describes a company’s digital offering. I’ve definitely felt before when developing brands, it just seems logical to see and plan your physical and virtual experiences as two entirely separate entities.   But, you might be missing a wonderful opportunity to enhance your customer’s experience by using your website to solve their problems in other areas of their journey.

As Norman and Nielson succinctly says,

User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” – it’s the entirety of the Hansel and Gretel trail of breadcrumbs your customer follows from start to purchase and beyond.

Luxury brands. The digital late adopters.

It’s true, the premium brand user experience has been renowned late adopters in offering an online service.  This is no surprise as historically, a premium experience has been a personal, face to face, bespoke endeavour.  The thought of bringing this kind of personalisation online would have been unthinkable for many pre-pandemic.

And whilst Bain & Company believes shops “will continue to play a critical role in the luxury market, with 75% of purchases still occurring in a physical location by 2025.” Younger generations – a growing luxury goods consumer –  are interacting far more with their favourite brands online – and purchasing – than their more mature counterparts.

UX. It’s a feeling.

Taking a different perspective, “User Experience (UX) is the thoughts and emotions of a customer when using a particular product.” Selman Gokce,

The impact of the story you have offered your customer will be told, for good and bad for many years to come, especially if it is one of noted importance for the person who experienced it. 

This is why it is so important to look at your experience as a whole, after all every interaction with your brand is all the same to your customer.

A multi-channel world.

“Today, 70% of luxury purchases are influenced by online interactions, which means at least one digital interaction has taken place with the brand or the product before those purchases.” Claudia D’Arpizio and Federica Levato.

The future is absolutely the hybrid experience, bringing online into shop.

“As long as the experience feels personal and, ideally, integrates virtual and physical worlds. Nike, for example, is successfully targeting young buyers by allowing them to design their own trainers on its website, to pick up in person after attending an in-store dance class, and then encouraging them to tag the brand in a review on TikTok or Instagram.”

The economist – how the young spend their money.

Digital UX – The Essentials

Simplicity not only works, but it satisfies online.  Overloading senses and having too much on a page can confuse and put off your customer.

Easy to use, with the growth of digital consumerism – especially in Gen Z – our expectations for speed and simplicity of user experience is high.  If they can’t find what they are looking for quickly, you will lose them for good.

“I want it fast and I want it now.” The time to make a purchase is decreasing, with younger customers taking one-third less time than older customers to make decisions.” Claudia D’Arpizio and Federica Levato

A mobile-first experience, personalised &  socialised.  Purchases on mobile phones are increasing year on year.  It is a must that your mobile experience is modern, fresh and intuitive with all the modern trimmings like sharing a purchase through social channels.

Visually appealing, of course, it’s got to look and feel premium.

“Well, we have all been taught not to judge a book by its cover. But when it comes to UX, there is no other option. In fact, users decide whether they like your website/app or not in 50 milliseconds.” Peep Laja, First Impressions Matter: Why Great Visual Design Is Essential

How to go the extra mile and take your UX into the premium space

So it’s a given you need to cover the basics, you need to make your customers feel happy during the entire experience of interacting with your brand. But, what turns good UX into a stand out, knock your socks off customer experience?

Be intentional.  Instil exceptional UX and UI practices throughout your tech teams.  

If you want to stand out as a brand with exceptional UX, this needs to be a focus for your business.  It requires investment, resource and a commitment to be best in class. Your UX team need to understand your customer as much as your brand team, and should be part of the journey to define who and what your brand represents.

Instil a collaborative working culture, include UX designers from the get go.

Trailblazers in the UX space, Airbnb’s Director of UX, Katie Dill explains in a recent interview the way in which she views UX Design, and the ways in which they work.

  • Good design takes a humanistic approach, researching in depth the end user, who is affected, what they want/don’t want.
  • Collaboration is key,  working together across teams for brainstorming ideas is always better.
  • Create storyboards for your customer journeys, what are they going through – both on and offline – and how is your digital experience solving a problem they might be having out in field?  Create the bigger picture, see it as an integrated online/offline experience.
  • Design is more than just aesthetic, including your design team in the planning and strategy parts of the brand and UX process is key.

Still offer a bespoke, personalised concierge-style customer-service.  

You can assign customers a salesperson to take them through their entire shopping experience.  Ensure there is ALWAYS a wonderfully trained member of the team only a phone call away, on live chat, or any other channels you offer.  Ensure every interaction reflects the quality of your brand and leaves your customer “feeling” taken care of, that you go the extra mile every time.

Key Takeouts

  • UX encompasses all touch points of a customer experience; ensure you take into account what your customer is doing offline too, this will impact the way in which you create your digital story.
  • UX is also described as the feelings and emotions you create through the journey.  These can be powerful and last a long time in the customer’s mind.
  • Emerging GenZ and Millenials have high expectations of their online experience.  They expect a seamless, fast, easy, efficiency as standard.  
  • Digital essentials; a mobile-first, personalised, socialised, slick, visually appealing experience.
  • To go the extra mile, think “omni-channel” rather than separating digital and in store.  Use collaboration across your brand and UX teams so everyone understands deeply the customer and the problems you are solving for them through seamless UX.
  • Understand the importance UX has for the satisfaction and happiness levels of your customer.  The power this has for customer loyalty and repeat purchase cannot be underestimated.
  • Offer a bespoke, personalised concierge-style customer-service across the chosen channels your customers like to use. 

Looking to review your User Experience?

At Treacle, we combine creative skill and technical excellence to design consistently high-performing digital platforms that engage your customers, creating a seamless experience between physical and digital worlds.

To find out how we can assist you in enhancing your UX journey and Brand reputation, please get in touch.

Article by Naomi Thrower, Head of Brand Strategy

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