Envisioning web experiences designed for the digital age

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To address digital limitations and enhance consumer experiences, manufacturers don’t have to look far. Digital-native brands have already spent millions of dollars identifying what works and what doesn’t. Now it falls on manufacturers to identify and select the best insights from their web experiences and tailor them to meet the specific needs of their own emerging digital audiences.

Insight 1: It's no suprise that weak UX and poor accessibility are bad for business

New advancements in website technology emerge daily, with each upgrade offering improvements in speed and performance and continuing to separate the websites that “get it” from those that don’t. As a result, it doesn’t take much website friction to turn potential sales into missed opportunities. In fact, the majority of survey respondents (76.6 percent) indicated they abandon a website with poor UX in less than two minutes. As many as 37 percent of respondents move on after less than one minute. And the risks associated with poor consumer experiences? They are simply too high to ignore. Research commonly suggests consumers are often willing to walk away from a brand after just one bad experience.

So, what does a bad consumer web experience look like? While slow page load times and 404 errors often come to mind, website accessibility has also become a common failure point, especially as more consumers shop and conduct product research from their mobile devices. Underserving consumers with disabilities is legally risky and sidesteps a large population of consumers.

Moreover, savvy online retailers recognize that accessibility and usability are inextricably linked. Here are some of the most common accessibility challenges web users experience:

Together, UX and accessibility issues represent the single biggest threat to digital success. When carefully designed to work together, these features help drive a more intuitive experience for every user that comes to your website. When left unchecked, accessibility issues can damage sales in the short term and even chip away at a brand’s reputation over time.

To address UX and accessibility problems, admins must see what their users see. Abandonment rate is a good starting point, but the ability to replay user sessions and learn from performance analytics can help a brand understand customer expectations at a deeper level, and develop a digital-optimization strategy that meets their needs.

Insight 2: Positive experiences start with product selection and availability, but it goes much deeper

Even though consumers credited product selection (79.83 percent of respondents) and product availability (78.15 percent of respondents) as the most important building blocks to a positive web experience, it’s telling that every feature offered to respondents received an overwhelmingly positive response.

While basic features (including product selection, price, product information) would appear to be non-negotiables, additional UX and accessibility features such as customer support, readability, and AI enhancements are not far behind. And remember, when customers experience poor UX, their negative experiences can spread quickly by WOM – deterring other consumers from giving you a chance and damaging brand equity.

Looking to the future of the ecommerce ecosystem, it will be key for manufacturers to prioritize UX-friendly websites that provide the tools and agility they need to keep up with rapidly evolving customer expectations and competitor capabilities.