We were interested to see that a study of the UK’s top 40 online retail websites found that customer satisfaction is increasing year on year. Compared with US however, we were disappointed to find that UK sites still lag behind our US counterparts by 10%.
The study measured four key elements that the research company, Foresee, believes affects customer satisfaction: Merchandise, Functionality, Content, and Price. The study claims that functionality enhancements provide less of an ROI that merchandise and price improvements.
What, no usability?
The functionality aspect of this study does include the usefulness of functionality, but fails to include the usability of a website. In our experience, the right price for the right product is very important, but if users fund it difficult or frustrating during their user journey they will often revert back to Google to find an easier to use competitor offering.
The research is interesting and useful but usability is critical in the success of eCommerce sites and has not been considered in this study.
Usability is critical
The report advises online retailers to increase customer satisfaction by being aware of how changing specific elements of their websites will or will not impact customer satisfaction.
Observational research with the target audience is an excellent way of understanding what enhancements will and will not improve the user journey. Usability testing will help online retailers to understand where the issues are in the user journey, and then review the success of any enhancements that fall out of the research.
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