eCommerce User Experience: How to Increase Online Traffic & Sales

a woman entering her credit card to buy something online

Everyone knows the saying, "don't judge a book by its cover." Unfortunately, this is not the case for websites, apps, and other platforms. 

Users make snap judgments when they visit an online site as soon as a page loads.

In fact, it takes about 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they'll stay or leave. And 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience.

The bottom line: eCommerce sites need to invest more money and time into user experience (UX) market research.

Below, our market research company shares an eCommerce user experience case study where our client saw a 665% return on investment. We share our process and how the online store used data to increase traffic, conversions, and sales.

Challenges of eCommerce Stores

While most retail stores have experienced a dip in sales, one of the most intriguing changes taking place in the past decade is the shift to digital. However, while this transformation creates new opportunities, it also comes with a whole new set of challenges.

Many of these challenges facing online retailers include:

  • Converting shoppers into paying customers
  • Attracting the perfect customer
  • Price and shipping
  • User experience

By 2040, it is estimated that 95% of purchases will be made online. Therefore, now is the right time for retail locations to overcome eCommerce challenges and find the right solutions.

A great solution for improving the eCommerce user experience is market research. 

For example, a large e-commerce client partnered with Drive Research to conduct user experience (UX) research on its website. The UX study aimed to provide the client will a comprehensive review of user perceptions, barriers, and other critical items that impact the path to purchase.

A special emphasis was placed on the online store and checkout portion of the website. A small increase in the number of e-commerce conversions based on the UX findings would significantly increase sales for the client.

Solution: UX Market Research

Based on our client's challenges and objectives, we recommended conducting website user experience interviews.

Conducting this type of market research ensures the user expectations can be met by the site design, content, visuals, navigation, and more.

Although the design of a website influences initial impressions and perceptions, the eCommerce UX is really the determining factor as to if a visitor will convert or not on his or her path to purchase.

Much like hiring a company for SEO, an interior designer should not be used to build a house. Design and UX are two very different processes.

Approach: Unmoderated UX

While there are many different approaches to UX market research, it is most commonly achieved through one of two methods: moderated and unmoderated (or a hybrid of both). 

  1. Moderated UX interviews: In moderated UX, a participant and facilitator are viewing your website at the same time through a remote screen share. The moderator watches as the participant navigates through your site and completes assigned tasks. This approach allows for more unique, one-on-one conversations where the moderator can ask questions for clarification or dive into issues through additional questions after tasks are completed.

  2. Unmoderated UX market research: In contrast, unmoderated UX requires participants to download an app where they are given a series of tasks to complete on their own. For instance, a task might be for participants to find the price of a specific product. As they complete each task, participants record their screens and must talk out loud to describe their opinions and thought processes. After their tasks are completed, participants answer a short survey to assure all objectives of the UX research are met. 

The client chose to conduct unmoderated market research. 

As with any project, we began with a kickoff meeting to understand unique objectives and the target user for the online store. From there we designed tasks and survey questions for respondents to complete via an app.

The process developed by our UX market research company examined the overall usability of the website, with ratings from "poor" (users are likely to have significant difficulties) to “excellent” (users should be able to complete all important tasks).

Each market research item included feedback and comments which explained the ratings and solutions to improve the UX. 

After fieldwork was completed, Drive Research created a comprehensive market research report that provided the client with details such as:

  • Barriers existing for users on the website
  • Expert recommendations on how to improve the UX of the website on desktop and mobile devices. 
  • The UX evaluation of two competitive sites for the client using similar exclusive evaluations from Drive Research.
  • This competitive assessment helped the client understand the landscape of similar websites and where the website could further differentiate itself through website design.

Results of the eCommerce UX Research

The market research developed improvement guidelines to ensure the best possible UX.

The data and findings from the market research were designed to help guide the client with website content, structure, user paths, content enhancements, and other criteria to create a better user experience and ultimately drive higher conversion rates and e-commerce sales.

The client created pre-event and post-event tracking in his Google Analytics to understand how website design and UX changes recommended from the market research impacted the path to purchase. To arrive at an ROI he compared conversions and other metrics prior to the changes to the data after the changes were made.

The outcome from the market is best described by the client contact in the following testimonial.

Client Testimonial

"The user experience (UX) website research completed with Drive Research made our e-commerce site a better tool for our customers. It revitalized the website and made it more user-friendly. Competition has been fierce in recent years but now we brush them away easily. Changes implemented from the market research increased conversion rates and credit card sales by 65%. We’ve received several comments from customers about how easy the website is to use since the UX was completed. The overall ROI on the study with Drive Research was 665%. We increased sales at a rate of nearly 7x the cost of the market research. It paid for itself several times over.

Contact Our UX Market Research Company

Every $1 invested in UX results in a return of $100 (ROI = 9,900%). And Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover said it best when he stated, “If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design."

Each year it becomes more and more important to invest time and money into your website, app, software, or other types of online platforms. That begins with the eCommerce user experience. 

Drive Research is a national market research company that specializes in UX research. We partner with various types of B2B and B2C brands to improve the UX on their website to increase conversions, sales, leads, and traffic.

Contact us today to learn more about our services.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Author Bio George Kuhn

George Kuhn

George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX-certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.

Learn more about George, here.

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