a better ecommerce user experience will result in greater customer satisfaction and more sales
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This story was originally published on Aug. 27, 2018, and is brought to you today as part of our Best of ECT News series.

In technology parlance, the emotional result of a person’s interaction with a website or digital app is called “user experience” or “UX” — and the success of a business depends on it. Users who have easy, positive experiences with websites and apps likely will be drawn back to the business. On the contrary, websites and apps with poor navigation and slow loading times likely will turn off consumers.

UX is essential in e-commerce because conversion rates often are aligned with a positive or negative experience. As technology continues to improve and as customer preferences evolve, businesses must adapt UX to stay competitive.

To optimize UX and enhance customer perceptions of your brand, following are five UX Do’s and Don’ts to focus on.

1. Do invest in unique visual imagery. Don’t choose a cookie-cutter template.

Today, most customers can spot stock imagery and templated websites from a mile away. These features not only make a business look lazy, but also restrict brand expression. Be sure to choose custom visual designs whenever possible.

A website or mobile app should evoke the identity of the brand. Whether a business offers home decor products or tax preparation services, users should be able to identify the business brand from its respective platforms. A relevant and consistent brand fosters legitimacy and trust. You want users to take your business seriously. Of course, this is much easier said than done.

Below is a homepage example from Restoration Hardware. The simple, neutral background allows brand imagery to speak for itself, and the uncluttered navigation supports an easy, straightforward shopping experience. Additionally, the page’s text copy is short and direct, to give visitors clear options and guide behavior. Lastly, the main image not only displays business products, but also conveys the atmosphere that Restoration Hardware promises its customers. Regardless of stylistic preference, Restoration Hardware offers a distinct visual experience on its website.

Restoration Hardware screen shot
(Click Image to Enlarge)

Businesses can use custom visual content to stand out from the competition. A simple start is to use real pictures of teams/staff, offices/locations and products/services. Moreover, details like updated banners to reflect appropriate seasons, upcoming holidays or events relevant to the market/industry also help to add unique visuals. Unique visual content is a great way to enhance UX.

salesforce commerce cloud

2. Do get personal with messages. Don’t be formulaic.

People want to feel that their needs matter and their voices are heard. Individualized experiences/messaging can be tough with a diverse audience/customer base; however, businesses can gain advantages by using conversational language, addressing people by name wherever possible, and helping visitors/customers find content they might like.

It is important to research customer habits and desires. What words are used in the search for products or services relevant to your…