How to keep best practice from getting the better of you

As we continue along our Mobile Payment Journey, Creative Director of Experience Design at Sapient, Peter Mullins, explains the importance of understanding best practice – but not being bound by it – and tells us why making customers’ lives easier online can make all the difference.

What do Bruce Lee, Pablo Picasso and The Dalai Lama have in common? (An unlikely bunch, I know, but bear with me...) They each believed in the mantra of “know the rules well, so you can break them effectively”.

And it’s not just the legends who have found success in the ethos. Many people – and businesses – have realised the importance of fully understanding a subject matter in order to gain the knowledge and experience required to do something progressive.

It’s the same when it comes to understanding best practice for user experience. Knowing the recommended strategies and techniques will ultimately give you the best chance of keeping customers happy – but be aware that you don’t need to be bound by them. After all, each customer and market is unique.

Test and learn to make meaningful progress

Once you’ve got your ideas ready, it’s important to test and learn. It’s the best way to get ahead. For example, the gap between mobile engagement and mobile revenue still exists for most companies.

So, use the test and learn approach to incrementally scale successful innovation and drive mobile conversion. And because mobile commerce remains ripe for distribution, why not try beta platforms and in-market test methods to understand behaviour and innovate with real customers?

Just remember to focus on making customers’ lives easier. As someone whose job it is to help businesses better understand their services, and refocus them around their customers, I’ve seen that driving deeper relationships between customers and brands can offer a wealth of benefits.

Here are a few tips to test and learn from to ensure your user experience is as customer-centric as possible.


7 ways to make customers’ lives easier

  1. Deliver information upfront. Use personalisation and the contextualisation of content to drive relevancy for both new and returning users. Also enable “https” for your domain to improve store security and SEO ranking.
  2. Invest in the product page. Let users easily explore product variations on-page to minimise navigation steps. Use rich product content, editorial, social, ratings and reviews to better inform customers and increase purchase confidence. Try displaying up-to-date stock information – or notifying the user via email when a popular product is back in stock.
  3. Update the shopping basket. Provide instant checkout features for returning users in categories with frequent recurring purchases. Reinforce delivery and returns policies to help aid decision-making, giving customers the flexibility to adjust pricing based on the delivery methods available. Be sure to display applicable shipping methods and charges based on the basket’s content.
  4. Provide a user profile. Ensure users can easily view their purchase history with quick access to reorder past or frequent purchases.
  5. Improve the payment page. Allow users to save payment details and make it easier for frequent use. Why not try a single page checkout to minimise dropout, and add live chat functionality to better support high-priority customers?
  6. Optimise confirmation. Persuade users who have completed their purchase as a guest to create an account by using an incentive. Also, embed a means to track or cancel orders either directly on the confirmation page, or via the order history.
  7. Offer support. It’s vital to offer assistance and guidance as and when the user requires it. Don’t hide it, either – try making the contact details clear, and ensure any live chat tools are instant.

Want more user experience tips from the experts? Take a look at our interactive infographic.

Discover our new mobile payment journey infographic

Written by:   ,  19 Oct 2018