Why UX design is key to making merchants unique in 2022


Guided by its new approach to design and user experience, Mike Shafro, Founder & CEO of XPateexamines how the future of customer experience on fintech platforms will shape merchant growth in 2022 and beyond.

In 2022, improving the customer experience will be the defining growth strategy for any online business, especially in the cross-border e-commerce space, where sales are expected to reach $1.2 trillion.

The world of digital e-commerce is borderless, but it is also becoming increasingly crowded and the competition is getting brutal. With payment technology evolving so rapidly, customers are more demanding than ever. They expect their merchants to offer quick and easy checkout journeys, but having a fast checkout process involves so much more behind the scenes.

Forget about trying to undercut your competitors’ prices or create the biggest product line. Now that you’ve captured your customers’ attention, are you motivating them to hit the checkout button? Customers want great experiences, and the company that can exceed their expectations will keep them coming back for more.

Business owners are understandably focused on expansion and view UX design as an afterthought, something that can be changed when they get down to it. The simple fact is that investing in better UX as soon as possible pays massive dividends in the long run, in the form of faster customer onboarding and enjoyable experiences that deepen loyalty.

In a complex digital world where customers need simplicity, by making UX a strategic priority, businesses become unique.

Understand how UX and customer journey interact

If your product or service depends on a seamless digital journey, you need to know how your customers find you, how they move through your website, and what will drive them to transact. This UX/CX insights gives you a gold mine of data that you can use to strengthen your business and best meet your customers’ expectations.

User acquisition is just the beginning of the customer journey. It’s easy to think of the terms UX and customer checkout journey as the same thing. But there are distinctions that are essential to understand. UX is the roadmap of interactions between a customer and a merchant portal or interface – for example, the steps they take to log in or browse products or move around the site.

It is these interactions that determine the success of the customer’s checkout journey, helping the merchant track their customers’ checkout behavior and how they make payments.

Armed with this data, the merchant can fine-tune all of their checkout elements to make the customer journey much faster and smoother. This could be the addition of payment methods that customers in certain countries are known to prefer – Interac online transfers in Canada or iDEAL in the Netherlands for example. Or it could allow prices to be displayed in more languages ​​and currencies.

Simple tweaks like these seem obvious, but when time-pressed merchants are busy trying to serve customers, details like these are easy to overlook.

Outstanding User Design Creates Unforgettable Customer Experiences

How to provide an exceptional customer experience? You need to take a critical look at your online presence. No one in their right mind wants to make things difficult for customers. But it’s easy for busy merchants to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of their day-to-day operations and forget to pay attention to the small details of their online site, app, or payment.

Or they may mistakenly think that embedding loads of clickable icons, images and banners into their site is the way to attract new customers. What customers want is simplicity. They want to find what they’re looking for quickly and pay with as little friction as possible.

Put yourself in the virtual shoes of a new customer who clicks on your site for the first time. What do they see and is it easy for them to find what they are looking for? And in a world increasingly shaped by cross-border e-commerce, can they send or receive international payments easily, quickly and securely?

Merchants become so frantically focused on selling that they forget a crucial principle. Don’t complicate things. Simplify your messages. Help your customers get from start to finish in the shortest possible time. Focus on service, not sales.

Human or helpbot? Deliver expert customer support the way customers want it

Virtual assistants, chatbots, digital concierges, natural language processing… whatever terms you use, we all know that automation and artificial intelligence are transforming customer support functionality with intuitive responses to common customer queries. And they are increasingly becoming a fundamental part of UX and CX design. Use of this technology is expected to grow from $10.72 billion in 2020 to $48.46 billion by 2026.

A growing number of customers enjoy using these innovative features, but merchants should remember that many people prefer to be helped by another human. Traders themselves sometimes need to hold hands and be guided through confusing processes.

Customers appreciate companies that take the time to listen to them and respond with relevant actions. With a responsive and dynamic attitude supported by sound advice from experts, companies can create an emotional connection by anticipating and meeting the needs of their customers.

Creating these customer-centric experiences can be costly and complicated for merchants who don’t have the skills or resources in-house. It’s a daunting task for small businesses that just want to keep selling and growing. That’s why partnering with a specialist who lives and breathes fintech-driven UX design is the easiest and fastest way to bring your site to life and deliver an unforgettable customer experience.

UX-led approach will elevate businesses above the competition

At xpate, we want to integrate simple and effective UX design into all aspects of cross-border e-commerce. This includes our own platform and website, which was refreshed just two years after the company started, to align the look and feel with how customers most often interact with it.

We did this by measuring the number of conversions, depth of page views, retention and button clicks to improve the way we present our products. Our redesign has allowed us to dramatically increase page views and conversions have skyrocketed by 90%.

We also take this user-experience-focused approach to our product solutions. Stacks is our drag-and-drop payment and budgeting solution, and we’ve designed the interface to be easy enough to use, even for a child. Everything you need is literally at your fingertips. Customers can quickly view, save and organize all of their assets in one place using just their finger, helping them visualize how their money is moving.

As the world becomes increasingly digital, UX and customer journeys will be the foundation for future growth. Optimizing these elements – and monitoring them to anticipate changing customer demands – will be the springboard for continued success.

In 2022, what will set businesses apart from the competition is when their checkout processes are so fast and simple that their customers forget what it’s like to wait.

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