User experience – what converts?

Creating a website user experience which converts website visitors into customers is the holy grail we’re all searching for. So when it comes to user experience – what converts? 

user experience

The question of ‘what converts?’ is a question that we see asked (and answered badly) fairly frequently but it’s a problematic question for several reasons and we’ll explain what they are in this post. 

Please note: throughout this post we use the term ‘buy’ to mean purchase, fill in an enquiry form, complete an application or any other kind of conversion.

User experience that converts

Firstly, the idea that you can create a create a website experience that always converts indicates a lack of experience in conversion optimisation.

Anyone who’s run a CRO programme will know, nothing always works. 

Things that Amazon does, don’t work for John Lewis. Techniques that work on the Gap website, won’t work for Marks & Spencer. You get the idea.

This is because:

  1. Websites are highly contextual 
  2. Your competitors don’t know what they’re doing (probably)
  3. Sites that you admire have usually been on a journey using validated learning to arrive at the point they’re at which means their website experience is highly customised to their audience

User experience – if it converts, it’s done

Secondly, we don’t want our website to just convert. 

If your website has a 0.5% conversion rate, you have a website that converts. What about if your website has a 10% conversion rate? Does it convert – yes. But can it be improved? Yes.

Creating a user experience that converts suggests a fixed mindset. As in, it converts therefore, we’re done. We don’t have any work to do and we can all go home happy.

Think of it like this. Imagine you can divide your website visitors up into 3 buckets. 

The first bucket is the people that have already decided to buy from you and they come to the website to do just that. They are motivated, they have done the research they need to do, and they’re going to buy from you regardless of the experience they have.

The second bucket is the people who come to your website in research or exploration mode. They’re here to have a look around and they might even make the decision to buy from you, but they’re not actually going to buy today. No matter what offers they see or how amazing the experience is, they are not ready to buy and they’re not going to buy in that session.

The third bucket is the people who come to the website not knowing if they are going to buy from you today, the people who want to buy but can be put off, and the people who are not planning to buy but can be persuaded to do so. These people are going to make their decision whilst they are on the website based on the proposition, the experience, and the products or services available. It’s bucket 3 where the opportunity for growth exists. 

You will never know the percentage of users in each bucket, but what’s for certain is that there is and will always be bucket 3 visitors. 

That means you can always improve your website and you should never see it as completely optimised or providing an experience that converts.

If you’d like help with your website experience to increase conversions, call 0161 713 2434 to talk to a CRO expert and discover how we can help.


Nina Mack

28th November 2019

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