UX Tools for a Real-Feel Shopping Experience

Ease-of-access, and mass availability of products, has turned online shopping into a proper lifestyle. The convenience of not having to step out allows people to order pretty much everything online – and get it delivered right at their doorsteps. According to Statista, 40 percent of internet users in the US make several purchases online in a month. Furthermore, around 20 percent admitted to shopping online on a weekly basis.

However, despite the increasing popularity of online shopping, eMarketer reports that many customers still prefer the brick and mortar experience, i.e., physical stores. For example, a survey conducted on back to school shopping reports that 56% of respondents planned to continue buying items in-store – compared to only 20% who said they would prefer to shop online.

Why Opt for Online Shopping?

The answer is simple; in-store shopping is an experience that allows you to use all five senses to make a decision. With in-store shopping, you get what you pay for – without the need to cross your fingers and hope that the products you ordered online meet your expectations.

According to a survey in June 2018, 70% of female internet users chose to shop in-store solely because they can see or touch the items. Approximately 41% of women also choose physical stores for the pleasant shopping and browsing experience. After all, window shopping never gets boring!

While online retailers can’t do much to combat these issues, what they can do, is provide a great user experience. Focusing on personalised recommendations, and a great browsing experience, through the application of UX tools can really attract online shoppers –and in-store shoppers – to your e-commerce store.

What is UX Design?

UX tools can help create meaningful and relevant experiences for users. They are designed for multiple purposes – including user-friendly designs and interfaces. A UX designer focuses on different aspects of the user experience, such as utility, and ease of use.

UX design revolves around providing users information in a clean and intuitive manner. Designers are typically in control of a number of tasks – starting from product research, to creating user personas, prototyping, and product testing.

With increased demand for a seamless shopping experience, and multiple options available to online shoppers, design work can prove to be difficult. UX tools save the day by easing this burden on designers. The below list of tools are part of the normal arsenal of UX agencies such as Clearwater. They are an Australian-based company who have helped provide us this handy list.

Here are the four main categories that UX tools can be divided into:

Analytics Tools

The entire point of a high-quality UX design is to provide user satisfaction. Without proper means to gauge what the user likes, there would be no point in putting forth a particular design. These analytics tools help designers understand exactly what users are looking for, and how to provide a great browsing experience. Additionally, analytics help designers identify elements that need to be changed for a better user experience.

Some of the best analytics tools include:

·       Google Analytics

·       Keen

·       Woopra

Tracking and Heat Mapping Tools

These provide insights by recording and tracking user sessions, and the activity taking place on specific pages. Tracking tools capture mouse movements, mouse clicks, and other on-site interactions by visitors. Heat mapping tools take it a step further by recording user patterns on different pages, thus providing insights into how users interact with specific on-page elements.

Popular tracking and heat mapping tools include:

· ClickTale

· Inspectlet

· Mouseflow

A/B Testing Tools

From the font of your titles, to the colour and placement of your CTA buttons, A/B testing tools allow you to test everything. These tools help optimise your e-commerce site, by allowing you to test different variations of all elements on a specific page.

Some of the most effective tools for A/B testing include:

· Adobe Target

· Unbounce

· AB Tasty

Prototyping Tools

With insights gained through analytics, designers can start working on prototypes and wireframes through specific tools. These prototyping tools allow you to easily showcase your design ideas, while reducing project costs.

Here are some popular prototyping tools that UX designers love:

· Pidoco

· Gliffy

· Figma

If utilised properly, the application of UX tools can make your design workflow increasingly efficient – while allowing you to match, or even exceed, users’ expectations.

Advantages of Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a free tool offered by Google that allows you to deploy, manage, and analyze the performance of marketing tags on your website.

The distinguishing feature of Google Tag Manager (GTM) is that it allows you to deploy such tags without having to modify your website’s coding.

In simple words, Google Tag Manager allows information gathered from one data source (in this case, your website), to be shared with another data source (for example, Google Analytics).

So, what are the advantages of using GTM? Let’s take a look:

Rapid Deployment Of Tracking Codes

In a world without GTM, tracking codes (aka tags) were managed through a long and complex process – this process included the person who wanted to deploy the tags, a developer, and a plethora of back and forth emails with specific instructions. Since this task usually comes under the domain of marketing heads, to manage the task without interference from a developer, they had to spend time learning coding skills.

Google Tag Manager has now simplified this process, by eliminating the need for intricate coding knowledge. In turn, this has also significantly streamlined the process of tag management and deployment. According to a study by Lunametrics, clients have reported up to 600% improvement in their tag implementation time with the help of GTM.

Hence, with GTM, marketers can easily add, change and remove tags – speeding up the launch time as they can test each change by themselves, and deploy changes as per schedule.

Organised Tag Management

The previous approach to tag management dictated that all codes were integrated into the website’s source code. This meant that these tiny lines of code were scattered around different files, and even minor tweaks required hours of work. Add in the chances of human errors, which are abundant during such tedious tasks, and we have a recipe for disaster.

With GTM, marketers now have a well-structured management system, where they can view all tags in one place. A minor tweak to any one of the tags only requires minutes to do.

Test Before You Launch

‘Test before you launch’ is the marketing world’s take on the famous adage ‘prevention is better than cure,’ – and GTM is the perfect tool for it.

Google Tag Manager simplifies the process of troubleshooting, and corrects any errors in the tracking codes. GTM’s ‘Preview and Debug Mode’ allows marketers to analyze which tags are placed (or ‘fired’) on a page, and which are not.

GTM also has information crucial for firing tags, and the data contained inside tags. This information serves to ensure that the tags are working perfectly, before they are added to the site.

Gain Valuable Insights

GTM eliminates the need for integrating customised codes to track website events, through a feature called auto-event tracking.

Once you have enabled a certain trigger in GTM, it automatically records all interactions that occur throughout the website. Setting up such triggers is also fairly easy for marketers, especially since Google has published guides that deal with every aspect of GTM.

What events can be tracked through GTM? Well, for starters, you can track basic events such as:

  • Clicks
  • Clicks on specific links
  • Form submissions
  • Time spent on a page

That is not all. The number of auto-tracking events has increased over the years, allowing marketers to include customised features such as:

  • Scroll depth
  • Comments
  • Video plays
  • Actions that denote the intention to leave a page, or exit intent

If you want to set up triggers to track custom events, you will need at least basic coding knowledge and skills. However, even basic events that can be automatically tracked through GTM provide marketers unprecedented insights into visitors’ behaviour. Over time, GTM has become one of the most efficient tag management tools – if you are not using this excellent tool, immediately head on over to the Google Tag Manager site, to see the various benefits you can gain from this platform.