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Predicting ROI: Is Your Customer Experience Project Worth It?

So, your digital merchandising team needs some help with their online customer experience. That's great! The first step is admitting you have a problem. The second step is understanding the value of that investment and knowing when you can expect that sweet, sweet ROI. If you work in eCommerce, it’s natural to try and create a one-to-one correlation between the dollars you're putting into a customer experience project and your bottom line revenue. Unfortunately, you often can't.

Biting off a piece of your customer experience to improve is like driving on a bumpy road with new shocks on your car. The ride might be smoother than it was before, but a pothole is a pothole. Now imagine launching an information architecture project to redesign your digital product catalog and update the navigation for your site. That's going to have a positive impact to your customer experience, but it’s not the only piece of the merchandising puzzle.

Predicting the revenue change that will result from a single design change in customer experience can be very difficult. However, while it’s hard to say whether you'll see a 1% or 2% or 3% bump to your company's bottom line, you can expect a significant measure of improvement. So how do we know that? Well, we know that the better the experience on your site, the higher your customer satisfaction ratings. We also know, according to the 2016 Foresee© Experience Index, that global brands with the best customer experiences like Amazon and Nordstrom can expect the following from highly satisfied online shoppers:

  • 75% more likely to prefer the brand overall;
  • 60% more likely to do business with the company;
  • 83% more likely to purchase more;
  • 63% more likely to purchase from the brand the next time they are in the market for a similar product or products

When we develop information architecture or undertake other experience design projects at Earley Information Science, we always try to test the impact of our work on usability. It’s something we can test inside the parameters of our projects and something that we know will positively affect our client’s financials. Usability is also something you can gauge in a vacuum without having to split apart your customer experience from the laundry list of other factors that affect financial KPI’s, like markets trends and macro-economic conditions. For example, at EIS we really like to test our product catalog designs in a tool Optimal Workshop has built called Treejack. We can test our clients’ current product catalogs with real customers and compare them directly with the one we’ve built. No ambiguity and no assumptions required. 

Back to the original question posed by this article: is your CX project worth it? Well, if you can expect a substantial improvement to usability and customer satisfaction through some change to your digital experience, then the answer is yes. Ask your customers what experience they’d like to see and use analytics to guide your next CX project. You may not know how far you’ll move that bottom line needle until after your project is done.

Earley Information Science Team
Earley Information Science Team
We're passionate about enterprise data and love discussing industry knowledge, best practices, and insights. We look forward to hearing from you! Comment below to join the conversation.

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