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The Website User Experience: What Matters Most?

Despite the growing perception that websites no longer matter, consumers do value websites and have strong opinions about how they should function. A new study of 1,013 US consumers from Blue Fountain Media UX revealed consumer views on privacy, retail and e-commerce and website content.

Keeping websites current is critical; 81% of consumers “think less of a brand” if their website is not up to date. And, if a website hasn’t been updated, 39% of respondents said they would “think twice” about using a product or service.

When it comes to website features that turn consumers off, 28% said sites that lack search boxes. After that, 25% said sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. Other turn-offs included the site not being visually appealing (13%) and no About page (8%).

Consumers generally like website personalization but are also concerned about privacy. The survey found that 56% liked when products they’ve search for previously are shown to them on sale; 19% said they liked when pages present offers based on past search history and 25% said when a website follows up about a product left in the shopping cart or that they had stopped looking at.

When it comes to privacy, 36% are uneasy about how their personal data is stored and shared on the web. However, nearly one-third of respondents said that they understand there is a trade-off between privacy and a better user experience. And 41% are willing to allow their personal data to be stored, so long as the website hasn’t been hacked.

Half of survey respondents said that user content is the most important feature when shopping on a website (e.g., reviews and photos). Usability (“ease of use”) was ranked by 43% as the top website priority, which was followed by secure transactions and privacy. Another 41% ranked privacy as most important, then secure transactions and ease of use.

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