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How to Combine Your UX Design Process with Pirate Metrics to Increase Ecommerce Sales

Andy Thorne
How to Combine Your UX Design Process with Pirate Metrics to Increase Ecommerce Sales

To convert website traffic into sales its important to have a framework in order that you have a UX design process to gain and retain more customers. This article explains how you can use Pirate Metrics (or the AARRR framework) to give your sales process structure.

Pirate Metrics are vital for every ecommerce website, so that you understand what metrics to track and measure your progress.

UX Design Process + Pirate Metrics

Combining your UX Design Process with Pirate Metrics gives you a solid framework and process which you can apply to websites time and time again.

This will save you time, as you’ll know where to begin every time you begin your UX Design Process.

Also, you’ll be able to communicate results easier to clients and your team becuase you’ll have a framework to refer back to.

Take a look at steps 1 through 8 below to build your framework and start increasing your sales today.

1. Choose 1 of the AARRR

AARRR is simply a model that symbolises the behaviors of a consumer.  Each step in the model will help you gain more sales depending on what stage you’re at.

For example, if you’re a startup, you may focus on step 1 to begin looking at how you’re going to acquire new visitors to your site.

So, begin by choosing 1 of the 5 metrics:

  1. Acquisition
  2. Activation
  3. Retention
  4. Referral
  5. Revenue

The choice of the metric will be dependent on the phase of your product/company.

2. Gather Data

Once you’ve chosen your metric, the next step is to start gathering data about your metric.

Collection of both qualitative (user feedback, reviews, etc) and quantitative data (user behaviour), which is the user experience, helps in creating a realistic picture of your chosen metric.

For example: If you’ve chosen Acquisition, then head to Google Analytics and begin looking at the following:

  • How many visitors have visited per channel e.g. PPC, Organic, Email, Referral, etc
  • Review the percentage breakdown of each channel
  • For each channel, see which channel’s are performing best. For example, if you have visitors and sales already, find out which channel is bringing you the best conversion rate. Revenue per channel is also important, however, if you’re getting 10% conversion rate from email and only 0.7% conversion from PPC, then which do you think you should focus on?

To review your acquisition in Google Analytics go to Acquisition > Overview and you’ll see something like the below:

Google Analytics > Acquisition Overview

The data you’ve gathered enables you to have an idea of what the major problem might be.

Researching and comparing your data as well as your business model with your competitor’s data will be advantageous.

3. Validation of the Problem

Once you’ve reviewed acquisition to find out where your customers are coming from, then move onto step 2 – Activation.

Activation is the step where people actually use your product (your website).

Their are various ways you can identify problems in the activation step, I’ve outlined 2 ways below:

  1. Use Google Analytics
    You can find most of your website’s problems using Google Analytics. For example, from looking at the screenshot above (by going to Acquisition > Overview), we can see that Organic Traffic has the best Ecommerce Conversion rate, whilst traffic from Social has the worst.
  2. Usability Tests
    You can also carry out interview/usability tests to confirm where the problems are within step 2 ‘Activation’.

For the purposes of this article, we’ve focused on finding problems using Google Analytics, as it’s the quickest and easiest method of gaining valuable website data.

As we saw from the example above, Social Media is our worst performing acquisition channel and Organic Traffic is our best channel – this is our problem or opportunity (depending on which way you look at it).

Now we’ve turned data into information.

The information validates that we have a problem with our Ecommerce Conversion Rate via traffic coming from Social Media.

The Validation Process

The validation process enables you to define the problem, by giving you a chance to determine what the real problem is, to discover new problems, and a chance to find out why the problem occurred.

So in this example, we either pause efforts in social media and focus more effort on SEO to boost organic traffic.

Or, we optimise our social media efforts and get a better conversion rate, whilst also keeping our best conversion rate from Organic traffic.

4. Formation of Potential Solutions

Now that you have a problem to solve, get your stakeholders involved. Stakeholders could be your client, your team or a mixture of both.

Stakeholders are called for discussions and brain storming sessions in order to come up with potential solution ideas.

When coming up with solutions, it is imperative to keep in mind the metric defined in step 1, so as not to defer from the intended purpose of finding a solution to your business.

5. Turn the Solution Ideas Into Experiments

Now you have your solution ideas ready, the next step is testing the potential solutions by experimenting on them to see if they will solve your existing problems.

Generating a hypothesis for each experiment is a crucial step in this process as it enables you to identify the value of the business product.

An example hypothesis:

“By sending Social Media traffic to helpful blog posts or specific landing pages (e.g. Gift guides, how-tos, etc) on our website, we’ll be delivering value to our social media followers instead of forcing promotions and sales messages down their throat. This should improve our bounce rate by XX% and increase our conversion rate by XX%.”

Actions and the metrics being improved should be clearly defined.

Tip: Try to use only one variable in each experiment to avoid confusion.

6. Build Whatever You Need to Build to Run the Experiments

Come up with the cheapest and quickest way of actualising your experiments without necessarily having to build the real thing.

Landing pages or a prototype, or A/B testing are some of the cheapest ways you can achieve this.

By sending visitors to a landing page, you can experiment on what works and what doesn’t very quickly.

To create quick landing pages, you can use software such as Unbounce which gives you a drag and drop tool to create quick landing pages.

7. Monitor Results and Communicate Regularly

If the hypothesis from your solutions in step 5 is correct, you will need to decide whether you’ll implement the solutions, change it, or abandon the hypothesis that did not work out.

8. Iterate, Iterate, Iterate

Depending on the results you find in step 7, return to step #4 or #5 and counter check to see if you maximised your efforts in working on the chosen metric.

If you wish to work on another metric then return back to step #1.