User Experience / UX Research for Start-ups & Small Businesses

UX Research for Start-ups & Small Businesses

Andy Thorne
collage of black and white street image with cogs and shapes

As the owner-manager of a small business – especially a start-up-venture – you will be bombarded with diverse ideas and initiatives to market your products and services. You will no doubt have a relatively small budget to create and maintain your website and promote your business online. This tends to make people focus almost entirely on generating new leads and driving traffic to their website.

However, how much thought is going into your lead conversion and ‘UX’?

That’s something that could prove costly; if you plan to grow your business!

How UX drives up sales

Website engagement illustration

Regularly evaluating your websites user experience and improving in areas that need attention will keep your customers engaged with your site.

Generating website traffic is not much use if you’re not converting leads into your target action; buy, enquire, reister or visit. Also, your website design must be strong enough to keep customers coming back for more.

This is about UX. This is the technical term for User Experience. In other words, the level of engagement your website visitors have with your pages.

The only way to be sure you’re getting it right is to evaluate your UX and create a plan to continuously improve it.

UX Research is a wise use of resources

The internet is a fluid and ever-shifting marketplace, and new UX trends emerge constantly (see our blog on UX trends for more information).

Research will enable you to keep things on track and maintain a constantly high lead conversion rate.

Experiencing a big dip in online sales, and then forensically examining how that happened, can be disastrous for small and new eCommerce businesses! Research and planning keep you ahead of the curves.

Remember, it’s all about the need to grab visitors, guide them to a transaction and make them want to come back.

To put that in context; depending on what you sell, if you were to grow your customer retention by 5% you could increase your profits by up to 95%!

In other words, it’s far easier and more cost-effective to sell to existing customers and leads than it is to grab the attention of new ones. So UX has a high ROI (return on investment).

UX Research Plans for SMEs and Start-Ups

How can you uncover how effective your UX is?

It starts with reading up on the best way to optimise a new website for powerful user experience. Some great blogs are available to provide guidelines on upgrading or creating websites for SMEs and start-ups.

You can then create a set of UX goals and methods for measuring progress. These should form the basis of your UX strategy and plan, timetabling systematically UX research and experimentation.

Sticking to this plan gives you a firm basis for continuous control and improvement of your website UX, which means more sales!

What UX research helps new or small businesses?

Quantitative Research

Heat map illustration

Hotjar is a great tool to help you keep track of how customers are navigating around your site. This tool can help you plan website improvements based on real life testing.

At the very least, keep a close eye on your analytics. Things like visitor numbers compared to completed sales. Also, drill down on statistics for each page and map where you lose visitors, and which pages and features hold attention the best.

Qualitative Research

Two ladies talking over a laptop

Setting up focus groups of people to test your website will highlight areas of improvement.

To be sure that a new website design is going to be effective, carry out qualitative user experience research. However, this should be done periodically with a live site too, not just your prototype.

It gauges user reaction to your website pages and features and builds feedback on their emotional responses and buying behaviours. It could be done by interviewing site visitors or conducting online surveys. You could also set up focus groups or observe website users in your premises or with ‘blind testing’ at a remote site.

Preference testing helps to compare website design features that are best for lead conversion.

Evaluative research

Google analytics on laptop

Google analytics is a great way to track how your visitors are using your website. with the information collected you will be able to plan your next user experience strategy.

This sometimes requires a more in-depth approach, and therefore the services of Factory Pattern’s UX experts.

It uses all the available information mentioned above, and supplements it with things such as market data, competitor analysis and advanced UX techniques such as eye movement and heat mapping.

From that, your SME or business start-up receives UX Research that’s a perfect platform for building website designs that work brilliantly.

It would be in-depth and potent business intelligence to maximise your website and online marketing spend, to keep you growing.