There is a line that sends a shiver down my spine when I hear a business owner talk about their Ecommerce customer experience:
“Our IT department are working on it”
Different companies are set up in different ways, but the most successful ecommerce sites have a demarcation between the business, the product (experience) and the technical delivery of the requirements. The ideal situation is that these functions work as a tight team serving the consumer’s best interests, but the ideal is rare.
In reality, the things that should be done – like User Acceptance Testing (UAT) are skipped or sacrificed for goals like ‘speed to market’ and ‘budget’. This short-term thinking can have a huge impact on the conversion rate of your online store.
Increasingly, you hear stories told by ‘ordinary’ customers of processes or journeys that “just don’t make sense” – even companies like Emirates Airlines get it wrong.
Which brings me back to the opening line. Different people approach “technology” in different ways. What makes sense for someone in IT will not necessarily make sense to your target market. So don’t just test – test with users.
Data Driven Decisions.
The other reason not to assume that IT has it under control is that centralising technical decisions can lead to choices being made for ideological or political reasons rather than justifiable based on research and data. Always consider YOUR consumer, your market, your business.
If you're a consumer iOS app and you haven't added iPhone X support by now, please just shut down.
— 👨🏻💻☕️LA😎 (@hunterwalk) January 22, 2018
The above Tweet represents the views of a consumer, a tech-savvy, early adopter, iPhone user in California. IT departments are full of people like this. They live and breathe digital.
Compare this to a global study about mobile device usage that was released recently.
— David Fuller (@dmfreedom) January 31, 2018
Your Ecommerce decisions are business decisions. Ecommerce is commerce. To use an analogy, Your Marketing and Product team should be in the driver’s seat, your customer is the owner and navigator, your IT team are the world-class mechanics.
Every analogy falls over at some point, but the fact remains, you are in the business of fashion, food, beauty, stationary – not IT.