User experience (UX) designers play a significant role in making - and keeping - customers happy.

Consequently, they tend to be able to see poor experiences where others can’t, pinpointing areas that could be streamlined to simplify the path to purchase.

Great UX designers also search for bad revenue, meaning that if they find poor experiences within a site that are generating revenue, they improve the experience, thereby growing revenue.

The Value of User Experience

A great example of how searching for bad revenue can help customers, sales people, and your bottom line alike is eBay.

In one of its iterations, eBay had a feature that allowed sellers to upload a photo with their listing - for a price. 

This caused two things were happening:

  1. Sellers were abandoning the “Sell an Item” flow when it got to the photo section
  2. Sellers were listing pages and pages of items with no photos at all

eBay wondered, ‘‘Why would anybody want to buy an item that they can’t even see?” Quickly, they realized that the dilemma manifested because eBay charged 20 cents per photo.

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While it resulted in great revenue numbers ($8 million a week, to be precise), it was also preventing sellers from creating meaningful listings, or even creating listings at all, thereby also impacting eBay’s overall sales.

eBay decided to improve the customer experience and solve this problem for sellers and buyers by offering the first photo for free. 

The result? eBay saw an increase in revenue with the small, short term portion of traffic they tested. Once they rolled the feature out to their entire audience, revenue went from $8 million per week to $36 million per week.

Start Searching For Bad Revenue

Contrary to popular belief, “revenue is revenue” isn’t the best mantra. Good revenue - driven by good user experiences - will outperform bad revenue in the long run. 
Improved User Experience graphic

So how can you separate the good from the bad?

Here are a few key ways to kickstart your approach:

  1. Know a poor revenue-generating experience when you see one. This can from a trained eye (the UX designer), from your data, or just a hunch that you can verify via some data analysis and testing. 
  2. Determine the goal. In the case of eBay, more sellers needed to complete listings in order to attract more buyers.
  3. Know your user and understand their behavior. This can come from behavioral data, but it also comes from doing live usability testing and user research via focus groups and interviews.
  4. Look at other industries to gain insight or ideas. Don’t consider just any industry, but think about one where the user has similar behaviors. How can you apply the solution developed in that particular industry into your own? 
  5. Know and speak the data. Know and understand the analytics, including how your redesign can affect metrics both positively and negatively.
  6. Build out the model. Determine how the new design is going to work and how it will generate or replace revenue.
  7. Build out a risk plan. Changing features that generate revenues can be risky. Run A/B tests with a small portion of your traffic and roll out the new design slowly over time.

In Conclusion

While you don’t need to assess your whole site for bad revenue, you should be vigilant. Dig deep into understanding user behavior, offer better experiences as the solution, and you’ll see increases in revenue.

Learn more about how Object Edge UX services can drive your business.

About the Author

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Rohit Garewal


Rohit is a forward-thinking eCommerce evangelist, especially focused on re-energizing the B2B sector and merging the old disciplines with new technology opportunities. He is passionate about delivering profitable growth through people-driven digital transformation. Watch his talk on digital transformation.

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