The Business Analyst’s Role in the Ecommerce World
Have you ever noticed how a technology that was once an integral part of your daily job is now completely out of sight? Or how a technology that suddenly sprung up is growing leaps and bounds and almost everybody is trying to excel in it?
Ecommerce is one such business and while it may appear smooth and seamless on the outside, there’s a lot going on in the background. It’s like a duck paddling furiously underwater but calm and steady outside.
Business analysts in an ecommerce business are the copilots who are sure that all the requirements are well documented and bring to the table the dos and don’ts of the industry-standard best practices. It is important as a BA you understand the technology, upskill with the latest changes and share the knowledge and best practices with your clients.
Let me bring up a recent suggestion that was readily accepted and implemented by the business area. There was a situation where we had to show the customer some added value on the product listing page by grabbing their attention. The products had a great user experience and user interaction, quick view, price, discount, etc. The question was how to improvise. After a lot of brainstorming, it was suggested that:
- We present to the users the percentage off on the products priced below $100.
- Show the dollar value of discounts on products that are priced equal to or greater than $100.
How will this help?
If a product retails for $10 and you offer it for $5, it may or may not be a great discount. However, I am for sure going to look at a product that reads 50% off.
Likewise, if a product has been priced for $250 and is now slashed by $50, it may not communicate the impact if we highlight it as 20% off. However, if we market it as $50 off, the customer is looking at it and for sure wants to know more about it.
Let me mention another such strategic decision that the business area made on what was suggested by the ecommerce BA.
The business area had concerns about the cart abandonment rate. It was suggested not to display the header & footer on the cart page, since this may deviate the customer from proceeding to payment. Plus, it is the industry standard.
Another such recommendation made was to present the users with the promo code box on the cart page as well, along with the payment screen. The reasoning behind this is the customer may sometimes abandon the cart after witnessing the high price totals of the products added in the cart. If they’re allowed to apply the promo code on the cart page, the price would lessen accordingly and chances of retaining the customer on the page are high.
For the customers who click on the option ’Buy now‘ and land on the payment screen, they would be allowed to apply the promotional code there. If a customer is not bothered about the promotional codes, they will proceed to the payment page directly. The overall cart is tweaked to ensure that the traditional ecommerce customer experience is not disturbed, and the promo code is present on the payment page since customers are habituated to see it there.
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What is important – user experience (UX) or user interface (UI)?
A big question that clients sometimes have is ─ which is important or what must be done first, a user experience design or a user interface?
The answer is ─ both.
A good user experience engages your customers for a longer duration (>average visitor time) and encourages them to make return visits to the website. Strategically placed products, checkout experience, multiple payment options, and not deviating from screens is handled by UX.
Keeping in mind a large number of mobile, tablet and desktop shoppers, it is important to provide a consistent and continuous user experience across devices. Mouse and hover experience, screens, iFrames, etc. also play a key role in retaining customers on the website and this is all doable by UI.
Hence it is important to balance both UX and UI since a flashy website with a bad interface or a good interface and a bad experience can both cause irreparable damage to the website.
As the saying goes – “It takes months to make a customer and seconds to lose one.”
No change is small or big until it helps the business flourish. The suggestions discussed above may seem small for established businesses, however, for growing businesses or companies that are new in the market, strategic decisions like these can have a lasting impact on the business as well as their customers.
To excel as a digital strategy BA, it is important to prioritize business benefit and constantly be on the lookout for strategies and solutions that can help the business perform better. Secondly, it’s important to not stick to just one technology and constantly upgrade to keep up with market trends. And finally, it’s important to understand that there’s no substitute to skill enhancement. Up skilling is the key to success.
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