How bad UX could negatively impact your business

Sam Carden Written by Sam Carden

5 min read   -  14th November, 2023

How bad UX could negatively impact your business

The UX of your site can have a huge impact on its efficiency in retaining customers, bringing in conversions and ultimately reflecting on your brand identity. We’ll guide you through everything you need to know about UX to get started on optimising your website.

Visitors to your website have high expectations, especially when they’re looking to decide on who to buy from or hire for their services. Let’s go through some of the key areas that UX can negatively impact your online business, so you can be sure you’ve covered all bases.

What is UX?

So what is UX exactly? UX stands for User Experience. Sometimes confused with User Interface (UI) but the two are different, so let’s get the terms crystal clear.

UX is about the experience of your site. How a user feels when visiting and interacting with it, from start to finish. It focuses on creating a seamless experience for all users, through a site that's designed with users' needs and requirements in mind.

UI refers to the interactive elements of your interface. Things like buttons, icons and videos. It’s all quite specific and focused on the touchpoints a user will engage with on your site.

Why is UX important?

Good UX matters because it is reflective of the quality of your business, your professionalism overall, and the trustworthiness of your brand. It’s also a sure fire way to leave a positive lasting impression on new users, who may in time become returning customers.

Bad UX is a powerful deterrent for new users. Let’s look at how this can negatively impact your business, and what you can do to fix these issues, or prevent them entirely.

Bad UX can lower lifetime value

Bad UX lowers the lifetime value of a customer by reducing your average order value and repeat business.

This is a bold statement to make, but consider this:

Bad UX reduces return rates
No one’s going to return to your site if they didn’t have an easy experience using it the first time. There’s simply too much competition that they could go to to complete their purchase.

Backed by research 
Forrester Research found that “improving the UX design of a website can enable a business to achieve a conversion rate as high as 400%”, so it’s clear that there is a very strong correlation between your user experience and your site’s conversion rate.

How to fix this

  • Save your re-marketing budget and focus on giving users the best experience the first time they try to make a purchase.
  • Load times - Consider loading times across all areas of your site. Ensure your homepage loads at speed, along with the pages of your most popular products, as well as the checkout itself.
  • Clear navigation - Aim for clear navigation across the entire site. Make it easy for visitors to know where to go next and where to find your most popular products/services. Don't assume that first-time users will know exactly where to go to make a purchase.

Bad UX can result in more cart abandons

Online shopping is approached in two ways:

  1. The user is shopping at speed, and knows exactly what they are looking for or,
  2. They’re considering multiple websites on which to make their purchase, taking some time to decide who to go with.

Regardless of type, every user coming to your site will want a super-speedy checkout experience to avoid getting frustrated and abandoning their cart. If you don’t provide a good user experience to a shopper considering other brands, they will simply jump immediately to the next best option.

Checkout mistakes to avoid losing sales

  • Slow loading times
  • Complicated systems to make a purchase
  • Website accessibility issues

Whilst you could re-market to these users to see if they return, even with an efficient re-marketing campaign they could still be very hesitant to return to your site after an initial frustrating experience.

How to fix this

  • The load time and overall efficiency of your checkout are key. 
  • Strong CTA buttons throughout your checkout that point users to the next step can make a significant difference to the accessibility and usability overall. 
  • Keep it minimalist. How can you simplify your design to eliminate wasted time for your customers?

Impact on your brand reputation if UX is poor 

Low accessibility on your site, combined with a poor user experience is a huge issue.

Your site could appear untrustworthy
A badly designed site that is unintuitive is frustrating to customers and often damages their sense of your brand’s trustworthiness. Users have so many options to turn to for buying online, that many are looking for “red flags” to ward them off of potentially untrustworthy sites. It sounds dramatic, but simple changes to your UX can prevent all of this.

Bad UX makes your site look unprofessional
Poor UX can make your site look unprofessional at best and at worst, suspicious. You believe in your brand and the quality of service you offer, so make it an easy decision for people who are interacting with your brand for the very first time to trust what they see it online.

How to fix this 

  • Give proof - make sure you display any relevant security badges. 
  • Showcase everything you’re doing to protect user data and customer information.
  • Use intuitive, simple design and an overall positive user experience, you’ll have a site that is trustworthy and easy to navigate.

Negative impact of bad UX on SEO

Slow-loading pages and an overall lagging site performance significantly impact your SEO. Consider it this way, UX and SEO are intrinsically linked; both are trying to help your customers get to where they want to go in the most efficient way possible. So it makes sense that they can work together to get you results.

Google’s helpful content update supports good UX
Google specifically stated that “the helpful content update aims to better reward content where visitors feel they've had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn't meet a visitor's expectations won't perform as well.”

Keep things simple
So having content placed in a way that is useful and engaging to your customers is a confirmed shortcut to strong SEO. Think intuitively and intentionally when deciding what to keep, what to highlight and what to get rid of when optimising your site copy. Users often want the simplest option, not the fanciest.

How to fix this

Be mindful of the placement of copy, video, images and content across your site. It won’t perform well organically if your UX is poor, so give your SEO a helping hand through mindful design.

Summary - the negative impact of bad UX on your business

UX might not be the first thought that comes to mind when you consider how to best serve your brand image online. But even with the perfect logo, the best social proof and the highest quality copy, your site experience can still turn users away from potential sales.

Take a moment to check over your user experience and analyse what is working. A/B test some changes based on the topics covered above and enjoy the benefits of improved UX across your site.

It starts with discovery

Speak to us today and let’s start growing your business.

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It starts with discovery

Speak to us today and let’s start growing your business.