Your eCommerce website is the most essential part of your business. It is where customers can find your products and services, and it is also where they purchase them. You should make sure that it is as user-friendly as possible so that visitors can easily convert into customers. The best way to do this is to get a fresh perspective from a professional UX research team.
User experience (UX) research is an important part of the website development process. It helps to ensure that the final experience will be in line with the customer’s needs. It can also provide insights into how people interact with your website, which is crucial for a successful conversion rate optimization process.
In this article, you will understand how you can hire an external UX research team for your eCommerce website that will help you save time and money while improving your conversion rates.
What is UX Research?
UX research is a process that helps companies understand how their users are interacting with their products or services. It allows you to identify future problems and understand which features are most important for users. You can gain an understanding of what motivates them to use or not use certain features of your product or service.
The goal of UX research is to create a deep empathic knowledge of the user and the context in which they will be using your product. This can help you design an experience that meets their needs.
User research can be conducted through surveys, interviews, observations, usability studies, and many other research methods. UX research insights can utilize many tools like click-tracking tools (to generate click heatmaps), eye tracking, analytics tools, and unmoderated research tools.
Why Should You Consider Hiring an External UX Research Team?
Many companies have an in-house UX research team, which provides expertise on the end customer, their needs, and their customer journey.
External UX research teams provide a fresh view on the design and experience, and they may be able to approach the solution from a different perspective than an internal team.
The value of an external UX research team is that they can have a fresh perspective on the experience in question. Any pre-existing knowledge does not influence their research method and approach, and they can think outside the box.
An external UX team’s feedback is complementary to the internal team’s. They can provide a fresh perspective and unbiased feedback because they are less exposed to the internal processes.
Wide Range of Skill Sets and Breadth of Experience
Best-in-class agencies will have a team of UX practitioners who are skilled at fulfilling the research design process. Such agencies use iterative approaches, which means that they’ll have the skills necessary to execute any human-centered design process.
Many agencies or teams have worked on diverse projects with various clients in several industries. They have a vast portfolio to prove their breadth of experience.
Their cumulative experience is something that can make a project go smoother. They also get to experiment with a wide range of tools and methods and can bring fresh ideas to improve internal workflows.
Saves Relative Cost and Time
At a first glance, external teams or agencies often seem more expensive than in-house hires. But taking a deeper look into it, you will find out that outsourcing to UX research agencies when crunched for time and funds can help reduce the timing and costs of new hires, onboarding, training & benefits. Starting work on the project sooner and gathering insights that will impact the experience will end up saving costs on the project. This will make the investment in an external research team worthwhile in the mid to long term.
Also, an external UX research team can help accelerate your UX design project, employing several strategies including customer interviews, surveys, diary studies, card sorting, or journey mapping.
While the external team of research experts takes care of the research phase, your in-house UX team can focus on other key aspects of the product development cycle. This can be a better use of internal resources and know-how.
You can also have control over the project’s costs. Should you be looking to work with an external UX research team, you’ll know the scope, cost, and turnaround time upfront. You also save money on tools needed by your internal research team because agencies buy the tools needed by their team to carry out your project.
Fresh minds = Stronger Solutions
Some businesses hire external teams just to bring new ideas to their internal processes. When you need to come up with a lot of insights from different perspectives, it might be a good idea to have multiple researchers working on the project.
Sometimes the best solution is one that everyone contributes to in so many ways. Their different experiences and knowledge could lead to new creative approaches.
What to Look for When Selecting an External UX Research Team with the Right Expertise
Finding the right partner to work with in the UX Research industry is increasingly getting difficult, as the market continues to grow. It’s essential to look into the differences between agencies and make sure you choose one that best fits your needs.
However, there are a few factors you should consider when looking to choose the right external UX research team to partner with. The factors include:
- Look for an external UX research team with a vast portfolio of UX research work with real case studies. When examining the agency's previous work, make sure to not only look at the UX research details but look for the impact and benefits they brought to their clients.
- Consider a team of UX research specialists with varied skills. Some UX research agencies tend to only focus on this specialty, but there are other options that can offer more diverse skills. It’s worth considering enlisting the help of a research agency that can also provide complementary services, like conversion rate optimization, UI design, growth strategies, or marketing.
- Read third-party reviews about the agency on platforms like Clutch.co, Google My Business Reviews, Trustpilot etc.
- Learn more about the external team’s UX research process. Every agency has its style of work and a UX research process in place. The UX research methods used depend on the type of project and scope.
- Look for an agency with a long-term relationship. An agency should be an extension of your internal UX team. Your agency should get familiar with your team, and offer a couple of solutions that go into thorough research with different strengths.
- While outsourcing an entire project is one option, UX Consulting can provide valuable insights if you're looking for a more limited scope commitment. A UX research agency that uses a more holistic approach to provide consulting services, will guide you to create an experience that meets your users' needs and expectations.
The success of your e-commerce business depends on choosing the right UX research agency. They can take your user experience to a new level by helping you identify your customers’ needs and develop the appropriate products and features for them. Oftentimes, the byproduct of a streamlined user experience is a boost in conversion rates and increased customer retention, making the ROI in research work absolutely worthwhile.
Are you looking to hire an external UX research team or agency that will support your in-house UX team to achieve business goals?
At Experiment Zone, our team of UX experts will help you understand what your customers are doing today and where they are getting stuck. Our team of analysts and user researchers will dig into your customers’ behavior, so you can uncover actionable and valuable insights. Schedule a free discovery call now to reach out to our team of UX research experts.