How to reduce cognitive load to boost CX

The CX Series on Personalization versus Expectation

When you walk into a store for the first time, you begin a learning process: the layout of the store, which sections hold the items you’re looking for, the varieties of products and the pricing.

It’s the same for online stores. The layout of the site, the menu and filters, popup offers, product categories, and pricing – and how to navigate it all.

Each click, each scroll, each decision adds a layer of friction to the customer journey. They can quickly add up, weighing down the minds (and patience) of customers.

The mental effort involved in this process is the cognitive load.

When we’re given so many choices, when a lot of thought is required, when there is a lack of clarity, our working memory is pushed to the limit. Customers will abandon the website, seeking out competitors that can provide streamlined shopping journeys.

The hidden cost of cognitive load includes high abandonment rates and low conversions, high returns and lost revenue.

Brands and retailers can’t eliminate cognitive load. But they can reduce it.

Businesses can simplify the customer journey and reduce cognitive load to enhance CX and cultivate more engaged, happier customers.

Here’s how:

1| Use UX design principles

UX design principles are the building blocks of user-friendly and engaging digital experiences. They serve as best practices for UX designers to create websites and apps that are intuitive and engaging.

These principles include consistency across channels and devices. The layout, aesthetics, branding, and terminology should align wherever your brand is present. Accessibility ensures that all types of customers can navigate and interact with the digital product. Is your color scheme hurting readability? Are you using alt-text?

Prioritize the needs, preferences, and behaviors of your customers during the design process. To implement customer-centric design, businesses first need to collect and analyze customer data to better understand their goals, pain points, and expectations.

In our partnership with R.M.Williams, Tryzens Global identified opportunities to deepen the brand’s customer engagement through custom UX and UI design. To achieve this, we overhauled the existing strategy and integrated consultations with our UX and CRO specialists. As part of the broader digital project, this led to a 52% increase in the conversion rate and a 93% boost in orders.

R.M.Williams refreshed navigation

The Nielson Norman Group, a leader in researched-based UX, also recommends 3 other tips to reduce cognitive load: avoid visual clutter, removing irrelevant or overused images and text; use common design patterns, basing your layout on what customers would have experienced on similar sites; and offload tasks, replacing elements that require customers to read or remember information with alternatives, such as showing an image or redisplaying previously entered information.

2| Implement digital fitting rooms or product videos

In-store shopping experiences let customers physically try on clothes and accessories, allowing them to check the size, style, and fit before making a purchase. There’s no exact match online. With no physical interaction with a shirt, for example, customers must guess the right size and imagine how it goes with their jeans.

This leads to a huge problem for retailers: 1-in-3 items bought online are returned; for items bought in-store, the return rate is just under 1-in10. They either don’t fit or they’re not what customers expected.

Integrating digital fitting rooms into your online store can bridge this gap, providing customers with a virtual try-on experience that reduces cognitive load and enhances the overall shopping journey.

Digital fitting rooms use augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) technologies to let customers virtually try on items at home, removing much of the guess work and making it easier for them to reach a decision.

This try-before-you-buy experience brought relief through lockdown, allowing customers to try things on at home. But the technology has been more than a pandemic trend. Brands from across the fashion and beauty industries are implementing solutions that let customers try on their products, from shirts and shoes to rings and make-up. Nothing’s off limits.

Brands that offer virtual try-ons have 64% fewer returns than those that don’t. That’s more satisfied customers, fewer returns, and higher conversions.

Alternatively, the more budget friendly option could be implementing product videos. When combined with measurements of the model clearly laid out on the PDP, customers can get a sense of fit, fall, and texture of fashion and apparel products. In the case of other products like electronics, furniture, or food, they can get a sense of scale, functionality, and usability of a product.

3| Design product quizzes

When you know what you want but there are 5 different styles and 10 different colors, how’d you choose? It’s easy to get lost in a forest of fabric.

To reduce search time and encourage engagement, consider designing product quizzes that leverage gamification techniques to guide customers towards the most suitable options.

Product quizzes offer a fun and interactive way for customers to narrow down their choices based on their preferences, style, and specific needs. By answering a series of questions tailored to their tastes, customers are steered towards personalized recommendations, effectively cutting through the overwhelming array of options and reducing cognitive load.

Sweaty Betty’s bra quiz helps women find the perfect fit. It asks customers a range of questions, from current size, previously bought brands, type of activity, and color and feature preference. It then showcases products that were tailored to their answers, explaining why they are the best match.

Whether it’s bras, boots, or tees, product quizzes serve customers by streamlining the decision-making process while delivering a more immersive and personalized shopping experience. One that replicates in-store stylist advice.

The goal is to increase customer satisfaction through an enhanced customer experience. This will not only drive conversions but also customer lifetime value (CLV).

To sum up

The success of a digital commerce channel often hinges on the customer experience. Tryzens Global’s CX specialists work with clients to refine their customer profiles, leveraging data insight to build intuitive and engaging shopping journeys specific to their brand.

If you’re looking to refine your customer experience, then connect with Tryzens Global.

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