Vicki Scheele   18th Nov 2016

How smart technology drives merchant conversion rate

Consumers are more demanding than ever when it comes to the mobile experience. The UK's leading retailers spend millions of pounds making sure their ecommerce sites are mobile-optimised and with around 60% of online transactions now taking place on a mobile device it's easy to see why. It's also why our mobile-first approach to our customer journey is so critical to us - a customer that abandons the process at any stage is a lost sale.

I'm constantly surprised just how many ecommerce websites aren't fully optimised. Like many others I suffer 'mobile optimisation rage' several times a week which, however much I like the retailer, usually results in me going elsewhere to make my purchase. Just because I've reached payment doesn't mean I'm hanging around if the experience is rubbish. Applying for finance is no different to any other part of the process — it has to be easy to avoid drop out.

Here at Deko our User Experience (UX) team are making changes all the time — some small, some big. Overall we've improved conversion rate by 35% this year for our merchants. Our UX team spends a lot of time and effort observing, understanding, designing and testing our application form to ensure as many customers as possible complete their purchase. Our tools and processes include those used by many of the leading ecommerce providers and it's ingrained in our technology development to:

Watch
We don't assume we know how customers use our technology, we actually take a look. Focus groups, screen recording, mouse tracking, time taken, surveys and other tools are used to see exactly how people behave when completing the form. We know how we think people use it but we get real consumer insight when we see it for ourselves.

Analyse
There are many reasons why a visitor behaves in a certain way. The data from the user testing combined with our own analytics and experience help us understand how we can help smooth their journey and where we can have the greatest impact.

Design
The smallest of changes can have significant impact on how someone uses the form. We consider one area at a time and come up with several alternative options for a better user journey. Our form is designed to be truly mobile-first. Using the latest and best User Interface (UI) design principles we make our application form the easiest and most intuitive to complete on any device. No time wasted scrolling when you don't need to or clunky page layouts. Just a smooth, pleasant mobile experience.

Test, test and test again
Assumptions are dangerous in UX so we use extensive multi-variate testing to help us understand which changes will yield the greatest impact. By testing alternative solutions across thousands of applications we can don't have to guess, we know what works.

Deploy
Once we're certain that we have an improvement to our existing form we make it live. We then keep watch to make sure it performs as it should and delivers the results we expect for us and our merchants.

Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to complete their finance application. We're always looking for ways to improve: reducing fields to a minimum so it's quicker to complete, changing pages, refining layouts, etc. The details are of course a secret but if you'd like to know more please do get in touch.

This whole process of improving our application form is something we're constantly doing in the background. It's just one of the many things that makes our technology second to none. The experience we give merchants offering finance and customers applying is what makes us unique as a finance provider. It's been a great year for innovation for us and we promise that next year will be even more exciting.

Richard Shepherd
Director of Product