Marketers Shifting Budget to Online User Experience

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Website user experience is becoming the major focal point for marketers in an increasingly competitive digital environment, according to research from E-consultancy and behavioral research consultancy Bunnyfoot, reports MarketingCharts.

The Usability and User Experience Report 2007 found that organizations, on average, are spending 13 percent of their website design budgets on usability; moreover, it found they are spending 9 percent of their ongoing website maintenance budget on usability.

Some 72 percent of UK organizations are planning to increase their usability budget over the next 12 months – a greater percentage* than for any other area of digital marketing, E-consultancy said.

The more than 700 internet marketers who took part in the research rated Amazon, the BBC and Google as the best websites for user experience.

According to the report, the biggest benefits of usability investment are…

Improved perceptions of brand
Increased conversion rates
Greater customer loyalty and retention
These were the top six benefits of usability, based on the number of company respondents who said they had been a “major benefit”:

Improved perceptions of brand (54 percent)
Increased conversion rates (53 percent)
Greater customer loyalty and retention (46 percent)
Increased customer advocacy (38 percent)
Increased traffic (36 percent)
Improved search rankings (33 percent)
The research also found that time pressure to get things done was the biggest barrier in the way of providing the best possible user experience: Some 56 percent of online marketers said this was one of the three biggest problems.

The next-biggest barriers cited by internet marketers were lack of internal resource (45 percent), lack of budget (37 percent) and company culture / politics (35 percent).

MarketingCharts provides more data and charts from the study.

* According to E-consultancy research, these are the percentages of U.K. organizations planning to raise their budgets in other areas of digital marketing: SEO (62 percent); paid search (60 percent); email (52 percent); affiliate marketing (40 percent); online display advertising (34 percent); mobile (20 percent) (Source: E-consultancy / Neutralize U.K. Search Engine Marketing Report 2007)

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