Greeting a customer coming into a shop and offering advice on the purchase of a product seems a distant memory to many. As the challenging COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to lift, consumer preferences are changing, and new habits are being formed.

While this new reality is not surprising to many, the impact of this digital coming of age seems even be more profound than first assumed, touching not just Generation Z, but older generations too. In China, the share of consumers over the age of forty-five using e-commerce increased by twenty-seven percent from January to February 2020, according to Chinese market-research firm QuestMobile.

In the heart of this digital expansion lies the experience customers are encountering with brands and businesses. Expectations are growing well beyond the hope that whatever the devices used, it should work. A more intuitive, elevated and rewarding encounter is becoming the norm.

Many components are at play behind offering such a satisfying experience. One fundamental aspect no company can shy away from is making sure all elements of the journey are working together, smoothly. To achieve that, it is essential to add usability testing, including payment testing into your product development lifecycle.

A genuine experience, not just a tick box exercise

There are many ways to approach testing, but usability clearly stands out as a foundational imperative to great customer experience.

Usability is one of the main reasons why 25% of all apps that are downloaded are used only once. In fact, experts estimate that a third of all shifts in customer loyalty are as a result of usability issues.

One element to the usability challenge is the customer experience in digital commerce payments. Research shows it is the lack of personalisation and continuous defects that stand continually in danger of increasing cart abandonment in the short term and driving customers permanently away in the long term.

In a review of more than 125 case studies, Gartner found that when used at the right touchpoints, personalisation boosts engagement, decreases cart abandonment, and increases revenue (up to 28%) and conversion (up to 71%).

New ecommerce challenges and opportunities are continually arising, specifically around customer experience. Done right, usability testing can help businesses understand and respond to these opportunities, developing better customer experiences that exponentially grow reputation and revenue.