Sentences like this can make your head spin if you aren’t used to today’s marketing jargon: “Siloed UX approaches based on traditional channel mentality are preventing organizations from delivering a seamless digital customer user experience to internal and external audiences.”  But it’s always fun to learn something new, isn’t it?

The term UX stands for User Experience, and it usually refers to the way a person interacts with a product – whether it’s real or digital.  Don Norman, co-founder of Nielsen Norman Group, coined the term while working for Apple. You can hear him talk about how it came to be in this brief video, if you’re curious. He makes the excellent point that our interaction with an item or website reflects how we experience the world and our lives. (Siloed, incidentally, means separated or isolated.)

In order to gauge the user experience of those interacting with your website, you need to look at it from the point of view of a consumer.  It’s helpful to sit side by side with a customer while they click through your pages, select an item, and try to make a purchase. The experience you bring to this exercise is probably vastly different than that of a person not familiar with your store and its merchandise.   I wish that our vendors would try this exercise too. One of our sales agencies has an excellent website that allows online ordering from its many lines – but the search engine frustrates me every time I use it. 

It’s easy to check on the customer experience of shopping in your store if you regularly talk to customers on the sales floor.  Asking your sales staff to pass on feedback from shoppers is also helpful – as is sending out a consumer survey asking for input.  But in many cases, those who create a store’s online customer experience are not the same as the people doing the buying and visual merchandising in the shop.  That can easily lead to a “siloed” experience, with a big difference between the in-person and virtual UX. While you want to strive for excellence in both cases, it’s also important for your branding that the two are consistent.

Any improvement in the experience of those shopping in your store or on your website should result in an increase in sales.  Make it a goal to dedicate some time and resources to getting your UX to go UP this year!

Happy retailing, 

Carol “Orange” Schroeder