From UX to EX - Using Neuromarketing to Put Emotion at the Heart of the Brief
“Most neuroscientists would agree that well over 90% of our behavior is generated outside of consciousness. We are more slaves to our biology than we realize. Our rational minds represent a very small layer floating atop a vast well of unconscious drivers. Business leaders who understand biological programming and can leverage it possess an enormous advantage.” - Forbes
When it comes to eCommerce, brands put a great deal of time, money and effort into creating the best possible user experience. Designers and developers spend hundreds of hours focusing on speed and ease of use, but in their quest to create the most frictionless and efficient experience, they forget about the user’s emotions as they navigate through a brand’s eCommerce website.
In the age of digital, brands tend to prioritize rational thoughts and big data over emotion and creativity, however those with a better understanding of consumer behaviour know that it’s actually emotion that drives the decision to purchase and ultimately emotion that drives brand loyalty – which is why brands and designers need to start changing their focus from user experience (UX) to emotional experience (EX).
Brands like Disney and Apple - who are leading in the brand loyalty game - are changing their thinking from targeting emotionless, faceless ‘users’ to appealing to the human side of their consumers – the living, breathing, emotionally-driven consumers on the other side of the screen.
But brands don’t need big names like Disney and Apple to create emotionally engaging experiences for their customers.
So, how do you begin to design for the emotional consumer?
It begins with putting human understanding and emotion at the heart of every brief, and equipping your team with the proper tools to understand why consumers do what they do.
It is also important to adopt the mindset that understanding consumer emotion is both a science and a strategy, both of which can be made successful by employing the principles of neuromarketing to the design of your online store.
How to Emotionally Engage Online
Bricks and mortar retailers know that beautifully arranged and well-placed displays are emotionally engaging and key to driving sales inside their stores – so why shouldn’t those same principles be applied to an online shop?
However, identifying and measuring emotional motivators for online consumers can be very complicated. Customers themselves aren't even conscious of them – which is why brands are turning to neuromarketing more than ever.
Neuromarketing utilises tools from neuroscience, psychology and other biometric equipment to observe, measure and record emotional responses to media, such as an online store. These tools help brands read between the lines when it comes to understanding consumers' emotional decision making, and provide the insights they need to determine what influences consumer's emotional responses and emotional motivators.
These insights can influence the way products are displayed, the colours being used, the size of product images, the angle at which a product is displayed and how products are being modelled – all factors that can positively or negatively influence a consumer’s emotions and willingness to purchase.
To better understand how products should be displayed and how eCommerce sites should be designed using best EX practices, brands and designers can refer to six principles of Neuromarketing:
1. Processing fluency
2. Emotional Engagement
4. Attention Direction & Association
- When it comes to ecommerce, brands put a great deal of time, money and effort into creating the best possible user experience, but in their quest to create the most frictionless and efficient experience, they forget about the user’s emotions.