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clutchbraveux-website-loyalty-factors-oct2016Considering that adults in the US visit an average of only about 50 sites per month, driving user loyalty is an important factor for brands today. A new survey of 1,001 heavy internet users (those who spend at least 4 hours using the internet each day) from Clutch and Brave UX delves into the factors that these respondents consider most important in their decision to continue using a website.

Valuable content/services/goods (94%) and ease-of-use (93%) emerged as the most important factors, with more than 9 in 10 respondents listing each of these as very or somewhat important. That’s an interesting result given previous research indicating that consumers value performance over content in the website experience. Of course, it’s easy to understand why the presence of desirable goods and services would generate repeat visitors. But the focus on ease-of-use is also of note as UX is one of digital marketers’ biggest skills gaps.

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Interestingly, despite a shift towards more visual assets in marketing, the visual appeal of a website matters to far fewer (66%) heavy internet users, according to the Clutch survey. That appears to stand in contrast to research from Adobe, which found that consumers place a premium on design. In particular, two-thirds (73% among Millennials) of respondents said they would rather read something beautifully designed than something simple and plain if they had only 15 minutes with which to do so.

The Clutch and Brave UX analysts also hypothesize that beauty may be more important than performance, noting the UX “phenomenon called aesthetic usability.” At the same time, they raise the continued success of Craigslist and email, which emphasize practicality over design. In the end, the analysts note that users are not rational, recommending that brands not “undervalue the unconscious bias toward an attractive website.”

The full survey results can be viewed here.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 1,001 heavy internet users aged 18 and older. Roughly two-thirds (69%) use Windows, 10% Mac OS and 21% another platform.

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