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UX support remains top requirement for brands as skills gap widens

Major brands are struggling to find people with user experience (UX) skills and are searching globally to plug the gap.

That’s according to the latest Marketers Most Wanted report, which found that chief marketing officers and brand owners from some of the world’s largest companies are on the hunt for people and agencies with good UX skills.

The report, which monitors the actual briefs posted by chief marketing officers (CMOs) and brand owners on the Studiospace platform, found that UX made up 16.9% of briefs. This is a two point increase from the previous report and means UX tops the list for the second month in a row.

“The demand for UX skills is simply outstripping supply,” said Studiospace CEO Pete Sayburn (pictured, above).“There just aren’t that many people with the right mix of skills you need to be a UX designer. As a result, we are seeing a lot of demand and brands are taking a global approach to hiring agencies.”

Another skillset high on the list for CMOs is social media with 15.5% of requests, compared to 11.9% last month.

Marketing teams are handling a growing number of social media channels and are hiring agencies just to stay on top of it all,” added Sayburn. “We are also seeing demand for specific campaigns as well as videos, graphic design and copywriting.”

The survey found that demand for creative and production dipped slightly from 13.4% to 11.3%, moving from second into third place. Meanwhile, brand strategy remained fourth with 8.5%.

There was also a new entry for proposition design, coming in at joint fifth with software development on 8%.

“Major companies are looking to innovate and want to engage with tech specialists to do this,” said Sayburn. “In the current climate, budgets are tight but brands are exploring green and sustainability focused projects and want to work with engineers and designers to make changes to their core businesses. This trend has led to a number of briefs in the area of ‘proposition design’.”

The Marketers Most Wanted survey is published monthly and is based upon the actual briefs posted by CMOs and brand owners onto the Studiospace platform.

You can read the full report and further analysis by visiting the Studiospace blog.

Enhancing the mobile shopping experience (and improving conversion)

The B2C Retail Benchmark Report from Episerver predicts mobile share of traffic will exceed 60% during peak shopping events. However, the report shows mobile conversion rates are still trailing behind desktop. So, why do so many retailers and brands see this gap between their mobile traffic and sales?

In a guide produced by UX and CRO specialists from digital marketing agency twentysix, we look at common user experience issues when it comes to mobile, unveil opportunities to optimise customer behaviour and influence motivation, as well as discuss the importance of understanding your customers to take the guesswork out of your experience design.

Here are 5 tips to improve your mobile shopping experience, and ultimately, improve your conversion rates.

  1. Make your checkout as seamless as possible: Data shows us that mobile shoppers are often lost at checkout and users find filling in forms more difficult on mobile. Consider offering guest checkout options and efficient payment methods, such as Apple Pay.
  2. Reassure your mobile customers: Design for reassurance and transparency in mind to motivate shoppers. At every step, ask yourself the questions your customers might have e.g. what will they charge me for delivery?
  3. Be relevant: Avoid customers thinking your website and products are not relevant to them by displaying your main product categories on your homepage in an easy-to-scan form. On mobile screens, a clear value proposition, simple product category cards and text links attract attention.
  4. Be recognisable: The mere-exposure effect shows when things feel familiar, they are more appealing. Make sure your search and communications strategies are aligned with your website, using consistent messaging throughout the entire customer journey.
  5. Be personal: We’re more likely to respond to messaging and products that feel tailored to us. Use Customer Journey Mapping to understand your customers and where they are in their journey so that you can deliver timely, relevant content. 

It’s important to understand your customers as well as these wider trends. Consider gaining customer feedback and implementing research and testing to help you improve your customer journey and enhance your sales.

Download the full guide from twentysix here.