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2021 Digital Experience Benchmarks by Industry 

Lyssa Test

March 16, 2021 | 5 min read

Every year, Contentsquare releases a digital experience benchmark report to help businesses see how their digital experience stacks up against the world’s leading brands. This year’s report stands out for a few reasons. 

Firstly, it tracks and measures the change in consumer digital behaviors that took place over the last year and the digital transformation acceleration that many brands experienced after the onset of the pandemic. 

Secondly, this report is the biggest data report we’ve ever done, measuring over 20+ billion user sessions in 25+ different countries for 11+ industries

While we encourage you to read the full report to compare your digital performance to our digital experience benchmarks, we also wanted to share a handful of the report’s key findings and industry benchmarks for digital marketing. 

Here are some of the key insights we found in this year’s report:  

 

Website Traffic Benchmarks by Industry

The last few years have seen an increase in mobile traffic and 2020 was no exception. Last year, smartphones drove the bulk of online traffic, or 64%, across all industries. That’s a +16% increase since 2019. 

All Industry Traffic by Source

Device20202019
Desktop33.35%39%
Mobile63.81%55%
Tablet2.84%6%

 

More and more consumers are using their mobile devices to discover new brands, research products and services, and even convert. 

“The acceleration of smartphone usage observed in 2020 serves as a reminder that to remain competitive today, you need to offer a seamless experience on both your mobile site and app,” said Niki Hall, CMO at Contentsquare. “Smartphones are no longer just another way for visitors to interact and shop with your brand — they’re becoming the preferred way for consumers to discover and research new products and services.”

Of course, mobile traffic share varies wildly by industry. For example, most B2B visitors prefer to use computers, while customers shopping for clothes tend to favor browsing on their mobile phones. To help you see if your percentage of traffic share is in line with your sector, we’ve put together a list of website traffic benchmarks by industry: 

Website Traffic Benchmarks by Industry

IndustryDesktopMobileTablet
Apparel26%70%4%
Automotive40%57%4%
B2B81%17%1%
Beauty26%72%2%
Consumer Electronics32%65%3%
Energy49%48%2%
Financial Services57%40%2%
Grocery34%62%4%
Luxury22%76%2%
Travel41%56%3%
Telco39%59%2%

 

The luxury sector, in particular, seemed to dominate the mobile traffic share last year, with 76% of the industry’s visits originating from a mobile device – an interesting observation for an industry known for its in-person customer service and experience. Online luxury retailers also saw a -26% decrease in desktop traffic, which was offset by a +13% increase in mobile traffic share. Following closely behind were the beauty and apparel industries, which had smartphone users make up 72% and 70% of all online visits, respectively. 

 

Bounce Rate Benchmarks by Industry

First impressions matter, especially when 47% of website visitors abandon their journeys after viewing just one page on a website. Our 2021 Digital Experience Benchmark Report found that almost 1 in 2 visitors would rather leave than spend time on your site. Ouch. 

Across all industries, tablet users had the lowest bounce rates (42%), followed by desktop users (45%), and, finally, mobile users (49%). 

Average Bounce Rate by Device

DeviceAverage Bounce Rate
Desktop45%
Mobile49%
Tablet42%

 

As mobile continues to grow its share of internet traffic, brands need to continue to make the mobile experience a priority when designing and building digital experiences. With almost 50% of mobile users bouncing after viewing just one page, there’s still some work that needs to be done to create a mobile-first world. 

Looking at industry-specific bounce rate benchmarks, the B2B (75%), telco (56%), and beauty (47%) sectors had the highest bounce rates. With a bounce rate of 75%, clearly, B2B companies need to figure out why their visitors are unhappy. B2B sites’ bounce rates jumped even higher for mobile (77%) and tablet (83%), but luckily, the industry receives the majority of its traffic from desktop users. 

Average Bounce Rate Benchmark by Industry

IndustryAverage Bounce Rate
Apparel44%
Automotive45%
B2B75%
Beauty48%
Consumer Electronics44%
Energy38%
Financial Services47%
Grocery40%
Luxury46%
Travel43%
Telco56%
All Industries47%

 

The industries with the lowest bounce rates were energy (38%), grocery (40%), and travel (42%), which could be because their visitors are more intentional with their visits – paying bills, buying food, or researching travel deals.  

When splitting bounce rate benchmarks by industry up by device, you can get even more insight into which areas of digital experience companies need to invest in. Here’s a breakdown of bounce rate by industry and by device: 

Bounce Rate Industry Benchmarks by Device

IndustryDesktopMobileTablet
Apparel40%45%39%
Automotive41%48%42%
B2B75%77%83%
Beauty45%49%45%
Consumer Electronics43%46%38%
Energy29%48%43%
Financial Services43%51%45%
Grocery36%43%34%
Luxury44%47%42%
Travel42%43%41%
Telco51%59%51%

 

Today’s brands need to understand why their potential customers are leaving after they land. Is your site design confusing? Is your content not what your visitors were expecting? Is your page just taking forever to load? One or all of these factors could be turning off potential customers. Companies need the right tools, like Contentsquare, to analyze user behavior and make data-driven decisions to improve their digital experiences. srv

Download the full report

For even more data & insights, download the full 2021 Digital Experience Benchmark now.

Access The Report

Average Website Conversion Rate by Industry

At last, the metric that is the most influential in driving bottom-line business results: conversion rate. 

This year, Contentsquare data revealed an all-industry average conversion rate of 1.82%. Mobile’s conversion rate lagged behind, coming in at only 1.5%, suggesting that companies should continue to invest in simplifying their mobile checkout experiences to enhance conversion funnel optimization. Or, that even in a more digital world, customers prefer researching products and services online and pulling the conversion trigger on devices with larger screens, like desktops and tablets. 

Average Conversion Rate for All Industries by Device

DeviceAverage Conversion Rate
Desktop2.3%
Mobile1.5%
Tablet2.6%

Whatever the case may be, it’s important to take this number with a grain of salt, as every industry defines a conversion a little differently. For example, an apparel company might consider a conversion when a customer purchases a shirt, while a financial services company might count someone applying for a loan, opening a new checking account, or scheduling a call with a financial advisor. For that reason, we’ve included the average website conversion rate by industry below, so you can compare your company’s conversion rate to your industry conversion rate benchmark.

Average website conversion rate by industry

IndustryAverage Conversion Rate
Apparel2.6%
Automotive0.4%
B2B0.6%
Beauty3.2%
Consumer Electronics1.2%
Energy0.0%
Financial Services1.0%
Grocery5.0%
Luxury0.8%
Travel2.4%
Telco0.7%
All Industries1.82%

 

Average Session Duration by Industry

Session duration is a powerful indicator of whether your site visitors are engaging with your content, or if your experience leaves much to be desired. Even if a visitor only sees 3 pages of your site during their visit, if they spend quality time reading, interacting with, and learning about your products and services, they might be more likely to come back and eventually do business with your brand.

Across all industries, we saw the average user spends 4 minutes and 24 seconds per visit across all industries. That’s plenty of time to learn about a brand, browse a site, and, ultimately, convert. 

Average Session Duration by Industry

Industry

Average Session Duration (minutes)

Apparel4.20
Automotive4.87
B2B2.28
Beauty4.12
Consumer Electronics4.57
Energy4.14
Financial Services3.13
Grocery5.01
Luxury3.64
Travel4.78
Telco2.91
All Industries4.41

Average session duration did vary by industry, of course. The grocery (5.01), auto (4.87), and travel (4.78) industries had the highest average session duration of the sectors we reviewed. On the other hand, B2B (2.28), telco (2.91), and financial services (3.13) had the lowest time spent per visit. 

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This article is just a taste of the data and analysis included in our 2021 Digital Experience Benchmark report. For even more industry-specific data, expert analysis, and insights into how COVID-19 affected digital performance in 2020, download the full report. You’ll be able to see how your business stacks up and make informed decisions about your own digital experience.

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