How a Good UX Plays a Role in Conversion Funnel Optimization

Conversions rarely occur on a whim; usually, there is a layered process behind ecommerce purchases. Known as the conversion funnel — or the sales funnel — this model shows the conduit between the least aware prospects to those who are most aware, interested and bent on conversions.  

Brands have to be both wary and strategic in the ways they set up conversions, and that is where the concept of the conversion funnel comes into utility. While no one can truly “set up” conversions, you can set the scene and command all the workings that bring visitors closer to converting by heeding the conversion funnel and optimizing it. 

As UX-perts, we like to blare the horns on the importance of UX, so it should come as no surprise that a good UX plays an important role in conversion rate optimization. Let’s take a look at how you can optimize your conversion rate by way of working in a good UX to the different stages of the conversion funnel.

What is the Conversion Funnel in Marketing?

The conversion funnel denotes a process in which brands work to turn potential customers into converting customers.

It is comprised of several stages, with each one indicating your customers’ level of brand awareness, interest, and willingness to buy — along with the gradual steps/ undertakings you can to take to lead users further down.

While the stages in each conversion funnel may differ from brand to brand, each shares the ultimate goal of “pushing” site users down to the very last step, which, evidently, represents conversions.

Through this structure, brands can group their potential customers into easy-to-understand categories, thereby dictating several efforts they can maneuver to encourage prospects further down the funnel.

There are various marketing tactics to drive customers down the conversion funnel; they can be deployed through more than one stage. Let’s dig deeper.

Via sabelskaya / Adobe Stock


Good UX in Conversion Funnel Optimization

Now that you know what a conversion funnel is, the next thing to cover is how to apply good UX practices that relate to each stage in the conversion funnel. The following spells out the ways brands can enhance their UX per each stage of the conversion funnel to optimize it and garner greater conversions.

Stage 1: Awareness

Sitting atop the conversion funnel as the entry point, the awareness stage is the stage with the least… awareness of your brand or offering. It’s also the stage with mounting awareness, as potential clients become cognizant of your business and click onto your website, the act which carries with it the possibility to spawn possible interest. 

But that requires capturing new customers. Think of Stage 1 as a person attempting to swoop butterflies into a net. They’d have to reach out to catch them with careful movements to assure they don’t miss out on snatching their butterflies, or in marketing, their business opportunities.

The same should go for your Stage 1 marketing endeavors. You need to be careful and methodical so you can securely create a heightened awareness of what your brand does. 

Educating potential customers to your brand involves using common practices such as:

You have to keep your target audience in mind and create your campaigns accordingly. But once you’ve brought new people onto your site, the UX must be optimized, or at least suitable to pique interest within visitors (lead them to step 2), or — even better — make them convert on the spot.

There is a slew of general ways to improve upon the user experience. But in regards to stage 1, users usually arrive at your site via a landing page. 

The UX has to be top tier on this page. Keep the copy and imagery relevant to the conversion goal, while making it clear what your brand does. The latter is more important since you’re introducing new prospects to your company. The copy and other contents on landing pages should be to the point, so steer clear of wasting users’ time. In short, don’t overload it.

Most importantly, construct the landing page so that it is relevant to the message that led visitors to click on it in the first place. 

Stage 2: Interest

Next, we reach the stage of interest. Now that prospective customers know your company exists, they have to frequent your website; simply knowing about your offering does not ensure they’ll return to your site or engage with your site or social media content.

Content is key in this step, as it can foster and maintain interest within your prospects. There’s a twofold approach for optimizing the conversion funnel: the first is the nature of the content and the second concerns the UX, or the feelings and attitudes users develop over their experience. 

The first element deals with the core of the content — the content type, its subject matter, how it can help with your prospects’ problems, its visual identity, etc. You would need to establish a blog with relevant posts to your industry or niche. 

Other useful content for stimulating user interest are:

You would have to make sure these align with the needs/interests of your vertical as well as making your content stand out and offer something different. Videos and other content, for example, should not focus on the product alone, but offer something of value — whether that’s inspirational content, news related to your niche or something else. 

As for the attitudes toward the content, i.e. the UX, consider the amount of content on your page; is it slowing down your site? If so, reduce it so that you never have issues with loading speeds. 

Make sure everything can be easily seen and accessed. This will encourage further browsing. For example, if you have an in-page element that requires scrolling, the width of it, at the very least, needs to be wide enough so all the content can be easily read. 

You should limit scrollable in-page content to one type of scrolling function (either by length or width, never both.) This is generally length, as this is easier to look through. Use carousels, in-page recommendations and links to other pages to incite browsing.

In fact, when it comes to the UX in general, be sure to keep it continually optimized so that all content elements are easy to understand and seamless. The best way to gauge customer understanding and frustration is of course to measure interactions with each element.

Via Artram / Adobe Stock

Stage 3: Desire

Once you’ve developed some level of interest, you need to propel prospects towards the lower half of the conversion funnel, which starts with desire. Representing a heightened interest, desire attracts users to your actual offering aside from your content alone. 

At this stage, you should make your product or service, as the stage suggests, desirable. It’s also where you have to distinguish your offering from that of your competitors, specifically, by positioning your company as the better option. 

This can be done by:

The users with the highest level of interest will sign up for a newsletter or other form of email communication. This is vital, as it enables you to see exactly who your most interested prospects are and market to them directly. 

For the Desire stage, your best bet is to arrange a drip campaign, or an automated email campaign, which can be set off by different triggers and sent at strategic periods. For example, when someone signs up or makes a purchase, you can then sent prewritten emails during key periods, such as sales, new blog posts, company news, etc.

Also, although they’re prewritten content, assure that emails are personalized with the prospects’ names or their company names. Emails that appear roboticized yield a poor UX.

As you may have gathered, content is as weighty a component at this stage as in others. You need to eliminate any traces of a poor UX, such as an image that appears clickable, but doesn’t actually take users to a landing page, enlarging the image instead, a common UX problem. Nothing spoils a customer journey like obstacles in the digital experience — another reason to measure user behavior.

Stage 4: Action

Last, but certainly not least, we’ve reached the final stage: action. This is the most targeted stage of the conversion funnel for obvious reasons. After pumping out UX-optimized content and building a relationship with potential customers, only a small portion of them will make it to this stage. 

Most will hang in the balance of desire and action, toggling between the two until they make the decision to either buy or bounce. This is where your UX can make or break you.

First, you need to ensure that the navigation of your product pages are neatly organized so that products are easy to find. Don’t succumb to the UX sin of overstuffing your navigation. Finding your product/service should be a seamless experience.

As for the product pages, each must have selection tools that make it easier for customers to filter out products by way of their particular needs. (Think of common product organization types like size, color, price, etc.)

Additionally, all aspects of this experience must promote purchases, from the ability to zoom in, to quick load times of the actual product pages (when clicked on from a multi-product page), to the product image quality.

Any element can be off-putting at this stage, including non-design bits like pricing, so make sure your UX is superb and built around actual customer intelligence.

VIa Mymemo / Adobe Stock


UX Insights Throughout the Conversion Funnel

Measuring the success of your marketing efforts does not end while you embark on optimizing the conversion funnel. In fact, you should not approach the conversion funnel as a standalone marketing tactic to reel in more conversions. 

This is because not all user experience exists in such a linear way. As such, it may ring true for some users but not all. Particularly, the customer decision journey can be seen as a contrast to the funnel. This can be observed by viewing user paths and segmenting your users to narrow behavior-based categories. 

By tackling a specific segment, you can customize the UX to that segment, to assure an optimized journey that reduces exists and bounces. For example, pure player brands understand that their content will not be consumed by a general audience. Only specific segments will visit their sites and social channels. As such, they create content that aligns with the interests of their segmented users.

 

Hero Image: Visual Generation / Adobe Stock

Fall/Winter Fashion Campaigns: How Brands Are Capitalizing On High Interest in New Collections

With fashion month in full bloom in the world’s four most glamorous cities, retailers and luxury brands are capitalizing on the collective excitement for all things sartorial to showcase their new Fall/Winter looks online. And judging by our findings, consumers are more than ready to give their wardrobes a makeover and explore new styles…

In this article, we examine the effects of Fall/Winter apparel campaigns on digital customer behavior, as well as their impact on revenue. 

Methodology 

To paint a clear picture of how US consumers respond to Fall/Winter collections campaigns, we analyzed data from 24 global fashion brands (including luxury and mainstream brands), focusing on their US sites. Our analysis runs through a month and a half worth of data, representing 98 million user sessions, spread out over 510 pages.

As part of our analysis, we compared the performance of Fall/Winter campaigns (or “new collections”) with that of the end-of-Summer 2019 campaigns (or “old collections”). 

Let’s learn more.

Fall/Winter 2019 Launches Increase Overall Revenue

The happy news for retailers is that the recently-launched Fall/Winter collections reaped larger average carts across all 3 devices. In fact, overall revenue was up 6.74% from the end of the summer campaigns, with the most impressive leap observed on tablet (+6.56%).

Conversion rates, however, did not follow the same upward trend — not on two device types, that is. . Desktop conversions on new fall collections stagnated at 2.19%, signaling no change in the conversion rate between the old and new collections. Tablet conversions lessened by 3%, further handing the victory torch to the end-of-summer collection in terms of conversion rates.

On the contrary, new collections on mobile outperformed old ones, with a 4.43% rise in conversions.

While the mobile conversion rate increase is slight, it nonetheless signals a significant opportunity for retailers, and a clear indication that consumers are willing to shop for new looks on their smartphone. Brands should thus not neglect capitalizing on their mobile UX

In fact, they should design with a mobile-first approach to digital. Aside from holding stock in revenue, mobile continued its high traffic trend. It was the most-trafficked device in BOTH old and new collections, hovering at around 72%, dwarfing desktop and tablet usage, which came in at 22.5% and 6%, respectively. 

Increased Acquisition Spend Leads to Higher Traffic

Now that we shined light on what is arguably the most important impact of Fashion Week, let’s veer into the beginning of the user journey: how visitors entered the websites we surveyed. 

According to our data, paid acquisition campaigns around the new collections paid off (pun intended). Brands primarily relied on paid sources to draw more users into Fall/Winter looks, including paid search campaigns (display ads) and paid social campaigns.

These paid acquisition campaigns resulted in traffic increases across all devices, with a whopping 289% growth in traffic from display ads and a sturdy 178% growth from paid social ads. It seems that if a brand is willing to put money behind ads for Winter/Fall fashions, customers are more than willing to click. 

Visitors Seek Fall/Winter Inspiration On The Homepage 

A high-level view of the digital customer behavior on the homepage reveals that, by the time the new collections roll in, visitors are eager to discover new trends and styles. 

The new styles drive a peak in customer interactions, with a higher click rate on the homepage slideshow (64% up from clicks on Summer items) and on the product tiles right below (+17%). 

There are fewer clicks on the search bar, which figures, as most consumers appear to be in a discovery/inspiration phase, accessing the new styles through the more visual, inspirational elements of the homepage. The click rate on the cart also goes down around the new season launch, corroborating the idea that consumers are primarily window-shopping.

It’s a good time for brands to make sure they’re getting the most ROI from the inspirational elements on the homepage, since the excitement for new season looks translates to heavier engagement with these areas of the site. Optimizing product pages to capitalize on this heightened interest is also key: if visitors are clicking on your Fall sweaters tile, make sure you follow through with a relevant selection of items and an easy path to conversion.

Inspirational Content Shouldn’t Slow Down The UX 

But with all this inspirational and visual content showcasing the season’s must-have items, some brands are running into speed issues.

On desktop, for example, homepage loading times were up 50% after the launch of the Fall/Winter collection — from 2.09 to 3.14 seconds. With a 4% increase on mobile, it seems brands have overall made some effort to keep load times down on smartphones.

It’s a delicate balance to achieve— on the one hand, you want to give consumers all the inspiration they are willing to consume, but not at the cost of stalling the customer journey. Analyzing customer interactions around each element of the page will help teams determine which content is truly driving conversions and which underperforming elements can be optimized, or altogether removed.

Fashion Week Campaigns Don’t Stimulate Store Locator Use 

Customers shopping for Fall looks seem less inclined to continue their journey offline than those looking for end-of-summer bargains. On mobile, the reach rate on the store locator was down -6% for consumers browsing the Fall/Winter collection. Desktop was hit the hardest with a -14% dip in the store locator reach rate.

It could be that with back-to-school, back-to-work, and general September busy-ness, many shoppers don’t have time to go to the stores. Then again, conversions are down too, so it could be that this is a time for window shopping and eyeing up what’s on offer for the months to come.

Optimizing New Collections Campaigns

The unveiling of Fall/Winter collections is a potent engagement driver, and consumers are not shy about clicking on ads and images to be educated about the new season’s looks. With higher engagement and revenue, these campaigns have plenty of potential. 

From post-click optimization to ongoing analysis of your key homepage areas, a granular read of your customers’ experience will uncover any areas of opportunity and help you refine underperforming content.

Remember to reduce your page loading times (long loading times are a major UX offense) and create seamless mobile experiences to reel in the most profit from this short-lived yet critical shopping season.

 

The Digital Experience Report: The Insurance Sector

Aggregators’ laser focus on digital experience has given them an edge when it comes to online conversion. They leverage data to understand how their users behave and buy online, which enables them to A/B test improvements quickly and efficiently to drive sales.

Identifying purchasing trends allows them to spot up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, react to changing customer expectations, and tailor products to meet user needs. Insurers would do well to imitate. 50% of Online Insurance in Europe is sold via aggregators.

Ecosystems Will Account For 30% Of Global Revenues By 2025

7 of the 10 largest companies by market capitalization are ecosystems – Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Tencent. 

Ecosystems’ one main focus is to have customer-centric digital activity. Their expansion puts insurance brands at risk. Products like Amazon Protect, focused on device insurance, are the first examples of a potentially untapped market for these tech giants.

Insuretech

9 In 10 Insurers Fear Losing Part Of Their Business to Fintechs

Pressure on margins, loss of market share and information security are among the top concerns for insurers, but according to PwC, a large proportion also see opportunity. Many think new technologies can offer reduced costs through automation, improved customer retention and a differentiated service.

Insurers

71% Of Consumers Surveyed Used Some Form Of Digital Research Before Buying Insurance

To compete, insurers must adopt the same customer-first mentality as digital leaders like Amazon. Namely: A relentless focus on finding and eliminating friction, particularly for key journeys like account registration, troubleshooting and account management.

Many companies fail to improve customer journeys because discovering what customers value isn’t easy. Translating that understanding into operational performance improvements is even harder, requiring deep customer insight, robust analytics, and a detailed model of key customer journeys, with ownership across functions and end-to-end management. 

Digital channels like web and app offer important opportunities to analyze customer interactions and uncover friction. This data is essential to creating services that don’t just work, but delight customers.

Insurance Trends

Traffic per Device: Traffic shifted from desktop to mobile in 2019 – a 48% increase from 2018.

Number of Pages Seen: Visitors seem to consume more content per page, with an increase in the session time (+35% on desktop) but a decrease in the number of pages viewed on average (-6% on desktop).

Percentage of Content That Is Never Seen: Despite visitors consuming more content per page, the percentage of content that is never seen increased.

Average Page Views For A Lead Generation Visit: Visitors consume lots of content before converting whether this is informational content or the form pages themselves.

The Problem

Insight into customer behavior trends is crucial to building an online experience to rival the Amazons of the world. Yet insurance brands still frequently struggle to understand the “why” behind customer behavior, and many still use tools like Google Analytics to get answers. While these tools effectively answer the “what” – ie. which pages are being viewed and for how long, this information doesn’t help when attempting to understand visitor behavior at scale. 

Many rely on session replay tools to try and uncover user experience issues, but few have the time to gain effective insight. Others rely on analysts to answer their on-site questions. This too requires significant time and manual effort, and puts a strain on analyst resources. 

The “Tag, Wait and Learn” methodology is outdated. It relies on having to guess where issues might be ahead of time, leaving businesses “not knowing what they don’t know.”

A Solution?

UX Analytics helps organizations make faster, smarter decisions by giving each team the means to answer their own optimization questions. With these tools, they can access aggregated data on visitor behavior; robust enough to underpin data-driven decisions, and presented in a way that even non-analysts can understand. Contentsquare’s platform is purpose-built to be easy to use, accessible to a large number of users, and not to sit siloed within Analytics teams.

According to our Digital Experience Report on insurance Bank of America has 30 people trained on the tool to measure the impact of every experience, and piece of content. 

 

Find out how Contentsquare’s solutions can help insurance brands by accessing “The Digital Experience Report – Insurance” below

Why Digital Experience Analytics Matters

Analytics have made a splash in the realm of marketing, to say the least. The need for data is more apparent than ever, as more brands are marketing themselves under the coveted category of “data-driven.” In reality, they are not becoming data-driven fast enough, if at all. 

We can vouch for the fact that data trumps intuition, but aside from arming yourself with industry data that relates to your vertical for market research, it’s also vital to compile site data on your own site visitors. That’s where digital experience analytics solution enters the picture, and it does so in a substantial way. 

Most web analytics platforms show how a websites is accessed, along with some of the activity that occurs on it. Granular digital experience analytics takes this further, in a concerted effort to measure digital customer experience (CX). As such, it offers acute data sets, visualizations and metrics that evaluate and quantify how visitors interact with the individual elements of your website. But not all user experience analytics solutions provide the same granularity of data.  

Most analytics platforms do not take user insights a step further, so they do not give you a more granular performance review of your site or app, meaning that you wouldn’t be able to comprehend how each in-page element is used and how it contributes to a broad set of KPIs. 

In short, user experience analytics is a functionality designed to give you insights into visitors’ user experience. It’s incredibly important for both marketers, web developers and designers alike, as it dictates their strategy and implementations. But not all DX platforms offer the same capabilities.

So why exactly does digital experience analytics matter? Let’s find out.

Understanding Your Customers

If you don’t understand your customers, your website will show, leading to reduced activity, heightened bounces and poor conversion rates. Digital experience analytics allows you to segment your audience based on their behavior, and unlock a much deeper understanding of their needs and expectations.

From what visitors are trying to achieve and how they want to go about achieving it, to what causes frustration along their customer journey, analytics gives brands a nuanced read of these occurrences. Pure play brands are masters at leveraging this type of customer intelligence as they hyper-target their offerings to specific segments. With this approach, they are not attempting to be all things to all users, but are tapping into the minds of their most profitable segments, implementing high levels of customization.  

Behavioral analytics can highlight visitors’ distinctive behaviors on your website, such as where they are most engaged, where they click and how often, the frequency of their hovers on a particular part of a page, the time they spend per page or element and much more.

We recently helped, travel leader Pierre & Vacances identify customer preferences for targeted optimizations. After analyzing customer behavior on its holiday property search results page, the brand found that site visitors were interacting heavily with the “number of rooms” filter (it had a high click rate and a hearty dose of conversions).

However, this filter was lost among a wealth of other filtering options. Based on this intelligence, the brand placed the filter in the second position on the filter bar, making it easier for users to find it. 

The moral of their story is that once you’ve figured out through  DX analysis what your users’ precise intentions are, you can then go about improving your digital experience to allow them to seamlessly complete their intended tasks without incurring any frustration. 

Additionally, it’s interesting to learn about online behaviors of visitors in different regions of the world. As per our Global UX Map, a comprehensive report on the user behavior of visitors in 7 countries, we’ve found just that.

For example, we learned that visitors China are happy to engage with visuals, with a slideshow click rate of 5.5, so adding product images on your China site makes for a great UX. On the contrary, using a lot of visuals like slideshows is less well-received by visitors in the US and Italy, which have the respective click rates of 1.3 and 2.5 on the slideshow, the lowest of all the surveyed countries. 

In both of these cases, DX analytics has the prowess to empower digital teams with localizing knowledge that can assure a positive UX for global users. 

Creating Data-Driven CX Decisions 

Digital experience analytics matter where website design is concerned, as it dictates what the experience will look like for visitors. If it doesn’t, chances are, your analytics platform isn’t very robust and offers little else aside from a traditional traffic analysis. 

A granular user experience analytics space empowers its users to make data-driven CX (customer experience) decisions, and if you couldn’t tell from this blog, CX is not something to ignore. It is critical for the sake of both acquisition and retention, especially the latter, which is important for maintaining a steady revenue stream.

With data providing multiple reference points to optimize your content, you can do so innovatively and confidently. An optimized CX will make it so that you can streamline your customer journeys and remove frustrations, the latter of which impedes conversions. It can also help you detect if there are any errors in the elements that yield conversions themselves, such as CTAs, form fields and buttons that signal making a purchase.

But it doesn’t end with conversion-bound elements. A deep experience analysis can identify a host of other faulty site elements which stir your site visitors into leaving. That’s where a data-driven analysis comes into play, finding pesky problems in the design and structure of your website that can have grim consequences on your CX.

A data-backed CX optimization plan acts as a security net for brands seeking to try new things on their sites. Perhaps there’s a trendy feature you want to try out or a new setup of a crucial site element. Delving into new implementations is a rocky road, but with data on your side, you’ll be informed as to what works and what doesn’t.

Furthermore, making data-driven decisions allows all team members to own business goals, measure the contribution of their revenue and quantify the ROI of the experience.

Making Headway in Conversions

After you’ve done your CX homework, testing what strategies work and keeping close tabs on how your website is used, you check to see the impact. Which ROI is more important than conversions? Most marketers would agree that conversions are of the utmost importance for a business if not one of the most important.

Aside from boosting conversions, digital experience analytics assists in all the steps leading up to conversions, as it visualizes user flows with customer journey mapping. Understanding how users navigate your site is the first marker of what needs to be improved, along with indicating what works and what drives interest among visitors.

As such, granular analytics provides the relevant data and metrics for CRO (conversion rate optimization). Optimizing conversions always starts with measuring the experience on your site and/or app. As for preserving retention, a chief business goal, digital experience insights will assure you know what works and what doesn’t — essentially giving you more knowledge into how to retain conversions by keeping hold of the same site visitors.

Getting The Most Out Of Digital Experience Insights 

Digital experience analytics carry weight with the entirety of your user experience, as it can quantify a host of user data: their interactions, hesitations, frustrations, etc. on your website. Because of this, it should be a top-priority implementation into your marketing plans. However, not all user experience platforms have the same built-in capabilities — particularly the actionable, full-picture data of all the goings-on of your website. 

For example, not all of such platforms analyze individual site elements and how they fare in traditional metrics, let alone more robust ones. So you should be selective when choosing your experience analytics software. Don’t forget: you ought to aim for retention over acquisition, as once your users visit your site and enjoy what they experience, the likelihood of them returning shoots up.

 

Firsthand Insights from Salesforce Connections 2019

The third week of June marked the annual Salesforce Connections, a 3-day event centered on building potent customer experiences using the Salesforce platform. It was the perfect timing since one week before, we announced our integration with Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud — a partnership that allows Salesforce Cloud clients to access Contentsquare insights in an enriched eCommerce management experience.

Besides running our own booth and sharing our customer experience tips with digital leaders from every vertical, we soaked up a wealth of insights from trailblazers in retail and walked away with some learnings of our own.

Here is what we learned at Connections 2019.

Strategizing the Lifetime Value of Customers

Our first takeaway from the customer experience event is one of the most important things any e-tail player should know, and any business owner for that matter: the maintenance of the lifetime value of customers. Ecommerce platforms can particularly capitalize on this, having the digital space at the core of their communication and access to a wealth of data about the preferences and shopping habits of their audience. 

The lifetime value of customers, as its name suggests, refers to the continuous value that a select customer base can bring you. These customers are more than one-time buyers; rather they are those that have established something of a loyalty-based relationship with your brand, and as such are the best candidates for cross and upsells.

The idea behind lifetime customers involves positing a strong grip on customer retention — and beyond. The latter point of “beyond” refers to creating unique customer experiences set to distinguish you from other e-tailers, and by providing friction-free customer journeys across all channels. 

With personalization now one of the standards of a good customer experience, being able to deliver highly customized, intent-based experiences to your audience will go a long way in securing their loyalty. And we’re not simply talking of personalized emails or product recommendations — understanding the nuances of customer behavior and navigation patterns is key to creating journeys that speak to what your customers are trying to achieve and how they wish to go about it. 

Taking the 360° Approach to Customer Experience

There was also much talk about how marketing tactics can best benefit from a 360-degree approach, i.e., one that adds value for customers in every channel and at every touchpoint. 

Consumers today expect to integrate multiple digital — and offline — touchpoints into their shopping routine. This omnichannel approach gives brands access to more consumer behavior data than ever before, and digital leaders have already been leveraging this wealth of data to fine-tune the experience for their most profitable segments.

Brands today cannot be successful unless they understand what is engaging your customers and where they’re struggling. You can begin this on digital, since some aspects of digital experience (DX) can be transitioned into other marketing channels — even the nondigital variety. For example, some images perform better than others; some copy engages better than others. You can measure it on digital first before going forward.

We set up shop at Salesforce Connections 2019.


Automating the Digital Experience

Customer expectations of a streamlined experience have pushed brands to experiment with automated solutions across channels. Implementing automation in transmission strategies (think MailChimp and other mass email platforms, social media and text messages) has been the dominating  automation technique and has helped brands deliver individualized messaging to consumers. 

But aside from automation that facilitates content transmissions brands are also investing in tools to automate processes, such as conversational bots that guide navigation and replicate a level of customer service and guidance more often found in-store.

And the impact of automation is not just client-facing. As the volume of customer behavioral data increases, so does a brand’s capacity to predict behavioral patterns and UX performance trends.

This ties into the idea of artificial intelligence (AI), where machines can take automatic actions based on their own programming, rather than that of human command. AI can extend to the analytics space, granting you crucial alerts on customer behavior deviations or unusual happenings on your site. 

Creating an Optimal Customer Experience

Marketers and ecommerce professionals should always be on the lookout for methods to deliver an exceptional customer experience. While you can’t read your customers’ minds, you can always theorize their intentions with concentrated behavioral data. Customers are communicating with your brand with every digital interaction — analyzing their journeys and in-page behavior is the best way to learn what they are trying to achieve and what is preventing them from completing an experience or transaction. 

Aside from our learnings from Connections, we want to point out that we don’t only boast about building fantastic customer experiences; experience runs deep in our blood. During Connections, we brought out our friends from GoPro, whose bold, unique approach to digital content creation is a true inspiration. If you didn’t get a chance to pick up one of our “Golden Tickets” and chat with our team of UX-perts, don’t forget we’re always on hand to answer your customer experience questions!

Father’s Day Campaigns: What Over 100 Million Sessions Reveal About Gifting Behavior for Dads

Father’s Day is fast approaching, with only a few days left to buy something to show Dad you care, come June 16th. That means Father’s Day campaigns were in full swing from mid-May until these last few days. Much like with Mother’s Day campaigns, we’ve been keeping track of what retailers are doing to boost sales ahead of the special day.

To understand digital gift-buying for dads, we analyzed the behavior of customers interacting with Father’s Day campaigns, including father-themed slideshows, carousels and banners. We included 100 million visitor sessions and 500 million pages in our research, collating behavioral data over the course of four weeks. We focused on campaigns in the apparel, technology, cosmetics and jewelry (particularly watches) fields.

Low Attractiveness on Father’s Day Campaigns

The first conclusion we drew from our analysis is that — sadly for dads — Father’s Day campaigns are less attractive to consumers that Mother’s Day promotions.

Category pages for Father’s Day products, for example, have a significantly lower reach rate than their Mother’s Day counterparts both on desktop (-71%) and mobile (-50%).

Consumers are also much less likely to click on a Father’s Day slideshow than on a Mother’s Day slideshow, judging by the 37% lower click rate. And even if they do click, they’re simply not as willing to make a purchase for their fathers as they are for their moms. In fact, the conversion rate for Father’s Day campaigns slideshows is 68% lower than its Mother’s Day equivalent.

And for retailers running Father’s Day campaigns, the reach rate for these special category pages is 96% lower than the average category page reach rate on desktop and 93% lower on mobile. Meaning, for many consumers, it’s business as usual around Father’s Day.

So how can retailers drum up more interest around these campaigns? Well, with Mother’s Day Campaigns the firm favorite among consumers, why not remind customers shopping for their moms that Father’s Day is just around the corner? You could also offer promo codes for both events jointly, so that the two celebrations can support each other, retail-wise.

Positive Impact on Conversions from Father’s Day Campaigns

But it’s not all doom and gloom. While they’re not commanding as much interest as  Mother’s Day Campaigns, Father’s Day category pages perform pretty well when it comes to conversions. Pages showcasing gifts for dads recorded an average 7.08% conversion rate on desktop — that’s 77% higher than regular category pages. And it’s the same story on mobile, with a 78% higher conversion rate for these special events pages.

Mother’s Day category pages did not perform quite as well compared to regular pages, driving 26% fewer conversions on desktop, and a mere 4% conversion increase on mobile.

There are a few things brands can do to capitalize on this high conversion potential and further optimize the conversion rate of their category pages. Implementing helpful, accurate filters will help shorten the journey to the product. Providing reassurance messaging around fast delivery and shipping options will remove further hesitation from the purchase journey. And ensuring the promo code is easy to submit at checkout adds even more value to the experience and will make your customers happy.

List Pages Cannibalizing Products Pages for a Quick Buy Effect

Desktop visitors spend 51% more time on Father’s Day category pages than on regular category pages. Mobile visitors also linger on these pages, but only 14% more than they do on regular category pages. What’s interesting though is that, despite spending more time on these pages, visitors are also more likely to choose the quick-buy option — 7% more interactions with this feature on desktop, and 10% more on mobile, versus regular category pages.

The scroll rate on Father’s Day pages is 17% lower than on Mother’s Day pages — both on mobile and desktop. And on desktop the activity rate on Father’s Day category pages is 13% lower than on their Mother’s Day counterparts.

What does this tell us? That customers are less inclined to interact with these pages and favor quick paths to purchase. A lengthy stay on these pages suggests these quick-buy options don’t always meet consumer standards.

Adding reassurance elements in the quick buy pop-up along with product and shipping info will cut out unnecessary steps for determined shoppers. Making filters highly visible and helpful will also appeal to rushed consumers as will optimizing the search bar so it displays shortcuts to your Father’s Day gift pages. And finally, simplifying the checkout and adding a guest checkout option will go a long way to converting consumers who simply don’t have the time to sign up for an account or retrieve a lost password.

Visitors Spend Less on Father’s Day Gifts

At the end of the day, we know the question on everyone’s lips: who do consumers spend more on — their dads or their moms? Painful as it may be to hear for some, our analysis of cart averages shows people are more generous when it comes to their mothers.

Father’s Day carts are lower than the average cart by 19% on desktop. The trend is reversed on mobile, but only by a mere 1.16% increase. Comparatively, the average Mother’s Day cart is 84% higher than the average cart on desktop and 63% higher on mobile.

One way to up revenue per buyer is to offer gift sets with higher price tags and a bigger value for customers. These are great ways to inspire slightly less interested customers, by suggesting bundles and gift sets they might not have thought about themselves.

Seizing the Potential of Father’s Day Campaigns

A side by side comparison reveals that, overall, Mother’s Day campaigns perform better than Father’s Day campaigns, save for a few metrics. However, fret not, as the holiday celebrating dads still comes with a wealth of potential to boost your sales. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s most exhaustive retail association, shoppers are set to spend $16 billion on Father’s Day in 2019 —an all-time high for the holiday.

With the right strategy, underpinned by continuous monitoring of customer engagement and conversions, brands can maximize the potential of their Father’s Day campaigns. The addition of slideshows and banners with Father’s Day gifts on display can be gainful for businesses —the key is to give consumers what they want, i.e. quick gifting suggestions and easy ways to complete purchases.

Father’s Day 2020 is a whole year away, giving brands plenty of time to implement a data-driven strategy that will make customer-centric optimizations child’s play.

 

Contentsquare and Monetate Bridge Customer Experience Gap Between Brands and People

NEW YORK, LONDON & CANNES, France–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Contentsquare, a leading digital experience insights optimization platform today announced its partnership with Monetate, the worldwide leader in personalization for UX and customer experience optimization.

This strategic partnership enables global brands to deliver better personalization, experience stronger ROI and improve the lifetime value of customers. As for the 73% of consumers who feel brands fall short of expectations when delivering a personalized experience, this collaboration closes this gap.

“The partnership between Contentsquare and Monetate opens up exciting possibilities for brands who understand the retention and revenue potential of contextual personalization,” said Jonathan Cherki, CEO and Founder, Contentsquare. “By activating individualized journeys based on a visitor’s context and goals, brands will connect with customers in a way that sustains competitive advantage.”

International Brands like Clarks and Dreams Benefit from Contentsquare-Monetate Integration

With the majority of North America and UK consumers (63%) expecting personalized experiences,* the main challenge for brands is often a technical one. Our research shows data architecture emerged as a top challenge, preventing businesses from meeting or exceeding revenue goals. By combining Contentsquare’s unique ability to understand digital behavior and identify challenges and opportunities within a consumer’s online experience with Monetate’s programmatic personalization engine – the only solution bringing actionable insights into one platform – brands can save time and resources, recognize new revenue and build a lasting relationship with consumers.

Global footwear retailer Clarks and popular mattress retailer Dreams currently benefit from the Contentsquare-Monetate collaboration. For giant brands like Clarks, the technology implementation is a seamless, behind-the-scenes integration that advances how their ecommerce businesses operate to improve the online customer experience.

“Both the frequency of our testing and the success of our personalization efforts improved since adopting Contentsquare alongside Monetate. With Contentsquare, we can quickly identify sub-optimal visitor behavior and areas of focus,” said Andy Rayner, UX and CRO Manager at Dreams. “It’s refreshing to have a complementary suite of market-leading technologies which enhance each other.”

“Contentsquare plays a huge role in helping Clarks improve our checkout journey, reduce abandonment and increase on-site conversions,” said Andrew Brimble, Lead Performance Analyst, Clarks. “Like most ecommerce teams, a key challenge for us is knowing where to focus and prioritize, and with the Monetate integration, we’re able to see and take action on this faster.”

“Monetate’s collaboration with Contentsquare allows us to close the loop for brand marketers by allowing them to spot challenges and opportunities faster, act on them faster, and continuously evaluate their campaigns to make incremental gains in their marketing strategies,” said Stephen Collins, CEO, Monetate. “Together, we’re able to help consumer brands around the world overcome common speedbumps in realizing greater ROI and stronger customer relationships.”

Key Benefits for Brands & their Customer Experience

Monetate and Contentsquare have been strategic partners since 2018. In less than a year, dozens of retail, travel and hospitality brands across key markets in the Americas, Europe and APAC are improving their CX and bottom line through this collaboration.

To meet with Monetate and Contentsquare at Cannes 2019, visit: https://get.monetate.com/monetate-at-cannes-lions/

Lapeyre Chooses Contentsquare to Boost its Customer Experience Strategy

French homeware giant Lapeyre chose Contentsquare to help accelerate digital growth and implement a data-driven customer experience strategy. Here’s a closer look at the reasons why…

Main objective: Continued Growth, Customer-Centricity and a Data-Driven Organization

Lapeyre, a subsidiary of the multinational French corporation Saint Gobain, has partnered with Contentsquare to bolster its digital strategy with actionable insights into digital customer behavior. Lapeyre.fr is at the heart of the brand’s customer experience strategy, and the digital team was looking for a solution to measure visitor behavior and help improve customer journeys across the board.

To stay ahead in a highly competitive market, Laypeyre’s goal was twofold: maintain the double-digit growth of its online sales while guaranteeing a seamless omnichannel experience for customers thanks to a data-driven organization.

Contentsquare, a Logical Choice for an Optimized Customer Experience Strategy

There are several reasons the popular homeware store decided to partner with Contentsquare, not least the platform’s ability to capture and analyze millions of visitor sessions, and to provide actionable recommendations without the need for a tagging plan. Accessibility and ease of use were also key decision factors.

Immediate ROI and continued UX improvements

Using the journey analysis feature and the zone-based heatmaps, Lapeyre was able to start leveraging Contentsquare recommendations right away.

This allowed teams to prioritize optimization efforts but also had an impact on the testing strategy, generating uplift with fewer, more focused tests.  

The objective: continuous improvement of the User Experience (UX) on ideal purchase journeys and a steady conversion rate optimization.

The AI Alerts feature was a key decision factor for Lapeyre.


Interview with Yann Guillaud, Head of E-Commerce at Lapeyre

Contentsquare : What commercial challenges is Lapeyre facing today? Is the competition fierce?

Yann GUILLAUD : Yes, there is heavy competition. Lapeyre exists in a complex and competitive environment, at the crossroads of many different types of brands. There are the DIY/home improvement giants (Leroy Merlin, Castorama), the specialized stores (kitchen outfitters, carpentry and joinery specialists, etc…) and the furniture brands (Ikea, But, etc).

Today, Lapeyre’s goal is twofold: to grow revenue and to offer a seamless, omnichannel user experience. This is a necessity for all brick-and-mortar brands. We are focusing our efforts on acquiring revenue-generating traffic and we’ve already significantly increased our conversion rate.

We also encourage our customers to head in-store to benefit from the expertise of our sales associates, particularly when it comes to bigger home renovation projects (such as kitchen or bathroom remodels) or for tailor-made products (windows, doors, staircases). That’s why drive-to-store and in-store appointments are also an objective for us.

Courtesy of https://www.lapeyrestair.com/

 

Contentsquare : How does Contentsquare fit into your sales strategy?

Yann GUILLAUD : Contentsquare is perfectly aligned with our growth objectives and our customer experience goals. Thanks to Contentsquare and the AI alerts feature, our team is not only capable of identifying short-term and long-term growth opportunities, but also to streamline the user experience on a daily basis.

 

Contentsquare : Which teams use Contentsquare at Lapeyre?

Yann GUILLAUD : The Contentsquare platform is mainly used by the eCommerce teams, and that’s why we chose this solution. Its ease of use, which requires no prior expertise (code, etc) was a key factor in our decision.

How To Satisfy Modern Online Shoppers’ Needs Without Losing Your Mind

Customers are demanding. Like that Queen song goes: “I want it all, and I want it now.”

Modern shoppers, especially Millennial and Gen Z, have set the stage for today’s shopping because they’re the largest demographics for most sales and are seeing gains in their income. While their needs originally were different than older consumers, their demands have become standard requests even for Boomers.

Chief among the current trends that the modern shopper wants are a social media presence, a smart web design, quality goods, quick shipping, sticking to your promises, and making the whole purchase process simpler.

These are a lot of needs to meet, but your eCommerce store can definitely do it when you take direct, deliberate steps. Let’s explore some of those steps you can start taking right now.

Social Media Activity

You’ve long heard your marketing team tell you to get on Twitter or other social media platforms. You might have heard about the surveys saying social media can generate sales and increases engagement. There are a lot of smart reasons to join social.

What we want to focus on right now is how to act on social in order to make a strong connection with your customers. At the heart of it, it all comes down to transparency. Customers want you to be open and honest, and to use social to do that.

Transparency matters more than ever. Millennials rank social as the top channel for you to be transparent and say that on social they want honesty from you more than they want it from politicians.

Here are the things they believe matter most:

Those are an amazing guide for your social activity and ads. Focus on customer service and responding to questions above all else. When things go wrong, follow the proven practice of admitting it and then fixing it. Ads can contain pricing as well as language on your manufacturing processes when applicable, which can also help engender trust with the customer.

Customers expect you to be more transparent, and some 58% believe it is a moral obligation for you to be honest.

Smart Web Design

Why does almost every article on modern web design focus on minimalism in some form? Because we’re all overloaded from the 20,000 different things vying for our attention. When you’re nothing but noise, people will head for the hills. Millennials are the worst at this with 41% struggling with information overload, while only 31% of Boomers say this.

So, how do you design in a way that promotes sales for your products while also not causing migraines? Start with the smartphone. Design for this real estate and you’ll naturally slim down and focus on what’s important. Mobile-first is a terrific way to ensure that you’re minimalist too.

Next, move to what we were just talking about: transparency around your brand.

For web design, transparency and honesty aren’t about showing the underwork but more about telling your story. Humans have been telling stories since time immemorial; it’s how we connect with each other.

Tell your story clearly and consistently on every page. For example, you’re not a clothing retailer; you help people find their style to feel good about themselves and express their individuality.

Once you have that theme, focus on the elements that relate to the customer and your interactions. The theme should be reflected in the photos you choose, the colors and font on your site, the extra information you provide, and the transparency you give around size charts, shipping costs, and more.

 

 

Skip out on the stock images and crowded ads or pop-ups. Clear away the clutter to get to a clean visual that’s visually appealing and shares your story while providing customers the details they need to make a decision.

The final piece of the puzzle is two types of recommendations: products and people. Follow Amazon’s example of showing products that are similar or ones that people who viewed product A also purchased. Second, bring in your social posts from followers and customer review to lend authenticity to the claims you make about the products.

You want to show people how these goods achieve that theme above, and then provide examples of real people who say that too.

Quality Products

It’s not surprising that people want quality products. No customers want to get ripped off, so every business focuses on some level of quality. Your business needs to define that quality level and then stick to it. Customers are more loyal when product quality stays consistent over time. You don’t have to be Apple, but you do need to meet the initial expectations that your customers expect.

One note here is that money is tight for many of your customers, though overall wages in the U.S. are starting to rise. So, you might be competing to get users from your competitors as people move away from their preferred brands.

Quality in the Millennial and Gen Z focus also means a product worth sharing. Make it something they enjoy using or wearing and would be willing to put on social media. Achieving that means you get great word-of-mouth marketing, a chance at influencer tactics, and plenty of quality reviews to add to your site.

Rapid Shipping

Shipping is a major pain point for many etailers, since your customers demand it to happen quickly and they don’t really care about logistics variables that may be beyond your control. As of 2019, Amazon Prime has roughly 100 million subscribers. They spent more than $1,500 on Amazon each year, and the shipping is a major point of interest for them.

A recent study also notes that twice as many customers took advantage of same-day shipping options in 2018 compared to 2017. And the kicker: 99% of U.S. consumers believe “fast delivery” is important.

That means you need to provide this yourself or work with an order fulfillment company that promises these delivery speeds, and you should make these promises clear. You could easily lose a sale by having slow shipping options or overly unaffordable prices.

Also, in the shipping column is the ability to track a purchase. People are willing to pay for faster shipping, so they want to know if you’re delivering on your end. About half of online shoppers in the U.S. have canceled an online order because the delivery was too slow.

A Simple Purchase Process

Along the same lines of the shipping being high-quality, customers want the purchase experience to be that way too. They don’t want huge forms or complex options, hidden costs, or even to be forced into creating an account when they’re not interested.

If someone wants to buy as a “guest,” you might lose their dollars if you don’t allow that option.

Simple shopping includes a clean and clear cart that is transparent around product costs, added fees for shipping or taxes, and shipping times. Keep this visible at all times to build more trust.

Unfortunately, most eCommerce customers in any demographic will consider or completely abandon a shopping cart at some point this year. What you can do to fight against this is to use retargeting advertising mechanisms. Cart abandonment is also the reason for one of the 17 must-send emails for your company.

Nearly 70% of carts are abandoned but sending that email can get people to come back, especially if you offer something like free shipping.

What’s important for that retargeting is it will only be successful if the purchase process they return to is simple and effective.

Corporate Promises

One of the biggest tactics for reaching Gen Z is to publish and perform corporate responsibility.

This demographic, as well as Millennials, wants a company to be authentic and share their altruistic beliefs. You need to genuinely believe in something and promote it. Do this, and you can grow your bottom line.

Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, puts a human face on any brand. It allows customers to see that you care about a cause and are actively putting money toward it. They then get the benefit of saying the products they use also do good in the world — you’re giving them bragging rights too. Lego provides a great example of this.

 

 

Another important aspect of this is the media environment that Gen Z is immersed within has a confusing mix of real and false stories of all kinds. We’re not just talking about traditional media, but also memes that accuse brands of false harm, bullying, planetary harm, and much more.

Bring in the transparency and honesty mentioned above to your work in the local community, and you can invite a new line of customers in regularly.

Onesixtyfourth has created an interesting five-step Brand Citizenship model that discusses CSR in a broader sense, noting that today’s customers want to buy from you if you improve their lives, community, and the world while taking responsibility for what you do.

Treat Them Like People, Not Buyers

The heart of every item above is treating the customer like a person. Follow the rules of a first date when you want a second one: be honest, interesting, and highlight areas where you both care about the same thing.

You don’t have to always be selling, but you do need to always be interacting.  

How to Enhance User Flow with UX Analysis

UX analysis is methodically different from brand to brand, as each has its own set of KPIs and priorities.

User flow comes into play where UX analysis is concerned, as it is a fundamental part of UX, fulfilling a pivotal role in maintaining the sales funnel and, for this reason, conversions.

Also known as visitor flow or customer journey, the user flow denotes the path that a typical user on a website takes to complete a task, including all the steps along the way.

Mapping out visitor journeys and examining all the finer points of the user flow, such as what your visitors are doing on each page they visit, will inform you on how to improve your UX. To do so, you’ll need to begin with enhancing your user flow.

UX Analysis for Improving User Flow

Here are the steps you’ll need to take to tweak user flow with a UX analysis.

1. A Visual, High-Level View of User Flow

The first step in examining user flow is to access a high-level visualization of it. Much like a birds’ eye view, such a perspective displays all the steps of the user flow in one clear illustration of the pages viewed within the customer journey.

Where visitors land, which task(s) they complete and at what stage they do it unveils what they have been attempting or seeking from your website. Alternatively, the regions in a website in which users couldn’t complete an action reveal their struggles.

Visualizing where visitors enter your site, where they head to next and ultimately how they exit helps add a layer of behavioral understanding to customer segments.

Clarity and accessibility are key in this step, so make sure you use an analytics tool that can clearly lay out an analysis of your visitors’ journeys.

2. Observe & Simplify the Number of Steps

Secondly, you’ll need to scope out the number of steps in the user flows. This is important, as it shows the complexity your visitors undergo to complete each action. It allows you to surmise if you should increase or lessen the number of steps in these users’ journeys.

Identify friction points in the customer decision journey, including looping behavior and premature exits. Contemplate whether your visitors’ need to fill out a certain form field or enter a particular landing page to lead them to conversions or other actions. If not, cut these steps out! Less is more often times.

3. A Deeper, Page-by-Page Read in Your UX Analysis

Next, you’ll have to heed the happenings, aka individual visitor behaviors on each page of their user flows. This will help paint a clear picture of how your users’ traverse your site.

Analyzing visitor paths through your site can immediately flag pages with issues — be that an error message or a UX obstacle. For example, what is causing visitors to exit after adding to cart?  

Once you’ve found these problems or points of friction, you can begin to conceive some optimization endeavors.

Besides conversions, you should decide on the metric(s) you seek to make the most strides on in your user flows. Perhaps you want to see a larger click recurrence or a smaller hesitation time. When you zero in a few KPIs or metrics, you’ll be able to tackle user flow optimization in a more precise and conscientious way. This will allow your team to implement a more granular approach to improving each step in the digital visitor journey.

4. Implement A/B Tests

Then, consider how you can improve the user flow by implementing A/B tests. A/B testing is a strategy in which two versions of a website or app are tested against each other on their performance. This will help answer questions about why the setup or features in one page are more effective than another, allowing you to make informed optimization decisions

Finally, after you’ve delved into your UX analysis, you can make changes to your UX accordingly, which will directly influence user flows. Perhaps they’ll improve user flows, making them easier for users to achieve their tasks without issues. There is also the possibility that these changes will have little effect on these flows.

What’s certain is that a granular, behavioral analysis provides a much more lucid picture of how your visitors interact with your content. Although traditional analytics are certainly part of the makeup of this picture, they do not present a comprehensive user flow.

Accessing the user flow requires sifting from an overview to granular data, from viewing journeys to in-page steps, and zooming in on the obstacles.

Culling this data will allow you to make fact-based decisions, instead of those based on intuition.

More Tips on User Flow & UX Analysis

The number of steps a user must take to complete a task often corresponds with their satisfaction over the quality of the digital experience. A good experience is unlikely to have points of friction in which visitors find themselves burdened in the steps towards completing an action.

However, there are instances in which shorter journeys are not the UX target; there will be instances where you want to drive longer sessions and deeper engagement.

An in-depth level of data can help you answer whether a short site duration is telling of a good or bad UX. You have to inquire if a short site navigation is due to visitors having completed their goals or if they struggle with the experience.

An exhaustive UX analysis will shine light on these questions. And since seamlessness is a cornerstone of a good UX, an exhaustive analysis of customer journeys goes hand in hand with digital customer satisfaction.

3 Things Revealed at Adobe Summit 2019

Adobe Summit was bigger and better than ever with over 17,000 attendees, including the Magento crowd. Adobe treats its partners right and we’ve long valued being a part of their community. Throughout the show, we were energized by Adobe’s customers: they are some of the savviest, most engaged, and down-to-earth people we know.  

We also got to reconnect with some of our best customers at the best restaurants (SW Steakhouse, I’m calling you out here) and concerts (yep, the Killers killed it) in town.

It is impossible for one person — or even one team — to experience everything a large event has to offer. So it is always good to compare notes. In that spirit, here are 3 of the big ideas that stuck with me. Here’s to happier digital experiences for all.  

Omni-Channel Isn’t a Retail Strategy

Our research has shown that pure player e-commerce companies are overperforming on conversion rates in comparison to click and mortar brands. Pure players yield a conversion rate of 3.5%, while their click and mortar counterparts draw in the conversion rate of 2.8% on desktop and 2.6% and 1.9% on mobile, respectively.

However, click and mortar brands perform better in their page views on both desktop and mobile, beating out pure players by 2 views on mobile and 3 views on desktop. So there are things to be learned across the aisle for sure. But beware of copycatting best practices without a holistic strategy. At Adobe Summit 2019, we brought three different retailers on stage to share how they are breaking down the silos and increasing sales based on holistic strategies tailored to each of their brands.

We quickly learned that a true omni-channel strategy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. While some brands use their websites as a kind of showroom to get customers into their brick-and-mortar stores, others are moving in the other direction. Sam Edelman for example, is helping its sales associates in stores stay in touch with customers once they are home, increasing follow-on sales online and providing an overall experience that fosters customer loyalty.

On the flip side, Ralph Lauren live-streamed its Fashion Week runway show as a stimulus to bring people into its highly-curated flagship stores. MatchesFashion, a luxury retailer, is turning its website homepage into the digital version of a flagship store with lifestyle content while its app is your “personal shopper,” helping you complete purchases on the go.

Our own Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer
Jean-Marc Bellaiche cheerily posing with our employees near our booth at the 2019 Adobe Summit.

Break Down Silos

Nicolas Pickaerts, the E-commerce Director at MatchesFashion, shared that the retailer’s culture is to talk about the company’s different digital platforms – from the app to the website to its Instagram feed – as “touchpoints” rather than “channels.” It sounds simple but I keep thinking about how genius this is. “Channels” has the historical baggage of being separate and even competing businesses.

“Touchpoints” makes it clear there is one customer interacting with your company in multiple ways and sets up your teams to understand the best way to use those touchpoints to collectively improve revenue and loyalty. This takes you from a zero-sum game to a scenario where you increase your total pie — and your market share.  

Implement a System of Insight to Drive Up Your Analytics

James McCormick, the Principal Analyst at Forrester Research highlighted the need for businesses to use data and insights as a strategic foundation for growth, which is supported by the fact that insight-driven businesses are annually growing at 27- 40%, which significantly outpaces the total market. Despite this obvious advantage, less than 1 in 10 businesses are advanced with insights.

The Forrester Research, customer speakers and other discussions made it clear that gaining significant value from analytics means making it available across the company in a common and consumable way. A unified approach to your digital strategy and a way to measure how it is progressing is what gives your digital journey scale and impact.

See You Soon

Everyone here at Contentsquare loves exploring these insights and putting them to work for our customers so if you missed us at Adobe Summit, we’ll be at different events every month. Talk to you soon!

Contentsquare team members speak with Adobe Summit attendees.

How Customer Behavior Analysis Can Help You Understand Your Customers

Wouldn’t it be nice to gain access to your customer’s every behavior on your website, much like search engines (Google, etc.) extract all the goings-on in your site through their crawling process?

Accessing a deep read of your customer’s digital experience will allow you to know where they’re struggling, as well as where they’re kept engaged and digitally happy.

This is of the essence where user experience (UX) is concerned, enabling brands to create experiences that delight and add value to their customers’ lives. It’s even more crucial when you consider that a visitor who has a bad experience is unlikely to return to a website, much less convert.

Visitors to a site communicate their frustration and satisfaction with every click, hover and tap — tracking these behaviors is the first step towards deciphering the digital conversation to help them achieve their goals.

What is Customer Behavior Analysis?

Customer behavior analysis has a rather self-evident purpose: the methods of analyzing user behaviors of a particular website. It reveals the areas of a site that users engage with, their points of friction and hesitation, and where they show interest or unsurety. It also refers to a slew of other behaviors such as how they click, tap or scroll, empowering you to better understand the impact of your website’s User Experience (UX).

The data and metrics of customer behavior analysis allow brands and marketers to make informed decisions on how to communicate with their audience, along with improving the customer journey on their digital platforms. User behavior analysis pivots you forward in optimizing both the UX of your website, your conversion rates and producing desired customer behaviors (purchases, sign-ups, engagement, etc).

In this way, understanding your customers can spur brand loyalty, in an optimized site, that is. If you understand where users are struggling, you’ll know exactly what to tweak to maintain a healthy brand perception. This keeps visitors engaged with your site and then making their way back to it, the foundation for brand loyalty.

The following is an examination of customer behaviors and their accompanying metrics for a behavioral analysis.

Zooming in on Visiting Manners

We’ll start with the basics; in order to extract insights about visitor behavior, we begin with their visit to your website. Now that they’ve made it to your site, you ought to parse the way they spend their visits and the way they leave, such as through bouncing. This behavior will help you arrive at the elements — whether specific zones or overall design of a page — that need improvement.

Metrics that capture the manners of user visits:

  1. Visit Time – This metric determines the duration of each session spent on your site. It is a measure of the average time visitors spend from their entry on the site to their exit. It is useful to have, as it can show you how visit duration varies based on unique customer journeys.
  2. Bounce Rate – The bounce rate shows the stickiness of your website along with the interest users have in the site or offering. The calculation is the ratio between the visitors who entered the site and left it without visiting another page. You should know that if a user scrolls, clicks through images and reads content, but doesn’t make it to a second page, it qualifies as a bounce.

Content Awareness & Views to Establish Your Brand

It is needless to say that if your site visitors don’t see your content, they won’t engage with it, let alone convert. That’s why you need to be kept informed on whether they see certain elements and to know the time they spent viewing them. This behavior is necessary to follow since it shows you how much of your content is known to your users. Before the users engage or hesitate, they come into view with your content, as it enters their consciousness… or not, so you have to measure to be certain.

Metrics that capture points of user awareness:

  1. Exposure Time – Showing the average time that zone was viewed during a page view, this metric pins down the zones that were viewed the longest. This is important in gauging a visitor’s’ awareness and viewing habits of your content, since it allows you to see which sections they are scrolling past and possibly ignoring.
  2. Exposure Rate – Identifying how far down a page your visitors are scrolling, this metric tells you how much of your creative content visitors are actually exposed to.

Hesitation: A Behavior Signaling Confusion or Interest in the Content

User hesitation is defined by inactivity while at or around a clickable or interactive element. It reveals your site visitors’ inactivity within areas that would typically require some kind of action. This is also important to record as it shows whether your content is easily understood or leads visitors to pause, or hesitate.

Metrics that capture points of hesitation:

  1. Hesitation Time – the time elapsed between the last hover and the first click on a zone. This metric helps you understand if your customers are hesitating because they have trouble understanding or accessing your content. However, it may also reveal that they are interested in the content on which they are hesitating.
  2. Float Time – pointing to the average time spent hovering over an element, this metric also reveals if your users are digesting your content or are confused by it. Since it can represent either interest or confusion, it’s vital to take the type of element being looked at into consideration. Ex: High float times are positive for images viewed, negative when on a CTA.

These metrics should lead you to consider — of the people who hesitate, are they understanding your content? Once you know where your users are hesitating, you can make a move to tackle this hypothetical, from where you can optimize the hesitated elements of your UX.

Engagement: Showing How Well Your Elements Are Understood

Engagement can easily be seen as the opposite of hesitation, as it shows the points in which users are taking action with, or using, site elements. Engagement is a critical behavior to keep track of, as it conveys how intuitive site elements are. When an element is intuitive, it has a high capacity for demonstrating how it should be used by its design alone. For example, a CTA should be easy to see as a clickable element.

Metrics that capture points of engagement:

  1. Engagement Rate- Relays how intuitive an element is,  determined by the number of page views with a click on the zone divided by the number of page views with a hover on the zone. Essentially, it tells you how well your users are engaging with a site element. Getting insight into this behavior allows you to understand if your site elements are doing their job, or at least appear to be. Ex: a clickable element must look clickable, otherwise, no one will engage, i.e., click on it.
  2. Click Recurrence- Measuring engagement and frustration, this metric shows the average number of times an element was clicked when engaged with during a page view. It’s calculated by the total of clicks on the zone / total number of page views with at least one click on the zone. It allows you to understand if a page element was satisfying or frustrating for your users. It also shows you if users are trying to engage with non- clickable elements. If so, you should change such elements accordingly.

Conversions: A UX Behavior in Itself

The behavior at the very bottom of the sales funnel and every brand’s ultimate goal for their site visitors, conversions need little introduction. These can be segmented as an overall user behavior, one that signifies the highest level of interest with your products.

Metrics that capture points of conversion:

  1. Conversion rate per click – this metric is able to help you decide if there is an impact on your behavior or conversion goal when a zone gets clicked. As such, it only applies to clickable zones. The calculation is the number of users who click on a zone and accomplished the behavior divided by the number of users who clicked on the zone. You can use this metric to see which zones are helping customers achieve the goal of clicking on a product page. If on a product page, this metric shows which zones help customers add to their carts.
  2. Conversion rate per hover – similar to the above metric, this one shows you if hovering over a zone impacts the behavior or conversion goal. It’s measured by the number of users who accomplished the behavior and hovered over the zone / number of users who hovered the zone. It helps you decide if hovering over a product’s details result in a high or higher conversion rate.

Customer Behavior Analysis: The First Towards UX Optimization

Site behavior can be measured through a variety of metrics, the more nuanced they are, the more precisely you can understand why your consumers  and site visitors behave the way they do. As you can see, each behavior is not only measured by a single metric, in fact there are many more that can be attributed to the broader sense of a behavior. Thus, each behavior is not limited to the metrics laid out in this article. Scoping them out on your website is the first step towards UX optimization, achieving digital happiness for your customers and potential customers and ultimately attaining more conversions.