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.

 

Datawords and Contentsquare Partner to Provide a 360-Degree Solution on Global Consumer Behavior

 

PARIS, France & NEW YORK, NY, May 16, 2019 Contentsquare, the leading digital experience optimization platform trusted by brands like GoPro, Sephora, Walmart and LVMH, and Datawords, the global leader in e-multicultural technologies that works with brands like L’Oréal, Audi, Benefit Cosmetics and Harry Winston, announced today a strategic partnership to provide their clients and prospects with a solution that combines culturally-relevant digital content with digital user experience (UX) insights to improve customer engagement and revenue around the world.

Today, consumers expect a more personalized experience wherever they are and however they connect. In order for premium brands to stay competitive, it’s vital that they understand and anticipate the unique expectations of customers across borders. With globalized UX insights, brands will have the power to understand how customers in different regions are interacting with their apps and websites, and therefore be able to quickly adapt to boost engagement and conversion.

 

Now brands can quickly understand how and why their visitor behavior varies by region and customize local experience to increase business across the board.

 

“We are always looking for innovative solutions that immediately help our clients improve their Digital Happiness Index scores and bottom line results,” said Jonathan Cherki, CEO and founder Contentsquare.  “With an increasing number of our clients operating across borders, we are partnering with Datawords to give these multi-nationals another advantage. Now brands can quickly understand how and why their visitor behavior varies by region and customize local experience to increase business across the board.”

Datawords’ multicultural understanding of the international digital landscape combined with Contentsquare’s leading expert knowledge in user experience will allow digital marketers to unlock the doors of new opportunities with international consumers.

 

Together, we will help international brands get a deeper understanding of their customers’ UX all over the world as well as adapt and streamline their digital campaigns to the local tech environment and cultural context.

 

We are thrilled to announce this new partnership with Contentsquare, a company with which we already share many values and clients in different sectors,” said Alexandre Crazover Co-founder of Datawords. “Together, we will help international brands get a deeper understanding of their customers’ UX all over the world as well as adapt and streamline their digital campaigns to the local tech environment and cultural context.

 

About Datawords

Created in 2000, Datawords combines the understanding of local cultures and technological expertise to implement the international strategies of major global brands on any digital platform. Headed by a team of co-founders, Datawords is today established in Europe, Asia and the USA. Datawords differentiates itself with e-multicultural technologies and the diverse backgrounds of its 600 employees who represent 50 nationalities and more than 60 languages. Datawords recorded a $75m turnover in 2018. Vanksen, 87seconds and Digiprod are also part of the Datawords Group.
More info on www.datawords.com and on LinkedIn.  

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.

3 Tips for Creating a Positive Digital Experience for Your Users

When it comes to delivering a positive UX, the approaches are vast and possibly endless, considering the wide range of verticals and their emerging niches. While you always want to make sure your digital experience falls in line with the expectations of your industry, there are certain general ways to create a positive digital experience for your users.

Each of these generalities encompasses specific actions you can take to deliver the best experiences for your users. Once you’ve taken these actions, you can master the essence behind these tips. As a side note, none of these are “generalities,” per se; we back up our tips with data. Check them out and start a UX strategy that ensures digital happiness now!

Reduce Points of Friction

In the sense of content, friction can be defined as any website element or quality that sets off irritation, frustration, hesitation or any negative feeling within visitors. In turn, these points of friction drive your customers to exit or bounce, with the possibility of never returning to your website again — something you ought to avoid at all costs. You have to identify these points of friction first before you modify your site content accordingly.     

So, where are said points of friction found on your website? Believe it or not, but not all of them are based solely off of the design. Some of them stem from outside factors — they’re still a part of the UX but originate elsewhere — think prices. Here’s a roundup of several points of friction:

These points of friction are undoubtedly noteworthy, but to truly get a sense of whether or not any of these are afflicting your users, your only recourse is to analyze their behavior and measure the experience. Smart analytics allow you to extract users’ hesitations and other points of friction at a particular space or element on your site. Once you’re armed with this knowledge, you can make discerning choices on the changes you need to make to your UX.

A few pointers to put an end to friction:

Optimize Your Content for an Omnichannel Experience

In 2019 and let’s be honest, for the past decade, users have branched out of browsing the web on desktop solely, and even mainly. Most brands cultivate their strategy on a mobile-first foundation. That’s because a wide swath of verticals including travel, gaming, retail, apparel and others have seen higher traffic rates across 2018 alone, according to our yearly roundup of mobile data.   

But it’s not just mobile that’s left the fringes of the digital space; tablet has also made its presence mainstream and has had a steady growing use worldwide. Brands would be wise to pay attention to the growing use of tablet, as it beat out mobile conversion rates in 2018 in the games and media, groceries, pharmaceutical and cosmetics sectors.

Mobile currently wields a chunky 70% of the time people spend on digital media. But despite its large share of traffic, mobile is beset by a conversion gap across the cosmetics, luxury, retail, gaming and other verticals.

An omnichannel experience doesn’t merely refer to the presence and usage of different device types, as it deals with frequent crossovers. For example, a visitor may commence their digital journey on mobile but can end it on desktop or even by way of going to a store (and vice versa). The task at hand is to create experiences that are both tailored for and consistently positive at every touchpoint.

A few pointers on optimizing your UX for an omnichannel experience:

Enhance Your Site with Productive Features

What would the UX be if not for the different forms of content that comprise a website? But such features do not merely serve an aesthetic purpose. They can be the determiner or the last stand between a user and a conversion.

This is because conversions are in large part dependent upon visitors’ feelings of satisfaction by their experience on your website/ app — something we like to refer to as digital happiness. All the content on your website plays a role in fulfilling a visitor’s objective — whether this objective is to renew a standing order, check out your store hours, or browse for garments. Keeping your customers digitally happy is the best way to ensure customer loyalty and site returns.

That is not to say you should lust after trendy features — if you do, you’re a UX sinner. Study your customer journeys instead to create a more personalized experience for them.   

Additionally, perfecting your site with efficient features also means giving your current site features a facelift. For example, if you have too many form fields, consider downsizing. If a clickable element on your mobile site is too small, you should enlarge it.

When on the hunt for new creative ways to engage with your site visitors, consider doing your own due diligence on UX elements. You can’t observe these on your own site, as you haven’t implemented them yet, so it would be vital to learn how they’re faring. Also, you should iterate on the features that have already been used if they have positive interactions that can be proven with data.

A few pointers on optimizing your UX by adding productive features:

An Optimal Digital Experience

Not every site visitor will undergo a positive UX. They are bound to run into points of friction, website malfunctions and journeys not optimized for an omnichannel experience. It’s important to have the right data on hand, the kind that gives you the full picture of visitor behavior, where they’re hesitating and whether they experience digital happiness. Analytics are your best friend — so keep that friendship alive!

Everything You Were Too Afraid to Ask About Mobile Optimization

M-commerce is big. And it’s getting bigger.

Using revenue as a metric, m-commerce has already passed web eCommerce. According to Statista, m-commerce will represent 67.2% of all online commerce by the end of 2019 and 72.9% by 2021.

Much of the growth in m-commerce is coming from emerging markets which, due to the proliferation and low cost of mobile devices, tend to be mobile-first economies. These engines of growth are pretty much operating in a post-web world.

Also according to Statista, users spend in the region of just 4 minutes in the average m-commerce app. That’s a reduction from 6 minutes in 2017!

So that’s just 4 minutes to convince the user to make that purchase.

Keep it bitesize

One important aspect to UX design is friction. Friction is anything that prevents the visitory from accomplishing a task in the app. Friction is bad. Friction can lead to app exits, frustration and drop in overall conversation rates.

One way to reduce friction is the design principle known as chunking. Chunking was developed by the psychologist George Miller in 1956. It’s the cognitive psychology theory that states the number of objects the average human can process at any one time is 7+ or -2.

App and mobile web designers use Chunking to group together related objects into logical groups. This technique can be used to organize single screens and also to break up complex tasks in to sub-tasks, like signup forms and presentations.

Simple, right?

Marketers love to talk about the challenges that mobile presents, but few provide practical, actionable advice, based on real data, that marketers and digital teams can use to improve their mobile user experience.

For our latest report, Everything You Were Too Afraid to Ask About Mobile Optimisation, we analyzed millions of user sessions across mobile and desktop, and turned our findings into practical advice on how to create a bigger impact for your business on mobile web and app.

In the report, we cover:

 

Royal Design aims to meet Online Consumer Needs with UX Analysis

As the Nordics’ leading eCommerce company in design, furniture and home furnishings, Royal Designcontinuously strives to create the best online shopping experience for its global customers. The company has recently embarked on a digital reorganization, and has partnered with UX Analytics company, ContentSquare, to ensure every change is a strategic step to meet the dynamic needs and expectations of its online consumers.

Contentsquare Marketing Manager, Camila Florez, sat down with Royal Design Head of eCommerce and Omnichannel, Martin Magnusson, to further discuss the company’s drivers and objectives, and the importance of UX Analytics in its journey.

 

What do you think sets Royal Design apart from other companies in the same field?

History is definitely a big part of the company. Royal Design has been online since 1999. It has been almost 20 years, which none of our competitors can live up to.

 

Describe your target market and the typical customer of Royal Design. What are their online customer journey needs? How does your website address those needs?

Royal design operates on 13 country markets, mainly in the Nordics— Sweden and Norway being our strongest markets.

Since we have more than 80 000 products online, the site structure and navigation are the most important user-needs that we need to address. Our users expect to find what they are looking for quickly; as well as having a fast and easy checkout experience. Accessibility across devices, particularly the shift to mobile, is extremely important too. We need to deliver a solid and speedy user experience.

Unfortunately, our website— which had the same online look and feel for the past 10 years— does not live up to the high expectations of a modern online customer.

“ We realized that the business had outgrown the website, and a big change was needed. “

Hence, we’ve launched a brand new omnichannel platform site. It is a best in breed solution with a great platform that takes care of each part of the application. The front-end application is a custom built react application focused on:

 

Why did Royal Design choose to work with ContentSquare?

Before we launched the redesigned website, we wanted to have a powerful tool to analyze the behavior of the current site to avoid making the same mistakes on the new one.

Martin Magnusson, Head of eCommerce and  Omnichannel

We needed to take that deep dive into the customer journeys, understand the pain points and take action which we never fully understood before.

ContentSquare can provide all of these. It is a great tool for several different teams of the organization; such as, Tech, eCommerce, Purchasing and Marketing. It also gives us a better way to understand differences between traffic sources and setting up KPIs.

Questions such as, “Why does social convert better than search?” can now be answered with quantitative data generated through ContentSquare. It gives us more visual details compared to other tools (such as Google Analytics) and provides us the means to build custom site mappings and customer segments.

ContentSquare also helps with managing key partners such as NOSTO.

 

What was your primary expectation from the ContentSquare tool?

We expected that the ContentSquare tools will help us understand the pain points, visualize the customer journey and compare different user segments and behaviors. We expect it to be a powerful tool that will make us capable of optimizing conversions, understanding our customers, and improving Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) awareness in the company.

These numbers and insights have never been done in the company before. It’s like a blank page for us so this is a great tool for us to start exploring more.

 

What was the most urgent need that you wanted ContentSquare to address?

We needed ContentSquare to analyze the current website so as to optimize the new one. It is also necessary to establish this CRO mindset and UX analysis practice throughout the company, not just the eCommerce Team and Developers.

 

How many people are being trained in the use of UXA and from which teams?

We have about 10-12 employees being trained from the following departments: eCommerce, Marketing and Purchasing. It is crucial for everyone to start having the mindset of how to optimize online sales into each team.

 

Where do you see Royal Design evolving in the following years? Where do you see the partnership with ContentSquare fit with this evolution?

ContentSquare is very important in all steps. They are crucial to help us understand

 

Personal note

 I would like to see more people in Royal Design using the ContentSquare tools— start coming with their own CRO ideas, talking about customer journeys and conversion, etc.

We at Royal Design are really happy about the close partnership with ContentSquare. We really appreciate the proactive approach of the company and our dedicated Customer Success Manager, Lovisa Dahlbacka.

 

The future

The new website was just launched last October 2018, we will continue growing in our key markets, but also start expanding new markets. The plan is to have dedicated eCommerce resources for every market to ensure better quality, better awareness and better customer experience.

We hope we can offer a great shopping experience on more channels, such as in local apps, in store screens, voice, and so on. Royal Design is also looking into the exciting development of AI and how we can apply it in different parts of the company.