Impact of Coronavirus on eCommerce: Digital Traffic and Sales Remain Strong As Stores Reopen (Update 14)

To provide understanding during this uncertain time, we are monitoring the impact of coronavirus on online consumer behaviors. See the latest data on our Covid-19 eCommerce Impact data hub.

Our analysts have been capturing and analyzing billions of digital visitor sessions over the past 15 weeks to bring experience makers up-to-date insight into online customer behavior. Our data spans industries, providing a fresh look at how the Coronavirus crisis has impacted various sectors. Each week we’ve compared traffic, transactions, and engagement metrics with data from the weeks gone by, and with metrics captured in the period immediately preceding the introduction of quarantine measures in the West (or, the first 6 weeks of the year, which we call the reference period). 

Here are some of the insights we surfaced this week:

eCommerce Traffic & Transactions Stabilize at High levels 

After phased reopenings in many countries and a couple of weeks of declining digital traffic across industries, the volume of visits barely budged this past week, suggesting we are perhaps entering a new phase of stabilization. Brands across sectors are seeing +15% more visits on average than before the crisis. The volume of transactions even grew by +1% last week from the previous week, with an average +37% more sales online than before the pandemic started. As more regions of the world start to ease lockdown measures and allos non-essential businesses to open their doors to the public once more, it is interesting to see that eCommerce retains a strong share of digital traffic/purchases. And visitor engagement is not waning, either. In fact, time per session was up +1.5% from the previous week, with engagement on the up since mid-May, following a sharp decline in customer engagement at the end of April.

Travel and Tourism Industry Slowly Climbing Back

It was another week of promising numbers for the travel and tourism industry, with a +21% increase in the volume of traffic this past week — the 6th week of growth in a row. And transactions jumped up +40%, confirming the trends of the past few weeks, as relaxed restrictions worldwide restore some aspects of life pre-Coronavirus. Our breakdown of data into sub-sectors confirms that when it comes to transactions, a significant portion of this growth is owed to consumer engagement with sites and brands specializing in domestic forms of travel (car rental, camping vacations, etc). Sites offering camping trips, in particular, saw their traffic jump by 40 points this past week — and while some of these gains are due to it being peak travel booking season, this is still a positive sign when compared to the much slower progress of other tourism sub-sectors. Cruises and airlines, for example, are struggling to take off and are still severly hurt with sales volume last week at -95% (cruises) and -85% (airlines) of the pre-crisis levels. Overall, the travel industry is still suffering from a significant loss of traffic and revenue, with -51% fewer visits than before the introduction of quarantine measures, and -53% fewer transactions. 

Luxury and Fashion Industries See Performance Slow Down

Traffic to luxury sites was slightly up after two weeks of decline, growing +2% this past week from the previous week, and leaving the sector just shy of its pre-Covid levels of digital traffic. Transactions however were down -2% from the previous week, although luxury brands are still seeing +22% more sales online than before the onset of the crisis (much less than the +42% growth recorded in mid-May). Engagement remains largely unchanged, with a slight +3% increase in the time per session from the previous week. Despite a slight increase in the UK and France, US luxury sites lost the most traffic this past week, and were also faring less well than their European counterparts in terms of transactions. 

It was not a strong week for the fashion industry, which saw sales dip by -9% from the previous week. Traffic was also down -8% this past week, although customer engagement was slightly up, with +2% more browsing time than the week before. In the US only, both traffic and transactions were down, marking the worst week for the industry since early April.

Impact of Covid-19 on eCommerce: Other Industry Ups and Downs

The financial services sector recorded a +3.5% increase in digital traffic this past week, on the heels of a +15% increase the past week, contributing to a +26% surge in visits since the start of lockdowns, as consumers get used to replacing branch banking with online money management. 

Meanwhile, retail healthcare sites recorded fewer visits and transactions this past week, marking the 4th week of declining customer engagement. It was a good week for consumer electronics retailers, who saw traffic and sales climb by +8% and +10% respectively this past week, contributing to an overall +66% surge in website transactions since March.

Have you registered for Summer Camp yet? We’ve put together a six-part series for adventurous experience-builders looking to capitalize on the summer months to fast-track their digital transformation. Join us for six campfire sessions with digital leaders from Dell, Tile and other leading brands, to explore common digital challenges and how best to tackle them (A/B Testing merit badge, anyone?).

Customer Love: How To Cultivate A Happily Ever After With Your Clients

If you ask any of my Contentsquare colleagues how many clients we have going into the new year, most of them will reply, without a second’s hesitation: 600.

And they’re right: we did wrap up 2019 (our most ambitious yet in terms of new business) with a portfolio of 600 leading global brands. 

But because we love numbers so much at Contentsquare — and because it’s almost Valentine’s day — let me share with you a much more exciting number: 12,000.

That’s the number of people behind those 600 logos who use our solution as part of the work they do every day. In other words, 12,000 individual relationships to nurture and sustain, or, if we’re being really ambitious (and we are), 12,000 reasons to keep the spark alive every day. Of course, these are business relationships, but they are still first and foremost human relationships. Some examples:

I could keep going, but that is not the point. Let us focus instead on what really is at stake, here: how to create, improve, and renew meaningful engagement for these 12,000 users of our solution. If the answer seems obvious, that’s because it is. Yes, it’s true, for B2B as for B2C, the cornerstone of sustained customer engagement is (drumroll) a good experience — and ideally differentiated, experience.

One of the foundational pillars of a good experience is LISTENING to your customers. (which is an essential element of another one of our core values: Team Spirit). At Contentsquare we make listening to our customers a priority — we are constantly collecting feedback on our product and roadmap through individual or group sessions, we ask our clients what features they want us to prioritize, and we ask them to weigh in on our product positioning strategy. In fact, our clients are involved in every aspect of our growth; from the development of new functionalities to the strategic vision of the company. We believe alignment with our customers is crucial to our innovation agenda and future as a company.

The second pillar is CONNECTING our customers with their peer-based community. The most visible representation of this is our very active client community. Many of our clients will tell you they really enjoy and look forward to these recurring meet-ups and clubs, which are a chance for them to share use cases and best practices, or quiz their peers about the solutions that work for them and the challenges inherent to their industry. 

The last pillar, ENGAGING, is also how we measure the success of our customer experience. Our most engaged clients are true brand ambassadors and sponsors, and you’ll often find them speaking alongside our CX-perts at conferences. They’re very giving of their time, they recommend us to their peers… with enthusiasm.

The last thing I’ll say about customer engagement is that it starts with every team being engaged with customers and their mission to create better experiences for their customers. Whatever our department, country, office, or role, customer experience touches each and every one of us and we all need to be — if not obsessed — deeply committed to delivering excellence in this regard. 

Of course, no one is perfect and it’s important to remember: a good relationship is one that evolves, as each party changes and understands each other better. So yes, we will continue to challenge ourselves to keep listening, keep growing and keep improving to always be the best partner our clients need us to be, and in doing so, to keep the spark alive. 🙂

With love,

Sonia

RSVP at [email protected]

 

 

 

How to Identify and Fix a Broken UX with User Behavior Analytics

Some website users undergo a bad UX, which leads them to exit — or worse — bounce from a website, possibly to never again return. Understanding what causes premature site exits is key to improving the customer experience (CX), and delivering journeys that help customers meet their wide-ranging digital expectations.

Making use of data for a UX analysis is the most practical approach to scrutinizing customer journeys, including high-level views that locate friction points and counter-intuitive navigation patterns. Once you’ve identified your problematic pages through a high-level view of user behavior, you can make more fine-tuned changes by assessing individual pages and elements.

Achieving a fulfilling digital experience is attainable, but you have to identify what constitutes a broken UX in the first place, and establish the visitor segments that come across one. Once you have this insight on hand, you can prioritize optimization efforts to improve your digital experience and make your visitors crave more.

Identifying What’s Amiss in the Customer Journey

We quizzed Ying Yang, our Lead Product Experience Manager, to get her thoughts on where to start. “The first thing you must look at when identifying a poor UX is the customer journey,” she said. “You should be able to break it apart page by page to see exactly how users traverse your site during each session.”

A well-built customer journey analysis tool will show you each step a customer takes during their time spent on a site, help uncover what they are trying to do, and how they went about doing it. You ought to be able to detect where the first UX friction lies on a high level; to find this, you have to pinpoint where users are bouncing or leaving the site, and what led to this outcome.

“You need to identify the last page that a segment of users stayed on during their journey before leaving your site. It is this page in which their UX was disrupted,” explained Ying. 

However, in longer customer journeys, note that a page from which a user has left the site may not signify a bad experience. Instead, the user may simply feel that their stay on the site is complete, and requires no further browsing.”

As such, observe the pages that contain bounces initially, as there is some shortage of retaining the visitors’ interest. Furthermore, since a bounce is more caustic than a regular site leave, it requires immediate attention. (Bounces reveal a non-existent journey, or one of one step/page visit).

Now that you’ve found the page with the UX culprit of bouncing or exiting, let’s delve further. 

A Further Analysis of a Crippled UX

Entering step two of making corrections, you will need to work out the cause behind particular site exits or other behaviors indicative of frustration or unmet needs. In order to spot individual obstacles in the customer journey, you’ll need to analyze specific elements within a page. 

Through this approach, you’ll be able to catch the exact cause of friction (whether it’s a CTA, image, product description, form field, etc), as opposed to guessing what regions and elements of a page led users to leave.

So what do you do when analyzing a particular page element? You take a hyper-focused turn in your UX analysis. “This is a more granular step,” says Ying. “As such, you’ll want to look at a robust batch of behavior and revenue metrics. These present a deeper dive of your UX to follow up the customer journey analysis.” 

Here are just a few of the metrics you can appraise for a granular UX performance check:

Hover Rate: The percentage of pageviews in which visitors hovered over the zone at least once, determining which zones are consumed the most. This helps you rank zones and assess if they are consulted properly, by weighing in factors like averages of other zones and the page length. 

Click Recurrence: represents the average number of times a zone was clicked when engaged with during a pageview. This exposes either engagement or frustration. For example, a high click recurrence on a carousel is good news, as it shows a high engagement with an element offering many clickable areas.

It can also point to frustration. For example, if users click on the same element multiple times — such as an image or link, it means the element is drawing up errors; it’s either unclickable or not performing its function correctly. 

Conversion Rate Per Click: Applying only to clickable zone, this metric relays if clicking on a zone impacts the user’s behavior or conversion goal.This helps you determine which elements contribute to or deter from conversions. A conversion can be any behavior you set. 

Exposure Rate: identifies how far down a page a user scrolls; it’s accounted for when at least half of a zone is viewed. This helps you understand how much users scroll, allowing you to make empirical sizing adjustments.

Attractiveness Rate: Relays the percentage of visitors who clicked on a zone after having been exposed to it. This informs you on optimizing the placement of content on your page. For example, if more users click below the fold, you should move that content further up for more of them to see it quicker. A high rate proves the high performing attractiveness of an element.

Segmenting Your Users for UX Comparisons

After you analyzed the elements of your page with granular behavior metrics, you’ll need to analyze further, by conducting comparisons. This will help you determine what comprises an underperforming UX more clearly. To do this, you would need to compare a good behavior with a bad behavior.

Comparing the experience of visitors who accomplished the goal of a page with those who didn’t, will further confirm what needs fixing. You can carry out a zoning analysis on these two segments as well as make comparisons on each metric. 

This allows you to catch where non-converting visitors tend to hover and where they are more inactive. But most importantly, it allows you to weigh this data against the users who did convert/ achieve what they came to your site to do. 

“For example, you can build a segment for the users who saw a 404 error page and compare it with the ones who had the same issue across different journeys or those who didn’t run into it,” explained Ying. “Additionally, you can create a segment around users who clicked on a CTA, deepening their journey against a segment of users who didn’t, or worse, ended their journey on that page.”

Main Examples of UX That Cuts the Customer Journey

One of the attributes of a broken UX is content that doesn’t engage users or is not seen, thus prompting visitors to exit the site. Pages that require too much scrolling, for example, may yield low engagement or little to no views.

For example, a particularly wide banner that takes up much of the screen may be obscuring other content that’s crucial to generating revenue. Some users may not even be aware of the content below the fold. 

“Most high-performing content should have real estate above the fold,” Ying advises. “Does your business have a major campaign or sub campaign running? Post more than one type of content about it above the fold. These can exist as tiles, a carousel or both.”

This source of friction is especially damaging to mobile UX, which has a much smaller screen size than desktop. As such, some functionalities aren’t well suited to be crammed in. “Big banners, images and accordions (vertical menus) push everything down below the fold, so don’t overuse them. You will probably need to scale back on some of these elements to avoid a UX that has turned sour.” 

Another example of poor content occurs when banner usage is slight and/or doesn’t achieve the goal of a page. For example, a banner can send users to a PDP (product details page) that cuts off their browsing journey.

“PDPs, in general, have high bounce rates, as in the case of our retail clients, so you need to be careful what products you send users to, should your banner send them to a PDP (or even a product landing page). Landing on a PDP is especially detrimental to the user experience when the real goal was to send users to a PLP (product landing page), which shows several product options as opposed to a PDP.”

Adobe Stock, via studiostok


Fixing Customer Journeys

Now you know how to move the needle from a high-level UX analysis to a granular level to spot what caused your customers to struggle or give up with your site. After you identify what leads to bad digital experiences, you are all set to start optimizing. Customer experience analytics are your best friend when it comes to augmenting your content ideation strategy.

Since it allows you to meticulously identify digital experience issues, it fastracks you to brainstorming sessions to rectify the issues in a data-backed way. Some things will be clearer than others. For example, if you find 404 errors and other dead-end pages, the quick fix is the get rid of them, or replace them with the proper pages. 

“For example, if an item is no longer in stock, or no longer being digitally offered, make sure it doesn’t yield the 404 error. But if it’s a product users can purchase, or if a page offers any other type of conversion (signing up for content, etc.), make sure your page is functional and devoid of any confusing elements,” said Ying.”

 

Hero image via Adobe Stock, by Marvi7

What We Learned from 110 Million Visitor Sessions During Black Friday & Cyber Monday

We’re entering the most hectic time of the year again — and it’s not even (officially) the holiday season. That’s because the holiday season doesn’t formally start until the holy grail of retail events. We’re of course alluding to Black Friday, the crème de la crème for boosting revenue.

Our globally-extracted data attests to the weight this pre-holiday season event holds. (Have you seen the stampedes and clashes over commonplace items on this day?) With strong expectations of drawing in higher volumes of customers who purchase, now is the time to make sure your digital CX is spot on. 

We analyzed 110 million visitor sessions and inspected the performance of 600 million pages during the 2018 Black Friday season, stretching from November 11th to November 27th. 

Our data validates the expectations of higher sales and shopping carts surrounding these retail affairs (in most cases). There was also less site abandonment — in some countries. Let’s look at some of the key insights we gleaned from those numbers.

Big Wins in the USA — Cyber Monday Rules

Black Friday — historically a brick-and-mortar affair — is today a major digital sales event. In 2018, Black Friday digital sales reached record highs, generating $6.22 billion in revenue. Cyber Monday, as its name suggests, has always been about promotions in the digital space, i.e, eCommerce.

The United States followed this rationale, as its largest sales were chalked up to Cyber Monday last year. Black Friday sales saw a 17% hike in conversions, but Cyber Monday sales trounced these, with conversion increases of 60%.

And conversions weren’t the only thing on the rise — in the US, average carts increased during Black Friday by 12%

These heightened conversions were made possible owing to the checkout in particular. This was the case for not solely the US, but also in the UK. Let’s look at the stats we crunched on the checkout portion of the customer journey.

Adobe Stock, via Ivan

 

The Checkout: Higher Conversions, Lower Bounce Rates & Less Logins 

The conversion rate among visitors who reached the checkout funnel was 25% higher during both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Pre-holiday shoppers who reached the checkout appeared to be more inclined to go through all the steps necessary to complete their purchase, from selecting a product to entering their shipping address. 

The checkout page spurred lower bounce rates in both the US and UK. In the US, the checkout bounce rate went down by 28.3%, and in the UK, it decreased by 32%. 

In the US, the checkout bounce rate went slightly up again on Cyber Monday, but was still lower than the bounce rate in the lead-up to the holiday shopping weekend.

Despite the good performance of the checkout page, it also incurred some engagement issues. Retailers in the UK saw half the checkout logins during Black Friday, and in the US, the logging in rate was 61% lower.

It could be that Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are in a rush to complete their purchase, or that they are already logged into their account. 

In any case, optimizing the checkout step with a quick and easy login process (think one-click, social login, etc) will only encourage more sign-ins. Encouraging guest users to create an account after they convert is another long term marketing opportunity.

Adobe Stock, Via AlexanderNovikov

 

The Search Bar & Category Pages: Higher Global Usage, Yet Higher Frustration 

In all the countries we analyzed, search bar usage saw a stark increase on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. US shoppers browsing retail tech sites drove a 31% increase to the click rate on the search bar. 

In the UK, specifically in the retail apparel sector, the search bar garnered a 3.16% click rate increase on Black Friday alone. The click rate rose to 10.01% on Cyber Monday. 

Visitors also browsed fewer category pages in general — 5% fewer in the US and 27% fewer in the UK — confirming the theory that, by the time Black Friday rolls around, shoppers have a good idea of what they’re looking for. 

The kickoff to holiday shopping season isn’t a time for idle window shopping, so brands should put their best offers on display well in advance of the big day.

Despite the seemingly good engagement coming from the click rate of the search bar, it can also be a source of frustration, as it drew in higher click recurrences across the board.

With an average of 2 clicks on the homepage search bar during Black Friday, the US felt the most acute wrath in high click recurrence. The UK followed suit, particularly in the fashion sector, where the search bar sustained a monumental 2,000% rise in click recurrence, from 0.08 to 1.78 clicks.

So while the search bar is a necessary element for possible conversions, it may not be very intuitive. It could be drawing up the wrong results or not pulling in products close to what users are typing in automatically.

Bad UX on the Add to Cart Button Globally

The search bar wasn’t the only element to incur a high click recurrence, as the add to cart button was racked by a similar fate. 

In France, particularly in the apparel sector, the add to cart button suffered a click recurrence increase of 5.85%.

It was slightly bigger in the UK apparel sector, having risen by 8%. Most notably, in the UK tech sector, it shot up by 62%.

The US was dealt the biggest blow on add to cart buttons, as they racked up a heaping 50% in click recurrence increases.

The root of this international UX trouble-maker could be error messages springing up when users clicked on the button, either due to a technical error or issues with inventory. 

The lessons to glean from this is to optimize the add to cart button and make sure you don’t run out of products. Pay special attention to best sellers and other popular items.

An Eclectic Set of Acquisition Sources

Traffic from emails was higher by a hulking 79% during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, compared with the prior period. 

Contrary to the US, UK brands received a higher-than-average visitor flow during this season. On Black Friday, organic traffic, or traffic from SEO, was 33% higher, and direct traffic also increased by 24%.

Cyber Monday did not follow suit in the UK. Instead, brands piqued the interest of incoming visitors through paid sources and CRM. Email-based traffic was 160% higher, while social media garnered a king-size 310% increase in traffic.

Whether your brand uses paid sources or goes the organic route, make sure your copy is compelling. Add your best deals to captivate more interest. 

And when creating SEA or paid social ads, make sure your landing pages are consistent with the messaging and offers mentioned in your ads. 

Capitalizing on Black Friday & Cyber Monday in 2019 & Beyond

As the drivers of major retail events, it is incumbent upon brands to create good experiences — digital and otherwise — to attract customers’ attention and most importantly, retain them. As our data shows, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are key forces for higher revenue streams and fewer bounces. However, there is plenty brands can do to improve the UX, reduce frustration, and engage higher add to carts.

For example, product and CTA findability carries a great deal of weight in user experience. As do elements that appear to be clickable, but turn out not to be. 

Read more about how The North Face leveraged granular customer data to optimize their gift guide

Luckily, you can refer to a slew of hard data, including industry benchmarks and see how to improve your digital experience for this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But it doesn’t end here. 

You’ll need a continuous stream of data to refer to — and we’re not only referencing industry criteria. You’ll need to have a sturdy set of data on your customers’ behavior. That way, you can determine where customers are struggling and where they’re having a good UX. Once you’re equipped with this data, you can proactively make optimizations so that for your customers, Black Friday and the holiday season will truly be times of giving, i.e., buying.

3 Travel UX Must-Dos for Your Travel Booking Website

Travel UI design can be a hard nut to crack, especially when it comes to conversions. Our recent analysis of 2,100 Million visitor sessions across several verticals found that travel and tourism has one of the lowest mobile conversion rates of all sectors (0.90% average).

Desktop reigns over mobile within this sector on every performance metric, touting higher conversion rates: 2.90% vs 0.90% on mobile, and average cart values $1,860 vs. $1,790 on mobile.

Visitors spend almost double the amount of time on desktop as they do on mobile sites — 6 minutes 4 seconds on average, suggesting a less than optimized experience. The bounce rate appears to confirm this story, with a considerably higher rate of bounces on mobile than on desktop visitors bounce less, bearing a bounce rate of 39.80% (45.70% versus 39.80%). 

It is clear that even in this mobile-first age, booking an international flight or a train ticket on your smartphone phone may still be far from being user-friendly, let alone instinctive. Since travelers are largely defined by their mobility, developing headache-free solutions is paramount. Take advantage of the following tips to optimize your site for mobile users.

Make it Easy to Navigate Your Site

Whether you provide a multitude of transportation options or accommodation around the world, it’s imperative to optimize your website or app for booking on-the-go.

The best way to achieve this end is by ensuring your users can easily find what they are looking for on your site or app. 

That’s where the navigation menu comes in handy. By providing a clear navigation menu, visitors can quickly navigate the myriad of information and deals you have on offer. The more frustrated visitors become trying to navigate your site, the more likely they will bounce or exit without having converted.

Make sure that the most important parent categories are visible upon reaching the site. Avoid using ambiguous wording for navigation links so that hesitation times remain low, especially for featured content, offers, or features. Don’t leave users guessing what kind of content they’ll be directed to before clicking on something.

In addition to a clean navigation, use category or product pushes throughout the site in relevant areas so users don’t always have to rely on the global navigation (especially if it isn’t sticky to the page.) This can help keep your users engaged even after they’ve found what they’ve been looking for.                                          

An example of good travel UI design: On JetBlue’s homepage, the focus is solely on searching for flights, vacations, hotels, or cars. However, upon opening the menu, users are presented with key categories and CTAs dedicated to booking, managing, or exploring travel options. Categories and subcategories are written in large text and use helpful icons. The contrast in the background of the sub-categories makes it easier to read.

Create Seamless Experiences between Mobile, Web and Mobile Apps.

Many travel apps, especially those for booking transportation and accommodation, require specific functions and features that use the native capabilities of mobile phones.

For example, users are able to add their boarding passes, pull up their tickets or even track their baggage through mobile apps. Are travel brands replicating these essential features for their mobile websites? If not, they’re missing out on key mobile UX improvements. That’s because equipping users with access to the same types of features across platforms is key to providing a seamless travel UX. 

Surface Upsells and Cross-Sells When it’s Relevant

Users are easily overwhelmed when presented with too many options to choose from or multiple tasks to complete. Focusing the user on the most important task, such as booking a flight, is much harder when users are bombarded with a variety of extras or promotions they are encouraged to take advantage of. 

You wouldn’t put every checkout step on one page; the booking process should take a similar approach. It should be spread out across several steps to make it more easily digestible. 

The same goes for any upsells or cross-sells. Options should be progressively surfaced during different stages of the journey and in places where they are most relevant. 

When a flight is selected, the users are immediately provided an option to upgrade their seat. It clearly lists the benefits and price to upgrade. Bold colors that pop from the screen are used to indicate these special options.

That Does it for Travel UX 

Overall, your travel website should make any booking or research process as easy as possible. With mobile users increasingly on the move, any process should be made simple and easy to understand. That includes reimagining and optimizing crucial features so they take into account the context and goals of distinct audience segments. Learn what works best by studying your users’ behaviors and putting customer intelligence at the heart of your experience decisions. 

The Digital Happiness Index: Quantifying Your Customer Experience

Although conversions are the desired outcome of a good customer experience, they are not the end-all be-all for brands. A happy customer may make a purchase, but more importantly, a happy customer will return.

But how exactly do you define customer happiness? How do you understand the nuances of customer frustration and pinpoint what exactly fosters engagement? And how do you turn all this intelligence into an effective retention strategy and greater customer lifetime value? 

There are plenty of systems designed to measure user experience; these primarily and, for the most part, deal with the locations users visit on your site, conversions and the oft-cited biggest UX failure: bounces. 

But a basic set of analyses on user experience won’t cut it, and certainly won’t glean any discernment on the nuances of users’ digital happiness. The good news is that, for brands interested in quantifying the user experience as a whole, there’s a metric that does exactly that.

Calculated from several other behavioral metrics and consolidated into one mega metric, the Digital Happiness Index (DHI) is a unique measure of visitor satisfaction, providing an objective view of whether or not your overall experience is hitting the right notes.

 


What Is Digital Happiness And How Can You Achieve It?

Before we delve into the DHI, let’s focus on digital happiness. A rather simple concept, it denotes the convenience, satisfaction and even the pleasure of interacting with a website or online interface such as a search engine results page (SERP). 

As a feeling, it is incidentally difficult to pin down, even in the digital realm. But with the new, futuristic metric that is the DHI, you can determine how happy your site visitors are, based on their experience with your site or app. 

The first of its kind, the DHI combines KPIs from the 5 key strands that contribute to overall customer satisfaction:

Is navigation seamless and friction-free? Is your content proving effective to helping visitors reach their goals? Are visitors coming back to your site? Are they exiting early or completing their journeys? And finally, are they finding what they’re looking for — be that information or products?

By quantifying these various strands of experience, and combining metrics into one score, the DHI provides brands with an objective grasp of whether or not visitors are enjoying a positive experience.

Calculating the DHI: the 5 Dimensions of Digital Experience 

Here is a look at what comprises the Digital Happiness Index and what makes it tick.

Using behavioral data from our tool, the DHI separates the data into 5 dimensions to filter the numbers into intelligible concepts behind visitors’ digital happiness. Our clients get a comparison to industry standards, and every score represents an aggregate of every session on the website.

As we mentioned earlier, the DHI has 5 components, aka the 5 dimensions that make up its final score, a number out of 100, which is the average of the 5 scores of each dimension. To come up with this rating, we consider the following five dimensions:

Each of these 5 individual scores is determined by its own calculations, based on metrics like time spent on site, time spent engaging with pages/elements, bounce rates, and more. 

It also takes into account if users have reached their destinations and the way they’ve done so. It captures whether users ran into UX issues like non-intuitive navigation — clicks on non-clickable content, misleading clicks, et al.

Making Sense of the Digital Happiness Index

Innovations in SaaS and marketing have led to more avant-garde methods of measuring digital customer experience and benchmarking customer satisfaction. 

Although the complex, 5-tier system of our mega metric is supplemental, it is very much in line with our granular approach to behavioral analytics. 

The fact that the 5 dimensions deal with different occurrences in the UX means the DHI is casting as wide a net as possible to capture your customer’s mindset. Based on this score, you can shine light on areas of friction and other obstacles in the customer decision journey

Customers today will not hesitate to review a poor UX or give one star for a session that doesn’t meet their expectations. But they are also giving you continuous feedback on your site or app through their interactions — with every tap, click, scroll or hover, they are voicing their feelings about your CX. 

Here at Contentsquare, we’ve got a horde of people dedicated to helping you hear and understand what your customers feel and want — in fact, we’ve got 170 people in R&D and innovation alone. 

Happiness of any kind is difficult to pin down to a numerical format. With a consolidation of 5 distinct aspects of the UX, you will come as close as possible to determining how digitally happy your visitors are with your content.

 

NEWS: Contentsquare launches most complete experience analytics platform in industry

NEW YORKOct. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Experience analytics leader Contentsquare today launches a major release of the most complete experience analytics platform on the market, helping brands to innovate based on customer behavior across digital channels.

Contentsquare now gives brands the ability to surface and quantify revenue-generating recommendations for experience improvements using artificial intelligence. Contentsquare customers can use these recommendations to immediately troubleshoot issues or innovate new ways to improve the experience. For example, teams can quickly understand the impact of changes to a web site or mobile app by comparing side-by-side the visitor experience over time or across split test versions.

This update to the platform is the work of a combined team of 170 innovators in R&D and product development who came together through the combination of Contentsquare and Clicktale, which was announced in July 2019. The teams have been working closely with customers to prioritize the use cases that drive the most return and upside for digital leaders across industries such as retail, travel, automotive, financial services and telecommunications.

The benefits to Contentsquare’s customers are huge. Armed with quantified alerts, the tool gives resource-stretched digital teams the ability to discover new growth opportunities to increase revenue, (worth up to nine times the revenue opportunity of fixing bugs). It also aligns the whole business around a single version of the truth with regards to digital customer behavior, with intuitive visualizations of macro behavior, and session replays for seeing behavior at the individual session level. As a result, teams can more quickly and confidently prioritize and execute on the experience changes that will mean the most for their business.

(PRNewsfoto/Contentsquare)

Feliz Papich, director of product management at Crocs, said: “Contentsquare aids our ability to innovate, giving us more room to do insight-driven experimentation with less risk. With the visualizations, we don’t have to make assumptions about the visitor experience, we can make enhancements based on tangible behavior. Contentsquare makes it easier for us to have the hard discussions about what to prioritize and implement to meet our big growth goals.”

Contentsquare’s new platform, available later this quarter, helps brands capitalize on the fact that consumers who receive a better customer experience spend up to 140% more than when they receive a poor experience (Harvard Business Review). It also helps brands operate more like best-in-class digital businesses, which can have 2-3x the lead generation and sales conversions versus the average according to Contentsquare insights.

Jonathan Cherki, founder and CEO, Contentsquare said: “At Contentsquare, we envision a world where every digital interaction is used to create better experiences and improve the quality of people’s lives. Traditionally, the barrier to turning that vision into a reality is that brands have been in the dark when it comes to understanding specifically how to design the experiences their customers will love and want to use again and again.

“With our technology, though, we are empowering brands with unique behavioral insights to create better experiences — and connecting those improvements more directly to the upside they drive for  their business and for their customers.”

Marrying Experimentation with User Experience: Opticon19

Customer Experience (CX) school is back in session and what better way to get ready for a new season of A+ experiences than by attending  Optimizely’s Opticon19?

Centered on digital experience optimization, the conference will feature experts in the fields of CX experimentation and personalization to help you create standout experiences and steer your business towards digital Nirvana.

Taking place on September 11-13th at the Marriott Marquis hotel in San Francisco, Opticon19 is not to be missed.

Optimizely & Contentsquare

We at Contentsquare are quite fond of events — we don’t just boast of experiments, we help create them. So you’re probably wondering why we’re going to this conference, given that we’re fresh off of our Digital Happiness Summer Roadshow, which hit up several states in a multi-day event.

Additionally, you’re probably wondering why we chose to team up with Optimizely, of all the brands hosting regional events surrounding the topic of UX.

Optimizely is one of our premier partners, delivering a world-class experimentation platform that equips digital teams with a scientific approach to optimizing digital experiences. 

Our integration with Optimizely adds a critical layer of behavioral understanding to experiments for faster results and a bigger lift in conversions. We tell brands why some tests and personalization campaigns win, and help digital teams fine-tune variations and focus experimentation efforts.

Optimizely seeks to help brands obtain the highest ROI based on its SaaS and so do we. You could say we are a partnership made in heaven and Opticon provides the perfect setting for us to show you this partnership in action. 

Opticon19: What to Expect

A three-day event, Opticon19 will kickstart the conference with a day of training on the 11th of September. 

The other two days will feature sessions, networking events and a conference party. You will get to hear from some of the best and brightest in the digital space, including leaders from IBM, Salesforce and Mailchimp.

Opticon19 will include an impressive roster of keynote speakers, including actor, investor and entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher, astronaut and engineer Dr. Mae Jemison, Optimizely’s CEO Jay Larson and a host of other digital leaders.

The event will present over 20 sessions across 3 “tracks” — critical areas to learn and optimize for a superb experience that helps raise conversions. The three tracks are those of: culture and growth, strategy and process and platform and technology, each highlighting crucial nuances for your brand to digitally outperform.

Contentsquare is hosting its own cocktail event at the Everdene Bar, a rooftop bar atop the Virgin Hotel in San Francisco.


Contentsquare: Our Own Event & Booth at Opticon19

We won’t be sitting idly at the conference and our experts will be on hand at Booth G11 in the Yerba Buena Ballroom to share tips and best practices on how to power up your experimentation strategy and improve your digital CX.

We’ll be happy to show you how some of our 600+ clients have successfully put our software to use and improved on a number of KPIs and show off the newly instituted benefits from our coalescence with Clicktale.

We’re also going to host our own surrounding event just before the conference, in tandem with our friends at Tealium. Join us for an evening of drinks, fare and networking at the Virgin Hotel’s Everdene Rooftop Bar, which comes with sweeping views of the city.

So swing on over to Opticon19, meet with us at our booth, party with us at Everdene and absorb all the enlightening, up-to-date trends on experimentation and having your brand the upper hand in digital experience.

Book a Meeting

 

Summer Marketing Campaigns: What 18.6 Million Visitor Sessions Reveal About Summer Sales

With summer drawing to a close, we thought it would be a good time to review one of the season’s most popular digital objectives: summer sales. Never ones to miss out on a data opportunity, we surveyed millions of digital visitor sessions to understand exactly how consumers interact with summer promotions, and how these campaigns are impacting revenue for brands.

In this article, we’ll share what online summer shopping reveals about desktop and mobile use, as well as the difference in digital behavior between buyers and nonbuyers. Relying on unique behavioral and revenue attribution metrics to understand how shoppers consume digital content, we’ll be sharing key insights into the customer journeys of summer bargain hunters.

Summer Sales in the Digital Experience Defined

A summer sale — in the context of digital experience — is defined as a marketing campaign centered on promotions and deals that explicitly mention the season. It often manifests in banners or carousels, with call-outs that feature discounts, naturally ones that allude to the summer. 

In this way, summer marketing campaigns are more broadly encompassing; they don’t refer to just a single holiday such as the Fourth of July and as such, can exist longer than a typical, holiday-focused sale. 

In terms of UX and website design, summer sales take precedence in a designated section of a page, such as a menu, slideshow, or the aforementioned banners.

Methodology

For the purpose of this article, we analyzed customer interactions across 8 websites, in four retail sub-sectors: apparel, accessories, beauty and jewelry. We included all visitor sessions on these sites for the month of July (July 1st – 31st).

Our survey on summer sales drew data from 18.6 million user sessions with a total of 122.4 million pages collected. From this wide set of data, we were able to glean a twofold macro comparison: that of typical behavior on desktop vs. mobile and tablet, and that of buyers vs nonbuyers during the summer sales period we studied in the US. 

Let’s learn how summer sales in 2019 performed in the ecommerce retail industry, in addition to how visitors interacted with summer sales content.


Device Performance for Summer Sales in 2019: Desktop Vs Mobile Vs Tablet

Conversions:

The biggest conversion driver for summer marketing campaigns in 2019 was desktop sales, par for the course based on the findings from our mobile report. Coming in at 4%, the average desktop conversion rate is double that of mobile. This manifests even more prominently in the average cart, which is 14.7% higher on desktop than on mobile — $106.99 on desktop, vs $93.30 on mobile. 

Meanwhile, the average cart on tablet is extraordinarily close to that of desktop, at $106.68. This average is inversely related to summer sales traffic by device, since mobile reaps the highest traffic: 68.01% of sessions, representing a whopping 12.65 million sessions. This number dwarfs tablet sessions, which garner only 5.72% of traffic. Desktop traffic came squarely in between at 26.15%.

Bounce Rates:

Much in keeping with our mobile report, mobile also bore the highest share of bounces, which averaged in at 41% — 6% higher than the desktop rate of 35%. The bounce rate on tablet was in between at 38%.

Time Per Session, Number of Pageviews & Time Spent on Site:

With an average session time of 8 minutes 9 seconds and 6.9 pageviews per session, the data shows that the bulk of summer sale browsing occurs on desktop. Mobile had the lowest stats on both accounts, with an average session time of 4 minutes 8 seconds, across 5.4 pageviews.

Despite mobile visitors seemingly unwilling to linger too long on a site, this audience still rakes in the highest sales volume with 257,000 sales, vs 222,608 for desktop. Nonetheless, desktop revenue remained the highest at $24.8 million.

So what does this tell us? That the gap between user expectations and user experience on mobile prevails, as desktop reigns supreme, with its lowest bounce rates and highest conversions. But with mobile traffic beating out all device types, mobile still presents a tremendous revenue opportunity.

Summer Sales 2019: Zooming In On The Homepage

The first thing we noticed when analyzing homepage interactions was that all summer sale shoppers click mostly on the menu to get to the products (28.10% click rate). The Sale tab on the menu drives only 2.88% of clicks versus 4.91% on the sale banner. It appears that when looking for a shortcut to a summer deal, shoppers will sooner click the banner than the Sale section on the navigation bar.

Although it has a fairly low click rate compared to the rest of the menu, the Sale tab on the menu boasts a healthy Conversion Rate per Click — 11.46% versus 6.35% for the menu — implying that those who do click on it are determined to convert. 

However, the Sale tab was defeated by the sales banners, which generate the highest conversion rate per click at 12.09%.

The high hesitation time on the banner (1.41% versus 0.92% for the Sale tab on the menu) points to a need for optimization; perhaps the wording isn’t clear, or visitors are not sure where or what to click.

Summer Sales: Comparing The Behavior of Buyers And Nonbuyers

Buyer Vs Nonbuyers: Time on Page

We found that shoppers who ended up making a purchase spent almost twice as long browsing as those who didn’t buy anything (28 minutes versus 15 minutes). Buyers also consume many more pages than nonbuyers: 28 vs only 6 by nonbuyers. 

Once they’re on the page, however, they essentially dedicate the same amount of attention to it — 58 seconds for buyers vs 53 seconds for those who don’t complete a purchase. These two audiences also appear to scroll in a similar fashion, with a 59% scroll rate for buyers and 57% for nonbuyers.

Visitors who made purchases consistently exhibited the highest number of pageviews across a wide scope of pages, including category, product and checkout. They viewed three times as many product pages on average than nonbuyers, and more than twice the number of category pages. 

Buyers Vs Nonbuyers: Interaction, Interest & Hesitation 

Overall, buyers were more likely to interact with the search bar than those who stuck to window-shopping, with 26% more clicks on this element. Much like other consumers, shoppers who end up making a purchase tended to access their summer bargains via banners instead of the Sale tab on the menu — 6.20% versus 2.90%. 

To maximize sales, make sure the search bar is prominent — making it sticky assures its viability no matter how far users scroll — and offer the best deals on your banners to take advantage of this interest.

Nonbuyers manifested a larger degree of interest for the homepage menu, with an almost 10% higher click rate than buyers. Nonbuyers were about as likely to click on the Sale tab as buyers (that is to say, not that much), but nonbuyers exhibit a much lower float time on this element, suggesting they are just as keen to score a bargain.

Their higher menu engagement and low hesitation time imply that non-buying visitors are interested in products, but may not have found exactly what they were looking for. Therein lies the need to optimize your homepage elements for this group, particularly the menu; distinct items that are hard to categorize should have their own menu category, or at least exist as a sub-category. 

Nonbuyers have a considerably higher average time before first click on the Sales banner, search bar, Sale tab and menu elements, showing that they ingest content much longer before clicking on it. 

Their hesitation also points to a more cautious attitude. Buyers arrive at summer sales elements with the intent to buy, while nonbuyers are far more careful, which inhibits them from buying. Thus, it is best to accentuate the savings aspect of your sales, sometimes across each item to lure in nonbuyers. Perhaps they won’t convert the first time around, but this will bring them back.

Tips to Optimize Your Summer Sales Campaigns

Understanding how visitor segments interact with promotional elements such as banners and the Sale tab on your menu is the first step to understanding how these areas of your site may fall short of user expectations. Optimizing the experience based on the unique behavior trends associated with various device and segments will ensure you make the most of the season’s revenue potential.

One of the first things you should do is look into what’s causing high bounce rates on mobile. This can be due to your touch areas being too small and other easy design fixes that can put an end to user frustration and therefore, exits. 

There could also be a variety of internal issues on your mobile site or app hindering your UX  and we provide 3 areas of improvement to optimize the mobile UX. Tablet users may also face the same issues that mobile users confront and can therefore rely on similar optimization tactics.

Whether they end up clicking the Purchase button or not, visitors tend to be more attracted to promotional banners than to the Sale tab on your navigation bar, so it is important to concert your tactics on optimizing this region. Take advantage of the higher engagement on the banner by highlighting products through images and text call-outs and maximize interactions by making the entire area clickable. 

Given that the menu receives the highest click rate among buyers and nonbuyers, you should focus your UX efforts on this element as well. Capitalize on it by including all the necessary categories possible on desktop, but keep it simpler on mobile. Make sure it includes a Sale tab for visitors who want a shortcut to discounted products. 

How The North Face Optimized Its Gift Guide By Leveraging Customer Experience Intelligence

Although we’re slightly past mid-summer and have got quite a way to go before the mercury significantly drops, it’s never too early to start thinking about the holiday shopping season. Aside from which products you want to highlight and which promotions to push for the season of gift-giving, you’re keenly going to need to fine-tune your digital strategy. Otherwise, a UX left unoptimized for the holidays won’t reap the sweet bump in holiday conversions.

Optimizing the customer experience (CX) for the holiday shopping season begins with… you guessed it, your customers. There is much you can learn from the data on your visitors’ behaviors during the holiday shopping season — make sure these insights don’t go to waste! Our case study with one of our top clients, The North Face, shows that the proof is indeed in the pudding, as our granular insights informed key CX changes for the 2018 holiday shopping season.

The North Face & Its Primary Holiday Shopping Challenge: The Gift Guide

The North Face is a top-name brand that offers outdoor gear, particularly activewear and equipment to athletes, the athletically-inclined and anyone who wants to go on adventures and look stylish doing so.

Originating as a San Franciscan storefront, the brand has been investing heavily in its online customer experience to better serve the digital community of North Face aficionados. We worked with the gear company to help the team optimize a key digital asset for its 2018 holiday shopping season: its online holiday gift guide.

This gift guide is an annual online experience that helps customers find the right gifts through a wide index of products designated for the holidays. This content serves a critical purpose in aiding Q4 sales and maximizing the mighty potential of the season.

The gift guide was strategically set to go live in October, right before the high tide in holiday traffic, which granted the digital team ample time to analyze the digital engagement of early-bird shoppers. Through a granular analysis of digital interactions, The North Face was able to continue its strategic approach to its holiday shopping campaign, as it directed its UX findings to adjust the experience prior to initiating its gifting-centered marketing campaign.

The North Face is well-known for its outdoor and sporting gear.


Putting UX Analytics to Use

As part of its analysis of the Gift Guide, the digital team surveyed customer interactions on a per-page basis, to reel in a comprehensive understanding of the guide’s performance. The team specifically was on the lookout for frustration and friction points in the customer journey

The team looked at exposure rate, which takes into account how far down a page a user is scrolling and considers a zone seen when over half of it was viewed by a user. 

The North Face continued the UX analysis by studying the click recurrence (which measures engagement and frustration), the click-through rate (calculation of pageviews and clicks) and attractiveness rate (attractiveness of an element, dealing with clicks after exposure). What they found allowed them to make UX decisions rooted in data, which lead to several improvements.

The digital team at The North Face used heat maps and a variety of unique metrics for measuring the user experience of its Gift Guide.


Findings & Actions Taken to Yield an Improved User Experience

The digital team at The North Face analyzed the exposure rate of various elements of the guide, which sets forth how far down a user scrolls. It also dictates that a zone is seen once over half of it was viewed by a user. 

This analysis displayed a low exposure rate of the category CTAs, pointing to a need of adjusting the CTAs above the fold to improve their exposure. This UX change proved to be an improvement, as it brought the exposure rate of the CTAs up by 50%. This resulted in an increased visibility of each gifting category.

Heeding the click recurrence, the team unearthed a frustration stemming from multiple clicks on the hero image. This pointed to the fact that the hero wasn’t entirely clickable, so the team made it so, not just the product. This brought down the click recurrence of the hero to a satisfactory rate, with far fewer clicks since all of it was clickable.

The click recurrence metric also informed the team that there were multiple clicks on links to head to the Women’s Gift Guide page — even though users were already there. Through this insight, the team placed a header title to the page to make visitors aware of their presence on this destination within the site. Consequently, this action also reduced the click recurrence. 

As far as merchandising optimizations go, the digital team observed the click-through rate and attractiveness rate of each gift category. Through these, they were able to discern which categories were the most popular, as well as the importance of the position of these categories on the page. As such, the team moved the most popular ones further above the page to access the most popular items quicker.

The gift guide left users unbeknown that they were already on the Women’s Gift Guide page, unlike this clear-cut section on the website.


Optimizing Holiday Shopping Campaigns

Holiday shopping campaigns, much like many other retail campaigns, require a keen understanding of customer intent and engagement. Customer journeys are never stagnant, so you’ll notice that they alter — even among some common trends from season to season. That’s why you have to constantly monitor them, otherwise, you’re not getting the full picture of how customers and potential customers navigate your website, their frustrations and conversion opportunities.

Looking to granular analytics, the kind that can provide on-page behavior and interactions per element is a cure to the UX ignorance of your site. That’s because this kind of digital analysis doesn’t only show, it tells, particularly the correct implementations to your digital experience. This will assure you don’t remain in the dark on your UX during for the holiday shopping season for 2019, which is fast approaching.

 

UX Global Map Lessons: Comparing Online Customer Acquisition Marketing Channels

There’s a lot to learn from the way site visitors browse and interact with your website. Then there’s customer acquisition marketing, since before users navigate your site, they must be acquired, which is a digital marketing feat on its own. Much of what we cover is UX (user experience) — the environment and associated feelings users undergo on your website and other digital offerings.

But drawing users in is a major step, a push further down the sales funnel, bring them closer to conversion and certainly a crucial to brand awareness. Sometimes it involves perfecting the UX as well, except as an alternative to onsite behaviors, it deals with those on acquisition channels, some of which you can customize, i.e., social media.

As the final installment of our 3-part series covering the UX International Map, this iteration will edify you on what customer acquisition marketing channels look like through a global lens. After all, if you’re going to set up websites for different countries, acquiring the users of these countries and their distinct acquisition manners is key to be mindful of. 

Acquisition Channel Methodology 

In the past 2 UX map lessons, you’ve read that we parsed through over 35 million visitor sessions in January and February 2019 on 11 luxury websites — that’s 150 million page views and 3 billion clicks. 

The 7 countries we focused our analyses on were: the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, China and Japan. 

For each of the 7 countries we surveyed, we analyzed the performance of 12 acquisition channels — both paid and unpaid. For each country we scrutinized, we asked the following questions to get a deep read of how websites were gaining visitors: 

Free Vs Paid Acquisition Channels

The chief divide of digital acquisition channels is whether they are free or paid. Free acquisition channels, as their name suggests, are outlets that you can leverage for free. They encompass the following: 

Paid acquisition channels are cost-based and these costs are not unilateral. In other words, while PPC ads will cost you for each click on the keyword you bid on, affiliate marketing will cost you the amount agreed upon with your affiliate marketer. These channels include:

The Global Majority of Online Consumers Prefer Free Acquisition Channels

While it’s patently obvious that brands and marketers prefer to acquire consumers through free means, our analysis has found that even from a consumer standpoint, the preferred method of arriving at a new website is from a free traffic source. With a 61% global average share of traffic from free channels, this is something of a global consensus.

The customer audiences in Japan and Italy are at the higher ends of the free acquisition spectrum, as they reach websites through free channels at the respective rates of 69% and 65% of their total acquisition. The US comes in at third, with 62% of its site visitors springing from free acquisition channels.

France has the lowest share of traffic from free channels, at 55%. Germany and China come in second at the low end of the free channel spectrum with traffic rates of 58% from both countries. 

Global visitors mostly arrive at a site via free traffic acquisition, although France drives a large portion of paid traffic.


Acquisition through Consumer Research or Recommendation

Another way to gauge customer preferences and segment behaviors is by analyzing whether visitors land on your site from independent research or by following a product recommendation. It’s crucial to study this, since some consumers arrive at your website through their own due diligence from research, while some need to be marketed to concertedly, i.e., in a direct way, often involving recommendations. (Think targeted ads and sponsored social content).

Here are a few independent research channels: 

Here are a few recommendation research channels:

So which acquisition method, independent research or product recommendation takes the victory among our swath of global consumers? In this type of acquisition square-off, the emerging winner is independent research, which holds the majority across every country we surveyed.

In Italy, 92% of consumers reach a site through their own research, overshadowing the country’s 8% of consumers who reach a site by following a link. China is at the lowest end of the independent research gamut, with 54% of its users reaching websites through their own research, but even this lower rate shows a favorability among consumers to visit a website based on their own findings instead of recommendations made to them. 

Japan and the US follow Italy, with a respective 81% and 80% of users landing on a website through independent research.

Independent research drives most global visitors to a site, but has a varying traffic share per country.

 

Organic Search Traffic Dominates in the US, Italy and Japan

Organic search traffic (SEO) overshadows paid search, affiliate marketing and other acquisition sources in the US, Italy and Japan. This is due to the dominance of free acquisition in these 3 countries, raking in over 40% of user acquisition in these 3 countries, with a massive 70% in Japan.

Traffic from SEO has the highest influence in Japan, with 48% of traffic coming from organic search. Italy ranks in second on SEO acquisition, with 40% of consumers reaching websites this way and the US comes in at third, with 32%.

Reel in Traffic with Display Ads in China

Gaining site in traffic is heavily dependent on display ads, along with the Baidu Brand Zone technology. Procuring 28.2% of all traffic acquisition in China, this channel is a force to be reckoned with in order to increase site visitors. While globally, there is far less dependence on this channel (only 4.1%), in China it is a key player in obtaining traffic. Display ads go in tandem with this channel and also fall within the trend of using visuals to keep users interested.

Email Marketing and Social Reign Supreme in the UK

In the UK, customer acquisition is contingent on social marketing efforts. At 12.4%, social customer engagement spurs twice as much traffic in the UK as it does in any of the other countries surveyed. Aside from social, email campaigns are also drivers of successful traffic, raking in 6.7% on desktop and a heaping 18.4% on mobile. Organic search traffic lags behind in the UK, as far as traffic is concerned, accounting for only 23.1% of traffic, as opposed to the global 31.5% global ranking.

France is All About Paid Tactics 

Whether it’s coming from SEM, PPC or paid social, paid tactics are driving up traffic in France. Paid channels account for almost half of all French traffic at 45%. This traffic mainly comes from paid search, which rakes in 29% of the traffic. SEM in France brings in roughly a third more in traffic than in all the other countries we analyzed. A significant part of the traffic in France is wrought by paid social — 8.4%, as opposed to the global average of 4.7%.

German Traffic: Paid Search and Direct 

German traffic acquisition is dominated by two sources: paid search and direct traffic. Paid search yields 27.3% of all traffic in the country, while direct traffic is even more powerful in drawing in users, as it’s higher in Germany than any of the other 6 countries at 26.1%. The direct traffic average globally is at 21.9%. High direct traffic visitations suggest that visitors in this country have a vested interest and loyalty in big-name brands.

Optimizing The Landing Page — Whatever The Traffic Channel

Understanding how your site acquires visitors, who might later become customers, is as crucial as studying the UX of your website. After all, no matter how ideal your UX is, it won’t matter if little to no one arrives at your website. As such, acquisition channels provide a kind of hook, line and sinker approach where acquisition is concerned. 

Acquisition channels are markedly useful and necessary for drawing in customers, but you must remember their limited scope in your overall digital marketing strategy. As their name suggests, they are good for acquisition but have little to do with retention. These channels may even hurt your UX and thereby conversions if these channels redirect visitors to irrelevant pages.

This is why the landing page is a critical aspect of acquisition — and retention. A landing page that’s relevant and optimized for users will maintain a good UX and digital happiness. So make sure to study the elements of your landings pages and see which ones are detrimental to the customer journey. There’s no point in optimizing acquisition only to lose your customers later on.