One year into my Product Manager journey at Contentsquare, I wanted to reflect on what I have learned, and how the past twelve months have shaped my approach to solution-finding.
I started my journey as a project management intern for VP of product to whom I mentioned in the first interview that I wanted to become a product manager. Back then, I had no idea what it really meant to be a “PM” — I was simply curious and wanted to talk to all these people.
At Contentsquare, product managers sit between the customer (internal & external) and R&D team. With the former, we detect the WHAT: what is needed to help our customer better understand the end user experience. With the latter, we decide on and execute the HOW: how to respond to those needs in an efficient and elegant way.
Product managers are the go-to persons for any question related to their scope — ie. the part of the solution they are responsible for developing. Therefore, the job includes building the long-term vision and strategy as well as the day-to-day execution on a very granular level. It’s a challenging and fulfilling role that I am truly proud of and can’t stop talking about.
So, without further ado, here are the 9 key things I learned as a product manager:
1. Always put the customer first
Being loyal to your customer/user starts with knowing who they are. Before building a feature, ask yourself: who are you building this for? What challenges are they facing? Talk to them, read their feedback and support tickets, collect the data — these investments are worth the time and effort since they decrease your chances of going down the wrong path right from the beginning.
Being loyal to your customer also means refusing to compromise on their experiences. Sometimes, cutting scope, downgrading the design, or opting for a less expensive technical solution would shorten the go-to-market timeframe. But ultimately, all of these “savings” risk compromising the end users’ experience. When cost-cutting or time-saving decisions are made, the only party not included in the discussion is generally the user. And as a product manager, it is almost a question of professional integrity to protect their interests and advocate for them.
2. Listening is more important than talking
Being a very talkative person, this one was a big challenge for me! Being too self expressive prevents you from hearing what others really think — be it colleagues, business partners or customers. Sometimes, silence can be excruciating in user interviews, and in the past I have felt obliged to give guidance or end my supposedly ‘open-ended’ questions with a list of options. I later realized that doing things this way would prevent me from knowing what the user would have said if it hadn’t been for my prompting. That’s when I realized how important it is to shut up and listen.
3. Prioritizing means saying no
As a product manager, I am constantly facing the question of prioritization. It can be as big as a quarterly roll-out roadmap, or as small as one improvement ticket over another in the backlog. Before entering the PM zone, I always felt like I was able to juggle many tasks at the same time. It might mean pulling an all nighter or skipping dinner, but I always made it.
This is not the case in product management: we are a team with clear objectives, but also constraints, and trying to do everything is a surefire way to not do anything well. Being able to say no to projects/ideas after weighing them up is key — so is listing the pros and cons of such decisions, and keeping a clear record of why you chose not do something in the end. It is very interesting to look back at decisions and a great resource when you are challenged on a past decision.
4. Curiosity over pride
One time, we found a bug after release, and my instinct was to roll back. People on different teams ended up disagreeing with each other about whether to “roll back or hotfix.” I remember that our head of product Luis came in, sat down at the computer, and started to look into the problem. He seemed fascinated and started asking questions, testing different scenarios. People quickly gathered around him to discuss possible root causes and solutions to fix the issue. It looked like a treat or brain teaser for Luis, while I experienced it as a difficult situation for me. Before he walked in, we were all getting carried away in discussion, justifying our own decision making rather than understanding and fixing the problem.
Being curious is something we often forget about after a when we’re working on a project. But it’s important to stay curious, because not only does curiosity lead you to the answer faster, it also makes work more fun. This also applies to talking to users: be humble and curious, ask tons of seemingly dumb questions, and remember, you are not in a user interview to impress anyone — put curiosity before pride.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask WHY
We’ve all been told by people. “I want this button to be blue.” With so many tasks on my to-do list, I have been tempted to just open the feedback box and mechanically note down “5 users asked for the button to be blue.” But why? Why do they want it to be blue? People are very good at telling others what to do, but are quite shy when it comes to sharing what they really want — perhaps from fear of getting it wrong?
I personally would say, “I need a hammer and nails,” instead of “I need to hang a picture frame.” The wonder of product management is that by asking the right question, we can actually identify what the user really needs, and suggest alternative solutions (in this example, Blu-Tack!).
6. Not everything has to be perfect
Launching a product is a process of coming up with hypothesis, testing, and improving. That’s what prototypes and minimum viable products are there for. There are so many books/videos about lean product management, but the biggest barrier to really using that technique turned out to be my own mindset, I was and still am scared of failing. I am afraid of wasting engineer’s time, a designer’s time and companies’ revenue opportunities. I am still trying to accept the fact that “not everything has to be perfect.” I think a common goal for anyone working on a product team is to find the sweet spot between “continuous discovery” and being “comfortably confident” about a decision.
7. Control your emotions
As a product manager it is inevitable to have heated debates with people. We’ve all heard people raise their voices in meetings. But I feel pretty lucky because every ‘heated discussion’ I’ve witnessed happened because the person cared deeply about the topic, and felt strongly about advocating for the best possible outcome for the end user. A reminder for myself and for you: don’t let emotions get in the way, don’t let them be a distraction — use your emotions wisely. Sometimes we are actually all agreeing with each other, we just have different ways of saying it.
8. Data, data, data
One of our mantras is “without data, it is just another opinion”. As a product manager, I couldn’t agree more — getting data on your users is the way to measure whether or not your solution is successful. It’s also by far the most representative and efficient way to get to know your users. Be obsessed with data, there is no such thing as too much knowledge.
9. Adapt to your audience
I am a passionate person, and I talk fast! I was once in a room presenting our future projects to R&D managers, and all these brilliant people looked somehow lost by the time I finished my 40 minute long, nonstop monologue. It wasn’t their fault. They were given no context, no introduction, but just a slew of information. Later, during a training on public speaking organized by the company, the coach recorded and replayed our speech. Mine was extremely fast. I’ve since learned to hold my horses, be generous with context and adjust my rhythm to not lose my audience. And it’s worked!
Voilà! The 9 things I learned at Contentsquare after one year and half as a product manager. There is such a long list of people to thank for this training: product peers, R&D friends, our awesome client facing team members. It’s a fascinating field and a stimulating work environment — I’m excited to keep on learning as I continue on this journey.
Impact of Coronavirus on eCommerce: Online Engagement Still High As Many Sectors Record small decline of Traffic and Transactions (Update 15)
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 team has been computing billions of user sessions over the past 16 weeks to share insights into how the unfolding Coronavirus crisis is impacting consumer behaviors across industries. Every week we look at traffic, transactions, and engagement data and compare the numbers with averages from the period immediately preceding the beginning of social distancing and quarantine 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:
Traffic And Transactions Go a bit Down But Online Engagement Remains Strong
After a stable first week of June, eCommerce traffic and transactions dropped slightly this past week, with -4% fewer visits and a -3% decrease in transactions from the previous week. As stores reopen their doors to customers around the globe, digital customer engagement appears to be slowing down. Despite this, online consumer activity is still much, much higher than before the onset of the crisis, prompting many businesses to invest heavily in their digital operations.
The greatest increase in the volume of digital transactions is observed in the UK, where businesses are bringing in on average +67% more online sales than pre-Covid. In the US, this figure is +27%.
According to our latest data pull for the week ending 6/14, brands across industries are seeing on average +10% more digital traffic than they were back in January, and +33% more online transactions. Some industries — for example, sporting goods retailers or online supermarkets — are even seeing double the amount of transactions they are used to seeing. Other industries, such as travel, are of course dealing with the negative business impact of the pandemic, although recent weeks show positive — if slow — signs of recovery.
Online Grocery Sector Slows Down But Remains Stable in US
After an initial surge which saw regular volumes of traffic increase x3, the grocery industry continues to experience a slow but steady traffic decrease across the board (-10% drop this past week), although the breakdown by country tells different stories of consumer reliance on online grocery shopping.
The UK shows a pretty vertiginous drop since peak traffic at the end of March (from +440% down to +220% pre-Covid traffic levels), while the US has seen stable levels of digital engagement since the first week of April. Overall, traffic to grocery sites is still +61% higher than pre-crisis and the volume of transactions is +85% higher.
Consumer Electronics Sector Sees Slight Drop in Traffic And Sales last week
On the heels of two weeks of quick growth (traffic + transactions), consumer electronics retailers experienced a bit of a slowdown this past week, with traffic declining by -6% this past week and sales going down by -11%. Still, the sector as a whole is recording +46% more traffic than before the start of the pandemic, and +47% more transactions.
In the US, consumer engagement in this sector has been steadily going down since late April, with surges in the UK and France majorly impacting growth.
Tourism Still On The Up And Healthcare Retail Sees Gains Too
After taking the biggest hit of all industries, the travel and tourism sector continues to see its customers’ digital activity climb, with +7% more traffic this past week compared to the last, and +11% more transactions. These recent increases mean the industry as a whole is now closer to half its pre-Covid traffic and transactions levels — although it is important to note that our reference period, in January, would have different averages than during peak season.
While traffic has remained steady in the US since end of April, transactions have been steadily climbing for the past 7 weeks, reflecting greater consumer confidence when it comes to booking travel. Sites selling camping trips continue to see the greatest increases across all sub-sectors — both in traffic and conversions.
Meanwhile, last week was a strong week for Healthcare retailers, with +22% more traffic to these platforms and an impressive +68% increase in transactions.
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 Tile and other leading brands, to explore common digital challenges and how best to tackle them (A/B Testing merit badge, anyone?).
ECommerce: Nurturing Customer Trust in 2020
Customer Trust in eCommerce in the Post-Quarantine Era
With social distancing still in effect in many regions of the world and lingering uncertainty over the timeline of a return to ‘normal,’ brands everywhere are banking on innovation to ensure business continuity.
The coronavirus crisis has forced teams to rethink decades of marketing best practices and forced brands to shift their focus to what really matters to customers today: trust.
From supply chain issues to new health & safety measures via delivery delays — brands have faced significant challenges over the past few months.
Today we will look at how Covid-19 has brought the issue of customer confidence to the forefront, how teams have had to adjust (sometimes in a matter of hours), and how customer trust is more crucial to businesses today than it has ever been.
How customer trust became top priority in less than 48 hours
Customer trust: from important…
You may not even notice them at this point, but they are everywhere.
Whether you’re ordering a new set of headphones on Amazon, a blender at BestBuy or a repeat order of cat food on PetSmart, reassurance elements are peppered throughout the customer journey.
In marketing lingo, reassurance refers to everything a business does to convince a prospect or client that their purchase is risk-free and that trusting their brand is a safe bet.
Secure HTTPS connection, customer reviews on the homepage, post-purchase guarantees — reassurance is present at every step of the user journey.
And the stakes are high.
Competition has never been so great… and neither have customer expectations. Customers today want to know that their transactions are secure and exactly what you plan to do with their personal data.
… to make or break
And then came the Covid-19 crisis, a period we are still navigating, and during which our need for transparency and guarantees has never been so concrete and important.
Remote work, furloughs, layoffs, the adjustment of distribution operations, delivery delays —many businesses have had to rethink their entire supply chain in a matter of hours or days.
Here are some examples of measures put in place by brands to adjust their services to these new challenges:
- Temporary extension of return timeframes to 30 days after store re-openings for Zara:
- Free delivery until store reopenings for Topshop:
- Dedicated shopping hours for the elderly and most-at-risk at Tesco:
- Contactless delivery for food delivery service JustEat:
- Contactless pickup within 48 hours and CTA to download travel permit for French DIY store Castorama:
These are just a few examples of some of the measures implemented overnight by brands across the globe. And as businesses set together the new standards of customer-centricity, it will be interesting to see which of these services and changes are here to stay.
In uncertain times, a lack of clarity in the visitor journey and insufficient guarantees are a surefire way to lose customers.
Customer trust: why doing the minimum is no longer enough
There are two types of elements brands use on their site/app to build customer trust:
- Basic reassurance elements that are today absolutely essential to any eCommerce platform,
- Slightly more advanced reassurance elements that today are key differentiators for brands wanting to stay ahead of the competition.
A – Basic reassurance elements to build up customer trust
You can safely assume that your competitors already have many of these in place. Implementing these on your site is no longer an option, but a question of survival:
- Show the customer service number prominently on your site,
- Make customers know that you provide secure online payments,
- Make sure all payment options are clearly visible,
- Be transparent and clear about you delivery costs,
- Make it easy to consult the exchanges and returns policy,
- Be transparent about the handling of personal data at checkout,
- Showcase customer reviews and feedback,
- Make sure you have rock-solid About Us and Terms & Conditions pages
Of course, don’t forget to adapt all of the above to the mobile experience by displaying only essential elements, adding touch to your site to make calls easier etc
B – Advanced reassurance elements to build up customer trust
Great — you’ve checked all those boxes. We have good news and bad news for you.
Bad news: having all of the above is no longer enough, especially not during these unprecedented times.
Good news: there are three innovative and creative methods to increase customer trust on your digital properties.
Not all of them will be relevant to your activity or audience. Up to you to figure out which will work, depending on your resources and positioning.
Method n°1: reassure visitors through content
While almost 4 billion people quarantining at the same time, the demand for rich, interactive content has never been higher.
No need to drown visitors in ads — instead, help them stay informed and entertained, now and going forward.
Here are some ideas of things you can do to establish customer trust through content:
- Feature an FAQ based on your observations and common visitor queries
- Create exhaustive product descriptions, enhanced with photos and video tutorials
- Offer free, informative content (for example, free Coronavirus news coverage in The New Yorker)
- Leverage your expertise to offer advice and tutorials (for example, The North Face tutorials)
Method n°2: build customer trust through communication
Just because you are separated from them by two screens doesn’t mean you can’t offer your visitors a human experience.
Here are some ways to engage your clients and prospects through communication:
- Include a chat feature so your customers can ask questions directly during a certain timeframe
- Offer an online feedback questionnaire to get better acquainted with their needs and expectations
- Collect customer reviews and feedback — showcase positive reviews and address customer concerns
- Offer free advice sessions (for example, Slack’s remote working consultations)
Method n°3: leverage technology to build customer trust
When it is used correctly, technology can work wonders for eCommerce brands.
Here are several innovative solutions that add real value for customers from the comfort of their sofa:
- Implement web push notifications on your site to offer relevant content to users during their visit
- Leverage VR for virtual try-on
- Reduce disappointment and bounces by managing your supply chain smartly (display stock, receive a notification when an item is back in stock, substitutions, etc…)
Better UX FOR ALL
While it is essential to ensure a seamless journey for all your visitors, you also need to make sure the experience speaks to each and every one of them.
Start by making sure your experience is mobile-friendly, and then customize it to make it more personal.
A – Mobile is king
With mobile now driving the lion’s share of digital traffic since 2018, designing experiences with a mobile-first mindset is no longer optional.
We’ve already spoken at length about m-commerce and its unique characteristics, but here are 4 key things to keep in mind:
- Load time: 53% of visitors will exit your site if the load time is longer than 3 seconds. Improve website speed, optimize caches, shrink image size etc
- Internal search: it is crucial that your visitors find what they are looking for in just a few clicks. Make sure the results are relevant, the auto-complete is optimized and the search bar is sticky.
- Landing pages: one word: consistency. Each of your landing pages needs to be a perfect extension of the messages and expectations set by your ads and campaigns.
- Checkout: do everything you can to optimize what is for many people the most annoying part of the shopping journey. Guest checkout, multiple payment options, Paypal, there are many things you can do to improve your checkout flow.
B – Personalization: the devil is in the details
It’s not the first time we’ve mentioned this but in an era of hyperconnectivity and information saturation, personalization is key!
The good news is that today, customization is within every team’s reach:
- Offer similar products or complimentary products
- Use geolocation to display nearest store availability
- Make reordering easy
- Fine-tune segments to personalize specific sections of your site
Know your audience
Knowing your target audience is of course key to offering the right product, at the right time, and to the right customer.
But while basing this understanding on the behavior of the people who have already visited your site is key, don’t forget to cater to first-time visitors, too!
According to our 2020 Benchmark data, 55% of visitors are new to your site.
During the quarantine, these numbers have surged as industries like online grocery, health or fashion acquired new audiences more used to shopping offline.
A survey of 1115 French consumers carried out by Forrester between April 10 and 15 found that 19% of digital grocery customers were buying food online for the first time ever, and 10% of consumers had never paid for anythign online before. Une étude de Forrester
Nurturing customer trust is even more important when it comes to these customers, who are primarily offline shoppers in ‘normal’ times.
Up to you to make sure your site is trustworthy, and resembles the physical stores your audience is used to interacting with.
Up to you how you make that happen but chances are, making digital more human is the key to success 😉
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?).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?).Creating a Community for the Future of Digital Transformation
A Crash Course in Digital Transformation
For the past couple of years, digital transformation has dominated business conversation. For most companies, it is a major concern and strategic priority. Ironically, in a way, Covid-19 has thrust many businesses into a digital transformation crash course. They are confronting the realities of running completely remote businesses without any planning or strategy. They are having to build digital capabilities with no warning, research or preparation. Businesses are learning how to manage people from afar and keep company culture alive through Zoom calls, virtual town halls and happy hours.
Many are reworking their operations to account for supply chain challenges. Some businesses are completely pivoting, reinventing the products and services they are offering. In New York, some restaurants are converting their spaces to grocery stores to sell the provisions that would otherwise have spoiled. And of course, we would be remiss in mentioning that many are also shuttering their doors forever.
But, many are finding ways to adapt and accelerate. We are all pivoting, innovating, testing, trying. After all, innovation is often born out of crisis.
Digital Transformation in Age of Unpredictability
In our current state, digital transformation has… transformed. People, businesses — we all are dependent on digital like never before. It is a lifeline for everyone right now, both on a personal and a professional level. As a result, digital transformation has taken on an entirely new meaning.
During the last few months, customer bases have increased as more people are relying on digital and eCommerce. However, consumers’ needs have also evolved, and what they expect from brands today is not necessarily what they expected yesterday. Engaging and connecting with consumers goes beyond just providing a good experience. It requires empathy, giving back, understanding customers — and people, generally — on a new level. Businesses that are open to innovation, connected to their customers and their data, and practicing empathy are weathering the storm and charting new courses.
I think we can all agree that while things might get back to some sense of normalcy, they will never be the same again. I don’t say it to be dramatic, rather, because the sooner we understand this simple fact, the better job we can do at adapting to what comes next.
That begs the question: what is next in digital transformation?
Change is constant, but uncertainty doesn’t always have to be if you’ve got a solid, adaptive business strategy. The next chapter of digital transformation will see brands shift from having a digital strategy that worked once upon a time to one that works whatever happens.
The Digital Changemakers: Dedicated to What’s Next in Digital
At Contentsquare, we’ve been asking ourselves this very question. We’ve been searching for ways to stay connected to our customers and community, while also preparing for the unpredictable. First, we focused on providing valuable, fresh weekly data on how coronavirus is impacting eCommerce on our COVID-19 hub. After all, we believe data is the first step to solving any challnge. But, we have also been asking ourselves, how can we contribute to our industry? How can we make a lasting impact? How can we make sure that we create positive change during a time of such turbulence?
Two things came to mind: community and innovation. So, we decided to combine the two by creating a community dedicated to fostering innovation with the CX industry: the Digital Changemakers.
There is enough room in this space for all of us to do amazing things, create exceptional experiences for customers and support each other. Let’s come together during a time of isolation and share our collective experiences, learn from each other and create cutting-edge, innovative ideas to help power the future of the industry.
That is where you all come in. We’d like to ask you to join our Digital Changemakers’ Community.
Once you become a member, you’ll have exclusive access to research, insights, industry expertise and, most importantly, a group of like-minded members within the industry. We’ll be updating the site regularly with new content, interviews and virtual events (for now). You will also see a form at the footer of every page where you can ask a question or even share an experience for the group to learn from.
We hope you join us and look forward to defining what the future holds for digital.
Introducing the New Zoning Analysis: Our Signature Feature is now More Powerful and Easier to Use than Ever
After months of hard work and dedication, our Product team is ready to unveil our new Zoning Analysis with a more complete experience than ever.
So how did Zoning Analysis become Contentsquare’s most-loved feature? The answer is simple. In essence, you get intuitive and flexible visualizations that tell you why visitors engage, hesitate or get frustrated by overlaying key UX metrics directly onto your website.
With these clear business and engagement metrics, it has never been easier to understand and explain differences in customer behavior. With a clear view of what site visitors find engaging and helpful, versus what might be considered obstacles along the user journey, teams can quantify their content decisions at a glance, and easily get rid of friction. This granular read of visitor behavior also grants brands a way to attribute revenue to their content and UX investments.
What makes all this so practical is that Contentsquare’s single tag captures every single customer interaction, including every click, scroll, hover and swipe. The platform automatically captures behaviors on dynamic content and historical versions of your site, enabling you to jump straight to your analysis.
In a world where every business is striving to exceed the latest standards of speed, ease-of-use and seamlessness, we believe digital CX stakeholders should also enjoy an optimized user experience. That’s why we’ve now made your favorite power tool for in-page analytics even smarter and easier to use.
Say Hi to Our New Zoning
Having worked closely with our customers on a solution that provides answers to real-life use cases, we’ve completely revamped our Zoning Analysis so teams can answer questions faster and even more efficiently.
The new Zoning Analysis is even more tailored to our operational goals: fast and easy to use.
Agathe Orsoni, Digital Marketing Manager at Petit Bateau
We made Zoning Analysis inside the platform as quick and easy to use as CS Live, our nifty browser extension. With our Live Zoning, your website becomes your dashboard. Simply browse your site including dynamic content and drop-down menus, overlay metrics in one click and answer questions on the spot.
Need to dig deeper into the data? Take snapshots to save them into Contentsquare, analyze any element of interest or track its progress regularly.
Comparison Made Easy
Let’s say you recently launched a new campaign and want to analyze the performance of your hero banner before and after adding a new promotional offer. Or, you just performed an A/B test and want to compare different A/B test elements side by side. By comparing the two, you immediately see why one version performs better and can take actions based on your visitors’ preferences.
Spot a win or a decision you want to celebrate? Simply export your analysis as a PDF to share with key collaborators, whenever you need.
“The intuitive new Zoning allows us to make more detailed analyses especially on CRO / AB Testing subjects where all test variations have to be studied. The new side-by-side functionality allows us to compare the data of each test variation more easily and to learn the best lessons.”
Hazel Dinler, CRO Analyst at Sephora
Ease of use and speed to insights are the key pillars of our new Zoning Analysis. At Contentsquare, we believe in making decisions based on data, not opinion. And we think this level of customer intelligence should be accessible to all. Zoning Analysis was designed to be used by everyone — its highly visual metrics can be leveraged by anyone, not just analysts, and allows everyone on the team to pursue shared goals autonomously.
If you want to learn more about our new, improved Zoning Analysis or if you’d like to see it in action, we’ll be happy to give you a tour!Healthy Transformations: Rewarding Your Customer Experience with a Direct to Consumer Approach
Over the next 12 months, we’ll be sharing advice on how to grow and strengthen your digital business with a holistic approach to customer intelligence. Join our healthy digital transformation club to stay in the know.
Customer proximity, engagement marketing, consumer-driven innovation… 2020 is the year to take your understanding of customers to the next level. And no one knows this better than the new crop of Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands, who are challenging traditional digital commerce channels and reinventing the way businesses communicate, engage and connect with their customers.
A slew of big-name start-ups of the past few years have set up shop as DTC businesses. Even legacy brands like Nike are making moves to reduce their reliance on third-party vendors like Amazon. So what is behind the direct to customer marketing appeal?
In Praise of a Truer Connection With Your Customers
The name says it all. Many of the D2C newcomers are leveraging this unmediated business model to build a stronger, closer — in short, more direct — connection with their audience.
With a greater hold on consumer engagement through ownership of the whole customer journey, brands are at liberty to analyze the moments of connection to better adjust the CX to their customers’ needs and wants.
Customers in 2020 value seamlessness, yes, but also authenticity, originality, added value, and a customer experience (CX) that ticks all these boxes. Some audiences will be responsive to a company’s sustainable supply chain; others want a beauty brand designed for real people.
In the brave new D2C world, a brand’s core value proposition has to be defined (and delivered!), as it is a cornerstone of engagement marketing.
One of the benefits of all this customer closeness is that it breeds innovation. The D2C superstars, with their tight audience relationship, are leading through disruption; innovating new ways to engage customers and nurture loyalty over time.
In fact, these success stories often transcend the product that launched them in the first place. For example, on its website, Away says it makes “everything you need away, and nothing you don’t.” GoPro’s About Us page mentions “celebrating moments” and “capturing life.”
Achieving this level of connection implies a solid understanding of what matters to your target audience, which brings us to UX data.
Leveraging Behavioral Data For Greater Customer Proximity
Addressing your audience directly gives you privileged access to customer intelligence, and to the digital insights you need to optimize your CX.
Owning the end-to-end user journey affords brands exhaustive insight into their visitors’ UX — from their customer journey, to their in-page behaviors, to their interactions with individual page elements such as images, form fields, etc.
This kind of in-depth reading of your customers’ behavior will reveal your biggest experience hits and misses, flag the changes that should be prioritized and convey where your greatest opportunities lie.
After all, how can you build the ideal customer journey without a solid understanding of what your visitors are trying to achieve in the first place, or how they would prefer to go about it? The way customers move through your site and interact with it are all clues to decipher intent — itself a necessary signal for personalization and customer connection.
Aligning customer wants and a brand message via an engaging experience is something the leading D2C brands have mastered. And today, putting customer experience metrics in the hands of all those who have a stake in the CX has never been easier.
Widening access to this data is key to achieving the level of agility and excellence that customers today expect. Customer preferences fluctuate fast and furiously, and your team’s ability to keep up with them needs to be just as swift.
The DTC Approach: Putting Customers at the Heart of Things
Whatever your business model, there is much to learn from D2C brands’ commitment to customer-centricity. Developing a unique brand narrative, defining a clear value proposition and leveraging your ownership of the customer journey to improve the digital experience for all visitors are just some of the ways you can increase customer engagement.
In the end, all roads lead back to customer experience analytics. Whether you want to control the creative concepts or the technical aspects of your UX, a surefire way to unlock actionable insights is through the use of metrics that capture the nuances of human digital behavior. Does your message resonate? Are you helping visitors achieve their goals? Is your digital experience (DX) frustrating or delightful? There’s much to discover on how your visitors are using your digital properties.
So go ahead, sow your wild oats via a DTC approach and stay informed on your experiences and customer behavior. After all, the ‘20s are here. Let’s make them roaring for your UX.
Want to learn about how our DTC clients leveraged smart UX analytics to improve their content and ROI goals? Download our DTC report.Fostering a Culture of Ownership & Investing in the Employee Experience
Culture eats strategy for breakfast, said management theorist Peter Drucker. And it doesn’t happen on its own. Creating an outstanding employee experience is an ongoing job. In 2019, we doubled the size of our team — growing from 300 to 600 people. We grew in diversity and locations, with more than 38 nationalities represented across our offices. We recruited hundreds of new hires and integrated two acquisitions comprising hugely talented teams.
Our employee Net Promoter Score is currently at a healthy 11 (for scale, an eNPS greater than 10 is good and one greater than 50 is amazing) — this makes us 1) very happy and 2) committed to pull all the stops to keep our team engaged and happy. As we head into a new decade and continue to grow our team, we are staying true to our core values and finding new ways to bring them to life in our employee experience.
Building a culture of transparency and accountability
We’ve worked hard to build visibility and transparency at Contentsquare. Our shared goals are highly visible, and we have regular department and team-wide check-ins to see where we stand, what’s working well and what’s not. All employees set quarterly goals and we trust they are doing their best to meet their objectives and will readily share any hurdles they face. That’s why in 2020 we’ve introduced greater flexibility around the way we work because we care more about results than hours worked, where we work, or how many holidays we take. This led us to rethink our approach to working from home and to implement unlimited vacation days in the US to replicate the success of this model in our Tel Aviv office.
Investing in personal growth
We believe that if our employees grow, the company will grow. We’re fully committed to investing in the career development of each member of our team. The CS Space Academy portal we launched this year is a one-stop-shop for our employees’ internal training needs. We’re a very international team with increasing opportunities to work from a new country. We have people choosing to transfer to another office every month, and recently we organized ten moves, including UK to France, Tel Aviv to New York, etc. We’re on the cusp of launching a new Learning & Development strategy, and we have big plans afoot to further grow our Peer-to-Peer learning programs, because we believe in our internal expertise, knowledge sharing and co-development. We also started a brand new onboarding program called Rocket Days, where we gather 10 to 20 newbies a month in our Paris office for a few days of training and French immersion! We’ve also kicked off an internal management mentorship track.
Energizing our team and realizing impact
Most of all, we want our team members to be excited about coming to work. About the ambition of our vision and product roadmap. About the impact each team member can have. That’s why we encourage contributions, involvement, ownership and ideas. In fact, our employees truly drive our innovation agenda — every year we host a company-wide Hackathon and the winning projects are included in the company roadmap. We’re very proud of our company culture and of the work our local culture crews do to keep things fun, unexpected and lively. And even though we’ve grown significantly, we still think it’s important for everyone to come together once a year at our annual WorldWide KickOff. This event highlights our commitment to transparency, as it’s the opportunity to align everyone around our strategy and recognize the terrific contributions of all our employees. Think 600 people in the countryside, two hours north of Paris, for three days…
What matters to our employees matters to us
We want to become more socially accountable, and we’re investing in several initiatives to help get us there. We’ve had several employee-led efforts to introduce sustainable practices, including the CS Green tree-planting initiative, which was a winning Hackathon 2019 project and our Culture Crew-led volunteer days. Our customer and prospective customer community expressed an interest in discussing the advancement of women in ecommerce so we’ve created new forums to do just that with more than 100 attendees at our London event last week.
One team = shared success
Everyone on the team is part of the Contentsquare adventure and we recognize that the success of our company relies on each and every one of our employees. That’s why we’ve announced that in 2020, we’ll be giving every full-time employee stock options.
In short, we’ve set ourselves some ambitious goals but we believe the experience of working towards them is just as important as achieving them. We think employee engagement starts with listening to the team, which is why we have regular surveys, daily direct discussions, monthly Let’s Talk employee sessions and, for (the few shy folks) our anonymous online question box. The growth we’ve experienced in the last couple of years has been tremendous and strengthened our organizational culture no end, and we know our best developments are still to come. Stay tuned!Superstars and Software: Highlights from our 2020 Worldwide Kickoff
Last year’s annual team retreat was already off the charts, but this year’s Worldwide Kickoff exceeded our wildest expectations. First off, this commencement was double the size of last year’s (580 people!), coalescing workers old and new, including those from our vitalizing acquisition of 2019.
Our lively lot metaphorically set sail to the company’s country of origin: France. After briefly staying at the very first Contentsquare office (in Paris), we sojourned on the Lac d’Ailette, in the heart of the French countryside to the northeast of Paris.
Secondly, we stayed true to our work ethic of working hard and playing hard, with jam-packed days of games and parties, balanced by meetings and workshops. Lastly, WWKO 2020 was a memorable event; for some, it was a fresh dive into the world of Contentsquare, for others, it was a chance to reconnect with the growing force that is our team.
We spoke with our team members from across the globe to get their perspective on this year’s kickoff.
Worldwide Kickoff 2020: Best Moments & Other Reflections
“The 2020 WWKO was amazing, the atmosphere of our close to 600 employees arriving from all countries was outstanding! I am sure we managed to provide them with the full update on where the company is, how we ended 2019 and our plans for 2020 and the years ahead.”
– Shlomi Hagai, Global CFO, Israel
“Kickoff was a really cool opportunity to get the US, French, and Israeli support team members together in the same room for the first time.”
– Steven Rayl, Support Engineer, Customer Support, US West Coast
“This was my first year at the Contentsquare WWKO and it was insane, very well organised you can tell how much hard work had been put in to get it put together. I have never experienced anything like the hype and camaraderie on the first day. It makes you very proud to work for a company that is doing great things but still cares and looks after the employees.” –
– Daniella Sykes, Sales Development Representative, UK
“My favorite moment was when we saw the brand video about the teams during the keynote presentation. It was so impressive, it gave me thrills. You really feel you’re part of one family. It’s so important because it’s part of our DNA.”
– Julien Crevel, Customer Success Manager, Paris
“WWKO 2020 was a great way to connect with team members that you Slack every day but don’t get to see in person. The same way that I love meeting clients in person so that they feel understood and heard, I really enjoyed meeting and seeing the rest of the global team during our team breakouts.”
– Monique Fan, Product Experience Manager, New York
“WWKO 2020 was a great opportunity to finally meet in person a lot of the people I’ve been interacting with from the different teams and locales.
– Sergei Shenderovich, Senior Technical Solution Architect in Sales Excellence, Israel
“My favorite moment in WWKO 2020 has got to be riding the inflatable unicorn in the ball pit… my 6-year-old self came back out and had a blast! On a more serious note, it was great to hear about the company’s vision and where we’re headed, especially sinceI’m new to the business.
– Louise Duseigneur, Customer Success Manager, UK
“WWKO 2020 is, with Hackathon, definitely one of the highlights of the year for me. It somehow managed to keep a small startup atmosphere while constantly improving the level and quality of the event throughout the years.
– Antoine Auffret, Lead Customer Success Manager, Paris
“This WWKO 2020 was definitely one of my top three kickoffs. I’m so glad to see that after 8 years at Contentsquare, we are able to go beyond ourselves and make it even better!
– Fanny Pourcenoux, Head of Global Design, Paris
“My first WWKO at Contentsquare, and I am blown away! I’ve been to kickoff events with some of the biggest SaaS companies in the US, and they don’t even come close to capturing the energy and connection at the Contentsquare WWKO.”
– Derek Webb, VP New Business East Coast in Sales North America, New York
“On the heels of what we’ve done last year with the two acquisitions and amazing growth, I think this WWKO 2020 contributed to building trust, the vision of the company, sharing enthusiasm, encouraging communication, and increasing collaboration.”
– Joaquim De Sa Alves, Chief Financial Officer, Paris
“Overall it was a very fulfilling experience interacting with teams across the organization and “visualizing” who is who and the organizational structure. Another would be the Customer panel sharing insights into how they are using and benefiting from Contentsquare.”
– Jace Dicker, Sales Director in Sales North America, US East Coast, New Business North America – West
“This was my 3rd WWKO and easily the best one yet. We upped the ante in every aspect; the content, the strategy, the presenters, the client involvement, the location, the atmosphere, the parties, the food…?!”
– Gareth Drabble, Head of Customer Success, Northern Europe, UK
“This WWKO has been just great! It truly embraced our values of team-building and enthusiasm, bringing together people from around the world, who have worked hard and proven their value to the business for an entire year, to have fun and build memories together during these wild 3 days.”
– Alessandro Boschi, Inside Sales Executive – Italian Market, Paris
“The first day of WWKO 2020 was also my first day at Contentsquare. To me, it was incredible to see how the company is sticking together, how each individual is following the same goal (to make Contentsquare great) and how transparent and honest the management team is with regards to the current situation and vision of Contentsquare.”
– Benjamin Gruber, Sales Executive in Sales Europe + ROW, Denmark
“Those three days of kickoff were awesome. Lots of great announcements and reflections to celebrate our common successes and ambitions. The parties were just crazy, with a ton of epic costumes and people full of energy and enthusiasm. It was impressive to see so many people from different cultures and countries, often meeting for the first time, working, chilling and having fun as one.”
– Fanny Rousell, Innovation Project Manager in Product, Paris
“This Kickoff was an amazing experience which started from booking half of the plane, and flying all together – the journey to the venue itself was an exciting experience since our drive from the office took 3.5 hours. The venue looked great, with stunning views, a cool countryside atmosphere and stunning sunsets.”
– Daniel Kanevsky, DevOps Engineer in R&D, Israel
“I joined the company back in June 2019, so this was my first WWKO. It was a great experience for many reasons. It gave me the chance to get to know my London colleagues better, but also connect with people across the organization, especially the people in SDR from different regions. I really found the presentations interesting and motivational — to see how the company is doing, and what to look forward to in the future!”
– Gabriel Andersson, Inside Sales Intern Nordics, UK
“ The WWKO was a brilliant and rare opportunity to spend time with employees from all around the world, build relationships that cross oceans and help us work together as one giant team — we are incredibly fortunate to be part of such a global and diverse organization and that deserves to be celebrated!”
– Kirsty Champion, Customer Success Manager, UK
“I’ve been attending kickoffs in 5 different companies almost every year for 20 years. The 2020 WWKO at Contentsquare was, without any doubt, the best I’ve ever attended. I’m a newbie and I really felt that I’m part of an awesome team in an amazing company. I loved Jon’s presentation about our history and where we come from.”
– Pierre Bancelin, Product Marketing Manager in Product, Paris
“The music, the words, the pictures have strengthened the sense of belonging to the Contentsquare family. We are big, unique, professional and the presentations were very clear at the same time. Best kickoff ever.”
– Frederic Kingue Johnson, VP Sales Western Europe, Paris
“The 2020 Kickoff was my first at Contentsquare but definitely not my last. Kickoff is not just a word. It’s a statement. It’s the embodiment of team building, team spirit and of course, lots of fun. It’s the perfect opportunity for the Contentsquare family to get together, share ideas, philosophies and opinions. It’s unique. it’s us.”
– Kristian Kramp, Business Development Representative in Sales Europe + ROW, UK
“My first day was January 13th, so being super new to the company I was pretty nervous and shy to meet not only my London office but the whole global team. Everybody I met made me feel incredibly welcomed from the beginning, and going to WWKO was a special way to feel a part of the team, very early on.”
– Matt Christie, UX/UI Designer in Product, UK
“It was my first kickoff and it was a big pleasure for me to be there. I was impatient to meet my colleagues from other countries. My favorite moments were when we were all reunited in the big room for the presentation of 2019 by Jonathan Cherki.”
– Sonia Ghodbane Lamraoui, Senior Accountant in Finance, Paris
“It’s so mind-blowing to see that Contentsquare has doubled its size, while still keeping the on-fire spirit as usual.I loved the strategy presentation most showing realistically where we are at in the market, and the huge opportunities ahead in different continents. Love to contribute to that! Parties are always so crazy, and they were during our WWKO 2020.”
– Yefei Mao, Senior Product Manager, Paris
“I love attending the WWKO each year, as it’s an opportunity to meet people I regularly work with around the world, and reconnect with friends I made last year. My favorite moments were the unexpected ones – impromptu games sessions in our cottage. WWKO was also an important week to strengthen existing bonds and form new ones – talking face to face is much more natural then virtually, and can often uncover hidden opportunities to collaborate and help each other out.”
– Georgiana Hunter Cozens, CEM, UK
NEWS: Contentsquare, Worldwide Leader Of Digital Experience Analytics, Grew 200% In 2019
After raising $120 million since 2017, and following the acquisitions of Clicktale and Pricing Assistant, digital experience analytics leader Contentsquare announced record results for the full year 2019. For its vision and accomplishments, the company has been named a 2020 BIG Innovation Award winner by the Business Intelligence Group.
“The digital experience analytics industry is growing at a rapid pace and Contentsquare is leading the way. Our company had tremendous growth this year including revenue, clients, geographic reach, employees, partnerships and product,” said Contentsquare CEO, Jonathan Cherki. “Customer feedback makes it clear we have the right strategy executed by the right people so we look forward to a bright 2020.”
Record Company Growth
With a mission to empower brands to create better web, mobile, and app experiences, Contentsquare grew annual recurring revenue nearly 200% during 2019. New and expanded clients include industry leaders across sectors such as BCG, Best Buy, Caixa Bank, Crocs, Deichmann, Dell, Europcar, Eurostar, Ferragamo, Orvis, Pizza Hut, RBS, T-Mobile, TomTom, Toyota, Tumi, Unilever, and many others. Contentsquare analyzes more than 9 trillion consumer interactions each day to provide its more than 600 enterprise clients worldwide with benchmarks and recommendations.
Companies worldwide are turning to Contentsquare for a new breed of analytics which surfaces digital behavior insights essential for improving customer journeys, increasing mobile conversions and increasing revenue. In 2019, more than 200 new customers joined the Contentsquare community and total usage of the platform increased nearly 300%. Contentsquare’s international sales grew at a brisk pace in 2019, with 40% of its business now in the United States and 50% in Europe, including strong adoption across France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Nordics. The company is growing faster than expected in Asia, particularly in Japan; Contentsquare is investing across the region in Australia, Singapore and China.
Contentsquare doubled its staff in the last year, growing the team from 300 to 600. The company plans to fill 200 positions this year. Contentsquare has 7 offices in Paris, Munich, London, New York, San Francisco, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. In line with its mission to create better experiences, the company continued to invest in its employee culture, adding new benefits and bringing all employees together for the annual offsite.
Ecosystem Integrations and Strategic Partnerships
Building a strong partner community is a key ingredient of Contentsquare’s strategy. The company’s partner program invites both services and technology partners to leverage the Contentsquare technology in order to create value for their customers. The company has built technology integrations with more than 100 software vendors, including some of the key players in its ecosystem such as Google, Adobe, Oracle, Medallia, Qualtrics, Tealium, Dynamic Yield, Usabilla, Monetate, Kameleoon, Qubit, ForeSee and OpinionLab. Contentsquare also announced in 2019 a business and technology integration with Salesforce. These seamless ecosystem integrations allow clients to leverage the power of Contentsquare data and insights to enhance the value of their commerce and marketing solutions. The company has also developed strategic partnerships with consultants and digital marketing solutions providers around the world, including WPP, Capgemini, Havas, Accenture, BCG, Wunderman, Dentsu Merkle and many others across Europe, the United States, LATAM, the Middle East and Asia. See them here.
Innovation with Artificial Intelligence, Privacy and Security Focus
To keep up with the needs of its clients, the company is constantly innovating and adding new modules to the platform. With 170 people in R&D and Product, Contentsquare is built to provide instant insights that go beyond what traditional “clickstream” analytics can show. A major new version of the platform debuted in 2019, integrating capabilities from its acquisitions such as Session Replay and featuring innovations such as Revenue Opportunities which estimates the financial impact of recommended modifications. The company also introduced the industry’s first turnkey holistic online experience score, the Digital Happiness Index.
When it comes to data privacy and security, Contentsquare continues to put its clients and their end users first, obtaining ISO 27001 certification with SOC 2 compliance completing in 2020. The company is also fully compliant with applicable data privacy laws such as EU GDPR and California CCPA.
In addition to the 2020 BIG Innovation Award, Contentsquare was named as a Next40 growth company by the French government and recognized by Global research firm Gartner, as a leader in the Customer Experience Digital Analytics field. Contentsquare CEO, Jonathan Cherki is participating in this year’s Davos World Economic Forum.
“Our ambition remains unchanged: empower brands to deliver better digital experiences. We are creating an intelligent brain inside the cloud that, thanks to our amazing clients, is improving the digital products and services that we all depend on every day. Our team constantly goes beyond traditional limits to achieve this vision. The results obtained over the last 12 months just strengthen our ambition to put the power of Contentsquare in the hands of every digital professional,” said Cherki.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.
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.
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.Mobile Marketing: How To Boost Your Mobile UX
According to Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans today own a smartphone, and mobile dependence is also on the rise.
Emarketer predicts that by 2021, “mCommerce will account for 72.9% of the ecommerce market.”
And yet, mobile conversion rates are still stagnating around 2%.
Like many other digital teams around the world, you may be scratching your head, wondering what you need to do to shrink the mobile gap for your business to see healthier conversion rates among your smartphone shoppers.
But instead of focusing exclusively at conversions, brands should take a closer look at their user journeys to gain an in-depth understanding of their customers’ behaviors.
Accessing this level of insight implies having the right tools and methodology, and in some cases, trading in basic or incomplete methods for next-gen solutions.
In this guide, we’ll explore why mobile conversions are having such a hard time catching up to desktop, and what metrics you can use in 2019 to make sense of (and correct) this discrepancy.
As ever, we’ll save the best for last with some concrete tips on how you can optimize your mobile or app experience today.
Let’s dive in!
Mobile Conversions vs. Desktop Conversions: What Gives?
Widespread mobile adoption means consumers now have the world at their fingertips. And yet, 37% of mobile sessions last less than one minute!
Evolving usage and the transformation of devices themselves have widened the gulf between desktop and mobile behavior.
Even more so than on desktop, mobile browsing requires an intuitive, seamless navigation, fast loading times and a streamlined customer journey.
And yet many sites and apps are not conceived to meet the needs of this particular audience, which is often impulsive, impatient, and easily distracted.
The numbers speak for themselves.
Our study of 300 million mobile sessions shows that:
- Smartphone sessions are 1.5 times shorter than sessions on any other device (37% of these sessions last less than a minute!)
- Mobile visitors spend 21% less time on the first page they land on.
- A mobile visitor has a 50% chance of bouncing after 5 seconds.
Hence the need to put aside preconceived ideas and to ask the right questions:
- In what context are users browsing on mobile? At the office, during their lunch break? Waiting for the bus on their morning commute? Inside a mall?
- What is your customers’ intent? Are they hoping to buy or simply looking for information? Are they trying to locate the nearest branch of your store? Are they seeking out customer reviews?
Customer Experience in 2019: The Era of “Micro-Moments”
What if the objective of a browsing session was not, in fact, a purchase?
You heard right. There are as many mobile browsing objectives as there are situations, or “micro-moments.”
And yet it is possible to group these micro-moments into phases, each presenting their own set of challenges for brands:
- I am discovering a product/service: can I get easy access to the information I need from the site?
- I am heading to a store to make up my mind: how am I advised and encouraged online to continue my journey offline?
- I’ve made my decision but I’m still missing some information: how does the site help solve my issues? Does it anticipate my questions?
- I’m completing my purchase on mobile: is the checkout optimized for my immediate context/circumstances?
Giving each of these situations proper consideration goes against some of the preconceived ideas of eCommerce such as: every visit should lead to a conversion. This is simply not the case.
What if the information or free services featured on your site also needed optimizing? Not to encourage an immediate conversion, but to generate long term value.
If you ignore these micro-moments and focus all your efforts on those visitors who have already decided to complete their purchase online, you risk missing out on many conversion opportunities in the long haul.
The Right Metrics for the Right Conclusions
We now know that the user journey on mobile is peppered with micro-moments that should be considered individually.
But how do you shine a spotlight on these moments, which may vary greatly depending on your vertical, your positioning and your offering?
A traditional site analysis, bolstered with A/B tests based on practical use cases (or sometimes even on intuition) may at first glance appear to be the perfect answer.
And while many businesses have relied on the numbers provided by these analyses for years, teams now have access to much more sophisticated UX analysis tools to understand the behavior and goals of their digital audience.
Basic metrics such as conversion rate, bounce rate, session duration and number of pageviews remain critical to understand user journeys.
But why stop there?
In the following paragraphs, we’ll look at four new metrics that can help teams better understand the nuances of customer behavior.
Click recurrence is the number of times a user clicks on a specific in-page element.
This metric is incredibly useful because it sheds light on user frustration, due to:
- Bugs and glitches
- A confusing CTA
- An unclear design that led the user to believe an element was clickable when it wasn’t
The activity rate, a metric that measures the time spent interacting with specific in-page elements, is less frequently leveraged.
And yet it’s much more useful to understand how long visitors spent trying to achieve a specific task than the time if took them to exit your site…
Many businesses routinely monitor how long visitors stay on the pages of their site. This metric is useful to determine how helpful these pages are for visitors trying to fulfill a particular objective.
The engagement rate measures the percentage of visitors who clicked after having hovered over a zone.
By analyzing the engagement rate on a CTA, you can understand the impact of each and every one of your changes (wording, positioning, etc) on conversions and other behaviors.
In short — a goldmine!
Time before first click:
The time between the moment when the visitor lands on a page and clicks on an element is an extremely important value.
That’s when your visitor will form an impression, absorb the information you have provided and make a decision about their next action.
Time before first click can convey a lot of information about how a visitor feels about your site.
For example, a short time before first click can indicate that visitors are distracted by certain elements or are being encouraged down the wrong path.
A long time before first click could indicate that the forms or features on a page are too complex to navigate, and are obstacles in the customer journey.
How to Optimize the Mobile Experience to Increase Conversions?
Are you not convinced of the effectiveness of your landing pages? Now would be the time to take a closer look.
Our research shows that visitors who start their navigation on a product page spend less time on-site than those starting their journey on any other category of page.
Presenting the right content at the most opportune moment is key if you want to enjoy a healthy conversion rate.
The first thing to do is to make sure the content of your landing page is relevant to the message in your acquisition source (SEO, SEA, social, etc).
Here are some other good practices you can follow to maximize engagement on your landing pages.
Challenge: is it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for?
- Simple and clear CTAs
- Crystal clear brand/product positioning
- Clear displays of the site’s main categories
- Reduction or riddance of moving slideshows,
- Fewer or no popups
Challenge: is it easy for users to browse what interests them?
- Easy access to cart
- CTAs above the fold,
- Product availability (online and offline),
- Dynamic/accordion menus.
Challenge: is the checkout process seamless?
Solutions for an improved cart:
- Make it easy for users to edit carts
- Allow users to remove items easily
- Suggest other relevant products after add-to-cart
Solutions for checkout:
- Offer secure payment options
- Enable guest checkout option
- Allow users to log in through social/email
- Include multiple payment options (Apple Pay, Google Pay…)
- Clearly label CTAs
- Enable “click and reserve” and “wish list” features
- Leverage mobile payment solutions
While our recommendations focus on specific use cases, an effective mobile optimization strategy requires continuous monitoring of all aspects of the customer experience.
Any improvements to the mobile experience need to keep up with the pace of usage, and with the real-time needs and expectations of your smartphone audience.
To help teams gain a complete understanding of their customers, and to pinpoint the obstacles or frustrations along the user journey, we’ve developed a unique set of metrics that measure customer engagement and interactions at every step of the journey.
Equipped with this level of customer intelligence, teams have everything they need to make winning CX decisions and remove friction from their mobile site and app.
If you’d like to know more about your customers, or if you want to see where they struggle on your site, give us a call and we’ll be happy to show you.
We’ll be happy to show you!