Two thirds of web content goes “unseen”, Here are four customer journey insights to improve digital experiences

According to the latest estimates, eCommerce penetration has jumped ahead by ten years in the last three months. For many brands, digital is now the front (and only) door available to customers. Now, with ever-rising consumer expectations, a growing number of touchpoints and constantly changing customer behaviors, it’s more important than ever to fully understand your customer’s journey.

If you can visualize how consumers are interacting with your site and apps, you’re empowered with the right knowledge to make quick, impactful changes and updates. The key is to understand the why behind visitor behavior so that you can address the root cause. Are journeys stalling because you need to update content such as current hours and curbside practices? Or because a form is confusing or because there is a page error? Getting a quick diagnosis of the specific issue and quantifying it gives your team the power to be agile and meet customer needs when they will most appreciate and reward you for it.

A useful part of quantification is benchmarking. It’s extremely valuable for brands to learn how competitors, peers and entirely different industries are coping with these same kinds of hurdles. This perspective along with your own historicals and targets can help you prioritize not only where your biggest issues are but also where you excel and have an opportunity to double-down for growth or loyalty.

To truly understand how customers are behaving, Contentsquare analyzed a year’s worth of data from over 7 billion user sessions from 400 global websites in 9 different verticals.

Here are four customer journey insights based on this digital experience benchmark to help brands improve online customer experiences:

1. M-commerce is on the rise

As emerging technologies extend the possibilities of the m-commerce experience, Contentsquare’s research found that mobile is responsible for the lion’s share of traffic in 2020, with an average 55% of online visits attributed to smartphones. Even during the height of the pandemic, Contentsqaure’s Covid Data Hub showed the ongoing importance of mobile as a way for consumers to browse and buy from home.

However, many brands are only seeing half of the conversions from mobile that they get from desktop visitors. Furthermore, mobile has the largest bounce rate at 51%, compared to desktop (43%) and tablet (45%).

The research points to some of the biggest culprits of mobile friction as poorly designed checkout experiences and forms.

Interestingly, during the peak sales periods, the feeling of urgency helps to close the conversion gap between the two devices. Normally, desktop conversion rate is 105% higher than mobile, but during peak shopping periods this is reduced to just 80% higher.

Clearly, mobile experience is becoming a critical battleground in every industry — regardless of its typical purchase size, frequency or cycle time. As such, it’s vital that content and CTA locations are tested thoroughly to give an optimized digital experience based on customer intent.

2. Visitors are abandoning journeys after one page

Almost half of visitors to a site abandon their journey after seeing only one page. On mobile, the cross-industry average bounce rate is slightly higher at 51%, compared to desktop 43% and tablet 45%.

There could be lots of reasons for this, such as slow page loading times or poor site navigation. But you won’t ever know unless you can fully analyze your customer’s journey.

Behavioral analytics can map out a visitor’s progress through a site from entry to exit — giving brands insight into how users behave across their web, mobile site, and app.

Session replays reconstruct individual visitor sessions within a particular site, showing what pages users viewed, where they clicked and whether they had any issues navigating the site. Used in combination with macro-level insights, a brand can quickly troubleshoot why a certain observed metric is happening, or can use them to confirm a specific hypothesis.

3. Most content goes unseen

While total pages viewed is a useful indicator of how customers engage with content and on which pages, there is one metric that should raise red flags for prioritization and optimization programs in all industries — the amount of website content that goes unseen.

Contentsquare’s research uncovered that two-thirds (69%) of web content goes unseen, with websites in the banking sector having the highest amount of unseen content (75%), closely followed by beauty websites and blogs, where 74% of content is rarely being accessed by visitors.

The key to ensuring that your content gets seen lies in using behavioral analytics to identify the most common customer journeys and to ensure that popular, timely content is pushed to the front of your site. During Covid, this real-time planning was vital. From hand sanitizer to exercise equipment, real-time buying data helped retailers redesign their on-site navigations to match evolving consumer concerns.

4. It takes three sessions before a customer converts

A key question for all site managers, product managers and anyone who owns a point of conversion within a customer journey is: how does your conversion rate stack up?

On average, it takes three sessions before a customer converts. Forrester attributes this to customers now wanting to become experts before converting, using different devices for browsing, researching and for purchasing. It also found that 78% of consumers are reading customer reviews before making a purchase.

While there is no right or wrong answer — every business is different after all — Contentsquare’s data reveals that 97% of desktop traffic and 98% of mobile traffic never makes it through checkout. This is likely to be due to issues and challenges in the customer experience prior to the purchase, and is resulting in missed revenue for brands.

To improve conversions, brands should analyze checkout behaviors and break down conversion rates at different stages of the checkout process to spot opportunities for optimization.

It’s clear that the path to conversion is full of obstacles, and it is up to brands to make the journey smoother for its customers.

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s vital to understand how your customer journey ranks.

Behavioural analytics tools take the guesswork out of what affects user behaviour empowers brands with powerful insights to help identify opportunities for innovation and growth. Using the latest analytics technology, brands can design the experiences that customers want from a website, mobile site and app to create the best customer journey possible, keep customers happy and increase your overall revenue.

This post was written by Aimee Stone Munsell, CMO at Contentsquare.

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