45% of French people leave a website or mobile after the first page. This is the edifying observation made by Contentsquare, a French specialist in analyzing the operation of websites and applications, in its report Digital Experience Benchmark. The latter is based on the analysis of 46 billion web sessions worldwide, in 14 sectors of activity, to highlight the points of attention on which brands must focus to distinguish themselves in a market. e-commerce where competition continues to intensify.
In France alone, online commerce now represents 14.% of retail in France, compared to 13.4% in 2020, with French people who spent 129 billion euros on the Internet in 2021. Boosted by the pandemic of Covid-19, e-commerce should account for more than 15% of retail trade in France at the end of 2022, before crossing the symbolic bar of 20% by 2030, according to figures from the Federation of e-commerce and distance selling (Fevad). In this context, it becomes imperative for brands to profoundly improve the online experience they offer to consumers so that they can benefit from ever smoother digital journeys.
One second delay in loading time is a 16% drop in customer satisfaction
But before we even look at design, mechanisms to improve the conversion rate and other cognitive technologies to attract the attention of consumers, it is the page load time that can destroy all the efforts of a brand. According to Aberdeen Group, one second delay in loading time is a 16% drop in customer satisfaction. On mobile, one second of delay even means a 20% drop in the conversion rate, according to Google figures. This loading time is now 1.52 seconds on mobile, compared to 1.61 seconds on desktopaccording to the Contentsquare study.
This highlights the actions taken by brands to develop an approach mobile first, while an average of 58% of global internet traffic now comes from mobile. The luxury industry is heavily dependent on mobile traffic, with 76% of visits made on mobile. Cosmetics (74%) and pharmaceuticals (73%) also benefit greatly from mobile traffic. “If mobile traffic remains strong, we will help companies improve their strategy mobile firstwithout however falling into the trap of mobile onlybecause the desktop remains the No. 1 channel for buying sessions”tempers Philippe Omer-Decugis, Head of Business France at Contentsquare.
Once you’ve overcome the pitfall of loading time, of course desktop than on mobile, it is still necessary to activate the right levers to offer a frictionless digital experience to Internet users. In this context, it must be borne in mind that users see an average of five pages per session, all industries combined. And for each session, they spend an average of 4 minutes and 17 seconds there, at the rate of 55 seconds per page.
It is therefore in this more or less long period of time that the brand must manage to interact with the visitor thanks to the content it offers to the latter. “The digital experience is now a strategic issue. We have noticed that, for many of our clients, the brands compete on the ground of UX rather than on that of price. It is therefore up to the brands to ‘offer an experience that is attractive enough to convince the customer to stay’says Harry Thornberry, Business Development Manager at Contentsquare.
And to know if the digital experience offered to the visitor is suitable for him, brands can rely on the rate of scroll to see how far the user scrolls up and down the pages. “A high scroll rate suggests that the user easily understands that they will find additional content below the fold. Such a rate also indicates that your page offers logical structure and added value, while effectively meeting the needs of the visitor”explains Contentsquare in its study.
Conversely, “a rate of scroll low can betray a lack of visual cues on your site or content that does not meet the expectations of the majority of users”. In other words, “If the user leaves your site after viewing only 15% of a page, it simply means that the content of your site does not meet their expectations”. To date, the rate of scroll average, all industries combined, is 54%.
This rate can thus be a good indication of the commitment that a brand generates from its content. The performance of the latter is also correlated to the design of the site and the location of the buttons on the page, like the famous buttons Call-To-Action (CTA) which aims to encourage the user to perform a specific action (registration, purchase, addition to cart, subscription, etc.). These elements must lead the brands to offer the best possible readability, otherwise the visitor can quickly find himself lost or frustrated. “The user should never be surprised or confused when clicking on a link or a CTA button. By directly displaying, from the first half of the page, the content that your customers want to see, you can improve the customer journey while by reducing the overall bounce rate”says Megan Brook-Bramley, Solution Expert at Contentsquare.
Retain the visitor beyond the first page
The bounce rate, precisely, is a double-edged sword. A key indicator of customer engagement, it measures the percentage of Internet users who have entered a web page of the site before leaving the latter in stride. If the site has only one page, like a blog, there is no need to worry about having a high bounce rate. On the other hand, it is much more problematic if the site is based on the consultation of several pages, which is often used in e-commerce. According to Google, the risk of bouncing increases by 32% if the loading time increases from one to three seconds. Two seconds too long and the user vanishes…
In the Contentsquare study, it appears that the B2B sector shows the highest rebound rate (65%) for the second consecutive year, which is nevertheless down compared to 2020 (75%), ahead of the pharmaceuticals (60 %). Conversely, energy has the lowest bounce rate (37%), followed by travel (42%). It is the companies in these sectors that have therefore developed relevant routes at each stage for the visitor.
In a technological ecosystem where codes evolve very quickly, what was effective six months ago may no longer be effective today. The high-tech industry (from 44% in 2020 to 56% in 2021) and the financial services sector (47% to 58%) can attest to this since they show the strongest increases in the rebound rate during the past year. For these companies, as for those in other sectors, the challenge is even greater on mobile, since 51% of users on this format leave the site after seeing only one page. “There is therefore still a long way to go before arriving at a universe mobile first frictionless”notes Contentsquare.
A buying session lasts an average of 17 minutes and 11 seconds in e-commerce
For e-commerce brands, retaining visitors is even more of an obstacle course. And for good reason, the average duration of a buying session is 17 minutes and 11 seconds. A long tunnel where the slightest friction can scare away the consumer. Consequently, the longer the latter takes before making the purchase, the greater the risk of not seeing him go to the end of the purchase journey. “We see that the buying session is the session of all dangers. With an average of 22 pages viewed, it’s a real hurdle race that awaits your users: multiplication of the risk of error, UX risk and loading. In short, shorten your journeys. There is a real correlation between conversion rate and short journey: it’s simple, fast and reliable”explains Pierre Casanova, Chief Revenue Officer at Contentsquare.
A shorter journey maximizes the chances of improving its conversion rate, ie the proportion of consumers who have performed the expected action, namely buying, compared to the total number of visitors who have visited the site. Across all e-commerce industries, the average conversion rate is 2.96%, according to Contentsquare. In the space of a year, it has thus climbed by 30%, while e-commerce uses have been increased tenfold by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is no coincidence that large retailers have seen their average conversion rate drop from 5% in 2020 to 6.8% in 2021. “Improving your conversion rate requires consistent and visible CTAs”says Michelle Lee, UX/UI Design Lead at Contentsquare.
Once the conversion rate is optimized, you still have to succeed in increasing the average basket. This depends not only on the value proposition brought by the brand on its site, but also on its pricing strategy. And if it is important to design experiences particularly developed on mobile, be careful not to limit yourself only to these. And for good reason, the average value of orders on desktop is 91% higher than on mobile, notes Contentsquare.
The challenge is therefore to develop an omnichannel strategy that makes it possible to reach the consumer at all points of contact. And if it is particularly glaring for players in online commerce, this point of attention applies to all companies that want to develop their online presence. It is not uncommon today for a consumer to begin their journey on a digital device (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.) to conclude it in a physical store, or vice versa.