After the holidays wind down and the resolutions start, retailers look back at the crucial time of year that falls between the cyber deals of Thanksgiving and the shopping sprees of December. The first few months of the year can see a dip in sales, but the winners in retail know to use this time to examine what can be improved over the next year to build a better user experience and increase sales without taking a hit outside the holiday months.
Nowadays, with numerous Black Fridays under our belts, we’re familiar with footage of hungry shoppers charging into brick-and-mortar stores to bag their discount of choice. We know, too, that brands regularly carry over Black Friday deals to their websites and apps – culminating on Cyber Monday – and that online traffic increases up to 220%, with online revenues hitting over $5 billion.
A question mark remains, however, over how people actually behave on websites and apps across the holiday season and into the new year. Is a fluctuation in traffic and conversion rates accompanied by a shift in digital body language? Is there a rush to pick up discounts? Are users more distracted? Do they focus less and lose patience, or are they more engaged?
To answer these questions and more, we need to analyze digital body language.
Data scientists from Decibel Insight analyzed more than 400,000 user sessions across two top retail sites looking to detect any fluctuations or spikes in particular digital body language throughout the 2017 holiday season. We focused on tracking behaviors that indicate frustration and engagement, including multi-click, bird’s nest, scroll engagement and reading behaviors.
Below are the metrics that were analyzed.
- Average user focus time – Duration a user actually spends engaging with a website or app, as opposed to the time they have a tab or window of it open.
- User frustration – Instances of digital body language that denote frustration, including multi-click behavior and bird’s nest
- User engagement – Instances of digital body language that denote engagement, including scroll engagement behaviors and reading
The data showed that users’ shopping experiences remained remarkably consistent throughout the 2017 holiday season, with no significant change in users’ digital body language.
While the results weren’t particularly dramatic, they highlight the importance for e-commerce businesses to optimize for experiences year-round. Regardless of it being the busiest and most hectic time of year for online retailers, customers still hold brands to a high standard during the holidays – and the digital businesses who look at what their users’ digital body language is telling them about their user experiences will be better prepared for the next busy season.
Key Takeaways Throughout the Year
Creating delightful digital experiences, therefore, isn’t just for Christmas – or, in this case, Black Friday – it’s a long-term objective. At least, that’s the takeaway for brands looking to reap the most reward from online shopping habits: focus on improving customer experiences all year-round, not just on particular days.