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  • Writer's pictureRick Kenney

Benchmark Blast: Shopper tracks

The greatest filler word of the past decade in ecommerce and marketing tech?

~ Omnichannel? Nah, it may be hard to execute, but it is the foundation of commerce today (and likely the savior for the high cost of pure-play ecommerce)

~ Personalization? Nope, providing product and offer recommendations continues to show results.

I’ll argue for ‘experience’ - countless blog posts, boardroom conversations, and panels (yuck) are infected by the most overused and under defined term that continues to linger.

But, just as any cliche carries some truth to it, so too does the role of ‘experience’ in ecommerce. And, even an intolerance for experience can be overcome. How? By deconstructing the elements of experience. To wit, this two-part Benchmark Blast curates some compelling insights focused on the shopper’s on-site experience. We’ll start with a look at the tracks shoppers are making on site.

Unfurling the Scroll

Shopper consumption can be measured in myriad ways. We’ve covered things like bounce rate and page views previously - and for an in-depth view, the Site Speed Standard is a compendium on those consumption metrics. Another terrific view of a shopper’s consumption is the depth of their view – scroll rate. While merchants and marketers seek pixel perfection across page types, some pixels are just more important than others. Since shoppers are generally looking at the top half of the page - generally the above-the-fold content - the real effort needs to be making that content compelling and informative. And, while all pages play a role, a focus should be on optimizing the workhorse pages; combined, the product detail pages and category pages account for more than 2/3rds of all page views.

And, while shoppers consume slightly more or less of a page by vertical, the rule of thumb of 'half of the page' seems to provide some directional guidance.

The Importance of the Long-Tail

While shoppers may be scrolling only halfway, their buying activity indicates an expanding breath. In the early days of ecommerce, brands and retailers looked to digital to be a source of extended colors, sizes, and a broader assortment. Today, shoppers find the broadest of assortment on marketplaces, and retailers are adopting the marketplace model to serve as a destination for their shoppers. These retail marketplaces are also experiencing a shift - the long tail of the catalog is becoming more important. More specifically the sales contributions from the ‘bottom 20%’ of products are increasing faster than those from top products. In 2021, the share of product sales by the long tail of products increased by 14% over the prior year. This long-tail growth provides an affirmation for retailers and brands that are expanding their assortment to serve their shoppers.

Mobile Consumption

And finally, for your semi-regular update on what’s happening across devices: while mobile continues to win the attention of shoppers – more than doubling traffic share compared with shoppers on a full screen, according to Dynamic Yield. And yes, I said ‘full screen’ as desktop is a lazy and worse, in accurate way to describe the full screen experience. About 2 in 3 computer purchases (non-tablet) are laptops, and likely the traffic from those devices follows suit. That full screen shopping remains productive, though, as those shoppers are more likely to add products to cart:

And, looking at the entire journey, mobile shoppers are much more likely to bail. Mobile shopping attrition is not restricted to early-funnel activity, though, as fall out happens even during checkout:

Sure, creating 'an amazing experience' is great to say, but even better is knowing what goes into that site experience, and how shoppers are actually consuming your site's content.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the experience, a look inward to how sites are attracting shoppers and cultivating that site experience.

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