Session Replay Can Improve Your Conversion Rate on Tablets and Smartphones
Marketers need no reminding that consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to access e-commerce and media websites. The Pew Research Center found that 63 percent of U.S. adult mobile phone owners use their phones to go online — double what it was in 2009. Furthermore, 34 percent of them said they accessed the web primarily via their mobile phones. Adobe found that tablets account for 8 percent of total U.S. web traffic, and have surpassed smartphones as the preferred device for mobile browsing.
Which mobile devices are the most popular? We analyzed device type logged during thousands of SessionCam session replays over the last few months, and found an astonishing 2,642 different types of mobile devices. The Apple iPad (55.4 percent) and Apple iPhone (22.9 percent) accounted for most of our mobile recording activity, with the Google Nexus 7 a distant third (1.2 percent). If you're trying to ensure an excellent website experience for your mobile visitors, our research indicates you should focus on Apple, Google, Samsung, Sony and HTC (in that order).
If you're a website optimization expert, you might rightly point out that basic website analytics software can provide this level of detail. However, what it can't tell you is where and why your mobile customer experience is falling short. We frequently work with website optimization experts to help them enhance their existing optimization practices with session replay technology. A primary goal is to boost conversion to purchase. Here are some practical guidelines gleaned from these experiences:
1. Understand conversion rates by device type: First, it's important to understand conversion rates through your sales funnels by device type. Analytics software suites such as Google Analytics can generally provide this. This data can highlight visitors to each page in the funnel, and tell you which of them are converting to sale by device type, browser type and operating system.
2. Conversion rates can vary greatly: Don't make the mistake of combining all mobile users into one statistical reporting group. While it's true that overall conversion rates on mobile continue to lag significantly behind desktop, conversion rates from tablets and smartphones can vary greatly. Some of our clients report similar or higher conversion rates on iPads compared to desktops, so it makes sense to segment by device type.
3. Implement advanced conversion analytics: However, a breakdown of conversion rates by device alone won't necessarily tell you what's "normal" behavior for that device and what's attributable to issues with the user experience. Implementing advanced conversion analytics that show you both page-level and field-level drop-offs by device will give you a more detailed picture of where users of different devices are abandoning your site and where they're experiencing difficulties.
4. Use session replay to see mobile gestures: Now that you've set up device-specific tracking, you should add session record and replay capability to the mix. This lets you record and play back sessions by device type to clearly see where and why users are abandoning, and uncover any usability or technical issues associated with different devices. A good session replay tool will record and play back unique mobile gestures like pinch, zoom, tap, scroll and tilt so you can fully appreciate the user's experience.
Common problem areas
Session replay software enables you to pinpoint where your mobile visitors are struggling with your website. The issues we see most often are calls to action that are too small or located out of a visitor's field of view, tiny text links and text fields, and unresponsive buttons. Often, our clients will identify specific functionality that doesn't work as planned on different mobile devices (and that somehow slipped through usability tests). Uncovering these anomalies and fixing them will increase conversion rates on mobile devices.
Kevin Goodings is the founder and CEO of SessionCam, a SaaS-based session replay tool provider.
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