The Adobe Digital Index “Best Of The Best Benchmark” report (PDF) has been released, the results of which make it clear that organizations that invest in people, processes, and technology are reaping the benefits.
ADI looked at 210 billion visits to 11,000 Web sites in retail, travel, high-tech, financial services, and media in 2013 and compared the results with 2012 to determine how the “best” digital marketing organizations are doing relative to the average. The best digital marketing organizations--or the “top quintile”—according to the report, are the ones that are in the top 20 percent for mobile and tablet traffic, stick rate, pages per visit, minutes per visit, and conversion rate.
“The difference between being average and being in the top quintile represents a massive gap,” said Tamara Gaffney, senior marketing manager, Adobe Digital Index. “The conversion rate, alone, is double for those in the top quintile. So, if you’re in the business of conversion, you can make double the money if you make an investment in digital excellence.”
Benefits To Being The Best
The best of the best are certainly reaping the benefits. Media and entertainment sites, for example, see the highest proportion of traffic from smartphones. However, the best of the best get 77 percent more smartphone visitors, according to ADI. Overall share of visits from smartphones were up about 3 percent since 2012, and the gap between the best and average widened for all industries except high tech. According to Gaffney, this means that the best of the best are pulling away from the competition when it comes to optimizing for mobile browsing.
On the other hand, although travel and hospitality sites receive the highest percentage of tablet visitors, best-of-the-best retail sites still see 55 percent higher tablet traffic. Tablet users, according to ADI, are known to be affluent lovers of technology and gadgets, who could be a missed opportunity for high-tech brands.
Retail Customers Sticking Around
Stick rate—or the percentage of visits that last more than one page—is an important metric for retailers, noted ADI. The best of the best in retail are able to increase their stick rates by 51 percent, according to the data. Stick rate is a very important indicator of a company’s marketing acquisition activities, as well as home page relevance and engagement. Good stick rates can help marketers understand whether they are targeting the right audience, which can aid in fine-tuning targeting to eliminate wasted money and determine the best opportunities for optimization.
The finding that surprised Gaffney the most was that high tech is seeing higher time-spent numbers than are either media and entertainment or financial services. She also noted that time spent on Web sites is generally higher this year, indicating that consumers are finding sites more engaging and the information more relevant to their needs. Minutes-per-visit, or time spent on a site, is one of the strongest metrics for determining how engaging a site’s content is, Gaffney said.
Seamless Integration Is Key
Those who strive to enter the top tier of digital marketers can certainly benefit from perusing the “Best of the Best” report, Gaffney explained, for it can serve as something of a road map to digital excellence. For example, according to Gaffney, the most mature companies all have in common seamless digital and offline experiences.
For retail, these seamless experiences mean having “digitally welcoming” stores, with integrated digital activations, such as QR codes, price matching, or a good mobile (Web or app) experience, that are all tied to a single customer record.
Each industry, of course, has its own flavor of seamless digital integration. For travel, that seamlessness means providing customers with a smooth transition between airports, car rentals, and hotels using mobile apps, for example. In media, seamless integration means understanding the preferences of viewers. The best sites have taken the time to build out their content recommendation engines, Gaffney noted. Top media companies have also invested heavily in a consistent, on-brand experience regardless of device or platform.
On the other hand, financial services companies get to the top by taking care of business quickly and efficiently, Gaffney explained. Banking and money management sites generate high engagement, becoming a useful service customers can rely on. And, of course, the most mature financial services companies are early adopters of tools, such as remote check deposit via a smartphone camera and person-to-person payments.
“Really, it is the same story over and over irrespective of industry,” Gaffney said. “There really isn’t any such thing as ‘offline’ anymore. The unification and seamless experiences across devices and within social media drives the best performance and leads to superior business performance in the end.”
So what does this mean for your organization? Gaffney’s suggested that, if you don’t know where your organization falls within the tiers, it’s time to figure that out. One way to do this is via Adobe’s Digital Marketing Maturity Assessment tool, which aims to identify an organization’s strengths—and weaknesses—and help marketing leaders prioritize focus areas.
About Adobe Digital Insights
Adobe Digital Insights publishes research on digital marketing and other topics of interest to senior marketing and e-commerce executives across industries. Research is based on the analysis of select, anonymous, and aggregated data from more than 5,000 companies worldwide that use the Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud to obtain real-time data and analysis of activity on websites, social media, and advertising.
Receive email updates on the latest Adobe Digital Insights Research.