Brands can learn a lot from marketers in other industries, according to Adobe Digital Index’s (ADI) third annual “Best Of The Best” report.
For instance, ADI suggests that companies struggling with social media look toward retailers, while those trying to figure out how to increase click-through rates should examine the financial services industry.
ADI defines “best of the best” as companies in the top quintile (20%) based on performance across Web site metrics such as smartphone visits, overall visit rate, consumption, video starts per visit, conversion, stickiness, and advertising metrics including click-through rate and social interaction rate. ADI looked at aggregate and anonymous data from 200 billion visits to 10,000-plus U.S. Web sites during the 2014 calendar year for this analysis.
Social Interaction Rate
In what has grown to be a highly cluttered advertising environment, posts from retailers on Facebook are the most likely to receive interaction, ADI found. But financial services has the largest spread between the average performers and the best.
“Media and entertainment is surprisingly low in social interactions per post, which could be due to the larger number of posts overall,” explained Tamara Gaffney, principal at ADI. “On the other hand, with new product ads being made available by Facebook, retail could see an additional boost in the coming months.”
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
In terms of the percent of ad impressions, five of the six industries analyzed in the report are seeing higher CTRs. Retail, media and entertainment, travel and hospitality, telecom, and financial services are seeing better advertising results, while high tech is not.
According to Gaffney, improved results can be attributed to more companies adopting programmatic ad-buying strategies, which help optimize campaigns and achieve higher CTRs.
In addition, financial services—which is ahead of the pack for CTR—is achieving huge success in optimized targeting, with 64% better CTRs than the rest.
“In most industries, the best are pulling away from the masses to achieve greater efficiency from their acquisition campaigns,” Gaffney told CMO.com.
Stickiness—or the percent of traffic that stays and engages with a site—is an important metric to marketers. Getting someone to your site is one thing, but keeping them there—and keeping them engaged—is another.
According to ADI, less than half (45%) of all visits to a travel site last more than one page, but the best of the best are seeing results that are 33% higher. Retail leads the pack in stickiness, with the gap between average and the top 20% wider than any other industry. The best retailers achieve 53% more “sticky” visits, which equates directly to increased opportunities to convert.
“In most cases, the best are pulling away from the rest with better mobile design, personalized landing pages, and optimized acquisition strategies,” Gaffney explained.
Conversion, which ADI defines as the average orders or bookings per visit, hasn’t changed much since 2013. Top performers get nearly double the conversion rate of the average. Mobile conversion rates are unsurprisingly lower than desktop, but the good news is they are increasing in frequency.
According to Gaffney, retail and travel sites should implement Apple Pay to streamline mobile commerce transactions and increase mobile conversion rates.
When it comes to average monthly video start per visitor, a massive (75%) difference exists in performance between the best of the best and the masses.
The average monthly rate of video starts per visitor per month is more than three times per week for the best. “This enables much greater preroll inventory and revenue opportunities,” Gaffney said.
Consumption (Time Spent)
Overall, the amount of time spent on Web sites this past year was less per visit than the year prior. According to Gaffney, the decrease is due to a dramatic increase in smartphone traffic.
While telecom saw the highest time spent, retail is the only sector that has seen time spent go up in 2014; the gap between the best and the average is getting wider in retail as well.
Every industry is experiencing increases in smartphone traffic, as consumers increasingly rely on their mobile devices for everyday tasks. The gap between the best and the masses is widening in every industry as well.
Media and entertainment top performers get more than half of their visits from mobile phones, which is probably why they place such a high emphasis on their mobile strategy, Gaffney said.
“Optimizing for smartphone traffic has never been more important as iPhone 6/6+ users are more likely to consume more content for a longer period of time,” Gaffney told CMO.com.
Tablet Share Of Visits
Although tablet adoption has recently started waning, due, in part, by the adoption of larger screen devices referred to as “phablets,” every industry saw an increase in tablet Web site traffic in 2014—and the gap between the best and the masses is getting wider.
“Tablet visits are still important but are expected to decline in most industries except media and entertainment,” Gaffney said. Q4 saw a slight decline in tablet usage.
Average monthly visits per visitor—or visit rate—is a category led by technology companies. Technology companies receive the highest overall number of visits per visitor in a month and have the widest difference (40%) between the best and masses.
However, overall visits per visitor were on the decline in 2014. That indicates a greater need to focus on loyalty and retention programs in retail and travel and hospitality, in particular, Gaffney suggested.
“I think the main point here is that brands can learn from marketers outside their industry,” Gaffney said. “Most marketers fall into the habit of following their competitors, and while that’s important, there are insights and learnings outside of their sectors as well.”
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About Adobe Digital Index
Adobe Digital Index 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 over 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.
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.
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