Modern-day retail has evolved from the erstwhile physical outlets to contemporary digital platforms. Proof of this can be found in the fact that out of the 53% of US internet users who research online for products or services, 34% purchase them through online platforms while 19% purchase from a physical store. This shows the predominance of digital in the retail sector.
However, even though retail marketing has taken a digital turn with new processes such as paid search, affiliate, and more recently, multi-channel marketing, there hasn’t been an equivalent shift in the performance metrics to measure the results. Instead of evolving to measure the changing digital footprints like user behavior and shopping trends; the primary KPI – conversion – has still remained a constant.
A good indicator of this is the fact that the conversion rate has remained static at about 3% for 20 years. The problem arises because your performance is still measured solely by user conversion rather than including “user experience” as a part of it. The obstacle in this approach is that conversion fails to convey anything about the user experience whereas today engagement is heavily dependent on user experience.
Moreover, the absence of conversion is not necessarily an indicator of bad user experience. For example, if a user views a product on your app and then purchases it from your physical store, it can be considered a positive experience since it ended up with a sale.
However, simply trying to define this from an online conversion approach will show this as a negative conversion because there wasn’t any online purchase.
Thus the need is to see conversion, not as a single action but rather as a journey, of which experience is a critical part. To gather cumulative data on the user experience, it’s important to analyze what the users were trying to achieve and how – essentially their behavior and intent. This is where the digital body language comes in.
The entire process of using the science of a user’s digital body language starts from considering conversion as a journey, as mentioned above. This will help you to form goals and analyze if the user’s experiences match these goals or not.
Based on the user’s digital body language throughout the journey, you can evaluate their experience and find the areas for improvement. By tapping into the user’s digital language, you can create a better experience for them and drive revenue for your company.
Before we delve deeper into this, let’s understand what user body language means.
Defining Digital Body Language
As per studies, 70% of all communication between people is nonverbal. With the rise of virtual platforms, this communication trend has become more predominant. This makes understanding a user’s digital body language a necessity.
Digital body language combines all the digital gestures and signals of users which can help companies understand their behavior and intent. During face-to-face interactions, it’s easy to observe and analyze the non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice, etc. Similarly, in the case of online interactions, the digital body language such as a mouse click, hovering, or a page bounce is a key to analyzing user behavior.
With the help of user experience analytics – that combine both data and cognitive intelligence – it’s possible to get better insights about each and every user’s digital interaction. These insights can help companies to deliver better experiences and get better results.
Understanding Digital Body Language
The attempts to understand a user’s digital body language have been carried out for a long time. Unfortunately, most of these attempts are limited by their lack of context. Just trying to make assumptions about the user from past data will not help you get the most accurate insights.
Keeping a consistent track of your customer’s actions on the website as they interact and modifying your decisions will help you stay abreast of their changing needs.
You can follow these simple steps to implement a strategy for gathering data from your users’ digital body language:
- Capture detailed data on your user’s behavior – clicks, waiting time, hovers, etc.
- Combine cognitive intelligence and data science such as speech recognition, user segmentation, engagement score to analyze user behavior at various touchpoints.
- Once the findings are complete, the data can be represented in a visual form with the help of heatmaps, bar graphs, pie charts, etc. to present the user behavior and the changes over time in it.
- You can collate all this information to flesh out the final user experience based on their online actions.
Once you’ve successfully analyzed your users’ digital body language, it’ll help provide relevant information on your users such as:
- The stage/funnel in which they are
- What messages to send to match the particular stage/funnel
- When and on which channel to send the messages
- Their response/feedback to the messages
Moreover, analyzing digital body language will also help you to reveal your users’ mindsets and intent. A user’s mindset can be any of the following:
- Confused – Characterized by haphazard actions on the page.
- Disinterested – Characterized by shorter sessions and fewer actions on a page.
- Curious – Characterized by actions on different pages with the intent of browsing or exploring options.
- Considering – Characterized by engaged interactions with an intent to come to a decision.
- Interested – Characterized by repeat visits with an intent to buy.
Mindsets are really important since they influence how users behave with a mobile app, what drives their purchase decisions, and how they react to company communication. Thus, determining mindsets can help mobile marketers evaluate digital body language and discern the right KPIs to track.
The smart way to boost your app engagement is to focus not on changing the customer’s mindset but rather on their experience. For example, for a user with an interesting mindset, you shouldn’t waste time displaying unnecessary messages or offers but guide them straight to the buying page. This will create a better experience for the user.
Again, an indecisive customer who is just browsing will not want to be directed to the buying page, but rather can be provided with more information to induce them to be in a considering mindset. In the latter case, it will create a positive experience even though there’s no direct conversion.
Using The Science Of Digital Body Language
It’s important to understand that the users’ interaction with your mobile app is a journey where their mindsets vary along the various touchpoints.
Let’s take a scenario. A user may land on your mobile app with a mindset of interest. She may explore the various options with a curious mindset. After considering the various options, she will choose a particular one and proceed to buy it. However, if there’s any irrelevant message or a lot of steps to finally take the desired action, she may become confused and disinterested. This may lead them to abandon the cart or even uninstall the app.
Understanding digital body language helps avoid this situation. By evaluating and responding to the specific body language of users, you can influence the mindset of customers and convince them to take the desired actions.
For example, if you want to transform a user with a curious mindset to consider your product, you can offer personalized discounts or referrals to make them finally choose your product or service. You can also use segmentation to understand your target audience better and reach them with the right notifications to turn their disinterest into interest.
Most users prefer a seamless experience across all channels from any company. So your mobile app should begin by combining your marketing campaigns across all channels so that your users get a complete message rather than a disjointed one.
This will also help you in measuring their online body signals across all channels to give you a better understanding of their behavior. For example, if you have a unified email and social media marketing campaign, you will be able to connect a particular user’s behavior such as email opens and social media actions and gain better insight into their interactions with your company
You can finally implement your strategy, keep tracking KPIs, measure the performance of different campaigns, analyze the engagement of different user segments, and make improvements.
Based on your understanding of digital body language, you can also better segment users with customer segmentation tools, create more targeted notifications with a push notification service provider, reduce app abandonment and increase engagement with a mobile app engagement platform. With personalized, timely and relevant marketing, you can provide what the user wants and increase profits.
Whatever your company is all about, the true success of your company lies in providing the best user experience in all stages of their journey.
SmartKarrot’s leading customer engagement platform for mobile and web apps have features such as SmartSegmentation, SmartReferrals, SmartIncentives, SmartSurveys, SmartEngagementScore, SmartAnalytics, etc, that can transform the user experience for your application.