Before we ring in the new year, what did we learn in 2018 and how can we apply it to our 2019 marketing, sales or development strategies?
If you’re like me, you probably feel like just yesterday we were waking up after bringing in 2018, and now – 347(ish) days later – we’re already counting down to the days until 2019.
What happened, 2018? We hardly knew thee.
Before we catch 2018 in the rear-view mirror, we thought it would be a great time to look back at the year, the lessons we learned and what it means for 2018.
Consider this like your Lucky Orange version of Facebook’s iconic “year in review” post montage, only in an informative article format.
Lesson No. 1: Privacy is nonnegotiable
Unless you’ve been living in an isolated cabin in the mountains, you can recall the mad rush of anticipation of May 25- the day the European Union’s Global Data Protection Regulations went into effect.
If your memory is a little fuzzy, we’ll give you a quick recap: GDPR protects the personal data of EU residents, which includes names, email addresses, IP addresses…you name it. Under GDPR businesses and organizations need to gather this data legally (via consent), protect it from exploitation, respect the right of data owners (i.e., customers) and notify customers about data breaches with 72 hours.
Fact: Lucky Orange has always made data privacy and security a priority, even before GDPR was approved and adopted by the EU parliament in 2016.
GDPR thrust consumer data privacy front into the spotlight. As Elizabeth Denham, the U.K.’s information commissioner told WIRED UK, “The GDPR is a step change for data protection. It’s still an evolution, not a revolution.”
There’s no debate that consumers are more concerned about what data are collected and how this data are used.
For Lucky Orange, complying with GDPR included updating our Terms of Service, obtaining Privacy Shield certification and enhancing visitor anonymity or reidentification, including encrypted IP addresses.
Of course, Lucky Orange wasn’t going to stop there. We took it one step further with the introduction of our data privacy management tool.
Using this tool, website visitors are in complete control of the data collected about them. Each visitor can see what data, such as conversations, surveys and sessions, was collected, manage the data and opt-out of future tracking.
Expectations for 2019: Data privacy and security is going to continue to take center stage. California’s new data privacy law takes effect in 2020, and in mid-December, a group of senators also introduced a GDPR-esque bill called the “Data Care Act.”
Related articles from 2018:
No. 2: Mobile continues to grow
Consumers love their smartphones. According to The Boston Consulting Group, 25 percent of consumers surveyed would rather give up their sense of smell than lose their smartphones.
(Maybe money is the key to change consumers’ minds – Vitamin Water will award $100,000 to a person who can go 365 days without their smartphone.)
I think we can all agree that consumers simply love their smartphones. There are more than 3 billion active smartphone users across the globe, which accounts for more than half of the world’s online traffic.
To put it another way: More people in the world own a smartphone than a toothbrush.
This holiday season online shopping season thus far as proved just how important mobile is to e-commerce businesses. On Thanksgiving Day alone, smartphones drove 54.4 percent of traffic to retail site resulting in a record $3.7 billion in sales.
If you think you’re optimized, you can always check via our dynamic heatmaps by filtering data to look at just mobile traffic. Follow-up with visitor recordings; like one of our users discovered about his own website, it wasn’t even accessible on Android devices.
Expectations for 2019: Mobile optimization should be at the top of your website to-do list if it isn’t already. By 2021, annual mobile e-commerce sales are forecast to surpass $3.5 trillion and representing 73 percent of total e-commerce. There is simply no excuse the justify not priming your website for mobile users, especially in 2019.
Related articles from 2018:
- The 9 billion reason to focus on mobile this holiday season
- Websites get ready: Online holiday spending approaches $125 billion
- Become a Shopify Jedi master in 3 easy steps
No. 3: Customers prefer human-based chat
It should come as no surprise the on-site chat grew in popularity this year – it can provide faster responses with fewer staff necessary to juggle multiple customers.
It’s not just a benefit for companies, though. More than half of customers say they prefer to use live chat to reach sales or customer support teams.
Though customers love live chat, they aren’t sold on chatbots. Human interaction is still preferred. A study by Amdocs & Forrester Consulting showed that four out five customers prefer human agents over chatbots.
For Valero Alamo Bowl, using Lucky Orange’s chat with the ability to co-browse and lead visitors directly to the pages they were wanting to find has proven to be a huge asset for their customer service team.
The team also found success in being able to live view visitors and initiate a chat if the visitor was seen running into any issues. Their football-loving customers were happy, and the small staff was able to address each visitor’s questions quickly.
Expectations for 2019: The human versus chat bot debate will continue, so tread carefully into bot-infested waters unless you know what your visitors prefer. Though chat is still popular, be mindful that if your audience is primarily seniors or baby boomers, make sure you have other options for contact such as phone and email. While millennials and Generation X visitors will prefer chat, older generations have been found to prefer phone or email.
Top related articles from 2018:
No. 4: Understand your visitors
Summing up this entire list comes down to one fail-proof method: understand what your visitors want and how to keep them happy.
Conversion rate optimization isn’t about changing the color of a call-to-action or adding an “About Us” section to your homepage. It’s about digging into how visitors really use your website and what you can do to make their experience better than ever.
Are you watching visitor recordings to identify what’s stopping someone from checking out?
Are you analyzing dynamic heatmaps to see where visitors are struggling?
Have you asked a poll question for feedback on your latest redesign?
Where in your conversion funnel do most visitors abandon their carts?
If 2018 did nothing else, it showed us that website design and success isn’t about what you, your boss or any highest paid person’s opinion (HIPPO) think. It’s about what your visitors want, expect and hope you’ll change.
The best way to meet their demands is to use conversion features like dynamic heatmaps, visitor recordings and conversion funnels. Using visitor data and analytics reports typically drive the best and most effective website design decisions.
For example, a Shopify store ran into an issue with an upsell popup on her store, though she didn’t even know it was confusing visitors before they could checkout. She was able to watch visitor recordings and see that the popup was preventing conversions.
Once she turned off the popup, she watched live visitor recordings to see new visitors checking out without a problem. If she didn’t have visitor recordings, she would have never been able to identify just how much of a headache the popup was causing visitors.
FREE WEBINAR ALERT: Join us Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. CST to learn how to stop losing sales by using analytics and conversion features to win back the sale what customers abandon their carts. Save your seat for this great webinar.
Expectations for 2019: If you want to keep your customers happy, don’t neglect what they want from your website. In 2019, customers aren’t going to wait as you dictate where they should click or how they should navigate. Use their expectations to your advantage, see how they use your website and adjust as necessary.
Related articles from 2018:
- The 3 conversion amigos: Heatmaps, analytics and recordings
- The curious case of popups
- Laurel or Yanny: 3 lessons for websites
- The UX iceberg effect: Save your website from sinking
What do you think?
Tell us what you think – did we miss anything for our list? Let us know in the comments below.