Commentary

Monitoring The Mouse

It turns out that a mouse — at least a computer mouse — is not really quiet. Every time a human being moves it to get to someplace else on a screen, that human is telling us something about what they’re thinking — and may ultimately be doing. For marketers, that could be crucial, according to a company called ContentSquare, a user experience analytics platform for websites and apps that deploys artificial intelligence to come up with its insights. It has almost 200 clients across multiple industries but with quite a few in travel, including Air France and Best Western. 

Efrat Ravid, chief marketing and strategy for ContentSquare, says her company records everything that happens on a client’s site, “every mouse move, every time you tilt your phone or zoom in and out. That is all valuable knowledge because we need to measure more than simply clicks. With traditional analytics, we measured results but didn’t know why consumers were behaving the way they did.”

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Ravid said ContentSquare monitors two important online behaviors: frustration and state of mind. Example: if someone wants to make a purchase right away they need a speedy interface — and will abandon the site if the task can’t be done quickly. If they are doing long-range planning, those patterns are not the same. And by monitoring every mouse move, marketers can gain insights into what a consumer is thinking, which is why Ravid said she prefers calling her service an “insight platform” rather than a data platform. 

“One challenge for travel marketers,” said Ravid, “is that they spend a lot of money bringing traffic to their sites but then a very small percentage of consumers stay on the site and most companies don’t know why they leave. We try to help them understand why.” 

After many billions of interactions, ContentSquare has come up with some interesting statistics, including:

  • On average, there is a 5% higher conversion rate on Sunday.
  • Returning visitors are twice as likely to convert.
  • Travelers are not so fond of last-minute offers. They prefer the excitement of organizing summer and winter holidays ahead of time.
  • Users start searching for summer holiday destinations in January and winter holiday destinations in September.
  • On average, users converted on their fifth session on mobile/tablet, and their seventh session on desktop.
  • Desktop is the preferred device to browse through travel sites; however, mobile traffic, which is mostly used for prospecting vs buying, is growing.

Using these insights, marketers might learn that visitors to a site are watching the video at the top of the site – and then exiting before exploring elsewhere; or are being turned off by a checkout page. With this type of technology, marketers can see exactly how users are interacting with a company’s online presence and make tangible changes based on real-time recommendations.

“The same shopper will buy differently on a Sunday than on a weekday,” said Ravid. “The crucial thing for marketers is to get them to come back to the site. That’s why it’s important to have a record of all sessions along the entire journey of planning and purchasing a trip (it’s still not possible to track those sessions across devices, but that is a goal.)

Next up: making it easier to buy from a mobile device. The Z Generation (the one after millennials), said Ravid, “doesn’t have desktop computers. We need to make it easier to convert to a sale on mobile, which means an entirely different mobile site and highly simplified checkout.” Designing those mobile sites will mean relying on all that data and AI to understand why customers are behaving the way they do.

Getting ready to move your mouse? Think about why because somebody else is already thinking about it for you.

3 comments about "Monitoring The Mouse".
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  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 14, 2017 at 2:58 p.m.

    NONE of their damn business. DO NOT TRACK. It is not about knowing that selling snowblowers in Florida is not profitable.

  2. Walter Sabo from SABO media, August 15, 2017 at 12:28 a.m.

    They don't have to track to close business. Travel sites are the very worst. They feel crooked. The "deals" are obtuse. The collection methods and pay-up-front is draconian and unpleasant. It is the only business that offers NO RECOURSE transactions. There are WAY to many checks, boxes, preferences, filters and too little information about a major purchase. BRING BACK TRAVEL AGENTS. REAL TRAVEL AGENTS who brought you tickets and lunch.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, August 15, 2017 at 1:39 p.m.

    You are right. Regulations must be drawn and quartered. But the days of total travel agents as before the internet are gone for good. 

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