4 Things Digital Teams Need to Know about Web & App Experiences as We Head Into the 2020s

Jack Maden
Written by Jack Maden
February 13, 2020

Over the past decade, conversion optimization has become a crucial part of most organizations’ online activities.

In fact, more than half (59%) of respondents to a 2014 Econsultancy survey claimed that Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) was “crucial to their overall digital marketing strategy.”

Faced with ever-increasing competition, firms became fluent in the language of A/B testing, response tracking, and on-page optimization.

But if all your competitors are suddenly going hell to leather on CRO, you’ve got to go even further to differentiate your offering. With competition more fierce and customers more fickle than ever, organizations need to look beyond traditional analytics and focus on measuring their customers’ digital experiences.

Traditional metrics like page views, click-through and bounce rates do a good job of telling you what your customers do – but not why they do it. Such metrics can’t tell you what disappoints or delights, what thrills or frustrates. And in the 2020s, having insight into these kinds of user emotions is essential.

That’s where digital experience analytics comes in. It focuses specifically on the quality and effectiveness of the digital experience you deliver across your websites and your apps – taking the guesswork out of optimization, and empowering teams to make UX improvements that actually move the needle.

1. The experience you offer is make or break for your app or website

62% of companies are already investing to meet the changing needs of customers. In fact, more than 40% of all data analytics projects in the year ahead are expected to relate to customer experience.

That’s because a high quality digital experience delivers measurable benefits, while poor experiences have equally measurable but much more miserable outcomes. Better UX design can improve conversion rates by up to 400%, but according to another key study, businesses could lose one in three customers as a result of just one bad experience. Do it two or three times – and you stand to lose 92% of the customers you worked so hard to attract.

2. You need the “why” of user behavior as well as the “what”

We’ve discussed the need to go beyond traditional metrics when it comes to measuring the performance of your app or website. But what does that look like in practice?

To start, behavioral data shows you exactly what your users are doing. They might be rotating their devices to better enjoy video or to overcome issues with a responsive layout. Or swapping between tabs to comparison shop. Or scrolling to dive deep into your content or clicking multiple times on poorly defined target areas.

Very often, you’ll find that little things make a huge difference. For example, in one financial services company, we found that a single unresponsive form element was responsible for a 78% lower completion rate than average.

It’s also important to understand the nuances of online user journeys beyond the funnel – seeing what people actually do, as opposed to simply judging performance against what we want them to do.

According to Google, today’s typical consumer journey resembles a scavenger hunt. In its latest state of ecommerce report, Google says that “performance channels are being used as upper funnel ones, while shoppers jump between the online and offline worlds.”

With journey discovery analytics, you can follow those unpredictable paths to develop a deeper insight into how your customers interact with and experience your content.

3. Unifying the customer journey across multiple platforms is crucial for accurate judgment

When judging performance, you need to do more than just look at your website. Smartphones are now responsible for nearly 60% of all retail traffic in the US and 36% of sales, and the trend is ever upwards. Smartphone sales on Cyber Monday 2019 doubled year on year, accounting for nearly one-third of all online retail sales. And smartphone apps are being used in bricks and mortar stores too. People use them to get ideas and inspiration, to research retailers, and to comparison shop.

Modern digital experience analytics platforms like Decibel go where your customers go, and works across all of the devices they use to reach you. Not just desktop computers but mobile devices and in-store apps too. That enables you to unify and analyze the user journey across all channels, rather than skewing your perspective with just the core app or website.

4. Automatic analysis and optimization will separate the wheat from the chaff

The key thing digital teams lack is time. With so much user data to crunch through and make sense of, implementing improvements becomes a lengthy process. But users land in their droves on websites and apps every single day – so optimizing their experiences is time critical.

Modern analytics platforms now do the bulk of the heavy analytical lifting for you in the shape of machine learning. With Decibel, for example, instead of having to manually watch back endless session replays, our algorithms crunch through millions at once to alert you to the biggest bottlenecks in the user journey automatically – providing benchmark scores for engagement, frustration, navigation and more in the process.

The world’s most successful companies already harness this kind of automation to save crucial time and deliver consistently high quality digital experiences across multiple platforms. It enables them to react to and even intervene in poor online experiences as they happen.

The benefits of this kind of automated experience analysis and proactive intervention are obvious, and so are the potential consequences for the firms that don’t do what their rivals are doing. For many organizations, the quality of their digital customer experience will define whether they survive or thrive in the coming decade.

Knowledge is power

In the current hyper-competitive climate, digital experience analytics can give you a genuine edge. When customers are so fickle, it’s crucial that you deliver a great digital customer experience and that you can identify anything that prevents you from doing that consistently across your digital properties.

The organizations delivering great digital experiences will be turning casual browsers into lifelong fans; the ones that don’t will be delivering those people into the arms of their rivals.


In the 2020s, experience will take center stage online. The companies that place it at the heart of their digital offering will win; those who don’t will soon be left behind. To ensure you stay on the side of the winners, remember:

  • Traditional analytics tell you what your users do. Digital experience analytics tell you why they do it.
  • 1 in 3 customers say they’d walk away from a brand after just one poor experience.
  • UX improvements can boost conversion rates by as much as 400%.
  • It will pay to proactively improve the digital experience via behavioral insights and automation through 2020 and beyond

Take your digital experiences to the next level with the learnings from our e-guide which shares 7 Simple Steps to Significantly Improve the User Experience (UX) on Your Website or App.

Topics: Customer Experience, User experience
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