Revealing Digital Behaviors #5: Select & Copy

Jack Maden
Written by Jack Maden
July 18, 2017

This is the fifth post in a series in which we introduce the digital behaviors picked out in our report, Revealing Digital Behavior: Applying Data Science to 2.2 Billion User Sessions. Just as someone shouting in a shop is evidence of a poor customer experience in-store – and someone smiling a good one – certain digital body language indicates the equivalent online.

The first post discussed multiclick behavior, the second looked at reading behavior, the third outlined bird’s nest behavior, and the fourth introduced scroll engagement behavior. This article looks at select and copy behavior and what it means in relation to customer experience.


What is select and copy behavior? User selects text and copies it

Which device? Desktop, Tablet, Mobile

What does it mean? Engagement, Research, Fraud

How do teams utilize it? To inform content strategy, be alerted to competitor research, and investigate potential cases of fraud

Select & copy behavior refers to when a user selects text from a website or app and copies it. This direct interaction with content can indicate a number of different things.

It could be that the user is researching your product further by searching elsewhere or even comparing it with a competitor. We all do it – copy a product number to see if we can find a cheaper or more convenient deal elsewhere. It’s a widespread behavior across devices. Though not associated with particularly extreme engagement or frustration, it’s a key indication of a customer’s interest, and represents a good opportunity to, for example, present a discount code or some similar personalized communication.

A session replay showing a select & copy behavior on a product name during checkout

For one of our international publishing clients, meanwhile, select & copy behaviors surfaced an issue with the translation of the language of their on-page content. They were alerted to multiple sessions in which users were copying vast swathes of text, losing focus, and switching tabs. This indicated that users were copying text to then manually translate its language themselves on an external site – not an ideal user experience. These insights led to a quick fix.

Being alerted to select & copy behavior also has useful application in cases of fraud. Within Decibel Insight, alerts can be customized to trigger on, say, web or app pages that contain sensitive personal information. This functionality is utilized widely by clients who handle sensitive customer data.

Select & copy behavior is an important one to measure. By combining it with different metrics like focus time, pages viewed, and so on, digital teams can gain invaluable insights into customer behavior and optimize their sites accordingly.


What other digital behaviors are users performing on your website and app? Stay tuned to this series to learn all about them – or, to discover them now, download the full report by hitting the banner below.

Topics: Behavior, Customer Experience, User experience
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