Fresh insights from Adobe have found Aussie and Kiwi consumers significantly prefer making purchases via desktop despite browser traffic continuing to move towards smartphones.

Adobe digital’s Best of Best report revealed this finding based on aggregated anonymous data from 100 billion visits to more than 3,000 websites in the Asia-Pacific region during 2016. The report ranks companies using Adobe’s marketing cloud whose websites are in the top 20 per cent for various performance metrics such as website traffic and time spent on a site.

According to the research, ANZ consumers are leading the shift from desktops towards smartphones, yet desktop conversion rates are three times higher than that of smartphones.

Adobe digital insights senior manager, Becky Tasker said the trend towards accessing the internet via smartphone has continued to grow globally — with ANZ having the highest year-on-year growth where web traffic rose 44 per cent. Despite this increase, Tasker said, “marketers recognise desktop is still likely to be the final destination, even in a cohesive multi-device experience.”

Tasker points out while consumers have yet to fully embrace making purchases or booking trips on a smartphone, the Best of Best report shows smartphone conversions growing at a faster rate than desktop conversions. This momentum indicates consumer willingness to purchase through this device if the smartphone experience is done correctly.

The research also showed the gap between companies in the top 20 per cent for smartphone website traffic and the average performer is widening. This meant high performing companies for website traffic from smartphones are getting better and they are breaking away from the average performer.

This suggests companies willing to make the right investments and create the right smartphone website experience will essentially create a competitive advantage as it will be harder for an average performing website to catch up.

Engagement battlegrounds

Other key findings revealed paid search, and social are poised to be content engagement battlegrounds in Asia-Pacific, and that consumers are spending less time on websites.

In measuring the average minutes devoted to a website, the Adobe report showed in every single country — except Australia and New Zealand — consumers are spending less time on websites.

This could be for several reasons depending on the region according to Tasker.

“The first reason could be those countries have established network bandwidth and better infrastructure that would allow page times to load quicker — that is actually what we see in India.

“Another reason consumers are spending less time on websites is they are switching from desktop to smartphones.”

She explained consumers spent 40 per cent less time on websites accessed via smartphone compared to desktop. Moreover, with this shift to smartphone internet consumption and shorter session time spent on websites, Tasker advised marketers to display content “as effectively as possible to ensure the content effort is getting across to the consumer.”

Adobe Insights best of best

The Best of Best report showed paid search and social — particularly Instagram — will be instrumental in driving traffic to websites in Asia-Pacific. Top performing websites all employed a robust social media strategy and were quick to adopt newer social media channels to connect with customers.

“I think what has happened is that companies recognised the importance of Twitter and Facebook and having a social media presence but Twitter and Facebook are saturated to the same level — Instagram has not been saturated,” Tasker said

“Instagram is a place where companies can create a following with a different tactic. It is a channel where we can be as personal without so many words, and it is quick content creation versus the content creation required with some of the other channels.”

Paid search is another tactic Asia-Pacific companies can use to drive traffic to their websites — yet compared to the United States it is underutilised.

“What we see in the Japan Asia-Pacific region is an opportunity in paid search versus the United States where we see a lot more competition,” Tasker said.

“In the United States, we saw a 42 per cent more spend invested in paid search and an 11 per cent increase in web traffic as a result. However, in the Asia-Pacific region, a 6 per cent increase in paid search spending led to a 30 per cent traffic increase year over year.”

Tasker explained paid search could be a useful channel by displaying the right message at the right time, “you can attract consumers for the first or the second time and then eventually develop a relationship with them through a social media channel.”

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