Last year can best be characterized as a year of amped-up focus on optimizing digital assets to reach an increasingly over-messaged mobile consumer.

Leader brands are shifting content strategies to favor quality over quantity, and are meaningfully integrating new features—from user-generated content (UGC) to blogs to lookbooks—into the conversion process. In the three years since L2’s 2014 Content & Commerce study, L2 found that 22% of brands included UGC on their site homepage, up from 18% in 2014. Three in four brands with UGC, diagnostic tools, and tutorials now link these features to product pages, bringing consumers one step closer to purchase.

Features

One area where many brands still stumble is homepage optimization. The site homepage is often a consumer’s first digital touchpoint with a brand, yet many brands aren’t producing streamlined and relevant homepage experiences. L2’s inaugural Digital Intelligence: Case Studies and Best Practices report finds an average bounce rate of 47% among brand sites, meaning brands lose almost half of consumers before they even see a product or grid page.

Personalized homepages, based on either logged-in account information or browser-based cookies, drop average bounce rates to 39%. Additionally, personalization drives consumers to spend 46% more time on site and view 39% more pages per visit. However, few brands in L2’s study take advantage of this feature.

Ultimately, brand assets and messages need to provide clear value to consumers, regardless of the context (site content, emails, digital ads, or apps). At the same time, they need to drive shoppers to the next relevant step in the purchase funnel.

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