What We Learned From Adobe’s Consumer Content Survey

Over a week in December 2017, Adobe surveyed 1,011 U.S. adult consumers about their content habits. This research provided the basis for the 2018 Consumer Content Survey (either find it here, or below).

The report focuses largely on e-commerce experiences, but its findings also shed a bright light on the importance of high-performing mobile websites, just how connected users are with their mobile devices, and how low their tolerance is for slow mobile experiences.

One of the key findings in the report is that on average, recipients spend 1/3 of their day engaging with digital content. Of all the ways that the digital content is accessed, 82% of recipients use a smartphone.

We know that mobile is hugely important and speed is still the thing. But what else did the report teach us?

Avoid disruptive mobile experiences

The report presents the key pain points that frustrate users and make them either put their device down or change to a different device. With regards to publishers, however, it’s safe to assume that a session browsing for content is more easily abandoned than one shopping on e- or m-commerce sites.

There were five key experiences that turn users away from their devices:

  • Content takes too long to load
  • This results in 47% of shoppers completely abandoning the process, reflecting Google’s finding that 53% of users abandon a mobile page that takes too long to load.

  • Content is too long
  • This again results in 47% of shoppers abandoning the process.

  • Have trouble interacting with the content on the device
  • This results in 45% of shoppers abandoning the process.

  • Content/images won’t load
  • 44% of users will abandon their pursuit in this scenario.

  • Content not displaying well on current device
  • In this situation, 34% of users will stop altogether with the process.

The message is clear: clean and high-performing mobile websites are crucial to limiting bounce and maximizing session time and navigation.

Consider audience preferences
The report also breaks down which content characteristics are the most important to particular groups, offering enlightening information on preferences and user habits.

The key takeaways are that Baby Boomers consider informative, accurate, and simple content to be more important than newer generations, while Millenials are more likely to rank entertaining and beautiful content as more important than older generations.

A table from Adobe's Consumer Content Survey demonstrating the priorities that different age groups have for mobile content.

Understand that we are less trustful

83% of consumers say they are more cautious when sharing content compared to five years ago. The report ranks which content types are most likely to be trusted and shared by users. The ranking underscores just why it is so important for publishers to establish a relationship with their readers and cement themselves as an authority:

A screenshot from Adobe's Consumer Content Survey that ranks how likely users are to share content depending on its source.

The report is filled with interesting insights that are applicable to publishers, and should certainly be examined to find opportunities to boost publications.

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