Hong Kong, China, July 7, 2017 /Xinwengao.com/ - Overall, consumers are engaging with brands digitally more via their smartphones than their desktops

Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) today released its annual Best of the Best report which shows that smartphone traffic[1] continues to surge ahead in every country and every industry. Hong Kong, as a mature market, has registered an easing in growth in smartphone traffic and a steady decline from the desktop, but not as fast as other mature markets.

Adobe Digital Insights’ Japan and Asia-Pacific Best of the Best study consists of aggregated and anonymous data from more than 3,000 websites in Asia during 2016, gathered by Adobe Analytics. It compares the overall average versus the top 20% of websites in each of the six markets: Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) and Southeast Asia (SEA) across various industries[2]. Adobe Analytics, under Adobe Experience Cloud, is the industry leading solution for applying real-time analytics and detailed audience segmentation across all marketing channels.

According to the report, consumers in every market and every industry continue to increase access to websites on smartphones in Asia Pacific and Japan, while the overall usage of desktop has dropped. Hong Kong is also following this trend but at a lower speed. The smartphone visit share in Hong Kong is the lowest (33.1%) in this region, while Japan has one of the highest smartphone browser visit shares – at 44.1%. A similar trend can also be found when monitoring traffic from top 20% sites surveyed – Hong Kong has 50.6% of browser visits from smartphones, ranking last.

On the other hand, the share of desktop visits in Hong Kong is the highest at 59.3% in the region, followed by India at 58.2%. Japan is behaving very differently from Hong Kong as it is the most successful market in driving smartphone traffic and it had the lowest share (48.0%) of desktop visits in the region. Although the overall usage of desktop has dropped by 9-10%, top websites were able to retain traffic from desktops, with only a 2% decrease, leaving the gap between the top and the average wider. It shows that market leaders are trying hard to provide an excellent customer experience at the touch point of desktop.

Consumers visit more often but stay for a shorter period of time
Online visit rates have increased across most industries in the Asia Pacific region, the report finds. In Hong Kong, the desktop visit rate[3] has stopped declining and started to improve from 1.44 to 1.53 for the average sites and remained constant at 1.79 for the best sites. The gap between the best 20% and the average websites had been narrowing for both desktop and smartphones. However, when comparing the visit rates to the time spent on each site, there is an overall decrease in engagement.

The Telecommunications sector had the highest average monthly visit rate at 2.32, while the Automotive, Travel amp; Hospitality, and Technology sectors experienced the lowest visit rates for the second year in a row. Brands and marketers need to consider ways to better engage visitors to optimize their time on site.

Stickiness dropped in Hong Kong
In regard to the stickiness[4], the percentage of consumers go more than one page deeper into a site, per visit, has decreased across most Asia Pacific countries, and Hong Kong websites suffered the greatest drop in absolute difference when compared to last year. In 2015, the top 20% of websites in Hong Kong ranked in first place in terms of stickiness, at a remarkable 64%, but they have lost the crown after dropping 13.8% of stickiness to 50.2%.

Stickiness has dropped significantly on average-rated Hong Kong sites as well, from 43.7% to 31.4%. South Korea is the only market that saw an increase in stickiness in Asia Pacific. This trend of dropping stickiness is also prevalent in the U.S., where the rate fell by 6% across all industries. It is believed that people have shorter attention spans and are generally losing their patience due to growing distractions on the net.

“The report indicated that simply bringing users to a brand’s site is far from enough. Marketers should always remember that the ultimate goal is to generate conversion, so it is the engagement that matters. The higher the engagement, the more likely the conversion will be generated. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for marketers to look at the content they plan to share, and launch it on the right devices at the right time. It would help Hong Kong marketers if they equally invest time on site engagement activities as much as customer acquisition in order to drive deeper engagement and shine at the top of site stickiness,” said Scott Rigby, head of digital transformation, Asia Pacific, Adobe.

Paid Search and social are poised to become the content engagement battlegrounds in Asia Pacific
Another interesting finding when comparing between Asia Pacific and the U.S. is the efficiency of turning search spend into search traffic. In the U.S., search spending has increased by around 42% throughout the two-year period, but has resulted in only a 11% rise in search traffic. However, efficiency was much better at the other side of the Pacific: with just 6% growth of search spending in Asia Pacific propelling a 30% growth in search traffic. With the higher efficiency, Asia Pacific marketers should seize the opportunity to invest more search spending in the region in order to generate more search traffic, if allocating resources globally is possible for them.

Top performers have increased their social following by an average of 19% year-over-year, the report finds. Rigby remarked that Instagram adoption is on the rise, “Instagram really is the place to engage consumers as it has about 700 million monthly active users[5], which is roughly twice that of Twitter. Instagram is also taking a bite out of SnapChat’s market share. “Brands are experiencing more authentic interaction through Instagram. So, it’s good to see more channels, especially in retail and travel, who you’d expect to be on there, sharing those experiences,” Rigby added.