Tabbed internet browsing is the norm these days. If someone is simply looking at Facebook they won’t need multiple tabs, but for most other items people are used to opening new tabs to continue their research, evaluate news stories, shop for multiple products, etc.
How many tabs do you have open now?
If you’re on a tablet, laptop or desktop computer it’s likely 10 or more.
Patrick Dubroy, a programming, usability and interaction designer completed a rather exhaustive thesis project in which he looked at the behavior of internet users utilizing tabs within their browser. His research is strong, and evaluates several findings. He summarizes his work with the conclusion that “having 10 or 11 tabs open is not that uncommon, even for people who aren’t power users.”
Imagine this scenario: you’re a small business owner and you’re in need of some funds to tide you over till your next invoice being paid. You go online and search on Google for “business loans.” You click on one of the many ads on the search result page. That advertiser just paid Google $18+. Getting a loan is a big deal, and you want to make sure you get the best deal, so you search for business loans in Google again, this time in a new tab. You then hold down CTRL as you click on a few more ads to open them all in new tabs. You just made Google a lot of money. 🙂 In addition, you’ve now got a half dozen tabs open and you start to peruse your options. After tab 2, a customer comes in you need to help. It’s okay though, you’ve got all these tabs open and can come back another time. Do you though? Or do you close those tabs out after a few days when you want to declutter your life a little?
Most people are in the habit of opening a lot of tabs and only partially consuming the content that tab has to offer before moving on to something else. Most people, however, leave a lot of tabs open that they anticipate will be helpful in a few hours or days when they have more time. In a few days, to declutter their lives, they briefly view each tab before closing them down.
What can you do to lose less visitors and revenue?
Going back to small business lending, one of the leaders in in this space is Fundera. The other day I was auditing their website for a client and noticed something interesting, and very smart. They’ve put up a popup for individuals with extraordinarily long dwell times.
Most website popups (like the one shown below) come up in just a few seconds or minutes. Some are more advanced and display when you’re moving your cursor up to the tab section to exit the page.
I haven’t talked to anyone at Fundera or BounceExchange (yet) to determine their reasoning behind the long delay, but it looks like a great method to lose less visitors that are coming back and closing tabs…
When someone is coming back a few days later to close out their tabs, instead of seeing the page they had opened they see a new one – the one with your popup! They’ll think “I don’t recall opening this page” and you’ll get a fresh touch point and opportunity to win their business.