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Marketers talk a lot about "customer experience," but what does it really mean? And how do you measure it? An emerging trend is marketers' using attention metrics to hold themselves accountable for delivering the types of experiences that capture people's interest. Those metrics look beyond solely the quantity of visits or impressions and to the quality of those engagements and the depth to which content is consumed.

Twitter co-founder Ev Williams summed up this dilemma perfectly: "We literally say one company or service is bigger based on a single number—specifically, number of people who have used it in the last 30 days. Even without getting into how use is defined, this is dumb."

Attention metrics help gauge the quality of the online experience—websites, lookbooks, landing pages, product campaigns, etc.—by measuring the ways which people interact with it.

Here are some recent stats about consumer attention and suggestions for measuring it.

Consumers are online on an increasing array of devices

1. A total of 52% of Web traffic to retail sites currently comes via smartphones and tablets, according to a recent report from IMRG Capgemini.

2. Over a third (36%) of online sales are now completed on a smartphone or tablet device.

3. That figure rises to 40% for clothing and apparel merchants.

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image of Brian Rigney

Brian Rigney is CEO of digital publishing software Zmags. He has 20+ years of experience leading high-performing entrepreneurial teams, launching new businesses, and bringing innovative products to market.

LinkedIn: Brian Rigney

Twitter: @brigney