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How does session replay contribute to website behavior analysis?

Quantitative analytics solutions like Google Analytics provide many valuable insights. They tell you the number of page views, unique visits, conversion rates and bounce rates. However, they don’t tell you how much bounce rate is good for a website nor do they provide all the information needed for website behavior analysis.

Once we have multiple users and multiple visitors the picture gets confusing. Web analytics data can get messed up if:

  • The browser is inactive for more than 30 minutes, and the user returns.
  • Visitors share the same device.
  • The same user accesses the site on different devices.

The last scenario is becoming commonplace as people continually switch from smartphone to laptop to tablet to TV. An Innerscope research study found that users switch between their devices up to 27 times per hour! The problem that businesses are facing today is how to manage this complicated digital customer experience. Digital customer management is the primary focus for all B2C and B2B leaders. An unpleasant digital customer experience can turn a customer away for life.

Customer experience optimization needs to offer a 360-degree profile of the customer. You need to record user interaction on your website and mobile app. What is needed is a second layer of analytics, on top of your Google Analytics, to add more of the website customer experience to the bare numbers. A full session replay would help build a visual picture of the customer for customer support, marketing and IT. Think of session replay like an airplane’s black box that records everything that happens on a digital journey. This could include data on:

  • Customer actions: mouse movements, mobile taps/swipes/scroll, any typing, actual clicks, and actions taken on any input field.
  • Information displayed on the screen: pages, banners, content, error messages, and web chats.
  • Technical parameters: browser information, operating system details, or referral sources.

What does session replay add to website behavior analysis?

Let’s take the example of a credit card company. They already had Google Analytics, logfiles of the website and app, and business intelligence. But they felt that they weren’t getting the full picture when it came to credit card ordering. Customers were complaining that their online orders were being rejected at the end of the process when they clicked ‘next’ which resulted in a high customer churn rate.

They called in Glassbox to digitally capture and record user interaction on their website where real customers were trying to order a card. Using their session replay tools as well as journey mapping and click maps, Glassbox was able to see problems in entering data into fields and pinpoint where the website was not user-friendly.

Specifically, the credit card company was able to remove unnecessary fields, offer free text options, give clearer error messages, and simplify the page structure and design, all of which led to greater customer experience optimization. With session replay, the credit card company was able to fine-tune the online ordering process. After only 3 weeks they saw conversions more than triple, going from 19% to 60%.

The benefits of session replay were well summed up by the Head of Digital Services at the credit card company, “Thanks to Glassbox, we are now able to record user interaction on our website for each and every customer action. Using website behavior analysis, funnels, and associated data, we are able to reach intelligent conclusions on customer behavior and have a continuous improvement action plan in place to ensure this continues to evolve and meets the needs of our customers”.

By overlapping with digital analytics, Glassbox provides the business with unique insights into customer behavior root causes as well as independence from IT. Glassbox can also help them figure out answers to questions like, “what’s a good bounce rate for my website?”

Web analytics collects data on how traffic ends up on the site. It will answer questions such as:

  • Where did the traffic come from (helpful for seeing where to advertise)?
  • What campaigns are most effective driving people to the site?
  • What campaigns are garnering most conversions?
  • Where are my visitors located? Which areas converted more than other areas?
  • Which pages show poor engagement?
  • What % of my visitors came from mobile devices?
  • How are my ads working in Paris?
  • What’s a good bounce rate for the website?
  • Which search engine provided the most amount of traffic?
  • How do the pages perform when someone is on the site interacting with content?
  • Where do people leave the site most often?
  • When are people abandoning transactions?

Glassbox collects data on how people engage with your site and creates an Augmented Journey Map™. It will answer questions such as:

  • How do I reproduce errors that my customer experienced?
  • What errors did my customers experience?
  • What exactly did people do/see when they arrived?
  • Why did they leave?
  • What journey did they take and was it fluid?
  • Why did they not complete the transaction?
  • Where did customers struggle with understanding the site?
  • What was happening on our servers when the customer dropped?
  • Which products did people spend the most time looking at?
  • What was the experience around the products they purchased vs the ones they did not?
  • Was the mobile experience what we wanted it to be?
  • Did things happen to cause confusion for the customer?
  • Did I influence the customer to do what I wanted them to do?
  • Why did people abandon the shopping cart?
  • Where did they go when they stopped shopping?
  • Which elements did people have trouble interacting with?
  • What did the customer do that shows I have a design issue?
  • How do I utilize mobile/web traffic to correlate a 360 view of the customer?
  • How can I see mobile/web data under one platform?

This article was originally published on March 14, 2017. It was updated on May 21, 2020.

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