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Uncover new patterns with path analysis start to end

A large financial services firm providing a diverse range of loans knew that most customers who started at the homepage reached the mortgage loans page, the site’s most popular page. But they had no idea what was happening between these two stages.

The firm conducted an in-depth analysis of user interactions to gain a better understanding. After analyzing the data, they found that 24% of users who navigated from the homepage to the mortgage loans page visited the blog, 15% checked out the mortgage calculator page, and 11% visited the personal loans page.

Armed with this data, they made several site changes. They prioritized mortgage loans blog content with a focus on education, embedded the mortgage calculator on the mortgage loans homepage, and added an FAQ section on the personal loans page about personal loans vs mortgage loans for small home loans. Ultimately, these changes improved the conversion rate of the mortgage page by 8%, resulting in a monthly increase of $250,000 in revenue.

How did they do it? Using Glassbox’s new path analysis capability, known as path analysis start to end.

In this blog, we’ll take an in-depth look at this new path analysis capability and what it is, what it can do and how you can use it. If you’re already a Glassbox user, you’ll be able to uncover insights you never knew existed.

What is path analysis?

Have you ever wondered how customers really navigate through your website? With path analysis start to end you don’t have to wonder any more. Simply choose two pages to anchor as your start and end pages and you can uncover the real user behavior between them.

Insights from path analysis help product managers, growth marketers, retention managers and other teams understand customer behavior and improve the digital experience. Teams can gain valuable insights into customer interactions with their product or website and observe how various elements of the customer journey impact conversion rates.

An example of path analysis

Digital journeys are similar to road trips. In both instances, there’s a starting point and an ending point and a whole slew of activity that happens in between.

Imagine a resort in Las Vegas that advertises primarily to communities in Los Angeles. While they know roughly how many drivers make the trip from LA to Vegas, they have no idea what happens in between.

Suppose they noticed that 50% of travelers actually stopped at a fast-food restaurant along the way. This is powerful information that tells them a lot about their clientele. They could offer food and beverages upon arrival to maximize customer satisfaction and increase repeat travelers. They could partner with a particular restaurant on the way and split revenues. They could even sell premium ad space in their resort to restaurants along the way, further maximizing their revenue from each customer.

That’s the power of path analysis: once you know your customers' complete journey, including all the steps they take in between, there’s no limit to what you can do with that information.

For longtime Glassbox users, the concept of path analysis is likely already familiar. In previous phases of path analysis, Glassbox users had the ability to define a start page or an end page and see how traffic flowed from or toward the defined page.

This can be extremely beneficial for identifying trends, spotting drop-offs and optimizing conversions. But without the added layer of what happened in between, you might miss out on some pretty amazing insights.

How does path analysis start to end work?

To get started with path analysis start to end, you’ll first need to navigate to the journey map module of your Glassbox console. This powerful feature enables you to gain a comprehensive high-level view of all user journeys on your website or mobile app during a defined period of time.

Each node on the journey map corresponds to either a single page or a group of related pages. For websites with a limited number of pages, such as a luxury brand with a modest product range, each node is likely to represent an individual page. However, for large online retailers with thousands of products, where each product variant possesses a distinct URL, grouping pages together is essential for accurate analysis. The process of grouping these pages is determined by the specific requirements and desired level of granularity of the client.

To get started with a path analysis start to end investigation, simply select the relevant nodes you wish to define as your start and end pages. Once you click ‘apply,’ the results will be ready in seconds and you'll see every user journey that occurred between the two steps you defined.

The core benefits of path analysis

Path analysis start to end offers valuable insights into user behavior during their entire digital journey. By understanding the complete path users take from the beginning to the end, businesses can enhance their customer experience and easily identify areas for improvement. There are three main benefits of path analysis, which are outlined below.

1. Reducing friction and enhancing user experience: Path analysis start to end allows businesses to gain a comprehensive understanding of their customers’ journeys, pinpointing potential friction points along the way. By understanding the most common paths that users take, businesses can identify bottlenecks, dead-ends or confusing elements that hinder the user experience. This enables them to meticulously fine-tune their websites and mobile apps, creating a frictionless journey that captivates users, encourages engagement and fosters loyalty.

2. Optimizing site conversions and boosting revenue: By analyzing the most frequented paths leading to conversion, businesses can craft data-backed strategies to optimize their marketing campaigns, content creation and call-to-action buttons. Uncovering the paths that most commonly convert visitors into customers allow businesses to focus their resources on high-performing areas, ensuring every aspect of their digital landscape is optimized to maximize conversions and drive revenue.

3. Resolving and prioritizing errors: Large complex websites and apps are bound to have errors. Whether it be a 400 error (bad request), a 404 (not found) or any other client-side error, they will almost certainly stop your user’s journey, and it’s unlikely they’ll return. You can easily identify and trace the paths that commonly lead to these errors with path analysis, allowing you to discover which errors are the highest priority and the biggest blockers to conversion.

4 use cases for path analysis

There are many ways you can use path analysis start to end. Below are four of the most common we’ve heard from customers.

1. Common navigation paths

The most common way to use path analysis start to end is to anchor the homepage as page A and anchor a conversion page as page B. This conversion page can be a loan application page, a cart page on a retail website, or even a thank you page that appears after submitting a contact us form on a software website.

2. Error pages

Many sites have dedicated error landing pages that the user is redirected to once the error appears. By setting a homepage or category page as the start and the error page as the end, you can see an accurate depiction of how users wound up on the error page. This allows you to identify issues in the journey, and by seeing the scope of the problem, you can accurately prioritize site errors.

3. A/B testing

Path analysis lets you drill down into any A/B test to see the most accurate experiment results. Instead of just relying on conversion rates which may only differ by a few percentage points, you can accurately see which landing page had the most optimal path to conversion. If version A beat version B by 5% but the journey was five steps longer on average, you may want to examine those steps and see what attracted users to them.

4. Logged in users

By anchoring the login page as the start page and the conversion page as the end page, you can trace the journeys of users who were logged in. You could then do the same analysis for users who didn’t start at a login page and see how their journeys differed. This helps you understand when to prompt a login and how essential logging in is to the conversion process.

FAQs

Q: What is path analysis start to end, and how does it differ from previous versions of path analysis?

Path analysis start to end is a new capability of path analysis that allows you to analyze and visualize the specific paths that users take between two pages within a website or application. Previously, path analysis allowed users to anchor a start page or an end page and see how traffic flowed to or from the designated page. This new capability allows you to see every single step in between.

Q: Can path analysis start to end be used to identify the most successful conversion paths?

Yes, path analysis start to end excels in revealing the most successful conversion paths, allowing businesses to identify the key steps that lead users towards conversion. With this knowledge, businesses can optimize the highest-performing paths, fine-tuning the user experience to maximize conversions and generate revenue.

Q: Is path analysis start to end available to all Glassbox users?

A: Yes, path analysis start to end is available in all Glassbox consoles that are upgraded to Version 7. If your Glassbox console is not updated, please reach out to your account manager, who will be happy to help you upgrade.

Q: Does path analysis start to end work on all page groupings?

A: Path analysis start to end is currently only available with defined page groups. These are page groupings that users can tailor to their specific analytical needs.

Q: How many path analysis investigations can I create?

A: There’s no limit to the amount of path analysis investigations you can create; however, you can only create one at a time. Additionally, there is a limit of 50 pages for path analysis, which you can mix and match to see what happened in between them.

Interested in learning more about Glassbox? Request a demo today.

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