20/20 vision – removing website blind spots

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In a data rich world, it’s surprising how many brands we come across that lack full visibility of their customers’ experiences. According to the Counting the Cost of not Knowing research report, only one in five eCommerce organisations can fully and accurately quantify the amount of revenue being lost through a less than optimal online customer experience.

Yet in 2014, according to research by e-nor, 67% of Fortune 500 companies were using Google Analytics, 26% Adobe Analytics and 12% Webtrends. Why then, in an age when many organisations are prioritising their online channel, are they experiencing blind spots in their visibility?

Don’t get me wrong, web analytic tools have their purpose, and can be very useful – I would say a majority of our customers use a web analytics tool alongside UserReplay. But herein lies the key: full visibility of the customer experience requires a mix of qualitative and quantitative data insight to achieve true visibility.

Web analytics tools provide the high level facts about your website –  e.g. conversion rates are down – but you need to know the ‘why’ to discover the specific issues that are causing particular situations. It is recognised that one of the best ways to do this is through capturing and replaying customer journeys – thus allowing you to uncover specific issues that are being experienced by real customers. 73% of the eCommerce professionals surveyed in the Counting the Cost of not Knowing research said a combination of quantitative and qualitative feedback on the performance of their online channel is ultimately most useful.

However, being able to replay user sessions is just one element in bridging the visibility void.  The eCommerce and digital marketing functions are busier than ever and nobody has the time to replay hundreds of user sessions trying to find the needle in a haystack.  It is necessary to have a layer of customer experience analytics that directs you to those journeys that are most interesting and relevant.  Also, once an issue has been discovered, these analytics need to provide quick quantification on it’s cost to the business.

Typically, website analytics are usually owned and controlled by the marketing function, and it can be challenging for the wider business to holistically understand their customer base. Sharing and access to the data captured about customer experience is imperative to develop informed strategies, and to measure the impact of those decisions.

The goal for eCommerce brands is to understand their customers’ wants and needs as though they were standing in front of them in a shop. Complete visibility of the customer experience across every facet of the website journey is essential to achieve this.

Darren Ward, Director of Product Marketing, UserReplay