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Building the perfect user experience is far from easy – we know that and empathize with anyone who has tried to achieve UX perfection. There are so many factors to consider, and so many details to work on. Not to mention the fact that global internet traffic is growing and competition is (to put it mildly) fierce. For some, it’s easy to go with assumptions but for others, it’s just not enough as it doesn’t help them improve their products at the necessary speed or with the necessary level of detail. Having a reliable digital experience analytics platform by your side is just as good as witnessing your users’ reactions in a face-to-face interaction. But better. Let’s find out what are the benefits of digital experience analytics (DXA), how it works, and how it can help you build user experiences worth writing home about!
In this article...
In a nutshell, digital experience analytics measure and visualize different aspects of the user and customer journey: qualitative and quantitative data in the form of segments and funnels, browser console logs, session replays, heatmaps and click maps, and others. They help organizations drive growth, enhance adoption, monitor trends, and spot areas for improvement across various digital channels.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the most used types of digital experience analytics tools that exist today:
Web analytics tools are used to measure metrics such as page views, bounce rates, and conversion rates. They can give you the bigger picture and serve as a basis for further investigations.
Session replay tools record user sessions on a website/app and allow you to view the user experience in real time. They can help you pinpoint technical issues, user frustrations (dead clicks or rage clicks), and areas for improvement.
Heat mapping tools show you where users are clicking, scrolling, and hovering on a website with the help of color-coded maps. They are great if you need to find the areas of your website that are attracting or losing user attention.
Check out our comparison of Hotjar vs FullStory vs SessionStack and choose the one that will work out best for you!
Customer feedback tools allow you to use surveys, reviews, and ratings to collect feedback from your customers. They are invaluable for identifying user pain points, measuring customer satisfaction, and gathering ideas for improving the digital experience.
A/B testing tools allow you to test different variants of a page (or an app) to see which variant performs better. They are useful in optimizing user experience (UX), increasing conversions, and reducing bounce rates.
The tools that comprise different digital customer experience analytics platforms may vary, and each department in your organization needs to assess their needs carefully (for example, platforms that offer advanced session replay, can analyze mobile apps, etc.). In this article, we will cover those features we believe are critical to a product’s success and growth in an era when user experience rules the hearts of your customers – the toolset that lies at the core of SessionStack, making it a true cross-functional solution for product development teams, CX/CS teams, sales and marketing teams.
At the heart of each user journey is the desire of the product team to solve a problem – it might be anything from shopping for a new pair of shoes to viewing laboratory results online. Each problem poses a different challenge to the team and although there are methodologies to resolve the problem that are used more often than others, our advanced technological age allows us to search for more adequate and more sophisticated solutions at a scale previously unimagined.
Digital analytics help us on this quest by providing a treasure trove of data points to support assumptions (or reject them), guide us towards achieving meticulously set KPIs, and finally – allow us to see the customer journeys through the eyes of the customers themselves. How do they do this?
By turning each action on your website or app into visual data.
Different stakeholders in your company can benefit from different types of data points. For example, product managers can easily monitor performance through qualitative and quantitative data dashboards and take action should they notice a significant deviation in the results. They can also use funnels to spot conversion opportunities – or identify friction points. Developers can decrease bug reproduction time by replaying problematic sessions. Customer Success teams can also benefit from DXA by revealing areas of confusion, quickly resolving technical issues, and assisting users in real time.
All of these lead to better adoption and happier customers who are willing to recommend the product to their colleagues and friends. We’re all in for a great customer review, right?
Owning a comprehensive DXA platform can help you gain a competitive advantage by improving adoption rates and fueling your conversion machine with actionable insights. Companies that use digital experience analytics solutions see the value in faster resolution of customer issues, better resource allocation, and improved customer satisfaction.
If it’s not enough to mention all of these benefits of investing in good user experiences, let’s mention a few of the costs related to bad ones to wrap this section up:
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty.
There are two ways that you can go about analytics – manual instrumentation and autocapture.
Without getting into too much detail, manual instrumentation means tagging all the events that you want to see in your analytics dashboard – you guessed it, manually. With this approach, you are limited by the resources you have, such as time and manpower, and what you can fit into these restraints. You need to identify and choose carefully what you want to track, have a good strategy in place for tracking what is being tracked, and, unfortunately – often have to rework these because something somewhere is now working differently and the tracking is broken. This is why it is advised to keep manual instrumentation for core events and variables only.
On the other hand, autocapture is a tagless approach that helps you track all of the events and flows that paint the bigger picture of the UX journey. All it takes is a single snippet deployment that provides insights into user behavior, error logs, and even full session replays of what customers interact with – information that is capable to answer complex user experience questions without complex tagging.
Both have their drawbacks, and both have their advantages. We believe that product teams shouldn’t be burdened with manual instrumentation. SessionStack works with tagless autocapture that doesn’t impact product performance while measuring it.
To implement a DXA platform with tagless autocapture, you simply need to insert a short snippet of code into your app. It then begins to gather data and fill your dashboards, funnels, and logs with real-time, precious analytics!
To add to that, DXA platforms often offer the possibility to integrate other tools you are currently using for optimal performance. An example of one such integration is SessionStack for ZenDesk. With it, support teams can benefit from our platform’s capabilities inside the ZenDesk interface itself!
So, let’s dive deeper into the types of digital experience analytics you can rely on to boost your product’s growth – with examples from the SessionStack platform.
Session autocapture gives you an instrumentalization-free approach to analysis – so your engineers don’t need to spend hours manually tagging every new event that matters to them during the different stages of product development. All of the information is already recorded and ready to be used for replays, segmentation, funnels, and more.
Session Replay leaves no blind spots in your digital customer experience data analysis. With SessionStack, you get pixel-perfect replays so you can see in detail not only what happened but why and how it happened. What’s more, you can share sessions with colleagues so you can put your heads together in debugging. Customer success teams can also benefit from session replay as it helps them build better onboarding sequences and address technical issues more quickly.
Sometimes, getting visual data is the only way to reproduce a bug. It’s also much faster than trying to guess what happened! So, session replay not only helps you solve complex UX mysteries with ease, but it also improves the efficiency of your product and customer support teams, helping them do more of what they do best.
The best way to spot trends and opportunities is to have a bird’s eye view of your customers’ behaviors. To do this, you will need a clever way to segment thousands of sessions based on common user attributes, session details, and events. With SessionStack’s User Segmentation, you can build specific product workflows for detailed behavior analysis. The handy Trends charts that you will see in your dashboard help you visualize friction points or conversion opportunities – and translate them into priorities in your development process. Additionally, you don’t waste time watching an excessive amount of sessions – you can use the matching sessions feature in Segments. Again, you can share these digital insights with colleagues for easier collaboration.
User segments are indispensable when it comes to product-led growth. Combining quantitative and qualitative data helps you visualize product performance and bring opportunities for improvement and areas of confusion to the front. When you have that knowledge, you can build a product whose adoption is easier and more straightforward, thus reducing abandonment issues and churn.
Nothing boosts our dopamine levels as much as looking at conversions. We are not alone – and our best bet is that you are getting the same dopamine hit every time you see an improvement in your conversion rate (CR). With SessionStack’s Funnels, you can easily (and instrumentalization-free) monitor CR in real time. The interface lets you set up funnels for various steps of the user journey, and then map segments on top of them.
Funnels make it extremely easy for you to see potential bottlenecks and address them before they become a true nuisance to your growth objectives. They also provide a visual guide as to where you can introduce improvements based on the steps that see the biggest number of customer sessions with drop-off. CR optimization becomes easy when you know where your processes need a push.
A digital experience analytics solution can be a powerful stepping stone for building customer experiences that truly resonate with the real people at the other end of the screen. They can help product teams gather a treasure trove of data that supports their assumptions, guides them toward achieving their KPIs, and enables them to see the user journey through the eyes of their customers.
From faster debugging and better resource allocation to improved customer satisfaction, DXA platforms take an important place in the roadmap toward success – no matter which leg of the journey your product is currently on. Depending on your team’s needs, you can choose a DXA platform that enables growth through actionable insights.
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