Digital Experience Analytics: How to Turn Online Customer Behavior into Actionable Insights

Digital experience analytics

If you’re not tracking online customer behavior on websites and apps, you’re missing crucial signals. Digital experience analytics generates those insights for you. 

Consumers continue to flock to websites and apps, and they expect more from these channels today than ever before. As brands adapt to life after digital transformation fueled by the pandemic, they must learn from online customer behavior to optimize those digital experiences. And those that can turn online customer behavior data into actionable insights outperform peers by 85% in sales growth and over 25% in gross margin

But a common issue arises for many brands trying to capture and turn online customer behaviors into insights: scalability. How can you realistically track and make sense of millions of behaviors taking place across your website or app every day? Digital experience analytics offers a purpose-built solution to do just that.

 Digital experience analytics

What is digital experience analytics? 

Simply put, digital experience analytics refers to solutions that instantly measure and quantify customer experiences on websites or apps. These solutions typically include capabilities that uncover online customer experience issues with features like experience scoring, behavior detection, and journey analysis, among many others. On top of that, it typically comes equipped with must-have analytical tools for investigating and resolving those issues, like session replay and heatmaps.

Going beyond surface level web and app data, digital experience analytics allows brands to catch a glimpse of the user’s state of mind. Automatically measuring billions of user sessions and trillions of user behaviors, digital experience analytics can expose exactly what’s happening throughout the online customer journey. In turn, these insights reveal previously hidden issues and opportunities to optimize web and app experiences which otherwise would go unnoticed.

Turning online customer behavior into truly actionable insights, digital experience analytics has become the ultimate solution for creating friction-free web and app experiences that meet sky-high customer expectations.

Why use digital experience analytics? 

Brands simply can’t afford flawed experiences on websites and apps. As digital experiences boom with activity — 56% of customer interactions took place online, up 22% from 2019 — tolerance for friction-filled online journeys continues to shrink. And consumers aren’t shy about letting you know. If websites or apps fail to deliver exceptional experiences, 70% of customers abandon purchases while 67% ultimately churn.

Digital experience analytics offers a gold mine of insights around online customer experience. While web analytics, A/B testing tools, and customer feedback solutions each boast valuable data, digital experience analytics gleans unique behavioral insights required for proper web and app optimization.

To reveal the quality of online customer experiences at scale, digital experience analytics tracks every user’s digital body language — millions of daily behaviors at the enterprise level — to uncover instances of friction, confusion, and interest. With a strong focus on areas like engagement, frustration, navigation, along with technical and form experiences, digital experience analytics tools surface every opportunity to optimize websites and apps. 

And by combining digital experience analytics with other experience management tools, brands can diagnose and resolve issues across websites and apps without any second guessing or misfires. It’s the perfect data-driven marriage for perfecting online customer experiences. 

Who uses digital experience analytics? 

There isn’t necessarily a wrong answer here. Oftentimes, it’s not the sole responsibility of a single individual, team, or department to improve web and app experiences — it’s a larger scale effort. In fact, digital transformation for 80% of companies involves multiple business units or the entire company. Any and every team involved with transforming online customer experiences  should gain exposure to digital experience analytics.  

What exactly would digital experience analytics look like in action across your own organization? Take inspiration from a few of these use cases:

  • Web analysts spot user journey bottlenecks dragging key performance indicators.
  • Digital optimizers find spikes in frustration and confusion connected to new A/B tests.
  • User experience designers discover layouts and page elements contributing to poor engagement.
  • Ecommerce operators uncover technical issues costing purchases on checkout pages.
  • Digital marketers investigate form experience issues sabotaging landing page conversions.
  • Customer insight specialists correlate repeated user frustration with low CSAT results.

Given the far-reaching nature of web and app operations, it’s critical to expose every team to digital experience analytics to deliver the ultimate online customer experience.

What are the tools and capabilities behind digital experience analytics?

There’s no single digital experience analytics tool or capability that perfectly uncovers every experience issue and optimization opportunity on websites and apps. Each feature brings to the table its own unique data which creates a well-rounded set of insights — a must-have for quality optimization efforts. Discover the core functionalities of digital experience analytics with this clear-cut rundown:

  • Experience scoring quantifies every behavior, interaction, and journey with a single score, typically scaling from 1 to 10. It’s the best metric for measuring and benchmarking experience quality on websites and apps.
  • Behavior detection accounts for clicks and mouse movement — upward of a hundred various behaviors — to pinpoint every instance of frustration, confusion, and interest. Prioritization feedback organizes experience issues by urgency to keep optimization efforts focused on the most high-impact events. 
  • Journey analysis maps out and visualizes every user journey to discover the most popular paths and pages while revealing the most problematic ones creating bottlenecks.
  • Segmentation provides a wide range of filters around users and journeys — like behaviors, device types, A/B tests, and even third-party data — for granular experience investigations and optimization efforts.
  • Technical reports keep track of issues on the backend of websites and apps, such as broken links or shoddy code, that disrupt user journeys and drag experience quality.
  • Heatmaps display aggregated on-page user behaviors and interactions with colorful visualizations and often offer various types like scroll, attention, dot/click, attribution, and behavior heatmaps.
  • Session replay provides anonymized recordings of every user session to display exactly how journeys and behaviors unfold at the case-by-case level. More advanced session replays automatically identify the most insightful sessions to watch back. 
  • Form analytics measures the experiences and outcomes on any form-based submission page like account sign-ups, checkout screens, and demo requests.

As the digital-first consumer mindset evolves, digital experience analytics will become all-but mandatory for turning online customer behavior into insights that enable crucial improvements to web and app experiences. 

Take a deeper dive behind this solution with Decibel by Medallia’s Ultimate Guide to Digital Experience Analytics. It offers a detailed look at every tool, capability, and use case while providing a step-by-step process for putting it altogether to perfect web and app experiences.