How to Derive Actionable Insights from Session Replays

Written by on March 20, 2019

Regardless of what industry you specialize in, if you’re doing business online, your success or failure lies within the user experience. Determining the ease in how your users interact with your website and the potential roadblocks that stand in the way of successful conversions are vital to turning a profit in the online arena.

That’s why online business owners rise and fall with website analytics tools like Google Analytics. But, much like the pocket calculator or Palm Pilot before them, these once tried, and true business tools have had evolution pass them by with the birth of session replays.

Session replays represent an opportunity to see real-time recreations of user interaction with your site and derive actionable insights from them. But what benefit do session replays have for an online company over traditional analytics? How can you convert those insights into success for your business?

Let’s dive in and find out!

Section 1: What is a Session Replay?

A session replay is a service which artificially reproduces a user’s real-time interaction with a website. It’s important to note that this is not a recording, but a recreation.

Session replay takes highly detailed data while a customer browses your website and re-creates it for you to review later. It captures typing, clicks, swiping, scrolling, and mouse movements.

Also known as mouse recording or session playback, this replay tool not only re-creates video but mines essential data which you can review to gain a more accurate portrait of your audience.

Session replays can also sense window sizes, variance by browser, and more, allowing you to monitor nearly every aspect of the user experience.

Every action that we take on a website creates a measurable event. These seamless events are recorded and recreated by session replay technology, creating a tremendous analytic tool which helps businesses understand the positives and negatives associated with their web presence.

Solve Bugs

Most website bug reports are not detailed enough. By reproducing what users experience when the system bugs, issues related to performance can be resolved faster.

Not all bugs are system-wide. Some vary based on what operating system the customer is using, their device, the resolution, and size of their screen. These variances make quality assessments inefficient and time-consuming.

By using the analytic power of session replays, the user experience essentially becomes your continuing quality assessment. Thanks to the ability to review a user’s specific journey, your team will not have to reproduce variables to check for the bug in question.

This also helps to improve the customer support process. There is no longer a need for your support staff to ask customers for screenshots when they can just pull up their session and review the video. What’s more, by pairing sessions with console logs, tech teams can eliminate JavaScript errors, which often plague websites.

Improve Conversion Rates

All online retailers need to understand what is stopping a potential customer from completing a conversion on their site. With session replay technology, you can actually see where users might be getting confused while navigating your user interface. This advancement in customer support allows you to regroup and address all issues quickly.

One of the most critical aspects of an online retailer’s conversion optimization is their call to action, the link or copy that directs a prospect into making a purchase decision. Without a strong call to action, it is likely that potential customers are coming to your site and leaving without spending any money.

(Image Source)

Gauging the effectiveness of your call to action can be easier with session replays. It allows you to see how users are reacting to it and whether or not they’re clicking, closing the page, or leaving an abandoned shopping cart.

With session replays, you can watch as a user scrolls through your site and even follow along as they peruse your content. You’ll be able to see their mouse movements, and if they navigate away, you can isolate where it happened. By comparing the replay data of various users to others, you’ll be able to adjust your language accordingly to create a more effective sales pitch.

Streamline Customer Support

Session replays can provide some much-needed context to customer support inquiries. It allows your customer service agents to see what the customer did on the site. It then solves their issue by making use of that information.

Often, customer support issues boil down to user error. And it’s hard to make that point or insinuate that to a customer without some definitive proof. Session replays can isolate issues of user error without offending the customer.

Another common issue plaguing customer service departments throughout the world is a user’s ability (or lack thereof) to explain issues. This is no longer a problem with session replays. A customer service agent never has to guess or try to envision the issue a user is describing. Instead, it’s like watching over their shoulder, seeing precisely what went wrong in real time.

(Image Source)

Session replays are great at capturing indications of frustration, easily allowing a support agent to isolate problems. Rapid fire clicks on a specific element can indicate anger and let companies know what roadblocks their users are experiencing.

Monitor Malicious Actors

Cybercrime is a huge issue plaguing the online world. Issues like identity theft happen thanks to hacking attacks directed at companies that collect user information. A security issue in which your customers’ information can be put in jeopardy is one of the worst things that could happen. That’s why it’s essential to protect your online store against the ongoing threat of cybercrime and hacking attempts. Session replays allow businesses to identify potential threats before they occur by monitoring and tracing malicious actions. It can do this by monitoring all sessions from a time period wherein malicious attacks were believed to take place.

Some session replay tools (not all) can detect activities related to SQL injection attacks and cross-site scripting. These are some of the common cyber attacks that hackers use to gain access to your company’s information and the precious identities and personal data of your customers.

Another malicious issue that companies have a hard time proving is fraud. Customers might say that the site was glitching when they made a purchase. Session replays can fight against threats of fraud by proving that users saw specific information. It can point out specifically when and where they saw the actual rules that they’re claiming to have missed.

Session replays can help make your website a safer and more secure virtual atmosphere.

In Conclusion

It is through session replays that online business owners have been enjoying deeper insights into their visitor behavior. By continuing to implement this evolving technology, businesses will continue to improve user interactions with their services and create a proven commitment to customer service.

Session replays can bring actionable data to your fingertips. By examining how users interact with your website you can take the steps needed to streamline your marketing and sales process online.