E-commerce stores: Tracking consumer behavior on your site is a must-do practice

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Understanding consumer behaviors on your e-commerce site, and how your site reacts to consumers, is a make-or-break tool for your brand. If you gain the knowledge, you’ll have extremely valuable information on how to maximize success with the customer at your disposal. Without such knowledge, you’re essentially traveling without a compass and it will eventually cost you greatly.

In order to get an in-depth look at how users are experiencing your website and/or mobile app, you’ll need a tool to track user flows. These provide the advantage of collecting the experiences of customers in many different ways.

Fortunately for e-commerce stores, there are some really great tools out there that can be used to analyze customer behavior. If you’re interested in such tools, Hotjar and FullStory are among the best with several others worth researching to find the best fit for you. These can be used to track activity 24 hours a day, allowing you to improve and ultimately grow your site for any and every customer. Here are a few of the best insights that can be gained from using almost any of the most recommended customer experience tools:

Recordings

Visitor recordings are very self-explanatory. You see exactly what the consumer does during their session on your site. Every mouse movement, every click, everything they do or don’t put in their cart, etc. It’s a firsthand look at what obstacles may be preventing a purchase or what site attributes could be encouraging conversions. With most customer experience tools, this playback feature can be viewed at any time with the ability to filter, tag, and take notes.

Maps

Each of the top customer interaction tracking services will have maps of some kind. Heatmaps are the most common. These paint an image of consumer behavior by highlighting specific actions of your visitors. Depending on the tool you’re using, heatmaps can show the most common areas of clicks, taps, scrolls, and more on your site. This is a very popular feature on Hotjar, which has arguably the most in-depth heatmaps you’ll find.

Via Hotjar

Other tracking tools utilize maps in different ways. FullStory, for example, has maps for rage, error, and dead clicks in addition to the common engagement heatmaps.

Funnels

Examining consumer activity on your site through a funnel is another popular and useful feature. Above all else, the glimpse into the funnel activity allows you to see where customers are most likely to end a session. With funnels, activity is tracked from page to page. This shows at which point the largest percentages of consumers are dropping off before a sale is made.

It may be that the dropoff at each funnel is consistent with what’s to be expected. But if you find a particularly alarming amount of dropoff at a given stage in the funnel, adjustments can be made to provide a better user experience.

Polls and Surveys

Most customer tracking tools allow for the ability to let the consumer tell you what’s going right or wrong. With this feature, you can typically create customized polls or surveys to be placed anywhere on your site. On your end, an easy-to-read breakdown of the feedback can outline how your site needs to adjust.

Via Hotjar

Deciding which tools to use should be a decision based on what’s best for your e-commerce site. Regardless of where you get your information on this type of consumer behavior, it’s a necessity to do your due diligence. Let the analytics help form a plan for success based around what works and what doesn’t. It’s not just a worthy investment, it’s an essential one.

Written by
Trent Shadid is a senior copywriter and editor at Engine.