Session Replay Buyer’s Checklist: 7 Features Enterprise Teams Need in 2020

Liam Burns
Written by Liam Burns
July 24, 2020

Session replay is an incredibly useful tool for finding poor user experiences (UX) across your website or app. But there’s one major problem: this tool can be incredibly time-consuming.

Of course, session replay provides you with that coveted ‘over the shoulder’ view into real user sessions, but traditional and outdated versions require you to spend countless hours watching sessions back to find UX issues.

What’s the best way around this time-trap at the enterprise level? Session replay with AI.

Updated versions of this tried-and-true tool, like Decibel’s own session replay, boast advanced features with time-saving AI that completely streamline your user experience investigations. In fact, AI-powered technology like modern session replay is projected to boost labor productivity by up to 40%.

So, before you invest in a session replay solution, use this feature checklist to ensure you get the best bang for your buck:

1. Automated analysis to pinpoint the most important sessions and time stamps

With millions of monthly user sessions taking place on your enterprise website, it’s virtually impossible to watch them all back and find where users run into issues. Luckily, you don’t have to!

Perhaps the biggest draw of modern session replay comes from AI watching back every session for you. With AI-powered session replay, you’ll be notified of highly informative sessions showcasing critical experience issues causing user frustration and sabotaging engagements and conversions.

Whether you’re investigating high abandonment at checkout or low completion rates on landing page forms, you’ll never have to sift through another endless list of sessions. This becomes a major productivity booster to your team, as 65% of workers believe AI reduces menial tasks like watching back every user session.

2. Segmentation between high-quality and low-quality experiences

What exactly keeps repeat visitors coming back to your site and what turns first time visitors away? With a segmentation feature, you can uncover these differences with ease.

Session replay with segmentation allows you to automatically filter and analyze user sessions by UX quality to discover exactly what differentiates the best experiences from the worst of the bunch. Not to mention you can contextualize analysis with filters around external analytics, customer feedback, heatmaps, and more.

With the ability to categorize sessions like this, you can cross-compare user journeys leading to high engagements and loyalty versus those leading to abandonment and user frustration – then optimize accordingly.

3. Behavior detection – being alerted to frustration and engagement automatically

Body language tells you so much about a person’s mood and emotions – and the same goes for a user’s digital body language.

Watching session replays back, spotting behaviors like multi-click or bird’s nest is critical for learning where your website or app creates friction. Traditionally, you would spend hours searching for these behavioral cues, but modern session replay integrated with behavior detection will actually do it for you.

With AI automatically pinpointing and timestamping these events for you, it’s no wonder 96% of practitioners rate behavior detection as effective. This feature removes all the leg work from watching back session replays and shows you exactly what’s causing frustration – whether it’s a broken button or slow loading homepage.

4. Detailed user journey mapping between devices and channels

The typical buying journey of your average online consumer is far from linear, in fact, 73% of shoppers use more than one channel during their shopping journey. As you may already know, this can complicate UX investigations and optimizations.

The old school approach would have you manually map out journeys and scrutinize which segments need to be reviewed with session replay. Whereas modern session replay featuring journey mapping will track every condition in play, so you know which segment of users run into certain issues – from a clunky mobile dropdown menu or a messy desktop interface.

Between desktop and mobile, different operating systems, and various channels, having each these variables automatically accounted for by journey mapping allows you to deliver the ultimate omni-channel experience.

5. Heatmap integrations to contextualize user sessions

Diving straight into session replays without any context is taboo. With a heatmap integration you won’t even feel tempted to do that.

Using heatmaps to visually aggregate user behaviors, you can actually select and review problematic areas of the map you’d like to further investigate with session replay. For example, it could be that a call-to-action button with low engagements that piques your interest, and you analyze related user sessions to find out users were redirected to the wrong page and promptly abandoned.

This integration feature eliminates watching back random session replays and provides highly valuable context to your user experience investigations. With heatmaps rated quite effective to highly effective by 95% of users, it’s no wonder it forms a near perfect analytic marriage with session replay.

6. In-app filtering, tagging, and commenting for team collaboration

Transforming your website into a user’s paradise often takes a village – or in this case a digital team spanning across your organization. In fact, 80% of companies claim digital transformation efforts involve multiple business units or the entire company.

Multi-team UX investigations are prone to miscommunication and disorganization, which can completely delay business-critical optimizations from going live before user frustration grows. However, modern session replay features like commenting and tagging, combat these collaborative obstacles.

Let’s say you find a slew of session replays demonstrating form issues causing users to abandon at checkout. Now you tag these appropriately as they relate to your checkout process with notes explaining your analysis for ecommerce specialists and optimizers to resolve without a hitch.

7. Tech-stack integrations to pair external data with related session replays

Like any savvy digital team, you likely deploy a list of business, customer, and web analytics systems to truly understand customer experiences. But what if you could use that data to enhance session replay insights?

Developments in modern session replay tools let you fully integrate this digital tool with a wide selection of highly popular external analytics. Similarly to the heatmap integration, this feature provides nuanced context around UX issues which allows for hyper-targeted web optimizations.

Pairing external data with session replay will allow you to watch sessions back directly affecting Net Promoter Scores (NPS), product reviews, customer surveys, conversion rates, and more. Consider this feature your secret weapon for taking session replay insights to the next level.

Learn How to Maximize Session Replay Insights Like an Expert

Now that you know exactly what to look for in a modern session replay solution, it’s just a matter of mastering this investigative tool. These advanced features and AI-powered technology aren’t enough on their own to help you perfect user experiences – it takes a clever end-user as well.

To turn session replays insights into web optimizations that truly resolve UX issues and finally move the needle on key business metrics, take advantage of Session Replay and Session Recording in 2020: The Ultimate Guide, and Latest Functionality for Enterprise.

In this all-encompassing guide, you’ll learn about:

  • The basics of using session replay in 2020
  • Session replay’s biggest strengths and weaknesses
  • Best practices for maximizing session replay insights
  • What’s in store for the future of session replay
Topics: Product, Session Replay, User experience
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