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Ultimate Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Experience Analytics for Enterprise Brands in 2021

Welcome to your go-to guide for digital experience analytics at the enterprise level. From fundamentals and features to applying best practices, you’ll find it all in this guide.

Digital Experience Analytics 101

First and foremost, let’s define digital experience analytics in a world crowded by a bevy of analytics tools and solutions. Here’s your quick 101-level intro to set the scene and cover the must-know basics.

What is digital experience analytics?

Getting right into it, digital experience analytics refers to solutions that help brands measure, quantify, and improve customer experiences on websites or apps. Such solutions typically include capabilities that uncover online customer experience issues, like Decibel’s Digital Experience Score (DXS®) and Journey Discovery, as well as analytical tools for investigating and resolving those issues, like session replay and heatmaps.

Going beyond surface level website data, digital experience analytics is specifically designed to measure the quality of user experiences. Enterprise solutions like Decibel automatically measure billions of user sessions and trillions of user behaviors to expose exactly what’s happening throughout the online customer journey on your website or app.

And given that data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, 6 times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result, digital experience analytics has become pivotal in helping organizations solve the online customer experience (CX) puzzle.

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Why use digital experience analytics?

As online traffic continues to grow – up 25% in 2020 – nearly every industry from retail and restaurants to financial services and automotive connects with customers online now more than ever before.

So as digital experiences become the bedrock of the customer journey, how does this impact you and your digital team moving forward?

Tolerance for friction-filled website or apps will continue to shrink. In fact, a whopping 70% of customers abandon purchases and 67% churn because of poor user experiences, placing a heightened importance on using analytics to find and optimize web and app experiences to near perfection.

Now, most optimization teams come armed with web analytics solutions, like Google Analytics & Adobe Analytics, as well as Voice of Customer (VoC) tools. While these are must-have resources for properly measuring website performance and tracking customer experiences, they fail to reveal the quality of experiences at scale for enterprise.

Unfortunately, these data-driven knowledge gaps impact the bottom line of 88% of companies, with the average company losing 12% of its revenue. But with digital experience analytics, you can fill these gaps for hyper-targeted web and app improvements.

From revealing user frustration and confusion to tracking engagement and interest, digital experience analytics measures users’ digital body language and quantifies every experience on your website or app.

Whether you notice bottlenecks on key conversion pages or a dip in Net Promoter Score (NPS) from repeat users, you can turn to digital experience analytics to score related experiences, red-flag frustrated behaviors and friction-filled engagements, then use forensic tools to investigate and pinpoint specific areas for optimization.

Combining digital experience analytics with your web analytics and VoC tools not only provides a truly complete view of the digital experience, it enables you to easily diagnose and resolve issues on your website or app – ultimately driving online conversions, sales, and loyalty.

Who uses digital experience analytics?

There isn’t necessarily a wrong answer here. From web analysts, UX teams, and optimizers to marketers, customer support teams, and ecommerce managers: each has a hand to play in fine-tuning digital experiences. In fact, 80% of companies say their digital transformation efforts involve multiple business units or the entire company.

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

    • Web analysts spot user journey bottlenecks dragging key performance indicators (KPI).
    • Digital optimizers find spikes in frustration and confusion connected to new A/B tests.
    • UX designers discover layouts and elements contributing to poor engagement.
    • Ecommerce teams uncover technical issues costing purchases on checkout pages.
    • Digital marketers investigate form experience issues sabotaging conversions on landing pages.
    • Customer support teams determine repeat user frustration impacting low CSAT results.
  • Given the far-reaching nature of customer experience, it’s wise to expose every team that’s involved with your website or app to digital experience analytics to deliver the ultimate online customer experience.
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See why Decibel is the choice for leading enterprises. Request a Demo Today.

The 3 Must-Have Investigative Tools in Digital Experience Analytics

Perhaps one of the most coveted advantages of digital experience analytics stems from its suite of investigative tools: session replay, heatmaps, and form analytics.

Each tool brings a specific set of features and applications that allow you to pinpoint nearly any poor experience on your website or app – a must-have for proper web and app optimization. For an air-tight rundown of their core functionalities, we sum up the details below.

1.Session replay to launch in-depth investigations and watch back user sessions

In a nutshell, session replay (also known as session recording) refers to technology that enables digital teams to watch back videos of real, anonymized users interacting with their websites or apps.

With an ‘over the shoulder’ view, teams get a first-hand look at the real problems causing user frustration and derailing user journeys. And, according to an Econsultancy survey, 95% of practitioners find session replay effective to highly effective for measuring online experiences.

We’ve ironed out the core benefits and cutting-edge capabilities of session replay powered by digital experience analytics like Decibel here:

2.Heatmaps to aggregate user behaviors and enable page-by-page analysis

In short, heatmaps refer to visualizations of on-page user behavior on website and apps. With a wide range of heatmaps types – scroll, attention, dot/click, attribution, and behavior – each surfaces different levels of insight.

Aggregating millions of user behaviors and interactions into a single picture, heatmaps showcase how the bulk of user journeys unfold on your website or app. Circling back to our research with Econsultancy, 95% of practitioners also find heatmaps highly effective for measuring web and app experiences just like session replay.

Take a look below at the most valuable perks and innovative features of heatmaps found in digital experience analytics like Decibel.

3.Form analytics to pinpoint issues impacting submission-based pages

Just as it sounds, form analytics track and measure the experiences and outcomes on any form-based submission page.

Whether it’s a demo request landing page or an online checkout payment page, form analytics reveal how visitors interact with forms to identify key pain points causing errors, frustration, and abandonment. This has become crucial intel as only 49% of users add details to an online form after viewing it – and only 16.5% actually complete it.

With forms acting as conversion gateways, form analytics have become a must-have tool for sites and apps with landing pages, content downloads, checkout processes, or personal info requests. Review the most noteworthy advantages and key traits of form analytics offered by digital experience analytics like Decibel below.

Start Scoring the Quality of User Experiences on Your Website Today. Request a Quick Demo.

8 Essential Capabilities of Industry-Leading Digital Experience Analytics

While forensic tools provide you and your digital team with plenty of actionable insights, the best digital experience analytics solutions also come with a range of complementary features that take analysis to the next level. We’ve listed the most important capabilities of experience analytics for you to consider below.

1.Experience data and metrics to definitively score the quality of websites and apps

On a scale of 1-10, how would you score your website or app experiences? Don’t answer – digital experience analytics metrics will do that for you.

Potentially one of the most enticing features of digital experience analytics comes from the ability to measure billions of user sessions and trillions of user behaviors. With AI analyzing every data point, experience scoring accounts for every engagement, every frustration, and every user journey outcome.

Experience metrics act as a true measuring stick for digital teams to discover experience issues, benchmark quality, and track optimization results. In fact, Decibel’s own metric – Digital Experience Score (DXS®) – has been proven to help predict millions in online revenue for travel giant TUI and global retailer River Island among many other enterprises.

2.Behavior detection to automatically reveal user engagements and frustrations

Body language is a telltale sign of a person’s mood – and it’s no different online with digital body language.

User behaviors on your website or app can often reveal the true quality behind experiences reflected by your web analytics and VoC data. Decibel’s behavior detection tracks and measures behaviors across every user session like frustration-driven erratic mouse movements known as bird’s nests to scroll engagement indicating an interested reader – among many others.
With every user behavior accounted for, you’ll know exactly where issues arise and places your site or app can improve.

3.Journey discovery to learn popular user paths and troublesome bottlenecks

It only makes sense that the road most travelled often requires the most upkeep, right? It’s not too different for online customer journeys.

With digital experience analytics tracking and visualizing user’s journeys, you can easily pinpoint bottlenecks and high-friction pages on your website or app – from the most popular journeys to the most problematic ones.

Given that 90% of CX professionals believe a customer journey-based approach boosts customer satisfaction, retention, and lifetime value, this feature is a must-have to create seamless online journeys.

4.Segmentation to define interests and analyze specific user data

The buckshot approach to optimization is much too time consuming at the enterprise level. But with segmentation and filtering, digital experience analytics removes those inefficiencies and allows your team to make meticulous web and app improvements with ease.

With the ability to filter down by a wide range of journey and user data, you can pinpoint which pages cause high frustration bottlenecks, where engagements have begun to plateau, and whether certain users – like mobile vs desktop or new users vs repeat users – run into different issues.

And considering segmentation enables websites to deliver content 2 to 5 times more effective than those without it, this capability may become a go-to for all of your UX investigations.

5.Prioritization feedback to list experience issues in order of urgency

It’s time to get your UX priorities straight – literally. Determining which web or app issues matter doesn’t always feel straightforward, but with prioritization feedback from digital experience analytics it removes any second guessing.

Accounting for virtually every instance of frustration and friction, digital experience analytics with prioritization engines like Decibel automatically measure, categorize, and order issues by urgency and impact on user experience.

From surging drop-off issues on checkout pages to an unusually high homepage bounce rate, prioritization feedback pinpoints those experience issues and notifies you and your team which to investigate and fix first.

6.Performance reports to provide insights into technical experience issues

Like a broken cog in a well-oiled machine, even just a minor technical issue on your website or app’s backend – whether it’s a shoddy line of code or broken link – can sabotage the user experience.

However, digital experience analytics featuring performance reports can track and alert you to the more problematic technical issues disrupting user journeys and costing you engagements, conversions, and sales.

In fact, even some digital experience analytics solutions take it a step further and automatically score your website or app’s technical performance – like Decibel’s Technical Experience Score.

7.Security and privacy built-in to meet compliance standards and protect data

Protecting and securing data has become just as important as collecting it. While experience data acts as fuel for successful web optimization efforts, without the right protection in place you’d jeopardize your own competitive intelligence or even your own users’ personal information.

Fortunately, many digital experience analytics come with highly secure privacy and protection capabilities built in. From anti-virus scanning and IP address control to multi-factor authentication and adherence to regulated compliance standards, you’ll have access to highly insightful but highly secure data as well.

These security standards have become ever more important in digital experience analytics solutions as the average data breach costs $3.92 million and 92% of consumers believe companies must be proactive about data protection.


8.Integrations with popular MarTech tools to create an analytics hub

The more data the merrier, right? Of course, you and your team likely rely on several different data sources and analytics tools – as you should – so the most flexible digital experience analytics have been crafted with that in mind.

Instead of forcing you to access your customer analytics, web analytics, testing data, survey feedback all in separate locations, digital experience analytics offer wide ranging integration capabilities with popular tools to create a centralized analytics hub for optimization teams.

Digital experience analytics integrations have truly become time-saving must-haves as 52% of marketing leaders believe their team spends too many hours managing data.

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The logo of UBS
The logo of Fidelity International
The logo of Charles Schwab
The logo of Experian

See why Decibel is the choice for leading enterprises. Request a Demo Today.

4 Simple Steps for Using Digital Experience Analytics to Resolve Web & App Issues

From widely-trusted investigative tools to automated capabilities, digital experience analytics offers a whole suite of must-have features – but it takes a savvy end-user to make the most of them.

So, before you dive right into your new digital experience analytics, you’ll need a simple, effective, and repeatable process in place to maximize your insights and optimizations. Below we’ve outlined a few steps you can follow and repeat like a pro.

1.Focus on resolving known customer experience issues across your website or app

It’s a common mistake to aimlessly search for random issues across a website or app, but that’s like grocery shopping without a prepared list. It’s disorganized, a bit chaotic, and you’ll often miss items you need.

Before jumping into digital experience analytics data, you must identify CX troubles reflected by your VoC data and web analytics first. These act as key warning systems for red flagging apparent UX issues like low conversions and high abandonment on landing pages to spiraling Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT) from first-time buyers.

With these issues diagnosed, you can turn to your digital experience analytics to quantify those problematic areas. More specifically, you can score and benchmark those related experiences using built-in metrics to automatically measure the quality of every single user experience – like with Decibel’s DXS.

After you’ve determined these digital experience shortcomings, you and your team are primed to pinpoint the specific issues plaguing experiences on your website or app.

2.Quickly uncover specific issues behind poor user experiences

Now that you’ve identified problems and scored experiences, it’s time to leverage the key capabilities of digital experience analytics to reveal the details behind these apparent issues.

Taking advantage of behavior detection alerts, you’ll automatically learn about any related instances of frustration and confusion exhibited by users. It’s the closest reality to users actually telling you exactly where on your website or app they’re encountering issues.

With behaviors detailing poor user experiences, it’s time to turn to your customer journeys tool to discover high-friction points in the user journey causing bottlenecks. Consider this a tool for spotlighting the most congested areas where web and app issues have been derailing users and shorting your metrics.

Next up, you can use performance reports for a technical view behind these experiences. These reports allow for quick finds concerning backend issues behind the content, layout, and functionality of your website or app.

Lastly, you should review prioritization feedback to ensure you’re weighing the impacts – from quality to quantity – of these poor user experiences. With your priorities automatically set, investigating becomes straightforward with a well-ordered checklist.

3.Systematically investigate user experience issues with forensic tools

One by one, it’s time to work through investigating every UX issue on that checklist with the forensic tools apart of your digital experience analytics.

First off, you’ll want to systematically work through your list of issues to investigate, and segmentation simplifies these efforts. Filtering down by any variety of criteria and user data – like pages visited or behaviors exhibited – you’ll be able to keep your investigations narrow and targeted.

With your sights set on the right areas, use heatmaps and session replay to locate specific instances of breakdowns in the user journey. With heatmaps visually aggregating user behaviors and session replay recording every user action, you can drill down to the right journeys, pages, and sessions to expose even the most subtle issues on your website or app.

While the dynamic duo of heatmaps and session replay will serve you and your team well in investigations, submission-based pages may require a bit more help. On these unique pages, turn to your form analytics for form-specific insights that uncover the nuances behind error filled submissions and failed conversions.

If you make those most of these forensic tools by following the best practices and uses cases for heatmaps and session replay, you’ll be running through your checklist in no time – and quickly move on to optimizations.

4.Optimize poor experiences and monitor future results

So, you know exactly where your website or app misses the mark, now it’s just a matter of smoothing out those user experiences with the right optimizations.

Whether you discover embedded videos with bug-ridden technical issues causing dips in CSAT or poorly designed checkout pages resulting in higher levels abandonment, you can now make amends and fix those areas of friction with certainty.

But it’s not enough to roll out optimizations once, you need to continuously monitor, investigate, and optimize experiences for a near perfect website or app. Digital experience analytics – and their experience-based metrics – were built to help you do just that.

Whether you’re using Decibel’s DXS® or another solution’s experience metric, these scores act as benchmarks to keep track of the ups and downs of your website or app. Any dip indicates a need to launch a new investigation.

If you and your team follow and repeat this simple yet highly effective process, you’ll be able to perfect digital experiences and maximize your bottom line.

Start Scoring the Quality of User Experiences on Your Website Today. Request a Quick Demo.

Automatically Find Any Issues on Your Website or App with Decibel

The best digital experience analytics come with a long list of features, capabilities, and tools – and you shouldn’t settle for anything less.

While researching, browsing, and weighing the different solutions in the market may seem overwhelming, this guide will keep you and your team focused on the most crucial criteria needed at the enterprise level.

But if you’re seeking a “one-stop shop,” look no further. Decibel delivers digital experience analytics with all the above and then some. From every capability like segmentation, security and privacy, plus behavior detection all the way to those widely popular heatmaps and session replay, Decibel covers it all.

But beyond those must-have features, Decibel’s digital experience analytics includes the aforementioned Digital Experience Score – or DXS® – comprised of scoring data from 5 experience pillars including engagement, frustration, navigation, along with technical and form experiences.

With the ability to automatically score the quality of your website or app and take advantage of scalable yet comprehensive features, your digital team can quickly turn web and app optimizations into new revenue. In fact, many global enterprises have already seen highly lucrative digital experience improvements with Decibel.

International travel leader TUI correlates a 1-point increase in DXS® with $30M in annual revenue, while fashion giant River Island can predict a 43% increase in conversions and $4.2M monthly revenue using DXS®. It’s clear the impact insights into every web and app experience can offer huge boosts to your bottom line, and it should continue as more and more consumers adopt a digital-first mentality.

For a closer look at a digital experience analytics solution that checks off everything on your list, schedule a demo with a Decibel digital experience expert!


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