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The Value of Session Replay: What Is It and How Can It Help You?

The following article is going to explain what session replay is, how you use it and why it is an important tool to improve the user experience of your products.

As a company, it’s important that you invest considerably in your website, creating something that reaches and appeals to your target audience and offers relevant information and good user experience. In the same way, you want your marketing strategies and ideas to appeal to your audience, to engage them and draw them in.

So it’s been established that good web pages and content are increasing conversions. The next questions might be, how do you know that your campaign or strategy is experiencing its full potential with your audience? How do you know that another method or strategy wouldn’t be more successful?

An easy, affordable method for determining which strategies, marketing and product decisions are engaging and attractive to your customers (and which aren’t) is visualizing their interactions with your website or a application to gain conversion insights.

Meet Session Replay.

What is Session Replay?

Session replay is the ability to replay a visitor’s journey on a web site or within a web application. Session replay can include the user’s view (browser or screen output), user input (keyboard and mouse inputs). These tools are generally used to understand visitor behavior for the purposes of optimizing a website’s usability and conversion rate. In a B2B context understanding a website visitors behavior in order to identify buying intentions is seen as an effective way to target marketing or product development activities.

Session Replay is a great way to see which problems users encounter and understand what makes them abandon the important processes on your website or within the app.

Picture below explains the basic concept.

optimizing-website-usability-and-conversion-rate

Where is session replay useful?

Session Replay can be done on virtually any aspect of your online marketing or product strategies. Here are a few areas that can benefit from user behavior insights:

A/B Testing

Marketers use A/B testing on their websites to improve conversion rates. For example you may want to determine which call to action on your landing page results in more people clicking to the next page or step in your funnel. The harsh reality of A/B testing is that most tests fail to either improve on the original variant or lose outright. It can be very hard to find a winning test. This reality makes running repeated tests challenging. Solid A/B tests are an informed solutions to a real problems – not an arbitrary guesses.

Product Management

Product management is an important organizational role. Product managers are typically found at companies that are building products or technology for online customers. The product manager is often considered the CEO of their product and is responsible for the strategy, roadmap, and feature definition for that product or product line. The product manager needs to know how to identify customer needs, be able to tell when a design is good and when a design is bad and if it addresses the customer need in the most efficient way.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a structured and systematic approach to improving the performance of your website by which you increase the percentage of your website visitors who take a desired action on your website. It means optimizing your website so that a greater proportion of your traffic finds it useful and informative and does what you want them to do. Conversion rate is the single most important metric to determine digital marketing success in today’s world.

Session replay goes by many names

There are various names referring to Session Replay:

  • Session Recording
  • User Session Replay
  • User Replay
  • Visitor Session Replay
  • Visitor Replay
  • Visitor Recordings
  • Visitor Behavior Analytics
  • Visual Session Recording
  • Visual Analytics
  • Visual Replay of User Journeys
  • In-Page Web Analytics
  • Customer Experience Analytics (rare)

Although session replay is widely recognized, there is no single name that is accepted by all in the SaaS industry.

What is the value of Session Replay?

Companies are typically drowning in metrics about customer visits to their digital products but have very little insight into the experience of individual customers. For example, online retailer may know how many customers are abandoning at different steps of their checkout process but have no idea WHY they are abandoning.

One of the ways to eliminate hidden sources of user struggle and turn more visitors into satisfied customers is to be able to replay individual customer sessions and see exactly what the they saw.

This can help you turn your insights into action in a way that charts and graphs could never support.

Session replay is an excellent addition to remote user testing. You should definitely use it as a method in your toolset.

Torsten Tromm

About the author

Torsten is CEO and founder of Userpeek. He is an old stager in the online business with 20 years of experience as an online marketer, conversion rate optimizer and UX strategist.

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