In April, CRM company Zendesk looked at data from 90,000 businesses globally and found that 75% of them agreed that the pandemic has accelerated digital transition. While most companies already know that the future is digital, this is a clear indication that a sound digital strategy is something that needs to be implemented now.
Digital experience forms the backbone of this transformation. Increasingly, customers are looking at your goods and services, making a purchase, and asking for help through apps or the web. In fact, for many of us, this has already become the norm.
Building better digital experiences requires deep insight into how customers interact with your digital platforms, be it your website or a dedicated app. However, getting your hands on these insights requires a thoughtful product analytics strategy.
Asking the right questions
A good place to start is to think about what kinds of questions you’re trying to answer about your customers’ interactions with your digital platforms. With websites, there’s a long history of measuring site traffic, who’s referring traffic to your site, and how much time people are spending on your site. When it comes to apps, we often look at which channels/campaigns are driving new app downloads.
While these are helpful data points, they don’t necessarily tell you everything that you need to know about your users.
To build better digital experiences throughout the entire customer lifecycle, you’ll need to be able to answer questions like:
- Why are users dropping off? Is one group of users dropping off more than another?
- How long does it take for a user to find value from my platform? What are the paths they are taking to arrive at value?
- Who are my power users? How do they differ from other user segments?
- Did my new feature launch cause user behaviour to change in an intended way?
Once you have an idea of what kinds of questions and insights help you to create a better digital experience, you’ll be able to rethink data collection, technology and tools, and decision-making processes to become digital-first.
Collecting the right data and picking the right tool
It’s one thing to know what questions to ask, but your ability to answer the questions hinges on two things—data collection and analytics tools. You can only answer questions if you’ve collected the data that’s needed to do so. Data collection impacts your ability to answer questions and track your success. Tracking every single user action might seem like a great idea, but it only creates “noisy” analysis. Make the most of the data that you collect by ensuring that is usable and aligns with the core metrics that impact your business.
The right tools can also greatly impact your ability to answer questions about your customers. Yet our recent survey of over 160 product professionals in India found that 40% of them are using tools that aren’t designed for their needs.
Product teams are at the heart of the development and optimization of your digital properties. This lack of access to the right tools greatly hinders their ability to quickly learn from user behavior and rapidly improve the product to drive better digital experiences.
Not only should your tools be able to answer user behavior questions, but they should also be self-serve. Our survey found that 28% of respondents have access to data but lack the technical skills to answer user behavior questions, and 22% indicated that data experts in their company were too busy to help. A powerful, self-serve, product analytics tool helps to remove these barriers to insights.
ZipRecruiter, a US employment marketplace, is a great example. Their product managers and engineers were spending hours running SQL queries to track their hundreds of metrics across departments and regions. The introduction of self-serve product analytics changed this dramatically. With real-time data and funnels, decision-making has become more timely for their team.
Your website and app are fast becoming a key part of your business. They are your digital product and building success requires you to focus on specific success metrics around user behavior. A sound product analytics strategy will help you to identify user behavior trends, uncover important product flows, and get real-time insights into product usage. The companies that get it right will be well-positioned to lead and grow in the new digital economy.
(The author is Scott Pugh, Director – APAC at Mixpanel and the views expressed in this article are his own)