CLICKSTREAM – What is it?
A clickstream is a record of a user’s activity on the Internet or any other software application. This includes every website, every page of every website, time on a page, the order pages were visited per user, and when and where they left.
All this data taken together can be very crucial in understanding the customers and their behavior when they visit your website. This kind of information proves to be helpful insights in taking business decisions, which will be elaborated later on in this blog.
What data does clickstream collect?
Profile data depicts the information of the user who is visiting the website. This information can include the name, email address, gender, age, city/region and country. The data of any user is very crucial towards understanding who is visiting your website and why. This information can then be used for targeted campaigning.
This contains information about the current page such as page path, page title, number of hits and current visit duration. This can be useful in establishing the following:
· What webpage did the visitor first access on the website?
· What pages did the visitor access on the website?
· How much time did the visitor spend on each page?
· When and where did the visitor click the “back” button on the web browser?
· What items did the visitor add/remove from her shopping cart?
· What was the page at which the visitor exited my website?
All this information plays a very important role in understanding customer behavior. This allows companies to set up a website to reach maximum revenue potential. As an example, there could be few sections in the website that are not generating revenue at all, and adjustments or removal are required. It is also possible that a product should be placed in a different area on the website to help increase sales, or had been misplaced earlier.
Collected surfer information:
This has IP address of the visitor, keywords or search terms the visitor used to come to your website, the browser the visitor was using, operating system the visitor had, resolution, and mouse X,Y position of the click. All of this information is helpful in website development and improving functionality.
Benefits of clickstream:
Many of the advantages of clickstream are based on the fact that the more you know about your customers, the better. Analyzing the data of clients who visit a company website can be important towards staying competitive. Analyzing a user’s clickstream reveals usage patterns which help in understanding customer behavior. As stated above, many clickstream tools can generate a visitor’s profile, showing their country, ISP, tech specs, the frequency of visits they have made to your site, the search engine and the search terms that they might have used. This aids in creating a user profile and understanding the type of customer that visits a company’s website. Clickstream analysis can also be used to predict whether a customer is likely to purchase from an e-commerce website.
Clickstream analysis helps to identify the search terms that are most valuable for your website. You might want to capitalize on these search terms by using them in the content of the website or search engine optimization.
It is also useful in increasing revenue throughout the website. Consider a scenario where customers might be just viewing some products in the middle section and then leaving the website, which is also known as ‘shopping cart abandonment’. A clickstream analysis might help to conclude that the bottom section has the best conversion rate (for example, how many customers who have viewed products in this section have also purchased it) and the middle section has products which do not quite often lead to a sale. So you may want to bring the products in the bottom to the top and (or) products in the middle to the bottom of the website and restructure the website.
Clickstream data and analysis can also be used to improve customer satisfaction. The figures below demonstrate a customer’s navigation in a website where A, B, C, D and E marked in the circles are web pages. Have a look at them below and try to understand who could be a more frustrated customer.