When tracking the efficiency of your storefront, and the effectiveness of your product pages and call to actions, your first stop is typically an analytics dashboard. 

With Google Analytics and dashboards from Shopify or Consistent Cart, this data is more accessible and comprehensive than ever.

But sometimes the dash is actually not where you want to look.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. I’m telling you NOT to turn to data for optimizations. I’m actually telling you that all the answers aren’t found in the numbers. 

I’m recommending the most simple testing possible, without metrics or percentages or month over month analytics. 

Watch how your Visitors interact with your website

With modern technology, this is actually very easy to do. With great tools like Better Replay, you can record your users’ sessions to playback later. 

Ever wonder why so many of your website visitors don't actually convert?  Better Replay takes the guesswork out with live session recordings of each visitor in your store. Find out what happened before and after the click with these full session recordings, to help understand where your visitors are clicking and how they navigate your website. Think of it as DVR for your Shopify store.

Use your findings to break down why you have so many abandoned carts and how user friendly your navigation is. Then, test changes to your website to get more conversions.

“Amazing analysis tool to add to anyone's toolkit. This app has been great for understanding our traffic behaviors to a new depth.” -Easy Eddy Paddle Boards

Digging into your user sessions manually can take time, but it’s an investment in your business. The information you come away with is not an abstract idea based on metrics but a vivid path of your visitor and customer journeys. 

Ask Your Customers How they Use your Products

Feedback is invaluable. You probably ask customers for product reviews or engagement for social proof. Do you follow up with them about how they use your product though?

Engaging in user feedback loops allows you to ask your customers these questions:

  1. How do they use your product?
  2. What issues might they run into with your product?

Compare how the feedback customers offer for how they use your product compares to what you designed or chose the product for. If you thought your users were using your product for a different reason than they actually are, there is an opportunity here for you to target your marketing message and really resonate with your audience. 

Having a clear concept of your customer paths improves your ability to make product and website enhancements. You can predict how changes and updates will affect your customers, and proactively protect yourself against negative response. 

You may not be able to compare different versions of the product based on the manual session analysis method due to time restraints. For larger scale overview, I recommend working with metrics, cohort analysis, and A/B testing. 

Session tracking and feedback analysis are meant to be a close up of customer and user experience which you cannot get from numbers. Data is fantastic, but you should never limit yourself to numerical data. 

Try examining 50 sessions in your store. Check who stays for a long time, and why. Pay attention to sessions where the visitor only stays a few moments as well. Chances are, you’ll learn things about your customers that surprise you.