Session Replay is the ability to replay a visitor's journey on a website or within a web application.
Replay includes both the user's view (browser or screen output) and user input (keyboard and mouse inputs). These sources 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 visitor’s behavior 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 behind session replays.
Session Replay can be applied to virtually any aspect of your online marketing or product strategies. Here are a few example areas that can benefit from user behavior insights:
The fundamental goal of Session Replay is to collect and analyze user data related to web traffic and usage patterns. Here are examples from our clients’ experiences of what questions they answered with Session Replay:
Session Replay is the name used by us, UsabilityTools. However, other companies and researchers use the same process of collecting data via recordings, but they use a separate name for it. Below you may find alternative names that describe Session Replay:
Although this software is widely recognized, there is no standard name that is accepted by the industry.
Recordings gathered by session Replay consist of the recorded browsing sessions of your site’s visitors. These recorded videos give you an unparalleled insight into the browsing behavior of your site’s visitors and are an indispensable tool for usability and customer feedback tests.
There are no globally agreed definitions of what should be considered as a Session Replay, only a general idea. The industry has been trying to agree on definitions that are useful and definitive for some time in order to describe the process of recording.
However, many terms are used in consistent ways from one major analytics tool to another, so the following glossary based on those conventions, can be a useful starting point.
Some companies produce solutions that collect data through both collecting visual replays of user journeys as well as providing patterns of their behavior. By using a hybrid method, they aim to produce more accurate results and to aid the decision-making process.
Here are typical hybrid analytics methods that can be used together with Session Replays:
Filters are an important tool for getting a better understanding of how different groups of users behave on the site or application. Filters analyze a given sample of recordings to include/exclude sessions that meet certain criteria. This can be used to narrow down the focus of your study.
Companies are drowning in metrics on overall customer visits to their products, but have very little insight into the experience of individual customers. Online retailers could know how many customers are abandoning different steps of their checkout process, but could have no idea WHY they are abandoning.
You can use Session Replay to remove conversion barriers and to discover opportunities for growth for your business. Behavioral user insights from UsabilityTools can help you find the real issues that are getting in the way of conversions.
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 they saw.
This helps you turn your insights into action in a way that charts and graphs could never support.
If you’re a marketer, you’re undoubtedly looking for inspiration to optimize your website or product for better conversions. Below you’ll find 2 case studies showing the main pain points and ways how these companies got great results as a result of using Session Replay.
1. A 40% conversion increase with one change
CTAs have their goal — users should perform an action described in their message. However, sometimes that action might be counterproductive. GetBadges learned that a CTA in a wrong place can cause dropouts.
Thanks to collected recordings, they found out that users would go to the registration pages and fill out the registration form. After that, they clicked a CTA button that attracted their attention. Users did that because they believed it will complete the register process. Instead, that action took them to the registration form again and resetted it. This sequence made users feel like the form is not working and made them leave in frustration.
GetBadges tracked how different segment of visitors interacted with and bounced off the webpage.
Recordings of user activity provided by UsabilityTools have shown that people were repeating the same mistake over and over again. After removing the problematic button, they noted a 40% increase in registrations.
2. A 218% conversion increase through a redesign
Different design hypotheses may or may not result in better effectiveness. Vocabla thought a lot about redesigning their pricing page. This case study shows how they managed to remove conversion barriers by redesigning their pricing page and their web-app based on the actual user behavior, and how they improved their conversion rates as the result.
People at Vocabla were not happy with the conversion rate from their pricing page. They felt that 1.74% is not nearly enough for this step of the buying process. The question was — how to see what discourages users from clicking “Buy now”?
The best way to understand how people really browse and interact with your page is to record their sessions. Based on insights from UsabilityTools, they found why their pricing page was a major dropoff point in their website.
What Vocabla saw was that people quickly scrolled through the page and went back to the previous one. The hypothesis was that the pricing plans were too confusing. The team carefully analyzed collected sessions and proposed new changes.
Vocabla wanted to understand user behavior inside their SaaS product to see what frustrates users.
The effects came right away. People were spending more time on the website and the conversion rate picked up. The conversion rate of the new pricing page design jumped to 5.54% which means that it increased by 218% from the old version.
Installing Session Replay takes less than a minute. After you create an account, you can create a new project where you specify the website you want to track.
If you’re successful, within minutes you’ll receive an e-mail confirming that everything is set up properly and you received your first recordings.
If you do not know how to edit the tags of your website, ask your IT team to help you – they’ll solve this quickly.
The script is optimized and doesn’t slow the website in any way. It is also absolutely secure – hundreds of big companies trusted us and we want to keep that trust.
If you have any questions, you can always contact us at email@example.com – we’ll solve every problem you have, including your low conversions :)
Even if you get stuck, our smart and fast support team can help at no extra cost.