Clickstream technology is vital to understanding customers in any web associated business. The ability to track customer activity across digital fronts allows analysts and marketing teams to easily optimize UX, enrich their CRM, and enhance personalization. One of the key success factors for personalization is segmentation, and installing a clickstream tool can help build customer profiles to power automation engines and personalization.

Although clickstream is most intuitive for website use, it also provides value for other channels. For instance, basic analytics tools and most email services can show you the click-through rate, but using a clickstream will allow you to track which links were clicked and also track through the link onto a website to continue building the customer pathway as a prospect navigates through your digital world.

Marketing automation tools like nectarOM can help make the process of pulling in clickstream data, segmenting customers, and executing campaigns easier, but understanding how clickstream data can build or validate customer personas and profile types builds the base for more advanced personalization.

Analysis of historical data, like # of clicks on different assets, first session time, page view time, # of site visits, total session time, and tons of other data points that can help build understanding about an individual’s habits and personality type. Historical data can even be mapped to show progression of the customer through time, and analysis can see how each data point has changed over the lifecycle of an individual. With enough time, an automation tool, and planning, these data points can easily be imported into a CRM tool to enrich the existing customer information and fed into a marketing automation platform

Historical data about an individual customer can provide insights, but making clickstream data actionable enough requires laying out significant linkage between clickstream behavioral triggers and executed marketing engagement.

A marketing automation tool will make the act of ingesting and digesting new data points, and sending messages or content to customers much easier, but just like manual lists and campaigns, marketers will face challenges in describing what should prompt a marketing message or a change in content.

Things to keep in mind:


1. What describes a customer behavior change?

Many automation tools have predetermined algorithms that measure changes in quantitative history to optimize messaging, but each business is different.

2. Who are your buyer personas?

If you already have previously validated segments, how should they mesh with new clickstream data being pulled in? How is your clickstream data meshing with other customer data points from social, email, POS, and other sources.

3. What is your content?

This is often the most difficult and overlooked part in the personalization and automation evolution. Because sending relevant, personalized messages is important, how do you ensure that variants of content are enough, but not too much for your team to handle? The more personalized your marketing becomes, the more complex content to behavior linking will be. Marketer accessible data like like names, location, etc is much easier to personalize than things like design, copy, and other labor heavy work.

Clickstream is powerful, and it works, but utilization of the relatively easy to install tool requires a lot of thought into how it will enrich customer data, power automation and personalization, and ultimately increase marketing ROI. What are your challenges with clickstream data?

Why You Need Clickstream Data. And How You Should Use It

Clickstream Analysis: Understanding your Customers Online
Clickstream Analysis: Understanding your Customers Online

Almost everyone in online retail knows about clickstream tracking.  Many companies utilize click tracking on their sites.  However much of it is either not utilized or under-utilized as a tool to improve the customer shopping experience.  When clickstream data is analyzed, it is typically to understand usage patterns or the types of customers visiting the site.  Recently, e-retailers have begun using clickstream data to serve up improved content choices to its visitors–think of the “You May Also Like” or “Customers Who Viewed _____ also Viewed_____” widgets found on many websites today.

All these current uses are beneficial to the company and its customers.  The usage patterns can help inform a better path design to improve the customer experience.  The new content widgets provide improved relevancy to the customer, also improving their shopping experience.

However, clickstream tracking can deliver even more value when combined with other customer data, including their transactions, email interactions, mobile and social information, CRM data and so on.  When you combine click data with other data you have about your customer, you go from delivering potentially relevant content to delivering hyper-personalized communications. When you use hyper-personalized messages–what they want, when they want it, where they want it–to communicate with your customers, they are more engaged, more loyal and give you more of their business.

So why don’t brands use their click tracking data in this manner?  Below are a few reasons:

  1. Many brands use companies whose clickstream tracking is just too complicated to make real-time decisions.
  2. Even when they have easy access to their clickstream data, companies are not sure how to combine that data with other customer data.
  3. Using clickstream data as outlined above is just another “to-do” in a long list of “to-dos” marketers and IT departments have.

Do you use clickstream data?  Have you found what works and what doesn’t? Please let us know in the comments below.

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