Commentary

Q&A With ClickTale's Tal Schwartz

Tal Schwartz, founder of ClickTale, started his data-oriented career at an investment fund. He explains, “In a sense I was a scientist of financial data, because I was building models and trying to understand how financial assets are related to one another, and predicting their future movement based on historical patterns.”

Schwartz put his data analysis background into his work at Click Tale as CEO. He says, “Today, people have become faceless data streams. When you go online and do something, you’re not treated or observed as a real human being. We enable businesses and marketers to understand what people are seeking, what their needs and desires are, and what their intent is.”
Here’s more from Schwartz:

Charlene Weisler: How does ClickTale measure intent?

Tal Schwartz: ClickTale uses unique session replay technology, precision heat maps and customer experience consultants who work to help fix friction points on our customers’ websites.

We gain insights into online customer behavior through various methods. One of these is anonymous session recordings of website visitors, which we are then able to show to our customers so they can see exactly where and why their visitors are experiencing frustration.

These session replays are videos that depict exactly how anonymous visitors are experiencing a website -- they can see what their visitors do from the moment they enter the site until the moment they leave. The goal is not to see what individual customers are doing, but rather to understand why many customers are experiencing the same problem or having the same complaint.

Another way is through heatmaps, which show an aggregate view: the most visited points on each page as well as the least visited. This enables them to see, for instance, that a specific item they’ve introduced is not being used due to its placement below the fold, where users are less likely to see it.

CW: What data do you use?

TS: We do not collect any personally identifiable information, but we record billions of in-screen behaviors, such as mouse moves, mouse clicks, hovers (for desktops); touches, tilts, zooms (for mobile users); as well as a host of other gestures, no matter the device (desktop, tablet, mobile).

CW: How do you parse out the insights from this type of data?

TS: Being able to look at each gesture individually and then aggregating all the data in several different types of heatmaps enables us to drill down into the root cause of any challenge users are facing on a website.

For example, looking at mouse clicks on a particular element: comparing the total number of clicks with the number of unique clicks, we can understand if there’s an issue with a broken link or loading times and so on.

If we see many clicks on a single call-to-action button by specific users, we can understand where they’re coming from (geographically), which browser they were using, and then uncover the exact group of visitors who may have been impacted by the problem.

CW:  Where do you see the media landscape going in the next three to five years?

TS: We see the era of customer engagement with automatically personalized website experiences taking off within the coming few years…. However, their goal here is more than the simplistic and often clumsy website or ad personalization that we see today, where visitors are retargeted based on product pages they’ve visited, even if they just browsed a page for a split second.

That kind of targeting will likely not be acceptable to consumers in years to come, and might even be characterized as ad spam. Instead, I think we’ll see analytics behind the scenes that evolves to measure actual customer engagement, behavior, and intent, enabling better predictions on personalized experience….

In other words, this means sites will adapt in real time based on consumers’ real-time behavior, predicting what a visitor is looking for and helping them achieve their goal with much less effort. It will feel a bit like a magical browsing experience, in which consumers both enjoy the browsing experience more, and get more done in less time.

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