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clickstream data

What is Clickstream Data and Why Should Insurers Care?

Clickstream data is like a breadcrumb trail of user behavior. Knowing how users engage with your site and forms can boost conversions and improve customer experiences. Top insurers are keen to keep up with the changing tide of online business, so they adopted these behavioral datasets years ago. But what’s next for clickstream data, and why should insurers care? 

We’re unpacking all of this and more in today’s article.

Key Takeaways in this Article

  • What clickstream data is, why it’s important, and how to collect it
  • What the main benefits are for insurers
  • What comes after clickstream

What is Clickstream Data?

A clickstream is the path a user takes online. For example, let’s say you hop onto an insurer’s website after Googling, “best car insurance near me.” You scroll down the home page for a few seconds and type their zip code into the “Find a Quote” search box.

Then you scroll through the list of insurance quotes before opening a new tab to search “ X insurance vs. Y insurance.” You read a featured snippet claiming that ‘X’ insurance is more affordable”, which takes you to the insurance company’s website.

You find a quick application in the main navigation menu and hit “submit.” Assuming they’ve got an accelerated underwriting process, you’ll likely close the deal shortly after.

At the end of your online quest, you’ve found yourself with a new insurance policy and a trail of behavioral breadcrumbs collected and stored online. Your data log includes:

  • The pages visited
  • Amount of time you spent on each page
  • What brought you to the page
  • Where you went next

More integrated javascripts might even record this:

  • Which keyword brought you to your destination
  • If multiple keywords brought you there
  • When you’ve visited that page before (and how many times)
  • Results based on where people in your network visited
  • Where the highest ROI came from if you purchased a product

Why is Clickstream Data Important?

Imagine if marketers had X-Ray vision of their user’s behavior — clickstream is the next best thing (and frankly, less creepy.)

Clickstream data’s objective is to link together user breadcrumbs to gain valuable insight for digital strategies.

And sure, one user’s information isn’t going to give us mind-blowing results, but collecting thousands of user results — now that’s the information marketers can use to identify core patterns.

Take these questions, for instance:

Do your potential customers care more about getting a fast quote or having a conversation with a reliable agent?

Are your customers more likely to fill out a free application, or would they rather pay a fee to get results with more options?

Do you close more deals from the webpage with sleek design and clickthrough links, or from the webpage packed with information?

What pages of your competitor’s sites are stealing away customers? What’s their most engaging content?

Just a few years ago, marketers could only see clickstream data from users on their own websites. But as modern consumer habits have advanced, so have clickstream algorithms. Now companies with access to advanced behavioral data can create campaign strategies based on a holistic customer journey, not just bits and pieces of it.

So what does this mean for marketers using clickstream data? Massive ROIs.

Collecting Clickstream Data

How do insurers obtain clickstream data in a way that’s cost-effective and easy to interpret?

Typically, clickstream data is collected using javascript software with user consent. For instance, you can get super basic clickstream data from Google or Adobe analytics. Slightly more advanced are solutions like FullStory, Hotjar, and Amplitude which will give you a retroactive glance at user behavior. They’re helpful at seeing how ad campaigns lead to certain user campaigns. 

The future is real-time clickstream data, however. ForMotiv leads this category by providing 10x more raw behavioral data than anyone else on the market. Oh, and that’s just their basic Behavioral Data/Clickstream product. Wait until you hear about their other products

Example Benefits

Insurers are ditching the traditional market research methods they used to rely on. The insights once gained from focus groups, surveys, and client interviews can usually be replaced with clickstream data. Here’s why.

Higher accuracy: Most clickstream data companies provide specialized reports for their members, and the numbers literally can’t lie. Take, for example, a survey where when asked, a consumer reports spending an average of two hours online per day (because that sounds reasonable, right?) Whereas in reality that consumer spends closer to an average of four hours a day. Clickstream would catch that data discrepancy and report it with 100% accuracy.

Timely insights: Clickstream data records information as it’s happening. So there’s no waiting around for survey results, marketing reports, or recruiting.

More versatile: Clickstream datasets can be programmed to target specific outcomes. While it can be a lot of work on the front end, once algorithms are set in place, they function automatically and adjust as your marketing priorities shift.

Competitor insight: What if you could see what your biggest competitors are up to– what worked for them and what fell completely flat? Since clickstream data gives you a look over the user’s entire online journey, not just your own website, you’re enabled to see what competitors they visited before you, where they went, and what they did.

Shows the big picture: Just like how GPS can locate different routes to get to the same location, consumers can take different routes to end up with the same outcome. Clickstream data offers a more holistic look at consumer habits by tracking a wider range of user behavior. And like we mentioned before, it allows insight into what users are doing further than their own website. More comprehensive data like this leads to more effective strategies.

Clickstream Data Use Cases for Insurers

Insurance companies can benefit from clickstream data in unique ways to the industry. Here’s how.

Improve Risk & Fraud Models

Is a user showing signs of fraudulent behavior while they fill out an online application? Maybe they’re frequently changing answers, or moving back and forth between tabs. This would become obvious in their clickstream, and insurers can use their data to prevent risk and fraud models moving forward.

Identify Bots

Bots behave, well — like robots. They use autofill to fill out applicants almost instantly. An insurance agent on the other side of the application doesn’t know it behaved that way, but your clickstream data does.

Improve Lead Scoring to Boost Conversions

Instead of riding the wave of unpredictable leads, wouldn’t you rather focus your marketing resources on high intent customers that convert into high lifetime value loyalists? Agents and marketers can prioritize high-intent users vs. window shoppers with clickstream data to see better outcomes from their efforts.

Agent Optimization

Clickstream insights allow carriers to drill down on agent and agency metrics in ways that in-person supervisors can’t do. Insurers can benchmark agents by loss ratio, closed business, productivity, and behavioral metrics.

How does it Impact ROI?

While specific ROI projections depend on the unique goals of each insurance company, there are several ways that clickstream data proves to pay itself out. Consider the following inefficiencies it solves to feed the bottom line:

Manual labor: Within a single company, hundreds of hours are wasted on manual labor from traditional data collection, processing, and online systems. These hours can be freed up with the automation of clickstream data. Imagine what your team could do with hundreds of extra hours to perform.

Human error: Human error occurs across every insurance department — unseen bias in underwriting, missed risk, closed fraud cases, and uninformed marketing campaigns that miss the mark. As we mentioned earlier, the numbers in clickstream data cannot lie, and therefore, reports without error.

Missed opportunities: Customer experiences and marketing aren’t unique to the insurance industry, but they are essential to optimize for any insurer who wants to stay in business. Knowing which content and messaging customers react well to means having a direction for even more engaging content. Rather than testing new campaigns with hopeful optimism, clickstream data allows customer experience teams to target campaigns with previously proven outcomes and high expectations.

What’s Next for Clickstream Data? Granular Behavioral Data & Digital Body Language

What if behavioral insights could be taken a step further — or rather, a lot of steps further? After all, what’s the point of predicting behavior if you can’t react to it?

Basic clickstream and event data was great for 2010-2020, but in the wake of dynamic consumers, 2020 and onwards needs real-time behavioral datasets to enable intuitive experiences.

Remember the list of data logs we mentioned at the beginning of this article? Here’s what would be added to the list with real-time behavioral datasets:

  • Live chat boxes that would start conversations based on user behavior
  • Prevented auto-fill setting if a bot is detected
  • Flagged applicants in real-time if they’re displaying risky behavior
  • Straight-through underwriting for high-quality intent users
  • Intuitive nudging to move users through a website
  • Engaging pop-ups to keep a user on the page longer

The list goes on. Want to see how? Insurers are relying on first-party intent data companies like ForMotiv to enable intuitive digital experiences that react, nudge, and intervene based on user intent, in real-time. Schedule a call to see what ForMotiv’s technology would look like in your company.

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