Understanding the journey and behaviors of your customers as they interact with your brand and your products is one of the best ways to create successful products. When you know how your customers tend to behave, what they like, and what interests them, you will better understand what they are looking for in a product and can easily adapt your product’s path to suit their needs.
And the key to understanding your customers is behavior analytics. By collecting data on your customers, you can more easily plot the path your product needs to take and can ensure success by building greater demand for your product launch.
Behavior analytics and the supply chain: what are they and why do they matter?
The term analytics is nothing new. And when it comes to running a business, there is a wide range of things you can use analytics to conduct research on, such as market trends, competitor behaviors, and content or website performance. But behavior analytics is a type of data that is specifically concerned with customers and products.
It is a way of analyzing and understanding how customers behave, or more specifically, it shows you what your customers are doing and what they aren’t doing where your products are concerned. And by collecting and analyzing this type of data, you can create better products that meet your customer’s needs.
However, when we say “creating better products,” we don’t just mean the physical development of your products. Creating a good product is also about the journey or path the product takes from start to finish to reach the hands of the customer, which is your supply chain.
So when using behavior analytics, you aren’t just studying what your customers are doing and how your product is performing to understand how to build the ideal product; you are also looking at this data to understand how the product path might need to change as it moves through the supply chain. And to understand the correlation between behavior analytics and the supply chain, it helps to understand what supply chain management actually looks like.
A supply chain or supply chain management is concerned with:
- Obtaining the goods/materials needed to create your product.
- Assembling the goods to build the product.
- Distributing your product to suppliers and vendors to sell your product.
And throughout this process, your marketing department will also be concerned with how this product is advertised or presented to your customers. All of this is part of the path your product takes, which is what you are trying to improve by using behavior analytics to understand what your customers want or need.
For example, if you discover your customers prefer more eco-friendly products, you will need to change the beginning step of the supply chain to ensure you are obtaining more natural and sustainable materials. If your customers prefer to buy your product online or prefer to shop at one store over another, you will need to change where your product is distributed. And if your customers aren’t even finding your product or aren’t interested in it in the first place, you might need to change how your product is being marketed.
And you can discover all of this information and more by using behavior analytics.
How to use behavior analytics to improve your product path
There are countless ways you can use analytics to improve your product and the overall journey a customer has with your product and your brand, but we’ve narrowed it down to the most useful tips below:
Map the product and customer journey
To start, before you even begin collecting and analyzing any data, it can be helpful to map out what you think your customer journey is in relation to your product or the path your product takes using a workflow diagram. You could also map out what the ideal path would be if you already know that your current product path or customer journey does not align with where you’d like it to be.
By creating a diagram, you can get a better overall visual of how things work and the path that your product takes. This can help you as you then move on to the data phase. Having a diagram will give you something to go back and reference so you can see where things align with the data you are collecting and where things need to change.
Define your goals
The next step of the behavior analytics process is to define your goals. Once you’ve mapped out your product path and customer journey or what the ideal path would be, you can take that and start coming up with the actual numbers or metrics you would like to see.
This can include things like product adoption, retention rates, conversions, churn rate, etc. Essentially, you want to know what you are aiming for before you start analyzing customer behaviors because this can help focus your process and keep you from getting overwhelmed or lost in the data.
Identify customer behaviors and points of friction
This is the step where you will actually start collecting data to analyze. In this phase, you will use whichever analytics tool works best for you to gather data on your customer behaviors, their interaction with your products, and anything else that relates to the customer journey and product path. You will then use that data to identify what is working and what isn’t.
More specifically, you are looking for points of friction that show you what part of the product path needs improving, from the beginning of the supply chain process and the marketing of your product to the moment the product is in your customer’s hands. In other words, you are looking to see how your customers feel about the physical product, how they feel about the marketing of your product, and how they feel about the process they must go through to find, purchase, and receive your product.
Analyze product value
Further touching on the point of friction that is specifically concerned with your product, when conducting your research, you really want to dig deep to understand the value or “stickiness” of your product. How much value do your customers put on your product? Do they actually think your product is worth it? Will your customers stick around to continue buying your product?
All of these questions can help you determine how well your product “sticks” and what might need improving to make your product more “sticky.” Of course, there is not one specific type of data that you can look at to determine a product’s stickiness. Rather, it is a collection of various kinds of data that show how your customers interact with and feel about your product.
Once you’ve identified areas of friction and made some improvements, you will want to conduct initial testing with a small group of customers before rolling out your product launch to your entire customer base. In this testing phase, you will gather more data from your test group to once again look at their behaviors, how they feel about your product, and the journey they take.
This phase of testing and analyzing will allow you to make any tweaks or adjustments to fine-tune your product until it is just right and ready to be launched. In some cases, you might only need to make minor adjustments, but you could also find that you need to scrap the product and start all over.
Behavior and product analytics is not a simple, one-time process. Creating the best product for your customers takes a lot of trial and error. However, analytics, while a complex process, can help you more easily reach your goals and create a successful product.
Without analytics, it could take even longer and take a lot more testing and adjusting until you get the product path just right. So while using behavior analytics takes time and effort itself, it is overall a much more efficient way to successfully reach your goals.
There’s more where that came from! Access more great content on Mind the Product
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