Businesses have put considerable effort into driving customers to their websites and maximizing the conversion funnel—the path consumers take from internet advertising or search results, to navigating ecommerce sites and finally the sale—but they’re not doing a good job of understanding the customer journey and purchase process. In a survey of more than 200 heads of ecommerce in the UK and U.S. by digital customer experience management specialists User Replay, only one in three felt they really understood the process.

“The Online Customer Experience – Counting the Cost of Not Knowing” survey found that 85 percent of ecommerce businesses are failing to understand why customers may be struggling with their website and missing conversion opportunities. On average, only half of the difficulties experienced once the customer is on site can be identified.  Nearly two-thirds of respondents say the lack of investment in online customer experience is affecting revenue and growth.

John Thompson, CEO, User Replay, says, “Customer experience is rapidly becoming an area of strategic importance for ecommerce businesses. While many are now excelling in driving visitors to their online channels, this effort can prove fruitless if the business has limited visibility of the customer experience through to purchase. Any issue can have a significant impact on conversion rates. Businesses need the flexibility and agility to identify these issues, however big or small, and resolve them quickly.”

Consumers are accessing ecommerce sites via mobile devices more and more frequently, and this shift was pegged by 40 percent of survey respondents as the most significant contributor to the limited visibility into the customer experience. Looking ahead, 76 percent of businesses plan to increase investment in online channels over the next 12 months.

To download a full copy of the research report click here.