If you’re a right-brained professional who’s experiencing increasing pressure to deliver a hyper personalized, digital experience with proportionally less and less access to data, then this article is for you–or maybe instead, it will trigger you. The goal isn’t the latter, but rather to show you that there’s a silver lining (i.e. solution), if this rings true for you. 

Consumers Expect Personalization as They Move to Digital

At this point, it should be no secret that shopping has moved online since the beginning of the pandemic. What’s interesting is that the data continues to show that consumers will carry on with that behavior in the future. According to a recent McKinsey report, year-over-year growth in e-commerce was 27% in March 2022. This growth, particularly among young generations, also leads to higher expectations about personalization. In the same McKinsey study, they report that 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized perfection, and 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. Personalization is already teetering on table stakes. Five years ago it was nice to have, but now, consumers expect it or they take their loyalty elsewhere. 

Digital Experience Intelligence Software 

Digital Experience Intelligence (DXI) Software products like FullStory address personalization needs for organizations, ensuring a tailored customer-first approach. And a personalized approach has some heavy stakes: over three-quarters of consumers (76%) said that receiving personalized communications was a key factor in promoting their consideration of a brand, and 78%  said that it made them more likely to repurchase from that brand (Mckinsey). 

 Additional benefits to using this software include:

  • Providing key customer behavioral insights to creative teams

Teams like brand and design, customer experience (CX), and user experience (UX) are often starved for key behavioral data needed so they can deliver a flawless digital experience to your brand’s customers.

  • Driving revenue

Companies that excel at personalization generate 40 percent more revenue from those activities than average players. (Mckinsey)


But before throwing another analytics tool into your stack, you may be wondering why an additional product is needed at all, especially when you use Google Analytics. There are some key differences between these two analytics tools. These differences relate to answering very different business questions. Both tools hold value, and it is not a question of investing in one or the other. You should begin by asking yourself – What questions can I now answer when I add a DXI tool like FullStory to my tech stack that I was unable to before?

Basic Strengths of Google Analytics (Universal)

It’s beneficial to highlight a few strengths of Google Analytics before jumping to FullStory. By no means is this a comprehensive list, nor is GA4 taken into account. But among the basic strengths of GA Universal Analytics, you can expect it to perform the following functions well:

  • Aggregating performance across marketing channels
  • Aggregating session data at the device level
  • Aggregating page views across pages or types of content
  • Aggregating basic button and link clicks
  • Aggregating on high-level funnel activities and revenue performance

Note that after the imminent migration to GA4 – which is currently scheduled for July of 2023 – consumers of Google Analytics data will likely use BigQuery much more often. While this is not necessarily a knock against Google, it’s worth noting, in this article at least, that Google Analytics will likely be less accessible to the non-technical, creative departments in the future. 

Basic Strengths of FullStory

In contrast, FullStory is really designed for the non-technical, and for providing insights into different business questions. Do you need to know some basic CSS to become fairly proficient?, Yes. But that skill can be developed for free at Codecademy (or similar online coding platforms) in hours, not years. 

Similar to the list of strengths for Google Analytics, the below strengths of FullStory are not exhaustive, rather meant to highlight where it excels compared to Google Analytics. Among FullStory’s basic strengths, you can expect it to be good at the following: 

  • Retroactively tracking everything your users see and click on
  • Recording session data for qualitative cohort analysis
  • Identifying frustration signals like rage clicks and dead clicks then applying a statistical opportunity cost to them
  • Providing click maps and scroll maps for cohort analysis
  • Creating custom funnels and user journey maps
  • Customizable user segment analysis across data sources
  • Customizable insights through dashboards and calculated metrics

While FullStory certainly overlaps with Google Analytics in a few ways (eg. campaign tracking, sankey/flow diagrams, and funnel configurations), even at a high level you can see that it’s designed for a different purpose. One is meant to aggregate data across sessions, and the other is meant to provide granular qualitative as well as quantitative data about the end user’s experience.  

These insights generated by FullStory are exactly what creative teams need in order to provide a personalized digital experience for their brand’s end consumers’. 

Creative Insights for the Right-Brained

Now that you’ve seen the high-level comparison, Let’s imagine that you’re on the creative team that works on an ecommerce website, and you’ve recently rolled out a newly redesigned website. You’re eager for insights and you’re likely to have lots of CX/UX questions about how specific design decisions are performing, and how you can learn about user behaviors in order to inform a future iteration or personalized campaign. 

After the redesign, you might have the following type of questions: 

  • Which types of website media (i.e. images, video, tool tips, recommendations, widgets/calculators) ultimately lead to transactions?  
  • Which website elements are getting rage clicks, error clicks, and dead clicks; potentially causing user frustrations? What is the opportunity cost for each of these?
  • Which product tiles are loading without an image, creating a poor user experience? 
  • Where do loading spinners happen on our website and for how long do users wait? 
  • How does our new design impact funnel metrics and where are users experiencing friction?
  • Where are users experiencing errors? Are they on form fields, 404 pages, modals, or elsewhere? Why and what are the issues? 
  • Which user cohorts on product pages actually see the new sticky navigation design? And what is the engagement rate for each cohort? Which selectors are receiving engagement and does this functionality help users throughout the purchase process? 
  • Are people who contact customer support eventually purchasing from us?
  • Which products are out of stock and can our product/content team substitute to keep up with demand? 

While some basic creative questions are answerable through Google Analytics, many are not– like the ones listed above, especially if granular in nature. Because FullStory provides a retroactive view of how people engage with almost anything on your website as well as offering robust integrations with your tech stack, it can deliver incredibly powerful insights to creative teams who are responsible for continually adapting to customer needs and expectations by uncovering relevant CX insights. 

Start Finding Strategic, Creative Insights with FullStory Today

While creative teams haven’t traditionally been end consumers of large amounts of organizational data, heading into 2023, make that the exception, not the rule. Let’s face it, in order to keep up with consumers’ demand for a personalized experience, it only makes sense to empower those who are responsible for delivering the end experience with more data.  

As you can now see, digital experience intelligence tools like FullStory are designed to empower these teams with enterprise level insights that can help you move your brand, creative, and CX/UX teams forward in today’s competitive climate. Armed with powerful quantitative and qualitative insights about your business, there’s no reason not to grow your business while delivering the best customer experience possible.

If you’d like to get started, contact us. As a leading analytics agency, FullStory partner, and full-service agency, we’re here to help turn these actionable insights into a delightful and profitable customer experience for your business.