Blog
Sarah Tanner

Biometrics, one of the latest methods of understanding human behaviour, is – like all new technologies – causing some concerns with its application. Some dismiss it as just an over the top analytical tool that offers no further information than what is currently on offer, others are worried about the privacy implications.

With that in mind we thought it was time to dispel some of the regularly brought up myths and misconceptions around biometrics.

Misconception #1: “We use HotJar, so we don’t need Biometrics.”

HotJar is a great tool and one that we use regularly for ourselves and our clients. Heatmapping is a great way for us to see the areas on a webpage that are most visited. It means that these areas can be optimised to get the best result.

The issue is that it only tracks mouse movement. It doesn’t tell you anything about the journey that came before – how long it took for the customer to get to those specific spots. You won’t know how long it took to find a specific element on a page, how your website influenced the route to that content and who just gave up along the way.

This is where Biometrics comes in. With eye tracking we can identify where users look, long before their mouse cursor catches up, giving a highly accurate picture of what stands out. Through facial expression analysis (FEA) and galvanic skin response (GSR) we can see real time emotion, watch the journey unfold as it’s happening and understand where frustration occurs.

This means we get a far greater understanding of why users might drop out of the journey. This data can also be used to identify the areas that are having a positive impact, so you know what to do more of.

Misconception #2: “Our Google Analytics tells us everything we need to know about our site traffic.”

No one is denying that Google Analytics is a fantastic tool. For years we have all relied on the data Analytics provides, showing popular pages, where in a customer journey there is drop off, and conversion rates for specific goals. These measurements allow us to see, after a period of time, what impact a change to your website has had and in most cases allows for a high level of quantitative analysis.

Analytics doesn’t give us the whole picture – it gives us the what but not the why. It just can’t give you real time reactions and responses to the user experience. That’s where biometric testing comes in.

Do you wonder why people are leaving your site without converting or if your calls to action are clear enough? Biometric testing can tell you exactly how a customer engages with and reacts to your website.

Myth: “We’ll be spying on people in their homes.”

This cannot be stressed enough:

Biometrics tests do not happen anywhere but in a controlled environment.

At Coast we have our own in-house lab where we have put together a natural setting for voluntary users to carry out tasks on your websites. We even have mobile kit so we can set up a lab in our clients’ locations.

Tests are typically set up by tasking users with objectives like finding particular pages on a website, making a purchase or downloading a document . No one is going into someone’s personal computer or phone without permission and we ensure that a robust data protection process is followed at all stages.

Find out what Biometrics can really do

We aren’t saying to ignore Google Analytics or Hotjar data, it certainly still has value. Instead we are advocating Biometric analysis to give you an additional layer of insight into your users that will maximise the performance of your online presence.

If you’d like to find out how Biometric research could help to answer some of your long-standing questions – whether those are about your audience or your website performance – then I’d love to talk to you. Give me call on 01206 362567 and let’s talk about what this powerful technology can do for you.

Alternatively, if you’d like some further reading you can find out more about our approach to Biometric research, what’s available in our Biometrics Lab, or you can download our guide – Biometric Testing for Digital Marketing.

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