Alternative Data

The Essential Guide to Clickstream Data

By M Science   |   August 11, 2022 5 MIN READ

The digital landscape has evolved at a pace greater than many organizations’ data capabilities have, leaving gaps in their understanding when it comes to digital customer journey mapping, key word trends, browsing behavior, shopper overlap, online visibility in search and e-tailers — and most importantly, competitors’ strategies and performance in driving traffic and sales.

Every year, trillions of dollars are invested in digital commerce initiatives and marketing strategies, yet there is still gray area in measuring and understanding performance. Clickstream data provides crucial digital insights that enable companies to craft winning online strategies.

What is clickstream data?

Clickstream data acts as a window into users’ online behavior, providing details around websites visited, time spent browsing on pages, websites purchased from, and other info about their online searches and browsing behavior. Clickstream analysis gathers information from user level online activity to paint a full picture of the customer journey over time, along with browsing details and conversion data across multiple websites. 

What insights can clickstream data provide?

Clickstream data can inform metrics and KPIs that aim to assess a company’s overall digital strategy. It also provides insights to help understand the customer journey, marketing efficiency, and other opportunities for strategic improvement.  

Here are some examples of questions that can be answered with clickstream data: 

  1. How does my website’s conversion rate and engagement metrics compare to similar websites?
  2. How are similar websites attracting traffic and what does that say about their digital strategies?
  3. What are the most visible and savvy paid search competitors and key word specific strategies?
  4. How does my Google search, Amazon, and e-tailer visibility compare to similar companies?
  5. Where does my customer journey start and how are they searching for my products?
  6. What other websites do my shoppers browse when shopping with me?
  7. What other brands did my customer consider before making a purchase? 
  8. Who are new entrants in my space that pose a threat to my brand share?
  9. What pre-purchase and post-purchase actions did my shoppers take? 
  10. How is my digital loyalty and retention strategy performing compared to similar websites?

How can I use clickstream data?

While many organizations are aware of clickstream data, many fall short when it comes to properly analyzing it to extract insights and inform their strategic initiatives. Below are a couple of examples that show how successfully leveraging clickstream data can potentially lead to improved business outcomes.

Note: The examples below are hypothetical scenarios and do not represent actual client case studies.

Inventory allocation and turnover: A small kitchen appliance manufacturer wants to plan their inventory and unit allocation for the upcoming quarter. By using clickstream data, the team could learn (assuming the following scenario) that Target was winning more paid traffic for air fryers and multicookers than other retailers because Target was prioritizing its marketing strategies for those products. As a result, the company could decide to allocate more units to Target and turn over inventory faster.

Marketing content and investment: By using clickstream data, a grill company could learn (assuming the following scenario) that shoppers were browsing their grills but purchasing from a competitor after watching assembly instruction and grilling technique videos on YouTube featuring the competitor’s grill. The company could then launch its own YouTube channel with educational resources and video content similar to its competitor. They could also invest in influencer partnerships with YouTubers who could feature and recommend their product. These efforts could result in winning back market share from the competitor and an increase in sales.

Media placement and partnership opportunities: A high end furniture company leveraged clickstream data to learn that while their shoppers were browsing for outdoor products on their website, many were also browsing for outdoor home sports equipment and installation. The company identified media placement and brand partnership opportunities by using clickstream data to determine which brands and websites shoppers have an affinity for.

The Future of Clickstream Data

The clickstream analytics market is expected to reach USD 2157.90 billion by 2026, and organizations will likely need to find experienced partners to navigate shifts in the rapidly growing marketplace– while also ensuring their efforts are in line with growing privacy concerns.

How M Science can help

M Science is a global data-driven research and analytics firm, with nearly 20 years of experience uncovering new insights for some of the world’s largest corporations and financial institutions. We revolutionize research by discovering new datasets and pioneering methodologies to provide actionable intelligence. Learn more at: intelligence. M Science is a portfolio company of Leucadia Investments, a division of Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: JEF).

Interested in talking to a member of our sales team for a demo of our solutions? Reach out to our team!


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