In design thinking the first stage often revolves around gaining an empathic understanding of the problem we're trying to solve for our users. With something like a physical product or an app you can physically observe the user with it in their natural environments or you can set up a user test environment and observe them. But with something like an Ecommerce website I am running into a bit of a mental wall regarding how to begin empathizing with my customers pain points and needs.
Initially upon thinking about it I don't feel like going to a cubical with my customer and watching them complete a purchase will be much more valuable quantitatively than watching the recorded funnels in my testing software. Qualitatively it does provide the benefit of getting to define the why, but I have a hard time defining benefits outside of that. Could someone enlighten me on additional benefits or methods at this stage?