The Ecommerce sector is saturated with fierce competition, and every company is coming up with innovative ways to stand out. To improve the sales of your Ecommerce store, you need to ensure the optimal performance of your website.
Heatmaps along with analytics data provide a comprehensive picture of your store’s performance. In this article, we will look at how to perform website heatmap analysis so that you can use this data to focus on the true north of your Ecommerce store, i.e. growing sales.
(Before we begin, we’d like to encourage you to check out The Beginner’s Guide to Heatmaps to maximize your learnings from the article.)
How to Read a Heatmap?
Before we begin analyzing website heatmaps, it’s essential to know how to interpret, i.e., read them. This section provides a brief introduction on how to read a heatmap.
Let’s do a recap. Primarily, there are three types of heatmaps, viz.
- Scroll heatmaps: To understand how your visitors scroll a webpage
- Click heatmaps: To know where your visitors click or tap on the webpage
- Mouse movement heatmaps: To understand the cursor activity. The longer the cursor stays in a place, the redder/intense the area becomes
Following are the two ways in which you can read heatmaps:
- Data Visualization: This is the simplest way to read a heatmap. You look at the heatmap and infer the results using the simple color-coding system. The red area has received maximum interaction and the interaction decreases as the color changes from red to green to blue. Here is an example:
- Data Tables: The data is presented in tables, and each cell is assigned a color based on its value. Using raw data tables, you can get the exact numbers and their corresponding impact in a single picture
How to Analyze a Heatmap?
The process of website heatmaps analysis entails you to take away actionable insights based on the heatmap data.
Here is a list of five questions that will help you analyze heatmaps:
1. Is the Essential Content Easily Accessible?
Scroll heatmaps show how far down the website visitors scroll to read website content. This will help you understand whether the important content is accessible to users or not.
A general rule of thumb is to keep the essential information in the above the fold section so that the visitors will see it as soon as they land on the page.
The scroll heatmap will provide a legend that lets you know the color-coding system based on the percentage of visitors that viewed a specific section of the webpage.
We can observe from the heatmap that the audience stopped scrolling the page gradually, which is quite normal, but the thing that strikes out the most is the HumCommerce works with all Ecommerce platforms including Magento, WordPress where the drop-off occurs significantly without viewing the supported platform logos. This information has now enabled you to make the necessary changes to prompt the user to view the section in its entirety.
2. Are Visitors Clicking on Key Elements?
Using click heatmaps, you can view if the visitors are clicking on essential elements such as links, buttons, or call-to-action (CTA) buttons.
You can hover over each element to view the total number of clicks. From the above heatmap, we can infer that people prefer to check out the product features and pricing before they signup for a free account.
Using this insight, you can now choose to highlight product features or pricing details in the website copy in the above the fold region to incite users to signup faster.
3. Are Visitors Clicking on Non-Clickable Elements?
Click heatmaps also uncover confusing elements. Your visitors might be clicking on non-clickable content such as text or icons, thinking it will take them somewhere and getting frustrated over it.
In the previous example, you can see people clicking on the icons of Magneto, WooCommerce, etc. Similarly, in the following screenshot, users are excessively clicking on the pricing details.
Visitors clicking on such elements is an indication that you need to make specific changes on your website to make a distinction between clickable and non-clickable elements.
4. Does the Webpage Serve Its Goal?
Each page on your website has a goal that corresponds to the solution of a prospect’s pain points. For instance, for the individual product page on an Ecommerce website is to drive sales.
By utilizing all three heatmaps, you can understand if any elements are distracting the shopper from completing the purchase.
If you look at the previous pricing page, it is apparent that there are plenty of elements that are distracting visitors from completing the signup process.
5. Does Your Website Provide a Uniform Experience Across All Devices?
When thinking about the website interface on other devices, we go back to the first question, i.e., is the essential content easily accessible? For example, if you have placed the primary CTA in the above the fold section on the desktop version, does it appear at the same place on a mobile device?
If not, by viewing the click heatmap for mobile and tablet devices can show you a clearer picture of content consumption patterns of your website visitors.
What Are the Pages That Should Have Heatmaps?
It doesn’t help to have a heatmap on every page of your website. You’d derive the maximum benefit from heatmap analysis by implementing it on high-impact pages. Here are four pages on your Ecommerce website that should have heatmaps.
The homepage of your Ecommerce website is a motley arrangement of all the products that you offer. For a user who knows your brand, will land on the homepage before navigating to other sections of the store. Therefore by implementing heatmaps on the homepage, you can understand the initial shopping preferences of your buyers.
2. Product Pages
It’s wise to implement heatmaps on both – high- and low-performing product pages of your Ecommerce store.
For high-performing pages, you can view what drives conversions and how users consume content, whereas, for low-performing pages, you can see what distracts them from clicking on Add to Cart.
By using these findings, you can devise your own A/B tests to verify your assumptions.
3. Cart and Checkout Pages
Based on the cart abandonment rate and behavior flow report, you may need to implement heatmaps on the cart and checkout pages. In this case, heatmaps will let you know what is preventing shoppers from completing the purchase and what fields cause drop-offs.
To reduce the drop-off rate, you need to remove any needless clutter from the page.
4. Landing Pages
You can significantly improve the performance of your ad campaigns by implementing heatmaps on landing pages. These heatmaps will tell how the audience coming from a particular medium behaves on your store and find ways to optimize their shopping experience.
How to Use Website Heatmap to Improve the Conversion Rate of Your Ecommerce Store?
You can use a website heatmap tool to analyze and improve the conversion rate of your Ecommerce website in the following three ways:
1. Optimize the CTA Placement
Using mouse movement heatmaps, you can uncover the reading patterns/eye movements of website visitors. If you’re viewing a lackluster performance of CTAs on the website, you can experiment with the CTA placement to find out the one that ticks.
2. Reduce the Cart Abandonment Rate
If the buyers are adding items in the cart but not completing the purchase, then there could be a problem with the checkout process. By thoroughly reviewing the cart and checkout pages, you can identify the issues that distract users from completing the purchase.
For instance, if visitors are trying to find coupon codes to avail discount, then you can see it in the click heatmap. You can promote coupon codes on the checkout page to see if it increases the conversion rate.
3. Optimize Page Design
There’s a phenomenon in digital advertising called banner blindness, where users ignore banner ads on the website. Similarly, certain elements on your site don’t garner any attention or engagement from shoppers.
You can identify and omit these elements and rearrange the webpage to enhance the performance.
Will a Website Heatmap Tool Impact the Website’s Performance?
Technically, any software application script you embed to your website could potentially impact the website’s performance, but HumCommerce’s code is optimized to minimize the chances of slowing down your site as much as possible.
HumCommerce’s tracking script loads asynchronously, i.e., it loads alongside everything else on your website and uses a content delivery network (CDN) and correct browser caching to optimize page load time.
What Are the Advanced Use Cases of Heatmaps
Heatmaps can be used in conjunction with other tools to get a better picture of your Ecommerce store. Here are two such use cases:
1. Use Heatmaps With Session Recordings
While heatmaps collect data from multiple website visits and sessions, session recordings record individual website sessions.
A session recording takes out the guesswork and tells you exactly how a user navigates through the website. You can combine this data with heatmaps to identify causes of cart abandonment and potential problems during checkout.
2. Use Heatmaps With Surveys
If you want to roll-out a new product, offering, or feature, then surveys are a fantastic tool to collect feedback. You can implement on-page surveys along with heatmaps to gauge audience response.
Various survey tools allow you to run on-page surveys with sophisticated targeting and segmentation capabilities so that you can collect data from the audience of your choice.
Knowing how to analyze heatmap will provide you plenty of opportunities to improve the performance of your Ecommerce website. If you have any queries on how you can further use heatmaps, ask away in the comments below.