Are you running an eCommerce website? Then you might be able to relate to the difficulty of increasing your conversions rate. 

Have you ever wondered why your visitors don’t buy from you even though all of your pages look great? It’s because they see something different on each page of your site. 

It’s not that they don’t see a call-to-action button or don’t understand what you are selling, but they may see something else that can influence their decision on making the purchase of your product or not. 

Imagine your surprise when you find there is a quick and easy way to increase the click-through rate of your product images? 

That’s right: Heat maps.

Heatmaps are one of the most powerful tools for eCommerce conversion optimization. They help you figure out which areas on your website draw attention and which do not, thereby helping you to optimize your site for a better user experience.  

Let’s see how eCommerce brands can leverage heatmap tools to increase their conversion rates: 

1. Heatmap Tools Segment Your Audience 

The first step in driving a successful business is to understand your customers. While that’s easy to do in a physical store, it can be pretty difficult for online businesses. 

In brick-and-mortar establishments, attendants can walk up to customers, offer immediate assistance, and solve queries in real-time. That’s tough to do online since you have no real connection with your customers, hence contemporary intimacy is missing. 

And that’s where heatmap tools come into the picture. 

All the best heatmaps tools help businesses interact with their customers non-verbally yet devotedly. 

How?

Heatmaps can help businesses carry out customer segmentation, focusing on a variety of metrics like: 

  • Target audience’s age
  • Gender
  • The time spent on sites
  • Login frequency
  • Products bought
  • Average dollars spent
  • Product categories visited, and more. 

Nevertheless, one of the most effective ways eCommerce companies use them is to identify and segregate one-time buyers from repeat customers. 

The focus of any business is to maximize sales – and augmenting the number of repeat customers can be the perfect way to do that. 

For starters, they’re easier to sell to!

If you look at the statistics, repeat customers are 65% more likely to convert as compared to new prospects, who only have a 13% chance of converting. 

How to use customer feedback to win back lost customers - Canny Blog

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Other statistics suggest that a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by 95% since they spend nearly 33% more on your website than one-time buyers. Acquisition of new customers is also 5X costlier than retention.  

So, it doesn’t make sense to go after new customers if you have a sizeable set of happy patrons. 

Heatmaps help separate the repeat customers from entirely new customers so that you commit your limited time towards efforts on enhancing their user experience and focus on increasing their CLV.

2. Optimize Business Pages.

A business website naturally aims to nudge prospective customers down the sales funnel. 

To do that, companies need product excellence to work hand-in-glove with an equally excellent website design. 

Having an exceptional product is not nearly enough to ensure great sales today. 

For starters, the competition in any industry today is ruthless, so there will always be someone with a better product. 

Nevertheless, the focus today has shifted over to customer experience. 

This makes sense, especially since there is a clear correlation between an enhanced customer experience and higher conversion rates.

The first step in ensuring an immaculate customer experience is by having a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate website. Websites must also be attractive and be able to make a positive first impression. 

Why?

It hardly needs any answering, but you might still want to look at the statistics. 

Users decide within 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) whether to stay on your website or leave. And even if they like it and venture further into your website, 38% will stop engagement if they don’t like the layout or find your website difficult to navigate.

The newspaper industry has been using page layout designs to attract customers and drive business for decades. For instance, placing an advertisement on the right-hand side of a newspaper costs more than the left because humans are engineered to look at the right side first.

The digital world is highly competitive with multiple rivals in every business domain. It’s imperative to make a mark since around 88% of online customers will not return after a bad experience on a website. The churn rate across every website today is very high, needless to say.

Thus, businesses need to optimize their business web page. 

So, what can you do differently?

Heatmaps are the answer! 

They help sniff out hotspots on the website that attract the users right at the start.

With the use of move maps, you can see how and where the customers point to their cursors during interaction with your page. You can trace out their movement in arcs through your website and understand their mindset. 

Tracking hotspots in this manner help highlight the areas that the users are searching for, and can serve as an associative indication between where the click buttons are present, and where it ideally should be, for the maximum customer satisfaction.

When mouse movement stops, it usually means the customers have found something relevant and are looking at it. A heatmap study showed that there’s a 64% correlation between mouse and eye movements. You can cross-reference the mouse movements with the conversion rates from all the website pages and draw comparisons between them. If you see the specific reason for conversion to be a particular area, or height, design, or color, you can implement the change across all the pages. 

You should also find out the specific areas on your page that get the most number of clicks – which is possible using click maps. 

This is another indicator of interest and points out the points of maximum visibility. You can also compare how the number of clicks compares between two different areas of the web page. Heatmaps can help highlight the areas so that businesses can focus on the most relevant ones. 

Not only specific areas but heatmaps also provide the click-through rates for all the elements that are likely to interconnect with a customer on a web page, like:

  • Links to blogs 
  • Paragraphs
  • Attractive headings
  • Numbered and bullet lists 
  • Images and tables
  • Boxes 

Get detailed, concentrated information specific to individual elements and distinguish the most important ones. These are the ones with the maximum contribution towards your sales conversions. The rest are just noise and can be removed to make the website leaner and more focused. 

3. Eliminate Low-performing CTAs

CTAs or Call-to-action buttons are the most crucial elements in an e-commerce website since they facilitate the user journey down the sales funnel. The focus of the websites is to maximize sales, and it’s the CTA that aids it in this task.

Heatmaps help you to understand:

  • Whether the CTA buttons are strategically placed
  • Are users easily redirected to/ from CTA buttons?
  • Are there specific areas like text or images that customers stop at while scrolling?

The specific types of heatmaps called click maps help answer all these questions and more. They classify various pathways around the website as “escape routes” and “non-escape routes.” 

These routes are based on the targets of the individual CTA buttons, like sign-up, newsletter subscription, add to cart, pay now, proceed to checkout, and more. If a CTA button is supposed to nudge visitors into signing up for the newsletter, but it’s being used to be redirected towards a non-target area like blogs, it’s an “escape route.” 

Since the most critical attraction on any e-commerce page is the CTA button, heatmaps help identify the other areas of the website that are interacting more (if any) with the customer, or in other words, if they are serving as “distractors.” If they are, corrective action is necessary. 

The Couple app, a former mobile messaging company, used heatmaps to significant effect when they tried it out on their post-click landing page to check low subscription levels. Apparently, the navigation bar at the top kept diverting customers. 

Here’s their original landing page: 

And here’s Couple’s click map that suggested that it’s the navigation links on the landing page causing distraction. 

Here’s the click map: 

And based on the heatmaps, they ran A/B tests and ultimately managed to increase conversions by 12%.

It can also highlight whether the intended target of the CTA is remaining unfulfilled. By eliminating the contents of the page that you don’t want the customer to interact with, you can enhance the probability of them linking up with the ones you do want them to interact with – the CTA buttons. 

Another quick fix can be to make the CTA more appealing so that it can pique the interest of the customer. You may need to redesign the layout, but it will be a step in the right direction. 

Let’s look at one more case study. 

Bluewire Media, a web marketing brand based out of Sydney, used heatmaps to check out where website visitors were clicking on the page but were confused to find virtually no interaction with the lead capture form – the intended CTA button.

This was what it looked like at that time:

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Based on the heatmap results, the company revamped the entire page to look like this:

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It led to a double-digit increase in their conversion rates!

You may also need to eliminate the redundant CTA buttons that are not helping. There have been instances of them doing the exact opposite of what they need to do!

For example, Softmedia used heatmaps to understand why the target audience wasn’t being attracted. They sifted through nearly 10,000 page views and identified the problem plaguing them. 

There was a CTA button that said ‘DO NOT CLICK HERE’ – and was driving customers away instead of getting them to sign up! The company removed the button, and this helped ramp conversions up by 51%.

If, however, none of these tactics work, you can safely infer that the customer doesn’t have enough information about your business to be interested in the CTA button. 

Although you still have a problem in this scenario, it will is not due to customer experience. Here, you will understand that you need to up the ante on your marketing game and need to converse more with the customer about the product. 

Either way, heatmaps will lead you to a concrete direction to proceed and make informed decisions. Otherwise, a lot of the way forward is left to chance, and it doesn’t always work out that way in business.

4. Reverse Cart Abandonment

Did you know that eCommerce companies lose $18 billion dollars every due simply due to cart abandonment alone? 

These are alarming numbers, not to say a major pain point. A recent research found that the cart abandonment rate was around 69% in 2020. This usually happens when there is a lack of trust, an interface that’s difficult to navigate, and a lack of localization. 

A great example of the same is selling in countries that read from right to left, like Japan and the Middle-east. For those countries, it’s easy to get confused if the interface is built in a way that reads from left to right, and it will thus see a high number of abandonments.

Heatmaps help identify and visualize the user’s journey throughout the website, what interests them, their likes and dislikes, and more. 

They also visually represent click and scroll behavior, which generates insights as to how the customer interacts with the interface. It helps businesses re-design websites and make them more customer-friendly. Although it doesn’t eliminate cart abandonments entirely, heatmaps can significantly reduce the rate.

5. Get Behavioral Insights 

Every customer is different. They have varied wants and needs and ways to interact with an interface. 

To deep dive into customer behavior, data analytics isn’t replaceable because they provide the raw numbers.

For example, 200 customers visit your website, but only 20 of them make a final purchase. You know you have a conversion rate of 10%. But do you know why the other 180 guys have not made a purchase? No, you don’t. 

With the help of analytics, you can identify the exact pages where the viewers left off. 

However, will you understand why? Again, no. 

You need a detailed perspective to understand your customers’ psychology and their feelings about your website. This is where heatmaps can help – since they provide a graphical review of the customer’s actions.

Dynamic heatmaps help understand behavior on the dynamic website elements like: 

  • Login pages
  • Forms
  • Pop-ups
  • Modal boxes
  • URLs, and more.

Heatmaps provide information about the number of clicks on your site. This helps you separate the areas that are getting the most number of clicks from the others. Identifying and removing the unwanted areas can also lead to a drastic improvement in how a customer behaves with the website. 

Websites usually have a lot of aspects to them. 

Viewers need to scroll up and down to explore the entirety. A typical example is the US FDA website. It stores too much information to display without scrolling – but people don’t mind since all the information on the site is important.

Business websites seldom enjoy that sort of patronage and must work to keep the customer’s interest buoyed. 

A variant of heatmaps called “scroll maps” helps identify the point up to which most of the customers are scrolling before dropping off. Also called the ‘invisible fold,’ its application has been contested for decades now. 

Here’s an example of a scroll map: 

Heatmaps can tell businesses whether there is a marked improvement in customer interaction with website elements above the fold than below it. These insights can help businesses redesign their website and draw attention to the important CTA buttons.

You also understand the customer based on their device of choice. Certain websites work best on PCs, while some on mobiles and tablets. 

Luckily, heatmaps like VWO Insights, FigPii, Hotjar, and more, even enable cross-platform tracking, which provides device-specific metrics and analysis. This is a great asset since many website features appear broken in specific websites, which can lead to confusion and guesswork. In such cases, spotting and fixing the problem can ensure a seamless experience for users. 

The heatmaps help you make informed decisions about the website architecture, on your own, without the need for any costly, third-party assessment. Businesses can run the test cases during internal user acceptance testing sessions to validate the architecture and identify potential problems. 

Based on the results, companies can remedial steps in the test environments way before the software goes live. 

The result? No software recalls unhappy customers or getting caught off guard.

Some other ways heatmaps enable analysis are:

  • Element clicks 
  • Time spent on pages
  • Page scroll %
  • Exit intent insights

Some heatmap tools also allow you to set up your own analysis criteria customized to your needs. However, this is something only a few tools like Contentsquare and FigPii provide. 

6. Avoid Banner Blindness

Banner blindness is one of the top reasons businesses lose money. Since eCommerce websites frequently run advertisements, the problem is quite acute for them. 

86% of customers agree they’ve fallen prey to this at some point in time. This is a phenomenon where users tend to ignore (partially or wholly) your webpage since it appears like advertising. Although digital advertisement spending is increasing and is scheduled to reach $398,762 in 2021, humans online tend to ignore it.

Here’s a typical example:

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Based on the color of the image, you can see precisely the areas of the website that are consciously being avoided. 

However, at the same time, they inadvertently also miss actual, relevant content aimed at them. As a business, you wouldn’t want to fall into this trap. 

Heatmaps help highlight the problem at an early stage so that businesses can take corrective measures and fix the alignment of the web pages for best results. 

Now, It’s Your Turn! 

This article discussed why eCommerce websites should use heatmaps so that they can improve their conversion rates. 

The information provided by heatmaps is useful for both novice and advanced users, as it can help even the most experienced marketers learn new techniques and improve their conversion rate. At the same time, heat maps are convenient for providing relevant information for those who are beginners in digital marketing.

If you are involved in eCommerce or need to track conversions on your site, you should know how beneficial heatmaps can be. Heatmaps are easy to use, offer insightful metrics about visitors to your site and allow you to gather much more actionable data than any standard analytics tool.

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