An online store is the mainstay of any e-commerce business, a place where that the destiny of the brand is forged. To attract a high volume of traffic to it and eventually convert visitors, it is not enough to just have a pretty website filled with quality product offers. One has to use cutting-edge digital tools such as heat maps.
They are a form of visual data representation that gives a clear overview of how customers are interacting with the pages of the digital storefront. In this behavioural knowledge, you have a reliable guiding light that can dictate design and optimization decisions. So, make no mistake: this is a chance to assess the quality of the website and make educated improvements.
For good measure
In a nutshell, heatmaps act as tools for gaining invaluable insights into the online habits and preferences of consumers. They are an accurate gauging instrument for optimizing e-commerce stores and informing business decisions. Using them, you are able to conduct a thorough inspection and find issues impeding user experience. Often, these issues call for minor tweaks and when they are rooted in the data-backed approach, they tend to bolster your conversion potential. In general, heatmaps are divided into mouse-tracking and eye-tracking categories.
First off, we have hover maps that follow only one metric. Due to their tunnel-vision scope, they are inaccurate means of measuring engagement. There is nothing stopping users from looking at parts of the page where they are not hovering with a cursor, is there? On the other hand, click maps are a more reliable method of uncovering the user’s intent. Almost every click is a telltale sign of consumer interest in a feature/product/service/content piece. If a certain article is hit by an avalanche of clicks, you know that you nailed with the content quality and/or optimization.
Attention heatmaps are a bit more complex. The display areas of the page that are viewed the most, how people scroll them, and how much time they spend doing that. This is to say that this type of heatmap tells us how (where) to position text, buttons, and images for maximum impact. Finally, scroll maps simply monitor drop off points and how much users scroll down the pages. Regardless of their specifics, the data you obtain via all these four tools should speak volumes about the volume and type of engagement your storage drives.
Slowly but steadily, heat maps are quickly becoming an industry standard used to pinpoint dead areas, hot spots and bottlenecks on digital stores. Naturally, segments of the website that should be focused are your homepage, as well as checkout, shopping cart, product, and landing pages. Home and landing pages act as entry points, the beginning of the buyer journey. How well you optimize them has a profound impact on the customers’ navigation down the conversion funnel.
Make an effort to first filter out pages and segments that might be overly confusing and cluttered for users. Search for utility clogs, such as too many widgets and navigation options in one place. Use scroll maps to assess attention spans and viewing times. These two metrics usually drop sharply when users go below the fold. This means that “above the fold” section is the most valuable piece of digital real estate you have.
Thus, streamline design and move content that is important to users close to the top of the page. Simplify forms and remove unnecessary images. Always make relevant information about your business easily accessible. Once you get the color-coded picture using click maps, try to understand the “why” behind all those clicks. Keep an eye on external links that potentially direct traffic outside. See if some clicks are results of confusion and misinformation.
Along the similar lines, see if there are any problems with product pages. Evaluate how effective are your product descriptions and customer reviews when it comes to prompting visitors to read and click on “Add to Cart” button. Check whether your product images are encouraging interactional and influencing decisions. Strive to accommodate limited attention spans with your easy-to-digest content.
Covering all the bases
There is no shortage of tricks that emerged out of heatmap insight pull. One Techwyse study, for instance, showed that color contrast is highly effective tool for guiding visitors. A focused makeover of the homepage helps ecommerce businesses highlight important informational elements like products pricing. People do not make purchase decisions based on full information, but visible bits and pieces that are available at a given time.
Furthermore, a Caltech neuroscience study found that visual impact can influence buying decisions more than preferences, especially in time-sensitive and overwhelming environments like online shopping. So, arrest attention right away with striking images and communicate your value proposition clearly. Here, it might be worth mentioning that visitors spend a bit more time on average looking at well-selected photos of real people. The takeaway is to refrain from using generic images that do not serve a clear purpose and only hurt conversion rates.
Also, be careful about causing unwanted friction and banner blindness. This is a common behavioral phenomenon that prompts visitors to subconsciously or consciously ignore parts of the page that look like obvious advertising or involve locations that are typically reserved for ads. Not just banners and ads, but blocks of text and images can become victim of it. Therefore, be advised. Likewise, avoid automatic image carousels and banners that tend to reduce click through rates on home pages.
It takes some time to see what works and what does not. So, play around with button colors background colors, fonts, image positioning, and copywriting. Display discounted prices next to original ones and witness what many others have: increased conversion rates and purchase satisfaction. If you have a blog section on the store, utilize article summaries. People read them more than full posts.
Coming on top
Those who struggle to optimize, redesign, or build pages for maximum traction and conversion rates should seek aid of professional agencies. The fastest route to conversions takes you to one of the booming design hubs, where you can search for top web design companies. Feel free to outsource key tasks to them and make strides towards your goals— higher conversion rates and better user satisfaction. While at it, make sure to reduce bounce and drop off rates on key pages of the store.
You can also obtain heatmaps from reputable providers like Crazy Egg, SumoMe, and Clicktale. They specialize in certain types of heatmaps and put emphasis on different metrics. Note also that that you can combine your heatmaps with other analytics tools. For example, A/B tests, when paired up with previously acquired heatmap knowledge, help businesses find out what version of the altered page will work the best. You basically do split testing to direct traffic between two versions of the page and analyze results on each.
Finally, create informative spreadsheets about conversion rates by the hour and day of the week to identify peak conversion times. Speaking of which, it is best to regularly evaluate performance and measure conversion rates. To keep up the rapid pace in the sector, you must never stop learning and growing, all while using your business objectives as a baseline. Make your store more user-friendly and come up with an irresistible offer. Encourage people to take action and come to trust you rather than the next brand in the long line.
Roadmaps for success
Every website is a living organism and what shapes its growth is data describing user patterns and preferences. In the form of heatmaps, this data adds incredible value to your business. It represents a self-explanatory visual depiction that lets you observe pages through the eyes of users and keep fingers on their pulse.
To reap maximum benefits from your monitoring efforts, use a combination of different heatmaps to capture all the clicks, scrolls, movements, and keystrokes. Make informed decisions based on these insights and carry out site-wide fine-tuning. Rest assured that subtle design changes and improvements go a long way towards improving conversion rates. It is time to take action, keep people coming back for more, and tap into a steady stream of income.