How heat maps can actually help with conversion optimisation

I guess we all know what a heat map is. It’s certainly one of the most visual ways to see data related to your ecommerce site.

When I ask clients about them they always say they have used them, when questioned, I actually find they have not used them but have seen them and said “that’s nice”.

So how do you actually go about using a heat map to increase your conversions?

Pretty much the same way you go about setting up any conversion program, first you’ve got to find out where you are and then where you want to go.

So first things first don’t look at the map, look at the page and answer the following questions;

  1. What is this page all about?
  2. What is my best case outcome for this page (signs ups, click on a particular call to action, click on the buy now button)?
  3. Where is the worst place that a customer could click?
  4. Is there anything on this page that I am convinced is enticing and will definitely make someone click (banner etc)?
  5. Is there anything distracting on this page that I wouldn’t want someone to click on?
  6. Let’s imagine someone was clicking somewhere they shouldn’t, what could I do to get them to click where I want them to?

Ok now overlay the heat map

· Is your number 1 objective being clicked from question 2?

· What are the top 3 things being clicked? (these are your hotspots)

· Any of these unexpected?

· What “type” of medium is clicked the most, video, text, picture?

Hopefully if you have answered these fully you are now in a position to start making some hypothesis and testing them but before you do answer these last few questions to make sure you are on the right path;

  1. Can I repurpose any of the 3 hotspots to achieve my number 1 objective?
  2. Can I remove any hotspots to make one less thing to click on to achieve the number 1 objective?
  3. Can I adjust any medium to make it something that someone clicks on?

Now you can create a new mock up that tries to achieve better conversions in your number 1 desired action and of course, test it.

Two small simple things can you do to your ecommerce store today to get a big result in conversions

  1. Cart abandonment emails.

Whenever I talk to store owners about cart abandonment emails their answer is always “I know it’s something we should be doing but we never got round to it”.

The thing is, your best guess version of this will get you more sales, period. Then with more date it becomes much easier to beat your best guess .

The customer is so near to purchase your conversion rate on this activity is likely to be much higher than other activities because literally customers need very little to push them over into the sale.

You could even do this by hand, emailing them individually and still make money because of the probable conversion rates.

What’s that I hear you say?, “show me some data to convince me” How about;

· More than a tenth (11.61%) of cart abandonment emails are clicked.

· The average order value (AOV) of purchases from basket. Abandonment emails is 14.2% higher than typical purchases.

· Nearly half (44.1%) of all cart abandonment emails are opened.

· Nearly a third (29.9%) of clicks leads to a purchase back on site.

Now I appreciate this last one has you simultaneously salivating and disbelieving, here is the full article about that result.

So now you are convinced you just need to know two things. Whilst I of course recommend you test everything in your marketing I’ll give you your starting point to keep it simple.

When do I send it?

Glad you asked. We reckon it’s within the first hour for the first email.

Second email you should consider around the 24 hour mark.

Then for the third email we have seen results between the 72 hour and the 7 day mark.

What should I send?

You should consider sending different copy in each one to elicit the different reason why someone might abandon their purchase.

The first email you should consider being more customer service orientated asking if anything went wrong or how can you help?

The second should be more sales orientated highlighting why customers should buy form you your USP. Mention your site excellent returns and delivery policy the two key reasons why a customer abandons their purchase.

Be really clear in your subject line. Personalise it if possible.

Ok onto the number 2 thing you can try to increase conversion overnight.

2. Colour of your buy button

Arggg not the colour stuff, I like our beige button, it matches our site. I don’t want it to look likes Amazon’s!

Not so fast, I’m not going to give you a lecture about colour psychology here, I’m going to break it down into something really simple for ecommerce store owners and conversions.

It’s not about green or red being the best colour for buying, this is about contrast and user interface, that’s what, makes the till ring.


Don’t design it into oblivion

Make it twice as big as your designer is comfortable with.

Make it a bold colour that your designer is uncomfortable with (we’re looking for visible wincing in your designer here)

Make it brighter than she can stand. (She has to be shaking her head at the is point before you know you’ve done a good job)

So don’t worry about red versus green worry about contrast.

Now use the correct text on the button. For retailers it’s fairly confined but always worth testing, think here add to bag or basket not buy now because in reality the customer is adding to basket not actually checking out.

Oh and make it look like a button round the edges give it a little depth whilst you are at it.

6 Things That Go Through Your Shopper’s Minds

If online retailers want to be successful, then they need to delve into the minds of their customers. Knowing exactly what might being going through your target audience’s minds when they are browsing online can help you build a carefully constructed website and shopping experience that converts.

Most of all, people want their online shopping experience to be quick, simple and secure. Here are some things that might be going through your customer’s minds when they are shopping on your ecommerce website.

  1. Is this website secure?

First and foremost, people won’t shop on a website unless they feel it’s secure. First impressions are key, so your homepage should instantly make them feel confident. People also need to be reassured at various stages of the buying process that a website is safe and secure. Make sure they can clearly see information such as your privacy policy and secure payment methods.

  1. Do I trust this website?

As someone is browsing a website, they will be considering whether it is a website they trust. Whether or not they decide to stay on your site can depend on the content, design and trust signals that they pick up on. Having things like accreditations, industry awards and reviews at key stages in the customer journey can help to convert customers and build their trust.

  1. What do other people think of this product/website?

Something called ‘social proof’ can influence whether a customer buys something or not. People are more inclined to buy things that they see as popular. If lots of other people have bought a product or given it glowing reviews then obviously it is something that’s in demand. 85% of shoppers read online reviews before using local businesses.

Visitors on your website are probably wondering what others think of the website or product that they are looking at. Having things like a list of your best selling products and saying things like ‘people who bought this also bought x,y, z’ can significantly increase conversion.

  1. Why should I buy from this specific brand?

It’s natural to wonder why you would buy something from a specific brand and not consider other brands selling the same thing. Websites need to communicate a compelling enough message for customers to buy their products. When this is going through someone’s mind, they need to be informed as to how your brand stands out, what your USP is and what makes you different.

  1. Do I really need to buy this product?

Extremely impulsive shoppers may not ask themselves this question, but most people will take a moment to decide whether they really need a particular product. They may look at an item, think about it for a minute and then make a final decision, or they may leave it days, weeks or even months to come back and purchase something.

Online retailers need to make customers feel like somehow they will miss out if they don’t buy something, and create some kind of urgency. For examples, putting a special offer that runs out on a certain date, or selling limited edition products.

  1. Does this product look visually appealing?

Perhaps the most influential factor on a person’s buying decisions is the visual aspect of a website or product. 92.6% of people said that visuals are the top influential factor affecting a purchasing decision (vouchercloud).

Online shoppers will usually only order from websites they like the look of, and buy products that are visually appealing. This is why the design of your websites and the quality of the images you use to sell products is so important.

6 Things That Ruin People’s Trust In Your eCommerce Store

If you want to have a website that people trust and keep coming back to, there are certain things you need to avoid. Despite some of these things being fairly easy to change, it’s surprising just how many websites force people to go elsewhere.

You only have a few seconds to grab people’s attention, which is increasingly difficult in a world filled with so many messages. Increase your chances of keeping people on your website by ensuring you are not doing anything that will instantly lose your customers trust. Here’s seven things that will ruin people’s trust in your website.

  1. Poor content

Awful, poorly written content is a major turn off. How can people trust your website if your copy is misspelled, badly written and difficult to understand? The wording you use on your homepage is so important.

Take the time to come up with copy that makes an impact, or invest some money in acquiring top quality content for your website.  It’s also extremely important to carefully proof all copy before it goes live on our site.

2. Not being user friendly

If a website is difficult to use, people will leave in an instant. They will simply to go to another website that’s simpler to use. Avoid complicated forms that take ages to fill in and a website structure that’s a challenge for visitors to navigate through. did some research that revealed ‘when asked about the most important factor in a website, over 75% of respondents stated they rank ease of finding the information at the top.’

3. Lack of trust signals

As well as not doing things to lose people’s trust, you need to think about adding things that will increase trust. It’s important to incorporate trust signals throughout your website, especially at each stage of the buying process. Trust signals include things like awards you have won, industry accreditations, reviews and secure payment information. These things can help improve trust and consequently increase conversion.

4. Too many pop ups

Avoid having too many pop ups or things that distract visitors. Constant pop ups can be really frustrating and will end up ruining people’s trust in our site. Keep thing simple and divert customers to the next stage of the buying process rather than distracting their attention with unnecessary popups.

5. Uninspiring design

Statistics show that over 90% of people trust a website based on design alone. With so much competition out there, you just can’t afford to have a poor quality website. It’s worth investing in high quality web design. People won’t trust your site if they think it’s poorly put together and will quickly move on.

6. Slow load times

There is nothing more frustrating than a painfully slow website. People just don’t expect slow websites anymore, and don’t have any patience with websites that don’t work properly. If your website takes ages to load then your bounce rate will go through the roof and you will lose people’s trust instantly.