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Heatmaps for the holidays: 3 ways to use heatmaps to prep for the busiest season of online shopping

The FullStory Team
Posted October 12, 2022
Heatmaps for the holidays: 3 ways to use heatmaps to prep for the busiest season of online shopping

The weather may be cooling down as we head toward the holidays–but online shopping is just heating up. Digital experience engagement maps can keep your site or app on the Nice List. 

Heatmaps—which include click maps and scroll maps—are one of the easiest ways to visualize and understand how users engage with your site or app. 

And they can reveal trends that may be imperative to your digital strategy. For example, FullStory customer Carvana, a leading online car retailer, invested significant time and resources in developing a “spinner” feature for their website. The spinner allows shoppers to see a 360º view of a vehicle, and the Carvana team predicted that it would increase sales. 

However, after looking at a heatmap analysis of the feature in FullStory, they were surprised to find that most visitors also sought out the traditional photo gallery. Carvana used this knowledge to rethink the presentation of their vehicle detail pages, making the photo galleries more prominent to drive higher shopper engagement. 

Discovering potentially expensive insights like this is critical ahead of the holiday season, so we made some recent upgrades to Heatmaps to keep your sleigh running on schedule. 


Shiny new toys: Heatmap updates from FullStory

From talking with product managers, marketers, and product designers, we knew there are a few things on FullStory users’ wish lists when it comes to heatmaps. Here’s a quick look at the new and improved heatmap experience. 

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  • Access heatmaps more easily: Previously, heatmaps were only accessible via Session Replay, and a user would need to find a specific session to access heatmap insights. Now, FullStory users can jump directly to click maps and scroll maps from the Library section of the navigation. You can also run ad-hoc analysis by searching for a specific URL or Page defined in FullStory to quickly understand where users are engaging on your site or in your product.

  • Save and share your heatmaps: Now you can save heatmaps in FullStory so you can monitor changes to user interactions over time and share these insights via full-page capture as a central source of truth across teams.

With the added abilities to define, share, and save heatmaps, these valuable interaction insights are now more flexible, discoverable, and collaborative across teams. Next, we’ll look at three ways to put heatmaps to work this holiday season. 


3 ways to use heatmaps for holiday prep

Improve site navigation and layout 

Confusing or frustrating site navigation is one of the shortest paths to shopper abandonment. In fact, according to our 2022 consumer survey, 55% of shoppers are unlikely to return to a site after encountering a frustrating experience. 

What should you do? 

Click maps are one of the most commonly used types of heatmaps, and they show where users click on your page. By understanding which elements are the most (and least) clicked on your site or page, you can identify potential navigational issues. 

You can also use click maps to understand the relevance of search results on your site by measuring the volume of clicks that happen after a search is conducted. 

Finally, click maps can be used to see when users are responding to a page as expected and when they’re veering off the predicted path—revealing where there might be issues with your main navigation, page hierarchy, buttons, and more. 

Analyze scroll depth and important CTAs

How far users scroll (or don’t scroll) on a page can drastically impact conversions. A scroll map is a type of heatmap that creates a visual representation of visitors’ scrolling behavior. Specifically, scroll maps reveal how many visitors: 

  • Scrolled through a page to the bottom

  • Scrolled through a page but didn’t make it all the way to the bottom

  • Abandoned a page without scrolling at all 

What should you do? 

First, ensure your important content or CTAs aren’t hidden below the fold. Perhaps you’re questioning why a product page isn’t receiving as many “Add to Carts” as expected. A scroll map analysis might reveal that, when viewed on a mobile device, the button is hidden below the fold, and users aren’t scrolling far enough to see it. 

Scroll maps can also help online retailers avoid the false floor pitfall, in which some element makes visitors believe they’ve reached the bottom of a webpage when there is actually more content to see. 

Finally, when you do need to design a longer page, scroll maps can help you understand where to prioritize important elements and develop strategies to draw users further down the page. 

Optimize the checkout process

When a shopper makes it all the way to your site’s checkout flow, the last thing you want is to throw some friction in their path. Plus, our consumer survey revealed that 30% of shoppers are more frustrated by site errors or friction around the holidays than at other times of the year. 

What should you do? 

Error, dead, and rage click heatmaps are Santa’s best helpers here. Here’s how each one can help you create a smooth checkout experience: 

  • Error clicks occur when a user’s click triggers a client-side JavaScript error. An Error Click heatmap can show you any unforeseen errors that may be happening on your site, reproduce bugs instantly, and proactively find and fix site errors. 

Rage clicks are when a user rapidly clicks or taps a site element in frustration—either signaling that a button doesn’t function properly or that an error is being triggered. A rage click heatmap can help you reproduce unexpected bugs, correct confusing CTAs, and identify areas on the checkout page that might be causing frustration and abandonment.

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  • Dead clicks happen when users click an element on your site or app that has no effect on the page. Heatmaps of dead clicks allow you to understand when users confuse a static element for a clickable button, or when an actual button is nonfunctional and needs to be fixed.

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If your team hasn’t already, now is the time to harness up the reindeer and start your holiday prep. 

Learn more about the value of heatmaps and get a FullStory demo today

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