How Crazy Egg Heatmaps Stopped Our Leaking Profits

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In ecommerce, conversion optimization is king.

Getting people to the shop is expensive and time consuming, so making sure they can find what they want in a confusion-free environment makes all the difference between profit and just treading water.

This case study shows how Crazy Egg heatmaps helped to eliminate problems that were hurting our Harry Fay Jewellery Boutique and gave us a platform for building future growth.

jewelry website - placeit Source: Placeit.net

Bounced users and exits

Bounced users are people who open a website and leave without taking any actions or clicking on any links.

While that’s not ideal for any website, for ecommerce, it’s a critical problem. It’s important to understand why people bounce and how you can keep them on your site.

There are thousands potential reasons for customers to bounce: bad first impression, technical issue, incorrect links and so on. Traditional traffic analytic tools (Google Analytics, Piwik, web log analysers etc.) do a poor job of explaining why users are leaving, as they don’t know what users did before closing the browser tab.

Heatmaps give us a peek into that missing information.

Example 1 – Botched cookies notification

In Europe, all websites are required to display information about the cookies they use. When the law was introduced, the interpretation of the day was that users should be given a choice to accept the cookies or not.

We made required changes to our website and then forgot about it—even when the law interpretation and general practice changed. Everyone just accepts cookies, right?

Running Crazy Egg just for a day (during our trial period) showed how wrong we were. There was a significant number of people clicking the “No, thanks!” button on our subscription offer.

Here’s the heatmap:

jewelry 1

The “No, thanks!” button linked to http://google.com, which means we were kicking those users out of our website. Talk about leaking profits!

It took 3 minutes to fix a problem that was left unnoticed for months!

jewelry 2

Notice there’s no “no thanks” option—and no throwing people off our site.

Example 2 – Go away to play somewhere else!

Social presence and social engagement are critical for building up a solid and happy customer base. Getting users to visit your Facebook or Twitter profile increases the chance that they’ll become a customer.

We had the social icons on our website from day one, and we never paid much attention to them until we saw them being used on a heatmap—there are users clicking those links:

jewelry 3

We realized that those icons are links, which again kick the user out of our website to our profile somewhere else. With each click, we essentially asked the customer to leave!

The solution to this problem was to modify the links to open the social page in a new window/tab.

Could we have spotted the problem without Crazy Egg? Yes, but we didn’t. Analyzing the heatmap allowed us to focus on customer actions instead of revising pages and links. That’s a crucial difference.

Detecting user confidence issues

Crazy Egg’s heatmaps and confetti views show not only clicks on links, but also clicks on non-link elements of the pages.

Comparing the clicks between different type of pages (home, categories, product, text and order), we have noticed distinctive behaviour on the cart and order pages. People click on badges in the header and footer, most frequently on the “Free Ring Size Exchange” label on top and “Secure payment” image on bottom. But those badges never got a single click on any other page.

Header:

jewelry 4

Footer:

jewelry 5

We concluded that messaging during our order process doesn’t answer those critical questions that give customers confidence to buy, and they were seeking additional information on the website.

We know that every distraction from the buying process may lead to lost sale, so Crazy Egg helped us identify another area where we can improve our customer experience.

We are currently preparing new version of a shopping cart page that will emphasize safety for customers. With this added information, we hope to decrease the number of abandoned carts.

Wasted homepage space

In the early days of our website, we decided to make a short video showcasing a few of our products—and it’s been proudly sitting on our homepage ever since. Not many people watched it, but with a growing business, we didn’t pay too much attention to that.

After we deployed Crazy Egg, we observed two major things:

  • The scrollmap showed us how little people cared about our video
  • The heatmap showed us that people do not click on the promoted links below the video

The element we were most proud of was doing nothing to increase engagement or conversion rates.

The remedy was quick: we moved the embedded video to the bottom of the page. Immediately we saw increased engagement in the promoted categories and product area. That’s a big win for 5 minutes of work!

Compare our scrollmaps before (left) and after the change (right). The image shows much higher percentage of people watching the promoted content now.

jewelry 6

Validation

Apart from finding glaring mistakes that affected the usability and conversion power of our website, Crazy Egg heatmaps helped us validate that users really use the website the way we expect them to.

We found a few behaviour patterns we weren’t expecting, as well. Since then, we have come to a few important conclusions:

People do read popups.

We display a popup offering 10% off the first order to all customers, and a lot of people just close it. But they remember that offer and subscribe to newsletter after they add a product to a shopping cart, so they can get their bonus.

Compare the subscription window on a shopping cart page:

jewelry 7

and on other pages:

jewelry 8

People want a personalized experience

On category page, a lot of people change sorting order and number of items per page. Our shopping cart implements those functionality, but we never cared for them. We will use those information preparing more effective landing pages.

They do use filters when available

People do use the filters a lot when browsing through categories. With this information we knew it made sense to tweak not only the order and appearance of a category page, but also of the filtered and sorted views.

A more visual experience wins

People do carefully watch multiple product images where available.

Sample heatmap showing our category page:

jewelry 9

Conclusion

The Internet offers a variety of analytics tools, but only a select few allow us to look at a website from the customer’s eyes to identify their exact behavior while on the site.

Crazy Egg is our go-to tool for that—giving us insight and information unavailable from other tools.

For us, it’s worth the investment. We decided to pay for Crazy Egg after the free trial ended, as it has proven to be a very efficient way to understand customer behavior. On a side not, it paid for itself in the first few weeks—we hope it will earn us even more when we start testing future page optimizations.

What’s in your conversion toolbox?

If you’ve got a great case study detailing how Crazy Egg helped you improve your website results, let us know!

 

The post How Crazy Egg Heatmaps Stopped Our Leaking Profits appeared first on The Daily Egg.


The Daily Egg

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Pomplamoose 2014 Tour Profits (or Lack Thereof)

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This article was originally published on Medium and is reprinted here with the permission of the author.

Pomplamoose just finished a 28-day tour. We played 24 shows in 23 cities around the United States. It was awesome: Nataly crowd surfed for the first time ever, we sold just under $ 100,000 in tickets, and we got to rock out with people we love for a full month. We sold 1129 tickets in San Francisco at the Fillmore. I’ll remember that night for the rest of my life.

One question that our fans repeatedly asked us was “what does it feel like to have ‘made it’ as a band?” Though it’s a fair question to ask of a band with a hundred million views on YouTube, the thought of Pomplamoose having “made it” is, to me, ridiculous.

Before I write another sentence, it’s important to note that Nataly and I feel so fortunate to be making music for a living. Having the opportunity to play music as a career is a dream come true. But the phrase “made it” does not properly describe Pomplamoose. Pomplamoose is “making it.” And every day, we bust our asses to continue “making it,” but we most certainly have not “made it.”

Our van and trailer at our studio in the North Bay.

Being in an indie band is running a never-ending, rewarding, scary, low-margin small business. In order to plan and execute our Fall tour, we had to prepare for months, slowly gathering risk and debt before selling a single ticket. We had to rent lights. And book hotel rooms. And rent a van. And assemble a crew. And buy road cases for our instruments. And rent a trailer. And….

All of that required an upfront investment from Nataly and me. We don’t have a label lending us “tour support.” We put those expenses right on our credit cards. $ 17,000 on one credit card and $ 7,000 on the other, to be more specific. And then we planned (or hoped) to make that back in ticket sales.

The band and crew that travelled with us on our Fall 2014 tour.

We also knew that once we hit the road, we would be paying our band and crew on a weekly basis. One week of salaries for four musicians and two crew members (front of house engineer and tour manager) cost us $ 8794. That came out to$ 43,974 for the tour.

We built the tour budget ourselves and modeled projected revenue against expenses. Neither of us had experience with financial modeling, so we just did the best we could. With six figures of projected expenses, “the best we could” wasn’t super comforting.

The tour ended up costing us $ 147,802 to produce and execute. Where did all those expenses come from? I’m glad you asked:

$ 26,450

Production expenses: equipment rental, lights, lighting board, van rental, trailer rental, road cases, backline.

$ 17,589

Hotels, and food. Two people per room, 4 rooms per night. Best Western level hotels, nothing fancy. 28 nights for the tour, plus a week of rehearsals.

$ 11,816

Gas, airfare, parking tolls. Holy shit, parking a 42-foot van is expensive.

$ 5445

Insurance. In case we break someone’s face while crowdsurfing.

$ 48,094

Salaries and per diems. Per diems are twenty dollar payments to each bandmate and crew member each day for food while we’re out. Think mechanized petty cash.

$ 21,945

Manufacturing merchandise, publicity (a radio ad in SF, Facebook ads, venue specific advertising), supplies, shipping.

$ 16,463

Commissions. Our awesome booking agency, High Road Touring, takes a commission for booking the tour. They deserve every penny and more: booking a four week tour is a huge job. Our business management takes a commission as well to do payroll, keep our finances in order, and produce the awesome report that lead to this analysis. Our lawyer, Kia Kamran, declined his commission because he knew how much the tour was costing us. Kia is the man.

Fortunately, Pomplamoose made some money to offset some of these expenses. Let’s look at our income from the tour:

$ 97,519

Our cut of ticket sales. Dear fans, you are awesome. We love every ounce of your bodies. You’re the reason we can tour. Literally, 72% of our tour income came from the tickets you bought. THANK YOU.

The Aladdin Theater in Portland. Our first show of the tour.

$ 29,714

Merch sales. Hats, t-shirts, CDs, posters. 22% of our tour income.

$ 8,750

Sponsorship from Lenovo. Thank goodness for Lenovo! They gave us three laptops (to run our light show) and a nice chunk of cash. We thanked them on stage for saving our asses and supporting indie music. Some people think of brand deals as “selling out.” My guess is that most of those people are hobby musicians, not making a living from their music, or they’re rich and famous musicians who don’t need the income. If you’re making a living as an indie band, a tour sponsor is a shining beacon of financial light at the end of a dark tunnel of certain bankruptcy.

Add it up, and that’s $ 135,983 in total income for our tour. And we had $ 147,802 in expenses.

We lost $ 11,819.

Crowdsurfing somewhere in the middle of the country. 

Rock and Roll.

At the end of the day, Pomplamoose is just fine: our patrons give us $ 6,326 per video through our Patreon page. We sell about $ 5,000 of music per month through iTunes and Loudr. After all of our expenses (yes, making music videos professionally is expensive), Nataly and I each draw a salary of about $ 2500 per month from Pomplamoose. What’s left gets reinvested in the band or saved so that we don’t have to rack up $ 24,000 of credit card debt to book another tour.

In 2014 Nataly and I didn’t take weekends off. Releasing two, fully produced music videos per month is way more than a full time job. Because Pomplamoose doesn’t have a manager, Nataly coordinated the logistics of the tour, herself. On top of that, we recorded and released a full length album. Our music video shoots often started at 9 am and finished at 2 am. That was the norm, not the exception.

Behind the Scenes of our video for “Puttin’ on the Ritz”

The point of publishing all the scary stats is not to dissuade people from being professional musicians. It’s simply an attempt to shine light on a new paradigm for professional artistry.

We’re entering a new era in history: the space between “starving artist” and “rich and famous” is beginning to collapse. YouTube has signed up over a million partners (people who agree to run ads over their videos to make money from their content). The “creative class” is no longer emerging: it’s here, now.

We, the creative class, are finding ways to make a living making music, drawing webcomics, writing articles, coding games, recording podcasts. Most people don’t know our names or faces. We are not on magazine covers at the grocery store. We are not rich, and we are not famous.

We are the mom and pop corner store version of “the dream.” If Lady Gaga is McDonald’s, we’re Betty’s Diner. And we’re open 24/7.

We have not “made it.” We’re making it.

PandoDaily

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