5 Heat Mapping Metrics to Supercharge Your D2C Website

By Emily Rose Patz


Heat mapping is a cyclical process that champions data-based decision-making, informed risk-taking, and a willingness to continuously improve. When you integrate heat mapping into your website decisions, your team creates a culture of learning that will benefit the growth of your D2C business now and for years to come. 
As a D2C company, your website lives at the very core of the customer journey. It creates the shopping experience that transforms visitors into customers and customers into advocates. But for many of us, our customers’ motivations can feel like a mystery. Fortunately, the practice of heat mapping reveals what customers really want and respond to without the need to send yet another survey. 
In the same way companies design their brick-and-mortar stores to convey the brand values and trends that customers care about, your digital real estate should do the same. To achieve these goals, many D2C companies lean on heat mapping, which tracks customer behavior to reveal what’s working on your site, what could use a boost, and which areas make prime spaces for your most important messaging of the moment. 
The key to powering a successful D2C website lies in your ability to leverage heat-mapping data in a way that can:
  • Determine if visitors are seeing and engaging with important content
  • Show whether or not your website’s CTAs are easy to spot
  • Inform merchandising decisions in critical areas of your website

What is Heat Mapping?

Heat mapping tracks visitors’ engagement on your website. Using “hot” red and “cool” blue, heat maps can help your brand pinpoint which content on your website captures visitors’ attention and drives action, along with exposing lagging content and creating opportunities to do more with that real estate.

Specifically, heat maps measure:

  • How long a visitor remains on your website
  • The moment they begin to scroll
  • Areas their mouse hovers over or fingers touch

Popular heat map tools include Hot Jar and Crazy Egg. Do some research with your team to find which tool will best equip you to achieve your website goals.

5 Heat Map Metrics To Help You Boost Your D2C Website's Performance

New to heat mapping or looking to get more out of the tool you have? Start with these essential heat-map metrics to equip your team with critical information that can bolster your next round of website updates.

1. Red-Hot Lines & Average Time: Note Your Scroll-Stopping Content

Type of heat map: Scroll map
A scroll map traces a visitor’s scrolling behavior, marking when and where they stop on the page. The red area of the scroll map shows the areas of the page most visitors see, while the blue area marks a section that many visitors just didn’t seem to get to before abandoning the page. 

Once you see the area where red begins to change to yellow, consider what type of content will most likely keep your users scrolling. You can start by gleaning inspiration from the red area. Next, brainstorm ideas with your team and conduct A/B testing to swap out page elements that can help you turn that yellow section on your website into an orange or red-hot glow. You may decide to test:

  • An auto-play video demo of your most popular product
  • Visually-compelling content from a professional shoot 
  • Shareable social media content featuring popular creator

Once you note and implement the winners, continue down the page and repeat this process until your scroll map glows with engagement. 

2. Moves & Grooves: Pinpoint Eye-Catching Content

Type of heat map: Move map
A move map traces a website visitor’s cursor as they explore your site. Because the cursor typically follows the movement of a visitor’s eyes, you can get a good idea of what users are seeing and noticing on your website and what they’re looking for when they arrive. 
When analyzing a move map, take note of your website’s CTAs. Does it look like there’s action in those areas (red) in terms of cursor activity? How about your menu? If not, you may want to consider updates in these areas to boost engagement. 
Additionally, if you notice lots of activity over images that can’t be clicked, you may want to swap out that distraction for elements users can act upon, or simply add a relevant link to it that brings visitors closer to your products or presents actions you’d like them to take. 

3. Most-Clicked: Leverage Buzzy Products & Hit CTAs 

Type of heat map: Click map
A click map tracks where users click, tap, and select content and images on your website. To make it easy for your team to identify your website’s hot spots, click maps use color to communicate how an image, product listing, button, or menu listing is performing, from blue (cool = not much engagement) to red (hot = maximum engagement).
Let’s say the midsection of your homepage features three products, and the first product is clicked 25 times, the second is clicked ten times, and the third is clicked three times. The heat map will show red over the first product, while the second may have a yellow glow and the third has a cool blue. This information gives your team an at-a-glance view of which product is most appealing to visitors. 

With this data, you may consider:

  • Moving that red-hot product further up the page
  • Featuring the product in the red in an upcoming email
  • Replication high-performing CTAs in other areas of your website

4. Totally Skipped: Do More With Your Website’s Real Estate

Type of heat map: Click map, scroll map, move map
Channel information from multiple heat maps (click, scroll, and move) to develop overarching takeaways that equip your team to address your website’s greatest opportunities. Determine commonalities among all three to show you the areas of your site that exceed expectations, along with website elements that need a refresh. 
Next, create a plan to address the sections, product sorts, and promotions visitors tend to skip. Let the data guide your considerations and decisions as you determine new possibilities such as:
  • Video placement 
  • Promotional sale content 
  • Merchandise placement
  • Stylized imagery
  • Featured product sections
  • User-generated content
  • Influencer content 
  • Testimonials

5. Heat Map V1 vs. Heat Map V2: See If That Website Update Is Making Waves

Type of heat map: Any 
The key to making the right choices? Try, test, tweak, and test again, keeping an eye on your heat map metrics to ensure they’re moving in the right direction. 
Conduct a quarterly assessment of your heat map performance with your creative, marketing, and merchandising teams to compare your current heat map metrics to the heat map that you applied before making your most recent update. See which changes are driving impact, pinpoint which opportunities remain, and work together to determine how to make the most of those opportunities in your next website update. 

Remember, heat mapping is a cyclical process that champions data-based decision-making, informed risk-taking, and a willingness to continuously improve. When you integrate heat mapping into your website decisions, your team creates a culture of learning that will benefit the growth of your D2C business now and for years to come. 


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