By Mandip Kaur Hira

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is a term often associated with number crunching and handling large amounts of quantitative data to pinpoint areas of optimisation. For the most part, this is true. However, quantitative data goes hand in hand with qualitative research. 

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What’s all the fuss about?

Quantitative CRO tools allow you to identify which areas to focus on and what needs optimising on a website, whereas qualitative tools enable you to understand why users are reacting in such a way. This in turn provides you with a deeper understanding into your customers and visitors, which is vital in learning why they engage with your site in a particular way. Conducting qualitative research is ideal for discovery and exploration and is a great way of generating insights which can be used to guide future experimentation.

There are many qualitative CRO tools on the market which can help you understand user behaviour. This article will compare three major tools; Decibel Insight, Hotjar and SessionCam, which all have similar capabilities but each encompasses a unique selling point. 

Three Key Features Worth Noting: (With Case Studies)

1. Session Replays:

Session recordings are videos of users’ actions on your website. These can track; mouse movements, clicks, scrolling and much more. These allow you to understand behaviour based on how users navigate through your website, the impact of error pages, how load speed affects users and identifies any friction in user journeys. Session recordings are a great way of finding insight into where and why users are encountering barriers to conversion or exiting the site.

Decibel Insight's session replay feature

Case Study:

A large global supermarket wanted to understand user journeys better, and more specifically any anomalous behaviour. Using Google Analytics, we found that mobile users were using the site search feature the most, but also had the highest exit rate. Decibel Insight allowed us to delve further, and we found that users were showing frustration and exiting after being shown “product not found”. This guided us in our test ideation phase in which we recommended displaying products that were relevant to searches users made, with the variation showing relevant products by displaying “you may be interested in…”.  

2. Heat-Mapping:

Heat-maps are a graphical representation of data that use a colour-coding system to represent different values. These are used to aid data story-telling and illustrate areas which are drawing users’ attention to discover if any elements are distracting users from call to actions (CTAs). 

Case Study:

For a client in the insurance market we used SessionCam and Google Analytics for a post experiment analysis. Our hypothesis was:

IF we implement a competitor table on the iPhone insurance landing page for new users, THEN it should increase the number of clicks on the “get a quote” CTA by 10%, BECAUSE it gives users a reason to choose your services over the competitor's from their first interaction on the site.

After we implemented the variation (a competitor comparison table), the results portrayed that the number of completed quotes and purchases increased. However, SessionCam showed us that users were clicking on headings to learn more, but these did not lead users elsewhere. This helped us to generate further test ideas such as implementing an FAQ section for users, answering questions relevant to the content they showed interest in. 

SessionCam's heatmap feature
3. Surveys:

Surveys are a great way of listening to the voice of the customer. These can be implemented anywhere on the website, such as after a user converts or before they abandon a site. 

Surveys are a great way of gaining 1st hand data on user opinions. These can come in various formats such as; radio buttons, long free form comments and can also allow you to measure your net promoter score (NPS).

Case Study:

We used Hotjar’s survey feature to help us carry out an analysis we did for a large non-profit organisation. We had over 2,000 responses from users across the UK, which provided us with fundamental insights. The results illustrated that 9% of users needed more information about the products offered before reaching the checkout stage. This in turn informed one of our test ideas which was to implement an information module on the homepage. In which we saw a 14% increase in transactions and e-commerce conversion rate in the variation!  

Hotjar's survey feature

So, what distinguishes each tool?

Decibel Insight: Advanced Segmentation using Google Analytics enables you to build relevant segments using your data based on an extensive set of criteria.

SessionCam: The Customer Struggle Score (CSS) – measures customer struggle on your website and ranks sessions based on this, thus reducing the time it takes to find pain points.

Hotjar: Surveys and polls are integrated into this “all-in-one” tool, which the other major tools do not currently offer.

Overall, utilising both quantitative and qualitative CRO tools provides us with a 360 view of the users’ needs, and at Merkle|Periscopix our data driven approach makes full use of both. Get in touch with us by clicking here to know how to utilise these best! 

Image credits to: Decibel Insight, SessionCam and Hotjar

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