What is a Heatmap?

The term “heatmap” is increasingly used in connection with e-commerce. So-called heatmap tools can be used, for example, to analyse a visitor’s length of stay (user behaviour) on a website using a “behaviour map”. Heatmap tools were developed on the basis of findings from psychology. In general, such heat- and clickmaps help to track down the causes of user behaviour, since the direction of a user’s gaze correlates with the movement of the mouse pointer. This information provides valuable insights into user behavior.

With traditional web analysis tools, website operators can only measure standard processes, such as how many visitors (traffic) a page receives and how many sales were made in that period. Using indicators such as traffic and sales, the percentage conversion rate (CR) can then be calculated. However, the conversion rate says nothing about why a customer has decided to make a purchase. You could use A B Testing to change individual web page elements and then check the statistics to see if the changes had an impact on the CR, and then learn from them and make improvements. However, this method could become too cumbersome and inaccurate.

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This is exactly where Heatmap tools come in. Only those who know the “why” of a visitor can take appropriate countermeasures and make concrete adjustments to the website accordingly. Questions such as which CTA (call-to-action) do visitors click most? or how does the user journey (at which point, which button or which input field) proceed? can be answered in this way. Most heatmap tools visualize the behavior of a visitor through so-called “behavior maps” which look like heat signatures.

So if you want to know exactly which form of communication works best on your website, you are in good hands with Heatmap tools.

Advantages and disadvantages of a Heatmap


  • Cheap depending on the provider
  • Immediate results with heatmap simulations
  • Free Heatmap Plugins
  • Paid services offer more features


  • Heatmap simulations have small deviations
  • Heatmap plugins load the database and thus increase the loading time of the website.
  • Black sheep among free providers / plugins