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5 Real Heat Map Examples From The Leading Industries

5 Min Read

Due to its versatility, heatmaps have a wide range of application possibilities. And because it simplifies data analysis by a huge mark by graphically representing it, marketers and UX designers from across industries have started using it more and more as opposed to using graphs, pie charts, excel sheets and so on. Lets us look at some examples to understand how it is being used by different players in the market and for solving what pain point:

QSR Industry Using Geo Heatmap

Geo heatmaps are especially useful for businesses that have more brick and mortar stores than an online presence. They can represent areas of high and low density in terms of population, sectors, high and low selling areas, and more. This is why businesses from various industries like food, travel, education, etc employ geo heatmaps to visually present their data. Carl’s Jr, a multinational fast-food chain, used geo heatmaps to present their restaurant locations in the United States in volume:

a heatmap highlighting the distribution of outlets for Carl's Jr across USA
Image Source[1]

The red spots indicate a high presence of Carl’s Jr restaurants, whereas, the green spots indicate lower presence. Having such data presented to marketers enable them to make comparisons without revisiting their data repository again and again, and speeds up analysis and decision making process. 

OTT Media Services Using Website Heatmap

Businesses with online presence are no strangers to heatmaps as a data collection and visualization tool. And when we talk about over-the-top media service provides, there is no one better than Netflix who takes customer feedback and engagement the most seriously.

It wasn’t out of nowhere that ‘Netflix and Chill’ became a buzzword among Millenials in the past few years. It is because the folks at Netflix took it upon themselves to identify their target audience’s streaming interests, the kind of shows and movies they watched, the various genres they identify with, and so on, and then used the gathered data to deliver personalized experiences to each viewer.

Given below are two of the earliest website heatmaps that were plotted by Netflix during a UX research conducted to optimize their TV experience:

a screenshot of the heatmap for Netflix's listing page
Image Source[2]
a screenshot of the heatmap for the detailed view of a content series on Netflix

Financial Services Industry Using Heatmap

In the realm of finance, the market value of assets, products, etc keeps on fluctuating. Manually logging each change into a sheet or a document, drawing inferences and patterns, revisiting numerical data, and so on can take numerous hours. Heatmaps remove multiple steps from the process through the graphical representation of data, whereby, they visualize complex data points in an easy to consume and easy to compare manner. Stocktwits[1] offers a free heatmap of trends in eight key sectors namely basic materials, utilities, industrial goods, health care, technology, financials, consumer goods, and services. The heatmap looks like this:

heatmap from Stocktwits on the trends in eight key industrial sectors

You can set filters based on the duration for which you want to see the heatmap, industry, and so on.

Travel & Hospitality Industry Using Geo Heatmap 

Destination Falkenberg, a company owned by the municipality of Falkenberg, decided to use data that is already there in the country’s tourism departments and branches so they could make the most out of what they already had in hand. The team collected information on the guests’ postal address to be able to identify where the most number of tourists came from. They gathered data of over 50,000 individual bookings that were made, segmented the data based on the type of accommodation booked,  and then projected that data onto a heatmap. This is what the heatmap looked like:

an example of a Geo heatmap created by Destination Falkenberg based on their user data
Image Source[3]

Using heatmaps to visualize and analyze data helped Destination Falkenberg simplify strategic decision making, and enabled them to run targeted marketing campaigns for specific geographic segments.

Sports Industry Using Heatmap

Heatmaps are often used by sports team managers and coaches to visualize their own team’s as well as competing team’s player positions, movement, movement patterns, event occurring spots (events may include penalties, call for foul play, injuries, goals, and so on). Look at the heatmap below:

an example of using heatmap in football
Image Source[4]

This is a heatmap depicting the on-field movement pattern of a player in terms of where he spent the most amount of time. Such data visualization can help teams build game-changing strategies that are data-backed and full proof.

Another heatmap example in sports is the comparing of performance of teams by creating heatmaps of them playing home games as well as playing games away. Given below are heatmaps of one single football team playing matches at home and away:

an example of a heatmap comparing the number of matches played by a football team at home and away
Image Source[5]

By accessing such data, it can be ascertained which condition at home enhances the team’s performance on home turf, identify factors that negatively impact the team’s performance on the opponent’s turf, and so on, and then use these insights to plan and strategize for better results.


Enumerated above are only some of the examples of where heatmaps have helped businesses across industry visualize data better and make data-backed decisions faster. The possibilities are endless. Try one yourself and see how using heatmaps can help you optimize your business strategies further.

FAQs on Heat Map Examples

What are the various industries where heatmaps are used?

Practically any online business can use heatmaps. Industries such as finance, QSR, software, OTT media and travel & hospitality are just a few that rely on heatmaps for data visualization.

What are the different examples of heatmaps in these industries?

Here a few different type of heatmap examples: Geo heatmaps, website heatmaps, stock heatmaps and field heatmaps (used in sports). Get to know more about these examples in this post.

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Shanaz Khan from VWO

Hi, I am Shanaz from the VWO Research Desk.

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