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Shopify Heatmaps: All You Need To Know

10 Min Read

Shopify is one of the most widely used platforms to host eCommerce websites. Yet, there is very little literature available on the client-side optimization of Shopify-hosted eCommerce stores. A quick analysis of the SERP results will tell you that most articles either limit themselves to giving readers a list of tools and apps for Shopify Stores while others touch upon backend and SEO optimization.

This article aims to educate readers who are not familiar with leveraging heatmaps for their Shopify store’s conversion rate and experience optimization. It will navigate your way through how heatmaps can help you craft experiences that guarantee increased ROI. 

With VWO Heatmaps, you can see how visitors browse your website, what catches their attention, and which elements distract them. From dynamic heatmaps, scrollmaps, and element lists, to behavioral segmentation – VWO Heatmaps offer a plethora of features that cater to the requirements of organizations of every size. Take an all-inclusive and guided free trial to test our tool

Besides VWO, we’ve also listed other free and premium heatmap tools that can help with your store optimization. Let’s begin!

screenshot of a heatmap on a shopify store

Shopify heatmap: Move your north star metrics upward and to the right with heatmaps

Launching an eCommerce store using Shopify may be a fairly simple task, as iterated above, but ensuring that the store converts is a different ball game altogether. To drive consistently growing conversions and deliver stellar experiences that boost repeat buyers, understanding your website performance as well as your website visitors is extremely crucial.

There are 2 types of data that eCommerce stores can leverage to understand how their website is performing and strategize on improving it: quantitative data and qualitative data. Quantitative website data comes through analytics platforms and tools like Google Analytics. GA tracks key performance metrics like conversion rate, page traffic, traffic source, bounce rate, cart abandonment rate, and other such quantifiable metrics.

For instance, an online merchandise retailer can integrate their website with GA to track how many visitors are dropping off on their checkout page. And let’s assume that the analyst, after looking at the data, realized that the final number of drop-offs on the checkout page stood at a staggering 80%. The analyst is left with one simple question that GA could not answer – WHY? Why was the checkout page drop-off so high? What was making visitors reach the final stage of the purchase funnel and then leave without finishing the purchase?

This is where qualitative research, particularly using heatmaps, comes into the picture. Heatmaps follow visitors’ journeys end to end and give you a clear picture of why they took the action that they did on your website. Going back to the merchandise retailer example, by looking at the heatmap of the checkout page, the analyst can now identify areas of friction as well as redundant and missing information by taking cues from visitors’ behavior on the checkout page. Visitors are clicking on the payment options drop-down yet not completing a purchase – maybe there aren’t enough payment options; visitors are clicking on the promo code field and dropping off from there – maybe you need to list down available codes in a drop-down; visitors not clicking on the CTA at all – maybe you need to test its copy and placement. 

Heatmaps enable you to step into your visitors’ and users’ shoes and experience first-hand what they experienced on your website. Such a peek into visitor journeys can equip you with so many actionable insights to act on for your optimization needs. 

Banner VWO heatmaps

Because eCommerce is one of the most dynamic and ever-changing industries, it becomes even more important that your Shopify store is in its most optimized form. Let us look at how heatmaps can help in the optimization of Shopify stores and their conversion rate: 

1. Increase conversions:

An eCommerce website is never really a hundred percent ready. Due to the dynamic nature of its target audience, almost every day a new pain point surfaces to which businesses need to react promptly or they will lose to the competition. This warrants launching new products, updating security, shipping, and other policies, and more such changes to your website. All these modifications can introduce bugs or other unplanned issues. Heatmaps can help Shopify stores follow their visitors’ journeys end-to-end and discover all such bugs and friction areas in their conversion funnel. 

An eCommerce website’s analyst can look at the mouse heatmap of their product pages and examine how each element is performing individually as well as in combination with the other elements of the page. For instance, are visitors hovering around the product page looking for any information like the size chart or available colors, or are they clicking on the product image expecting it to expand, or if your “Add to Cart” button is readily discoverable or not, and so on.

All such insights go into crafting a website that does not create friction between the visitors and the interface and that matches visitors’ expectations, which ultimately results in increasing conversions.

2. Combat cart abandonment:

Cart abandonment is the Achilles heel of every eCommerce website. Despite having ticked off every possible box from the products’ perspective, some eCommerce stores still struggle to bring down their cart abandonment rate. There can be many reasons for this: unexpected shipping charges, lack of refund options, long checkout processes, lack of payment options, lack of guest checkout, and so on. Heatmaps enable you to visualize visitors’ on-page behavior and track every click, scroll, pause, and mouse movement they make that can help you understand how they interact with your Shopify store, and reckon which elements and sections of your cart page attracts or distracts them. 

For example, looking at the heatmap of the cart pages, an online clothes retailer can identify that visitors only abandon the cart after they open the tax calculator dropdown. This can indicate that the visitors find the tax amount being charged to be on the higher end. Or, the ‘suggested for you’ section in the cart page is distracting visitors from finishing the purchase and sending them back to the product page. It can be inferred from this that cross-selling on the cart page may not be the best strategy for your store. 

3. Experiment for an optimized experience:

Bad UX can lead to your revenue taking massive hits. The phrase, a stitch in time saves nine, fits perfectly well here, especially when a timely fix can not only save but also make huge sums of Dollars for a Shopify store. The key is understanding the visitors in and out and experimenting with an interface that not only attracts visitors but also nudges them to finish their purchase. Both these can be achieved for your Shopify store with the help of heatmaps. By letting you step into your visitors’ shoes and experience things on your website, heatmaps help you gather on-page behavioral data of site visitors and identify segment-specific pain points. By equipping you with actionable visitor behavior insights, heatmaps help you formulate data-backed hypotheses. When these hypotheses are tested continuously with thorough prioritization, it enables you to fix broken elements, thereby, improving experiences drastically.

The top 4 Shopify heatmap apps and tools for your store – free and premium

Here’s a list of the top 4 free & premium heatmap tools for your Shopify store that you can take out for a spin before making a huge monetary commitment on any tool: 

1. VWO Insights’ heatmap:

VWO Insights’ heatmap tracks and visualizes visitor journeys on your website. You can choose from its varied offerings like the classic heatmap, scrollmap, clickmap, and more. It also offers a plethora of segmentation options (you can choose from the pre-fixed segments or create your own segments).

VWO’s free AI-powered heatmap generator allows you to predict how visitors interact with your web page. It enables you to gauge bottlenecks based on user experience so that you can take the required optimization measures. 

To enable VWO Insights’ heatmap on your Shopify store, just install the VWO Smart Code to your website, and create a revenue tracking goal and start heatmapping. 

image of the features offered within VWO Insights' heatmap

Additionally, VWO’s heatmap tool comes in a suite with other visitor behavior analytics tools like session recording, form analytics, on-page surveys, on-page surveys, funnels, and usability reviews. What’s more, – all these tools can be used through a single app from which point onward you can run as many campaigns as you want using any of these capabilities without any other code required. 

VWO offers a free trial, after which you can choose a plan based on the goals you want to achieve. 

review from G2
Review from G2.com

2. Order heat map

Created by SCS Design, Order Heat Map collects customer data from your store and displays it on a Google Maps heatmap. It also allows you to segment the audience by state and city so you can drill down on your heatmap result. Along with creating heatmaps, Order Heat Map allows you to create a targeted mailing list and export it so you can send it to potential customers. 

features of the heatmap created by order heat map
Image source: Order Heat Map

Order Heat Map offers a 5-day free trial after which it charges $10 a month. 

3. Hitsteps analytics

With a 5-star rating on the Shopify app store, Hitsteps Analytics doesn’t just offer visitor web analytics but also lets you live-chat with your visitors. It helps you identify main selling points by following each visitors’ stream and identify products that are generally brought together, and so on. 

Hitsteps Analytics has many plans to choose from based on your business goals: Free Plan, Starter Plan, Basic Plan, Pro Plan, and Ultimate Plan. 

screenshot of the pricing and plans for Hitsteps shopify heatmap app
Image source: Hitsteps Analytics

4. Hindsight

Hindsight by Eastside Co. is an analytics tool offering heat mapping and visitor recording. The Hindsight heatmap enables users to switch between clicks, mouse movement, and scrolls data. It also lets you map the aggregate of all three. Apart from helping you identify where visitors spend maximum time on your website and which elements attract them the most, it lets you check what your visitors saw on your website with visitor recordings. 

features of the Hindsight heatmap app on shopify
Image source: Hindsight

However, Hindsight does not offer a free trial or have a free plan. Its basic plan starts from $19 a month and goes to $85 a month with the enterprise plan.

screenshot of the pricing and plans for Hindsight shopify heatmap app
Image source: Hindsight


Just building an eCommerce website with the help of Shopify will never be enough. For a business to successfully take off and maintain growth, the same Shopify store has to be iteratively optimized by deciphering visitor needs and expectations. What better way to truly know your visitors than with the help of heatmaps! Now that you know how important optimizing your Shopify store is, choose the right heatmap tool and start making the most of the goldmine of visitor behavior insights you receive.

Banner heatmaps

FAQs on Shopify heatmaps

How helpful are qualitative analytics tools for Shopify?

Shopify stores are dynamic in nature as elements on the website may change very frequenty. Qualitative analytics tools, such as heatmaps, help store owners to visualize theirs visitors’ journey acorss the store, and find out which elements are performing, and which ones are causing friction for the visitors.

Are there are any heatmap apps on the Shopify app store?

Yes! There are a couple of apps that help you to create heatmaps for your Shopify store. We have listed down the top 4 apps for 2022, including VWO Insights. Know more about all the apps.

Shanaz Khan
Shanaz Khan Hailing from a humanities background, I stumbled into the world of products that scream innovation and into the world of marketing. I'm a Brand Marketer on the weekdays and on weekends, a curious kid who wants to learn and do everything from painting to carpentry and cooking. A travel enthusiast to the core, I often find myself escaping to the hills, looking for the quietest spots with breathtaking views.
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