Uncovering a/b test ideas in your existing data: screen recording tools

Now that you’re regularly reading through your customer service and sales transcripts (because you are, right?) you’ve likely stumbled upon key insights – like how 22% of your customers write your customer service team to ask how to check the shipping status of their orders. Oof.

Insights like these can be head-scratchers. Don’t they know it’s as simple as clicking the “Shipping” link next to the delivery truck icon on the Account Management page?! Duhhhhh, customers!

This is the point in the blog post where we get real and tell you your bias is showing.

What makes sense to you about your site is often very different than what makes sense to your customers. And guess whose opinions matter most in this scenario? (Hint: theirs) So voice all your “wtf” feels to your pet rock and get ready to use your ears. Er, your eyes.

If you’re not familiar with screen recording tools, we invite you to pull up a chair, clear two hours from your calendar, and prepare to be amazed by real video evidence that details exactly how your users interact with your site.

Rest assured this isn’t some To Catch a Predator-style trap – we’re talking about screen recording tools like Hotjar and FullStory, which record your actual customers as they browse and interact with your site (note: they do mask personal data like names and credit cards).

Add these secret weapons to your digital toolkit to gain a better understanding of your customer’s behaviors and your site’s friction points and move one step closer to the magical Holy Land of Customer Understanding and Enlightenment. We hear unicorns really do fart rainbows there.

While these tools do require signup and installation, it’s usually pretty painless and both offer good support if you’re non-technical. Both offer free trials and plans which are great if you’re just starting out and when you’re ready to upgrade, the full feature set isn’t cost-prohibitive like some tools out there.


Below are 4 quick-and-easy tips to get started with screen recording tools:


Step 1: Identify your site’s friction points

Navigate to your analytics tool of choice and identify pages that have low conversions and/or high exit rates. Make note of the top 3-4 pages.


Step 2: Define pages and record ⭕

Once you’ve determined where people are bailing, head over to your screen recording tool and configure recordings and heatmaps on those pages. Wait for data to start funneling in.


Step 3: Review the data

Review your recordings and look for patterns in visitor behavior – think things like mouse movements, pauses, discontinuing typing or repeated “rage clicking”. We like to star or add tags to videos to help us segment the problems so we can easily find them in the future.

Begin asking yourself some questions, always pondering the “why” of your visitors’ behaviors. Here are a few thought-starters to get your wheels turning:

  1. Is something broken code-wise on the page?
  2. Did the preceding page create an expectation that something different would display on this page?
  3. Does the page show your visitor a clear next step? Is it obvious what you want them to do?
  4. Is there consistency between this page and the previous page (same style, buttons, colors, etc.) or does it look like a different site?
  5. Is there something on the page encouraging your visitors to leave the site in search of a coupon code, review or other information?


Step 4: Hypothesize and test

Once you’ve landed on problems that seem likely, brainstorm a few hypotheses that address them and fire up some A/B tests!

You can get really fancy and integrate your tests and the screen recording tools, but we’ll save that for another post.

**Note: In this section, we mentioned using your analytics tool to identify conversion rates and high-exit pages. We’ve worked with several clients who don’t have their analytics tools properly configured. If you’re one of them and need help with configuration, or if it’s set up correctly but you have questions about how to use it to extrapolate meaningful data, schedule a call now. We’re here to help!