How to use eye tracking to analyze the UX of your e-commerce (+ free tools)

User experience ranks as one of the top concerns among e‑commerce owners.

Do you know if yours is good or bad?

And if there’s room for improvement, where do you even start?

The answer to that would be much easier if you could see what users do while navigating your site, right?

Well, you may not know this, but there is now eye-tracking technology that gives you a glimpse into what users fix their eyes on throughout your site, allowing you to know exactly how they behave.

Essentially, it tells you which elements catch their eyes and which don’t.

So how exactly can you make use of it?

Well, just keep reading, because lays out exactly how to use eye tracking to analyze the UX of your e‑commerce site.

What’s more, we’ll show you how it’s used by Doofinder to customize the search experience and increase your store’s conversion.

You in?

Great! Let’s get to it.

👉 What eye tracking is and why it’s so important for your shop

First off, a definition:

Eye tracking is a technology that allows you to monitor the visual behavior of users visiting a website (that is, to know where and what they’re looking at while on your site).

As futuristic as it may sound, there are actually lots of powerful tools already in existence today that allow us to refine our marketing strategies.

And if you’re ready to see what’s in store for you, just keep reading! 😉

✅ The importance of the connection between eye tracking and user experience in an e-commerce

As we’ve just pointed out, eye tracking tells you where users are looking at while they’re visiting your website.

And this is very useful to:

  • Check which elements catch the user’s eye.
  • Conversely, check which elements tend to be overlooked.
  • Learn which sections of the website users spend most time on.
  • Find out their purpose (they could be shopping, searching for information, etc.).

All this will come in handy to understand user behavior but, more importantly, it’ll give you enough material to analyze and optimize the user experience of your shop.

Among others, learning your users’ behavior on your site will allow you to:

What’s more, all this will have a positive impact on your brand image and, of course, on sales, too.

👉 Eye tracking options (+ useful tools)

As you can imagine, eye tracking is a rather advanced technology that requires significant investment on your end.

You don’t have to worry, however, because there are some low-cost alternatives out there.

And that means there are no excuses, so let’s see how we can get a glimpse into the world of your users. 😉

✅ 1. Heat maps and behavior recordings

Research shows a correlation between cursor and eye movement.

And what does that mean?

Basically, it means that by using tools to track the cursor’s movement on your site, you’ll get an idea of which elements users fix their eyes on.

And heat maps are one of those tools.

Heat maps show the areas where users click and interact the most.

It analyzes the user’s behavior on your site and shows it to you on a color-coded map.

It’s fairly simple.

Warm colors show the areas on the page with the highest interaction while colder hues show the areas with the least interaction.

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Besides heat maps, there are many other tools allowing you to actually record the user’s behavior.  We’re talking about videos showing you how users hover the mouse around your shop and what they do or don’t do while navigating.

➡️ Free tools to create heat maps

We’ve selected some tools – with free versions – that allow you to create heat maps (and record sessions).

Let’s go over them.

  • Hotjar: the best-known option out there. It offers both heat maps and behavior recordings. Not only will you be able to see heat maps showing mouse movement but also what users click on and how they scroll up and down the page.
  • Inspeclet: it offers session recordings, heat maps and eye-tracking software based on their own algorithm.
  • Yandex Metrica: this tool allows you to analyze your forms to see how they work with your users (you can actually see them fill them out and find out which fields they simply avoid) and to make click-based heat maps. It’s a very powerful tool because, on top of lots of different metrics, it also provides eye-tracking software.
  • Dugwood: despite having a simpler interface, it also shows you heat maps.

We know you may find an analysis like this quite complex to run at first, but you have to give it a go. Just by checking out some behavior recordings, you’ll learn a lot about how users interact with your shop, which will prove useful when it comes to optimizing it.

✅ 2. Artificial intelligence to simulate human vision

We’ve told you about different tools with free versions to start analyzing your shop without making a big investment.

However, if you want to optimize your e‑commerce even more thoroughly, there are more powerful tools, such as Feng-GUI.

Here’s a video where you can see the tool’s potential to improve your shop’s conversion.

And it’s still much more affordable than eye-tracking devices.

Still don’t know what we’re talking about?

No worries, here’s an explanation.

✅ 3. Physical eye-tracking devices

Within this technology, there are two different types of devices depending on whether they’re mobile or fixed.

➡️ A. Fixed eye trackers

These refer to screens with special sensors capable of tracking eye movement.

Among other companies, Tobii sells this kind of technology for research. There’s even an option of doing it directly through a laptop screen, for example.

As the picture shows, the screen detects where you’re looking and shows you a sort of heat map with the most active areas of interaction.

como-analizar-la-ux-de-tu-e-commerce-gracias-al-eye-tracking

➡️ B. Eye-tracking glasses

These have the same function as before, but in this case the movement is tracked with specialized glasses instead of a laptop.

como-analizar-la-ux-tu-e-commerce-gracias-al-eye-tracking

These are by far the most accurate options. There are no estimates – they capture exactly where users are looking.

The problem with these devices?

Well, they’re also the most expensive options.

And, apart from that, you’ll need to get a group of people to check out your shop through the glasses or using the special screen you set up to collect useful data.

👉 How Doofinder uses eye tracking to help you sell more

At Doofinder, we’ve integrated this technology to level up our search engine because we know that the more you understand what your customers want, the more sales you’ll get.

So how does Doofinder use eye tracking?

Take a look at this image.

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The boxes outlined in blue represent the results returned by the search engine; they’re the ones you can analyze with eye tracking to see how they perform.

como-analizar-ux-de-ecommerce-con-el-eye-tracking

Here’s the metrics panel, where, as you can see, the number of clicks and views is registered.

For example, this allows you to see which products users view without clicking. That’s a sign that they need to be modified (by changing the picture, product name, or similar) to become more noticeable.

Want to learn more about how our search engine works?

Here you have more information about how Doofinder can improve your user experience.

And, even better, here’s a 30-day free trial.

👉 Get started with eye tracking in your e‑commerce

Without a doubt, eye tracking is a very useful technology if you want to optimize your store’s conversion. And, as you’ve seen in this post, there are free alternatives to run your first analyses.

You should never stop analyzing your e‑commerce. As you continue tracking, you’ll come up with more and more useful ideas to improve its design, structure, and navigability.

If you’re reading this, it’s because you’re trying to improve your conversion rate, so here are a couple of articles that may also be of interest:

 We hope you find them useful.