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How Canyon’s UX team increases customer contact and creates user-centric experiences with Hotjar

Canyon Bicycles is a world-renowned manufacturer of performance bicycles and cycling gear and accessories headquartered in Germany. Sarah Wilson-Reissmann, Canyon’s UX team lead, uses Hotjar to address the common problem of ‘data without context’ and bridge the gap between qualitative and quantitative insights.

EcommerceHow to improve customer experienceHow to spot bugsHow to improve conversionUX designer

Last updated

11 Mar 2024

Reading time

4 min


Canyon 🤝 Hotjar: a summary

📌 The requirement: the UX team at Canyon needed a way to contextualize numeric data from traditional analytics tools and understand not only what was happening on Canyon’s website, but why.

💡 The solution: the team made Hotjar Feedback, Surveys, Recordings, and Heatmaps part of its workflow to achieve three important outcomes.

🏆 The results: 

  • With always-on feedback flowing in from multiple users, spotting bugs and areas for improvement has become a seamless practice

  • Participant recruitment surveys placed on specific pages ensure a steady stream of usability testing participants

  • Multiple teams can jump between quantitative and qualitative data and share important discoveries with one another

Turning analytics into action

As the leader of a team of UX and content designers on the broader Digital Experience Design team, Sarah’s focus lies in crafting an optimal customer experience for Canyon’s audience. Canyon is the world’s biggest direct-to-consumer bicycle brands and sells exclusively online, so a high-performing website is, in Sarah’s words, “absolutely essential—we would not be able to present our products, help our customers make decisions, and ultimately, get our bikes into people's homes otherwise.”

She embedded Hotjar’s tools in her team’s workflow at various stages of the customer journey to add color and context to numerical data from traditional analytics tools.

Analytics can be UX’s frenemy—it gives you data without context. When I first found Hotjar, I thought, whoa! This is exactly what I need to bring a qualitative understanding to quantitative data.

Sarah Wilson-Reissmann
Team Lead, UX Design at Canyon

Cultivating a UX mindset starts here 👇

Back in November 2023, Sarah was featured as a speaker at Hotjar’s inaugural HOTSAUCE conference, where she dove deep into the topic of building empathy for customers using tools like Hotjar. Check out her presentation below for some additional background and inspiration, or keep reading for actionable ways she and her team use Hotjar to put customers at the heart of their decision-making.

1. Feedback to spot bugs

Sarah and a UX designer on her team use the Hotjar Feedback widget to monitor customer sentiment in English and German, the company’s biggest markets. 

The Hotjar Feedback widget on Canyon’s website

Canyon’s commitment to putting customers at the heart of everything involves continuous improvement and learning from feedback and data. This is why Sarah’s team reviews responses several times a week, helping them stay aware of users’ experiences navigating Canyon’s website. 

Sarah says that this always-on, direct feedback from customers helps the team uncover bugs and issues at certain points in the customer journey. It’s also enabled them to uncover website areas that are missing information customers regularly search for.

Feedback is what brings me to Hotjar most frequently. It gives us the opportunity to check what’s going on for our customers and pass any specific issues along to the relevant teams.

A user’s feedback response in Hotjar, alerting Sarah’s team to a broken button, which they then pass along for a fix

2. Surveys for user research and usability testing

Canyon’s website gets hundreds of thousands of visitors each month, many of them loyal advocates who are enthusiastic about connecting with the Canyon team. To take full advantage of this active, engaged audience, Sarah and her team use Hotjar to place targeted surveys on different parts of Canyon’s website. This helps them achieve three goals:

  • 📋 Understanding how customers prioritize bike features: prioritization surveys give Sarah and her team insight into what’s most important to Canyon’s customers, influencing information hierarchy on product listing pages and providing insight into what people care about the most

Feature prioritization surveys keep Canyon’s UX team on top of customers’ needs and expectations

  • ✅ Conducting content testing and customer satisfaction surveys: user feedback on Canyon’s website content ensures continuous, customer-centric content optimizations, while customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys enable Sarah’s team to determine short-term satisfaction levels at key moments in the customer journey

A content testing survey on Canyon’s website

  • 👩‍🔬 Recruiting participants for user research and usability testing: by placing a user testing recruitment survey on relevant pages, Sarah and her team can connect with users at exactly the right moment, ensuring a steady influx of willing participants

Surveys help Canyon’s UX team capture the right users at the right moment

One of our primary goals as a UX team is to understand the customer’s journey and what they’re doing on the website. Surveys give us the ability to reach out to people in context—we can just pop a survey on a page we want insights on.

3. Recordings and heatmaps for error-tracking and continuous monitoring

Hotjar Heatmaps and Recordings enable the UX team to jump from quantitative to qualitative data in moments: heatmaps provide an aggregate view of where groups of users click, move, and scroll, while recordings allow the ability to zoom in on individual users’ journeys and behaviors.

Clicking the ‘View recordings’ button on a Hotjar click map jumps directly into recordings of visitors who clicked a specific element—an easy way to toggle between qual and quant

For Sarah, these tools are especially useful to “triangulate data from Google Analytics”. One example is her team’s Google Analytics checkout funnel, which shows where users drop off, but not why. “On a single page, there could be hundreds of potential reasons for users dropping off,” she says. “But in this case, we can use Hotjar to watch recordings and track errors to figure out why.”

Doing so has resulted in finding several bugs in specific markets and site areas that need improvement—something Sarah says would simply not have been possible without Hotjar. It’s also the reason she tries to make watching recordings a weekly habit.

On Fridays, I try to jump in and watch just 10-15 minutes of random recordings. Even if it’s not purpose-intended, it’s really helpful to stay in the empathy-building practice of watching how users move through our website and see where they stumble, get lost, or abandon the site. This is one way we can stay on top of delighting our customers—by figuring out what isn't working well for them and finding ways to improve it.

Making Hotjar a team activity 

It’s not just Canyon’s UX team benefiting from Hotjar—the ecommerce merchandising and CRM teams both use heatmaps and recordings for their own purposes. When one team discovers an insight that’s too juicy not to share, they tag one another in comments to pass on relevant information, making cross-functional collaboration a little easier.

Adding highlights to a collection in Hotjar is a fast, effective way to share the insights that matter to the people who need them

A customer-centric culture starts with watching, listening, and learning

Canyon’s success stems from a team that cares deeply for its customers, collectively working toward providing a truly delightful customer journey. Proactive, continuous monitoring places Canyon’s UX team consistently attuned to their customers’ pain points and needs—but it’s no secret that this approach requires work. 

Hotjar makes their job easier.

By integrating Hotjar’s tools as an effortless link between numeric and non-numeric data, Sarah and her team have fostered an in-depth understanding of their customers that improves business growth and brand loyalty, ensuring Canyon retains its well-earned reputation as one of the world’s most innovative and inspiring bike brands.

Be customer-obsessed, grow your business

Hotjar is at the heart of Canyon’s customer-centric UX program. Sign up for a free Hotjar account to discover what our tools and features can do for you—and your users.