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How CRO experts The Good used Hotjar to help their client increase conversions by 132%

“If we weren’t using Hotjar to identify onsite issues for our clients, we’d just be making random guesses.”

TechnologyHow to improve conversionDigital marketer

Last updated

24 Mar 2023

Reading time

4 min

Features used



'the good' white logo on blue background

If you’re in the business of improving conversion rates and bolstering online sales, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a term you’re going to encounter frequently. You might gain a couple of quick wins out of CRO ‘best practices’ and occasional ‘hacks’, but delivering sustained improvements to conversion rates requires a shift in philosophy towards a user-focused, ‘holistic’ approach.

This is what Maggie Paveza, CRO Strategist at The Good, did for a renowned B2C client with multiple customer types. Maggie and team’s holistic approach to increasing conversion rates is based on truly understanding users’ needs, ensuring that the team’s biases and knowledge won’t guide their decisions on what to test—but that it would be user data that spoke for itself.


The Good, Swiss Gear, and a +132% increase in conversions

The Good is a leading Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) agency based out of Portland, Oregon. With a mission to “remove all the bad online experiences until only the good remain,” they help clients convert more of their existing website visitors into buyers.

One of The Good’s previous clients is Swiss Gear, a company that sells a variety of goods, from high-quality backpacks, luggage, travel accessories, and watches to the well-known Genuine Swiss Army Knife™️. In line with its agency mission, The Good helped Swiss Gear improve website experience, grow average order value by 20.1%, and boost overall online revenue by a stunning 132.7%.

Using Google Analytics + Hotjar to understand customer behavior

Since launching in 2016, Swiss Gear’s website has produced strong sales numbers, especially around the holidays. Wanting to maintain those sales numbers year-round and convert existing traffic into buyers at a higher rate, Swiss Gear partnered with The Good to identify areas for improvement.

The Good started with a Comprehensive Conversion Audit™️, beginning with a full-funnel evaluation based on Google Analytics data to understand where, when, and why visitors had left the website, Average Order Value (AOV) and revenue trends, channel efficiency, visitor geography and technology among others..

“After reviewing Google Analytics data, installing Hotjar is one of the first steps we take in every client engagement. It’s the window we use to understand the customer journey.”
Maggie Paveza
CRO Strategist, The Good

After their GA audit, the team used Hotjar Heatmaps to bring the quantitative data to life and paint a clear picture of what users were experiencing on Swiss Gear’s website: what they were interacting with, where they stopped reading, and where they were clicking.

#Quantitative data (left) rendered as a click map (right)
Quantitative data (left) rendered as a click map (right)

The Good added an extra layer of insight through Hotjar Recordings, which helped them watch out for patterns in behavior among site users, and making hypotheses about issues users were encountering. Bonus point: Hotjar’s built-in feature to suppress keystrokes and text allowed them to gain this critical insight without compromising Swiss Gear’s user privacy.

#An example of a Hotjar Session Recording
An example of a Hotjar Session Recording

Bringing the insights together to find obstacles and opportunities

After auditing site traffic in Google Analytics and analyzing hundreds of Recordings in Hotjar, The Good identified three groups of ‘personas’ that formed the bulk of Swiss Gear’s audience:

  • Users in the airports of major travel hubs, visiting the website on mobile devices between flights

  • Desktop users arriving by way of paid search

  • Bargain hunters going straight to specific product pages (often visiting the same pages multiple times)

The Good split out their analyses by device type to gain more specific, granular insight into the on-site elements that frustrated different user groups. One example: there were evident usability issues on Swiss Gear’s site for a particular cohort of mobile users. According to Maggie, thanks to recordings in Hotjar, the team clearly “could see users getting confused by the iconography and language on the mobile site.” It was also becoming clear that on-site content filters, which users in each persona group were grappling with, were conversion bottlenecks.

#The Good used Hotjar heatmaps to understand how Swiss Gear’s mobile site users interacted with content filters.
The Good used Hotjar heatmaps to understand how Swiss Gear’s mobile site users interacted with content filters.

User-driven optimization

With this information, The Good had a clear idea of what optimization and A/B test activities would drive conversions. “Swiss Gear made changes to their site based on the results of the winning test. After each change, we ran heatmaps and session recordings on that area again to gain further understanding into how the results of the A/B test impacted user behavior,” Maggie explains.

The combination of qualitative research plus quantitative results surfaced from A/B testing led The Good to test a simple but elegant menu-driven interface for the mobile homepage. By promoting top filters, they were able to streamline the browsing experience on category pages.

As a result, mobile user bounce rate on Swiss Gear’s site shrank 8%, and time-on-site shot up 84%.

Other improvements included introducing a ‘business traveler’ hero image to the top of the mobile menu, giving mobile users a fast and easy way to browse luggage pages.

As a result of improvements backed by Hotjar’s user behavior data, The Good’s content optimizations increased revenue per visit on Swiss Gear’s mobile site by 28%.

The Good has helped Swiss Gear increase their holiday conversion rate by 14.1%, grow their average order value by 20.1%, and boost their overall online revenue by a stunning 132.7%.

The better the insight, the more accurate our tests can be, and the faster we can get our clients results. Swiss Gear’s results wouldn’t have been nearly as dramatic without Hotjar.
Maggie Paveza
CRO Strategist, The Good

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