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Why Trellis uses Hotjar to help clients make data-driven decisions
Trellis is an ecommerce agency providing services spanning marketing strategy, branding, UX and UI, and advertising.
We sat down with Marcus Ohanesian, Partner Manager at Trellis, to discuss how Hotjar is integral to Trellis's growth by helping its clients develop their online businesses and improve UX.
Turning data into actionable steps
Marcus and his team bring Hotjar into play right from their initial offer to new clients. It’s Trellis’s recommended platform and, in Marcus’s words, "a required platform" for a deeper level of website analysis to complement the agency’s design, website development, and marketing support.
If you have a website on the internet, you should probably be using Hotjar. Period.
Initially, Trellis guides clients through sign-up for a free Basic plan to show them the essentials of what Hotjar can do. Common website problems the Trellis team spots on clients’ ecommerce sites include:
Customers being unable to add items to carts
The checkout process not being completed
Buttons not working as expected
Pages not loading properly
For clients that are new to Hotjar, the Trellis team relies primarily on the tools in the Observe product to capture their interest, namely:
Hotjar Recordings, which gives clients a first-hand view of customers as they navigate their ecommerce websites and interact with different pages
Hotjar Heatmaps, which reveals click and scroll hotspots, and shows which areas are being overlooked
Trellis typically collects Hotjar data for a minimum of a month before conducting an in-depth analysis. Marcus feels this is a good starting point that enables clients to gather data over a long enough period to glean actionable insights.
One month is also usually all it takes for clients to get excited about what Hotjar’s tools can reveal about their websites. During this period, the team analyzes critical ecommerce website areas like:
The checkout process
The typical customer’s website journey
The Trellis team then creates reports that summarize the user behavior data gathered into digestible learnings, and draw a dotted line to actionable next steps for their clients.
“Our strategists dive into Hotjar and analyze the recordings, summarize the data, and say, ‘We saw a lot of this and that happening; here's the potential solution of how we should fix that,’” says Marcus. He believes this approach is invaluable for guiding clients to make educated decisions about their websites that help their businesses grow.
The free-forever Basic plan has proven to be a solid first step for clients just getting comfortable with user behavior analysis and seeking an initial look into user-led improvements. But Marcus notes that once clients see the value of Hotjar, they ultimately want new ways to tap into its advanced capabilities.
A proactive and reactive approach to website development
Marcus encourages his clients to use Hotjar both proactively and reactively. The Trellis team recommends installing Hotjar at the beginning of a project and frequently referring to it to stay on top of ecommerce website performance and assess customers' behavior as they shop. Marcus believes his clients reduce the risk of failure and gain access to meaningful insights by implementing Hotjar into their workflows in the early stages.
Using the analogy of building a house, he says Hotjar provides the stability and security needed to allow the "pretty stuff"—company branding, design, UI, UX, and everything else that follows—to do what it’s supposed to.
A memorable aesthetic and strong product catalog is one thing, but the Trellis team knows that if its ecommerce businesses want to stand out from competitors and provide a top-tier shopping experience to their customers, their sites need a solid, functional foundation.
First, you have to build the foundation and the framing; otherwise, you're not going to have a sustainable and structural house. Hotjar is the weatherproofed windows.
For Marcus’s typical client, Hotjar has become the platform of choice for reacting to issues once a site is already designed or a test is underway. With tools like Heatmaps and Recordings, clients use the platform to spot bugs in the flow, observe user behavior, and analyze blockers to conversions.
Marcus also says Trellis troubleshoots issues using Hotjar with Google Analytics (GA) to assess both qualitative and quantitative data—“We see them as comparative and collaborative tools that work together.”
Combining Hotjar and GA paints a full picture of what’s happening on peoples’ websites, enabling them to take a strategic, analytical approach to problem-solving.
Empowering clients, one report at a time
Trellis uses Hotjar to foster a supportive and empowering environment that encourages clients to take charge of their website analysis and build a customer-centric company.
For those who are new to the platform or at the beginning of their online business journeys, it can be difficult to know where to start. “Hotjar provides so much information that sometimes the client is overwhelmed,” Marcus explains.
But that’s where the Trellis team takes the lead, building informative, intuitive reports that address the most important data and filter it through to the client, enabling them to manage priorities and strategize effectively.
This way, Hotjar’s insights inform ideas for tests and guide developments and improvements based on facts rather than assumptions.
Trellis gives clients the early guidance they need and helps them build enough confidence to take the initiative and stay on top of their own customer insights.
We make updates to the website based on the data instead of just our personal gut reactions to things.
With the ability to assess their website performance results and see the data laid out in a way that clearly represents their user behavior, Trellis’ clients get inspiration for potential optimizations, redesigns, or advertising opportunity areas.
Ultimately, the simplicity and powerfully visual nature of Hotjar’s tools are significant drivers for clients who were previously intimidated by user behavior data.
Accessing the full potential of clients’ businesses
For Marcus, it’s simple: Hotjar makes things easier, and when clients' businesses grow, Trellis grows. That’s why it’s the obvious choice to help clients convert visitors into sales and make smart, customer-centric decisions. Being a member of Hotjar’s Partner Program is a relationship that just makes sense for Trellis, helping them deliver consistently impactful insights and drive real developments for their clients.
Diving into a new project of website development, branding, design, and more is no small feat. Teaching clients where to look for guidance—and how to make the most of it—from the very users they’re building for is a crucial first step to creating a shopping experience they’ll love and, more importantly, keep coming back to.