Back to School eCommerce Trends

Mitch Schneider
September 22, 2013

Guest Post: Michal Harel


As the back-to-school frenzy comes to a close, we saw how many eCommerce sites were gearing up to handle this HOT period of the year. Traditionally, the companies that had most to gain from the back‑to-school season were those engaged in selling apparel, books, school stationery, and other large depots. In recent years, however, virtually every eCommerce site wants to have a piece of the pie, and even cars and home appliance retailers have their own ‘back-to-school’ slogan.

Back to School Back to School eCommerce Trends

How do retailers get ready for back-to-school sales? Here are some common trends we observe among all eCommerce sites.

  1. Create more targeted deals that are related to school but which are also good for families; for example, SUV promotions or college loans.
  2. Adapt the homepage a few weeks in advance of school starting. You can change its color to fall colors or modify the layout to fit a specific promotion. Also change the page’s keywords to optimize SEO.
  3. Put images of children EVERYWHERE – in school, in the park, in cars – EVERYWHERE.
  4. Launch email campaigns with special promotions targeting families, moms and dads. Promote products that cater to their needs in the upcoming school year.
  5. Personalize, personalize and personalize. Look at referral URLs to search for keywords like ‘school’ or ‘learning’ to personalize your landing pages for visitors coming from these referral URLs. Feature relevant promotions.
  6. Make few changes. Try to stay away from user interface and platform changes. On the one hand, you won’t confuse returning customers who get a ‘familiar face’ when they land on your site or want to make a purchase. On the other, you don’t risk having technical errors on new pages that may cause visitors to drop the session.

Visitors compare deals in most eCommerce sites. We can clearly see sessions that are pause and reloaded, which takes several minutes. Others will copy a product’s name and specifications before leaving the site, which is a clear indication that they are window shopping somewhere else.

When competition is fierce and the web is inundated with competitive deals, try to simplify your users’ experience. Make it easier for them to convert, provide all information they need, don’t hide shipping costs or other important information.

In short, make sure your customers have a pleasant journey through your pages so they return for Thanksgiving.




Michal Harel Back to School eCommerce Trends Michal Harel is a Customer Experience Consultant at ClickTale. As such she provides ongoing consulting services to some of Clicktale’s largest      enterprise customers (Fortune 500 companies) to help them optimize digital interactive strategies and tactics,  gain unique insights into and across  various digital channels and help them use this insight to drive better ROI.

Michal has over 10 years of experience working with enterprise customers. Prior to joining Clicktale, Michal worked as an Account Executive for IBM  Canada (based in Toronto) working on large outsourcing deals, managing global delivery projects and groups, mainly in the Financial sector.Prior to  that, Michal practiced law for a few years, when she worked for Bank Leumi Le Israel and for the Israeli Securities Authority.

Michal Holds an LL.B and BBA from the Interdisciplinary Center In Herzliya, LL.M from Tel Aviv University and an MBA from Rotman School of Management- University of Toronto.



A Case Study About Lead Generation From Our Partner Visiplus

Mitch Schneider
September 12, 2013

A few words about Honka:

Honka is the leading manufacturer of energy efficient custom built homes, solid timber houses, single residential houses, eco-friendly houses and leisure homes. Founded in Finland, their website is now in nine languages. Honka A Case Study About Lead Generation From Our Partner Visiplus

The Challenge

A major marketing channel for Honka is distributing their catalogue to prospective customers and building up their customer base. One of the main goals of the website is driving visitors to sign up to receive the catalogue in the mail. They therefore decided to use ClickTale to help convert more of their visitors to sign up. To reach this goal they analyzed and improved two key elements:

1. The link from the homepage leading to the ”free catalog form page”
2.  The “free catalog form page” (layout, form and content).

Honka1 A Case Study About Lead Generation From Our Partner Visiplus

The Home Page

Honka2 A Case Study About Lead Generation From Our Partner Visiplus

The Attention and Scroll Reach Heatmaps showed that the position of the link driving visitors to the catalogue sign-up was good (89% of visitors saw it), but only 0.3% of visitors actually clicked on it. To address this issue, they added a new banner (which leads to the form page) right under the visitor’s Flash banner in order to make sure the banner is seen and clicked.

Honka Before After A Case Study About Lead Generation From Our Partner Visiplus

The Catalogue Sign Up Page

Using ClickTale’s Form Analytics, they discovered that the conversion rate of the form was only 5.16%. More than 67% of the visitors left the page without interacting and 27% gave up after interacting with it. The data highlighted that the form was too complex, with visitors struggling to find the key information or benefits to convince them to complete the form. Some of the fields were not absolutely necessary and were causing visitors to drop off such as asking for their budget. Additionally, the Scroll-Reach Heatmap showed that the form was so long that many visitors never scrolled down to the end. In other words, it was far too long!

Honka revamped the whole page and form layout. The main changes were:

  • Reduced the fields to the minimum (and reduced page length at the same time)
  • Improved the submit button (contrast color, size and anchor text, thumbnails)
  • Added some pictures next to the form in order to influence the “desire”
  • Removed some distractions on the page (e.g. menu, bottom links)
  • Added reassurance elements.

Hinka Before After 2 A Case Study About Lead Generation From Our Partner Visiplus

The Results

Honka3 A Case Study About Lead Generation From Our Partner Visiplus

Honka managed to make huge improvements to the clickthrough rate from the homepage to the free catalogue sign-up page as well as the completion rates on the form.  

  1. The percentage of visitors clicking from the homepage to the form rose from a disappointing 0.3% to a much improved 11.2%.
  2. By revamping the entire form. The new and improved version increased conversion rates by a staggering 410%.








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Want to learn more about how the ClickTale system can help you optimize your website and increase conversion rates? Click here.



This Case Study was prepared by Hadrien Montagnac from VISIPLUS, ClickTale´s Certified Partner Agency in France. Visiplus est une agence conseil en référencement et Web marketing. Depuis 2002, nous accompagnons nos clients dans leur stratégie de visibilité sur le Web en leur proposant des solutions de marketing digital orientées conversion ainsi que des formations dans les différentes spécialités du e-Marketing.

CLICKTALE is the leading company in Customer Experience Analytics, the next generation of web analytics solutions, monitoring website visitors’ complete online behavior and providing deep insights that help companies improve online customer experiences and increase revenues. Visit or contact us at


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