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Oct 27, 2011 | 5 minute read

8 Quick 'n' Dirty Tools to Beat Site Abandonment This Holiday

written by Amanda Dhalla

Looking for ways to plug a leaky conversion funnel without blowing your budget? Here are 8 low cost, free, and free trial tools to help you drive down site abandonment as holiday spending kicks off in earnest:

1. Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg offers up simple usability tools that let you visually understand website user behavior. Their heat map tool provides a picture of where people clicked on your site. This lets you see what’s hot and what’s not, so you can make changes that increase conversions. Their scroll map tool shows how far down the page people are scrolling and helps determine where visitors abandon a page. Crazy Egg starts at $9/month and is dead easy to set up.

Crazy Egg heatmap

2. ClickTale

Web analytics tools like Google Analytics are invaluable, but sometimes the data they provide leaves you guessing at what visitors find confusing. ClickTale lets you watch recordings of your visitors' browsing sessions to discover how they use your site. You can see everything visitors do, every mouse move, hover, click, and scroll. Find videos of visitors who experienced errors, abandoned your shopping cart, or could not find what they were looking for. ClickTale is very powerful with a limited free plan so no excuse not to try it out.

3. Google Talk ChatBack

Google Talk Chatback badge example

Want to communicate more with your visitors? Google Talk Chatback lets you add free chat support to your website or blog in a matter of minutes. Place a badge like the one here on your website to encourage visitors to start chatting. If customer service reps man your live chat, read through the transcripts regularly to uncover insights.

Chatback uses web-based Google Talk so your visitors don't need to download anything. To get started, click on the Chatback start page, copy the provided HTML and paste on your website. All done!

4. 4Q

While I’m not super keen on interrupting visitors mid-flow, 4Q is an easy-to-setup exit survey tool that collects feedback from site visitors and measures customer satisfaction and task completion. You can then use the visitor feedback to take action to improve your online experience. Developed alongside Avinash Kaushik, 4Q asks website visitors what Avinash calls the “most important survey questions”:

  1. 1. Based on today’s visit, how would you rate your site experience overall?
  1. 2. Which of the following best describes the primary purpose of your visit?
  1. 3. Were you able to complete the purpose of your visit today?
  1. 4a. (If yes) What do you value most about the [sitename] website?
  1. 4b. (If no) Please tell us why you were not able to fully complete the purpose of your visit today?

With a free trial that very cleverly doesn’t ask for a credit card to begin, 4Q is definitely worth trying.

5. Kampyle

Kampyle is a simple website feedback tool that lets you get inside the minds of your target audience, and use what you learn to optimize your conversion funnels, merchandising and marketing programs. Deploy Kampyle feedback forms to learn where the pain points are for your visitors – those who weren’t crazy about your offer, had trouble with your checkout, or wanted the product in a different color. Kampyle also integrates with Google Analytics, Omniture and comScore, letting you understand the reasons that drive visitor behavior. Like 4Q, Kampyle has a 15-day free trial that doesn’t require a credit card.

6. Ethnio

Ethnio provides a way to recruit participants for user research live from your website. First, you create a screener that site visitors can activate and fill out. By monitoring the results in the Ethnio dashboard, you then decide which visitors you’d like to invite to participate in usability testing. Once the visitor has handed over their details, you can incentivize them to participate in an interview via remote usability testing tools like Usabilla or (more on these two below), by phone (with screensharing tools such as GoToMeeting and screen recording software like Camtasia), or in person.

Take a tour or try it for free.

Ethnio sample screener

7. Usabilla

Usabilla is an un-moderated remote usability tool that lets you conduct micro usability tests. Upload images, create tasks, and then have participants complete the tasks or answer questions. Usabilla tracks where users click and gathers qualitative data too (“please click on the part of the web page you like best”). While Usabilla provides a fast and easy way to collect feedback on design ideas in the early stages, as with other unmoderated usability testing tools, it does not enable the researcher to ask follow-up questions while the user is conducting the test. Use it with tools like Ethnio to improve relevance to your site.


While moderated usability studies definitely give you much richer information, is a fast, cheap way to get videos of people using your site. For $39, recruits a tester from their pre-screened user panel that meets your basic requirements (age, gender, web expertise etc.) and delivers a video of the tester talking about their interaction with your site as they browse it. A written summary explaining what they liked or didn’t like is included too. If you prefer you can use your own testers recruited through Ethnio or other methods instead of their panelists. Tests complete in about an hour.

How works

And there you have it. With any one of these 8 cheap and cheerful tools to reduce site abandonment, no excuse not to make some site tweaks before the holiday rush. Happy optimizing!

Looking for help with ecommerce site optimization? Contact the Elastic Path consulting team at to learn how our conversion optimization services can improve your business results.