Learn / Case Studies / Materials Market
How to triple conversions in just one month
After spending 20 minutes watching Hotjar each morning, Andrew, Operations Director at Materials Market tripled his site’s conversion rate. Here’s how:
Materials Market is a website that helps connect construction material suppliers with customers across the UK. Andrew co-founded the company in 2020 with his business partner, Samuel, after struggling to contact construction suppliers.
Samuel and Andrew experienced a daily struggle contacting supplier after supplier, asking for the best price and suitable delivery times. Finally, after years of frustration, Samuel had a eureka moment: why not create an online platform where customers can enquire with multiple suppliers at once to get the best deal? That’s when Materials Market was born.
The company has grown dramatically, making £500,000 online sales in their first six months. Plus, Andrew and Samuel have now taken on their first full-time member of staff.
A few months back, Andrew installed Hotjar to see how users were interacting with each page.
Each morning, he’d wake up, make breakfast (typically porridge or a smoothie) and spend 20 minutes watching Hotjar. After a few days, he’d identified three areas for improvement:
Confusing call to action:
CTAs were obscured on mobile and confusing on desktop
Issues in the checkout flow:
drop-offs were far higher than expected
too many visitors saw the policy and bounced
Using Hotjar to identify and address these issues, Andrew managed to triple the conversion rate from 0.5% to 1.6% in just one month. Here’s how he did it:
How tweaking a button helped triple sales
Andrew starts his workday with the same routine. “Every day, I open up Hotjar, watch 20 minutes of Recordings to see how customers interact with the site and see if they have any issues.”
Back in February, the team launched a new feature called 'instant purchase'. Before, visitors could only reach out to suppliers to get quotes on the site. But now, they could also purchase items directly.
“We had two CTAs, and it was clearly a little confusing. I’d watch Hotjar Recordings and see users getting confused. They’d hover over the CTA before leaving, or click on one before heading back and exiting the site.”
Hotjar revealed three problems:
1) Users didn’t know what to pick:
Recordings showed users hovering over the CTA with uncertainty.
2) Users wanted to see delivery times:
Other Recordings showed users clicking 'checkout' just to see the delivery time before heading back.
3) Users on mobile didn’t see the CTA:
Heatmaps showed that very few users scrolled far enough to see the CTA.
I’d spot a problem in Recordings and then go and investigate it in Heatmaps. Both tools are useful to see where users are scrolling and what they’re clicking on.
Materials Market was only operating for a few months at this point, so it was no surprise to Andrew that there were a few issues with the site. But Hotjar helped him prioritize his work, focusing on core problems that were affecting many users.
Andrew got to work making several changes, not only to the CTA but across the site. Here’s how the website changed:
Changed the color of the two CTAs so they looked different
Moved the estimated delivery date to before the checkout
Raised the CTA higher up the page on mobile
Changed the font and design of the CTA to reduce cognitive load
Added a TrustPilot rating to reduce perceived risk
Andrew hoped to see a slight change in conversion rate, but the results beat all expectations.
Our conversion rate went from 0.5% to 1.6% for visitors making a payment in just one month. We were really surprised it happened that quickly—it was like night and day.
0.5% to 1.6% might not seem like much, but for a company like Materials Market, making over £1,000,000 a year, that increase represents tens of thousands in additional revenue.
The thing is, Andrew’s no slouch. He’s an intelligent guy. So I wondered how many of these changes he would have known to make on his own. Did he need Hotjar to inspire these improvements?
“Hotjar has been instrumental in helping us make changes quickly. Sometimes there were things we intuitively knew, but Hotjar helped us prioritize and make the important changes straight away.”
Why 1 in 4 users left at checkout, and how Andrew fixed it
While watching Hotjar Recordings one morning, Andrew spotted a problem. Recording after recording showed users putting items in their basket, heading to checkout, then leaving.
It’s the worst nightmare for an ecommerce site. And it happened with one in every four visitors.
“With Hotjar Recordings, I saw that people were just getting confused. It looked like there were too many steps in the process. We were asking people to do too much just to check out.”
The previous checkout flow involved forcing users to set up an account and add their information over multiple pages. Andrew knew this was a blocker. He could see people dropping out, so he changed it. Here are the improvements he made:
Old Checkout Journey ❌
Add items to the basket
Sign up for an account (page 1/3)
Add personal details (page 2/3)
Leave delivery details (page 3/3)
Add card details
New Checkout Journey ✅
Add items to the basket
Add your details to secure checkout (on a pop-up modal)
There are three crucial changes Andrew made here:
He reduced the number of steps—a quick-fire way to improve conversions
He collected all customer details on one pop-up modal rather than several different pages, helping reduce the cognitive load
But my favorite improvement:
A subtle reframing: he changed the wording of the checkout flow
Previously the checkout flow stated, “Sign up”. Hotjar Recordings showed people getting confused and leaving after seeing this.
So Andrew changed the copy to “Secure Checkout”. This simple reframing put the user at ease, and they were motivated to add their details to help secure the purchase.
All three changes had a significant impact.
Before, one in four users dropped at checkout. Now it’s only 1 in 25 users.
Seeing the site through the users’ eyes
When Andrew sees a cookie banner, he accepts it every time. It’s almost automatic. He’s so familiar with them that he knows what to click without thinking.
Andrew may have never noticed this as a problem on his own—after all, it never bothered him.
But your users aren’t you. They’re different people with different behaviors. Of course, we all know this intuitively, but watching recordings helps us truly understand it.
“These are fundamental things that I might not have considered—but Hotjar doesn’t lie. I could see that these customers were struggling.”
Armed with this insight, Andrew was able to implement four core changes to the cookies banner:
He made the button 30% bigger
He shifted the banner higher up the page
He changed the color of the button
He changed the copy
These are minor tweaks, but they had a significant impact. Previously Andrew would watch 20 to 30 recordings of users struggling. Since making the changes, he hasn’t seen a single user get stuck.
Without Hotjar, there’s no way I would have noticed this issue. It wasn’t visible in the data, and it’s not something I would have expected to see. Hotjar helped me see how our visitors experienced the site. Now I can spot issues I would never have seen before.
Andrew’s top tip for other Hotjar users
It’s hard not to be impressed by Andrew’s results.
Tripling a site’s conversion rate in just a month is seriously impressive. Especially when you consider that website optimization isn’t even Andrew’s full-time role.
As an Operations Director, he needs to spend most of his time running the business’s operations, doing tasks like hiring staff, organizing resources, and managing agency partners. Despite all these responsibilities, he’s still managed to make considerable improvements to the website.
So, what’s his secret? How does he prioritize his time to spot these improvements? Here’s what he told me.
“My top tip is to sort recordings by Relevance.”
“The Relevance score helps me find the most vital recordings to watch. I only tend to watch the high or very highly relevant recordings—I won’t watch recordings ranked as moderate relevance or below.”
Andrew only has 20 minutes to watch recordings. He needs to focus on the crucial sessions. Relevance acts as a sieve, filtering out the irrelevant, low-value recordings and only showing the important ones. It helps Andrew use his time wisely and get the most value out of Hotjar.
Hotjar has been instrumental in guiding us to make the right changes quickly. It helps us determine urgency and prioritize.
Andrew’s made dramatic improvements to his site, but he’s modest with the performance. “I don’t even have a tech background!” he tells me before candidly sharing that he gets most of his inspiration by checking out other successful sites like Amazon.
That said, it’s clear that Andrew’s work is noteworthy. It’s inspired us to rethink some aspects of Hotjar’s site and hopefully will inspire you too. Here’s a summary of what he achieved with Hotjar:
Boosted conversion rate from 0.5% to 1.6% in just one month
Generated £10,000+ more in yearly revenue
Tweaked the cookie banner to stop dozens of users from bouncing
Redesigned the checkout flow to decrease exits by 86%
Breakfast + 20 minutes of Hotjar = 3x conversion rate
It took Andrew just 10 minutes to start collecting data on his site. Sign up for free, with no credit card required, and see how you could improve your conversion rate.