Form analytics opens to the public

We are happy to announce the release of Form Analytics (beta), Clicktale's newest web analytics solution. Form Analytics reveals how visitors interact with online forms and provides recommendations that can increase shopping cart conversion, form completion rates and reduce visitor abandonment.

Form Analytics is based on Clicktale's unique ability to record and play back all visitor actions inside online forms including mouse movements, keystrokes and interactions with controls such as drop-down lists, check boxes, radio buttons, and more.

Form Analytics

Form Analytics exposes the friction points inside your forms that can cause visitors to become frustrated and leave by identifying:

  • Which fields take the longest to complete
  • Which fields are left blank and may be superfluous
  • How often errors occur that force visitors to refill a field

This beta release of Form Analytics includes three reports (Time, Blanks, and Refills) which are described below; additional reports will be coming soon.

You can sign up for a Free account* and start to benefit now from Form Analytics and all of Clicktale's other web analytics tools.

Time Report

The Time Report displays the average time that visitors interacted with each field inside the form from the moment the page was loaded. A long interaction time may be a warning sign that the field is requiring input that is too complex.

Time Report (Simple Mode)

Fig.1: Time Report (Simple Mode)

Figure 1 illustrates that visitors take an average of 58 seconds to complete the Clicktale Create Account form. Visitors spend the most time typing in their Website -- an average of 5.73 seconds.

It appears that the three optional fields (Website, Company and Title) account for an average of 18 seconds of interaction time or about 1/3rd of the total form completion time.

The Advanced Time Report displays the distribution of visitor interaction with each field inside the form from the moment the page was loaded. The height of the bars in the histogram is proportional to the maximum number of visitors interacting at any one time. The shape and size of the distribution, gives a deeper understanding of the way visitors are interacting with the each field.

Time Report (Advanced Mode)

Fig. 2: Time Report (Advanced Mode)

Figure 2 illustrates there is a great deal of variation in the length of time that visitors interact with various fields. The distributions flatten and spread out as we move down the form. Visitors interact with the "Create New Account" button as much as 6:32 minutes from the moment the page loaded.

Blanks Report

The Blanks Report displays a chart of how frequently visitors leave fields empty when submitting the form. A high rate of blanks may indicate that a field is redundant, or possibly requesting something too personal or confidential, and may be a candidate for removal.

Blank Field Report

Fig.3: Blank Field Report

Figure 3 illustrates that visitors left the "Title" field blank 58.1% of the times this form was submitted, "Company"was left blank 41.9%, and "Website"was left blank 25.6%. The high blank rates indicate that these three fields are being ignored by many visitors. Perhaps these are good candidates for removal? Let's see what the last report has to say.

Refill Report

The Refill Report shows the fraction of visitors who refill each field. Usually, a refill occurs when the form generates an error as a result of a field being incorrectly filled-out or when a required field is left blank.

Refill Field Report

Fig.4: Refill Report

Figure 4 illustrates that the three highest refilled fields are: Username(11.6%), Password and Confirm Password (each with 12.8%). These high refill rates make sense since all three fields generate errors if the content is not entered properly.

While the three optional fields (Website, Company, and Title) are rarely refilled by visitors (1.2%, 0%, and 1.2% respectively). This low refill rate is not surprising since these fields are optional and do not generate any errors.

Conclusion: by removing the three optional fields (Website, Company, and Title) from this online form, we should see a reduction in average submission time of about 18 seconds.

In addition, by rewriting and simplifying the instructions below the Username and Password fields, we should be able to reduce the refill rates of those fields significantly.

Common Form Problems

The following are two examples of common form problems:

  • The zip code field of a US - based websites often requires numbers only. Canadians, whose zip code also includes letters, often have a problem properly entering their addresses. Our Refill Report can quickly identify this type of problem in the zip code or any other field.
  • The password field of many sites has a minimum requirement - which isn't clearly explained until the person submits something inappropriate, gets an error with the missing instructions, and is forced to refill and resubmit. How clearly does your website explain password requirements? You can identify these and other problems with Form Analytics.

Stay tuned for the full release which will include additional reports. Sign up to our RSS feed if you would like to be notified. And sign up for Clicktale's free service* now to access Form Analytics.

* Terms and services have changed since the publication of this article.

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