Click Tolerance is the number of clicks a user is willing to invest on your site before abandonment. This number varies by site, brand, product price point, retailer type (multichannel or not), customer segment etc.
The quick and dirty formula to derive your website’s ‘Click Tolerance’ is:
Click Tolerance = [(Total number of clicks on site) – (total number of clicks leading to ‘call to action’ pages) ] / [(total number of site visitors) – (number of abandons at homepage)]
For a marketer this is valuable information because it gives a measure of how effectively the website is driving customers to conversion. For example if your website has a Click Tolerance of 5 this means a customer who visits the site is not willing to invest more than 5 clicks to get to their end objective. Using this data marketers can reorganize site architecture and improve conversion.
Another benefit of Click Tolerance is that it indirectly measures brand repute. If all your eCommerce variables are held constant an increase in Click Tolerance indicates an improvement in brand repute, on the other hand, a drop would indicate reduction in brand repute.
Examples of poor use of Click Tolerance
Almost all eCommerce retailers have “add to wishlist” on product detail pages. In a world with infinite tolerance this would be a great idea. But if your web site’s calculated click tolerance is 5 driving unnecessary traffic to this link just pulls clicks from “add to cart”. “add to wishlist” cannot be used by someone who does not have a registered account on your site. The work around, it turns out, is easy, just replace “add to wishlist” with “add to wishlist (needs registration)”. This prevents unnecessary clicking by people uninterested in registering.
Look at the gifts guide section at the bottom right of the screen…here a user can select ‘gifts for him’ ‘gifts for her’ etc but clicking on the image takes you to the same inner page. This is a 1 click leak.
An example of good use of Click Tolerance
For product recommendations Buckle.com allows users to test swatches before drilling in. For the shoes in the image below a user can try different color options from the root page itself.