The Importance of Conversion Funnels in The E-Commerce World
Wouldn’t it be great if every single person that comes to your e-commerce website would simply fill out their carts and spend tons on money? Reality doesn’t work that way. People are constantly out there, gathering new information and most of the time they don’t act the way you want them to.
Let’s say a potential customer bounces off of your website in a matter of seconds. They got called away from their laptop or their phone ranged while browsing. No matter the situation, you just can’t always win a customer on their first visit. But the war is not lost. There is always the possibility of including that “lost” traffic in your e-commerce conversion funnel.
It would be the beginning of the bittersweet process of converting your leads into customers.
What is a Conversion Funnel in E-commerce?
The conversion funnel or the purchase funnel helps you visualize the path that your customers take, from brand awareness to making a purchase. This also includes upselling, customer retention, subscription-based models and cross-selling.
Even though there isn’t a conversion funnel template that fits all businesses, some funnel stages are universal. The specifics may vary for different reasons. The length of conversion funnels or the product and your target audience. The length of your funnel usually depends on the price and value of the product you’re selling.
The 4 Stages of E-commerce Conversion Funnel
There are four “universal” stages of a regular e-commerce conversion funnel. During every stage, the customer makes different decisions, depending on the perception of your brand and product. It’s your job to open your eyes and ears and optimize every stage of the funnel, in order to generate more revenue.
First Stage: Awareness
As the title suggests, in this stage you want people to become aware of your brand or the product/service that you sell. This stage is critical. People start to recognize some need or a problem and they look for solutions.
You may be the best solution that they’ll stumble upon. Usually, this stage is filled with educational content. Use blogs, webinars, guides, posts, and reports and show your audience that you generously give out free content.
Second Stage: Interest
Once the hook is set, don’t just let your audience escape. Keep providing interesting and educational content, just so your potential customers can see value in expanding your relationship.
Use social media for sharing brand-centered memes, engage your audience through email marketing, fill your website with useful content and post videos on Youtube.
Third Stage: Desire
Once you’ve captured your audience’s interest, start implementing the third stage of this funnel - Desire. Explain the benefits of your product, not its features. Use this strategy and make people wishing those same great results.
Apple implements this strategy beautifully. They always tell their audience that their products are elegant, simple, easy to use, sleek and secure. Apple knows its customers and doesn’t talk about boring specs. Focus your marketing on making your customers feel the ultimate benefit of your products. So, construct your CTA’s wisely! Don’t focus on your offer. Present the benefit that your customers would get if they bought what you sell.
Fourth Stage: Action
Let’s close this sale! You want your potential customers to fill their shopping cart with your products, add their payment information and press the “Buy Now” button. However, usually the success rate is pretty low. An average e-commerce website gets about 3% of all traffic to take this final step and convert. There is room for improvement.
Use Google Analytics to review the checkout funnel from end to end. You’ll be able to easily visualize the exact step where most customers changed their minds and abandoned their shopping cart. Once you locate the problem, fix it through experimentation.
Google Optimize is gaining more popularity each day. With this amazing free tool, you’ll be able to run different kinds of experiments on your page. The types of experiments you can run with Google Optimize are:
- A/B tests - test multiple versions of one web page and see which page works best for your customers.
- Multivariate tests - test multiple elements on a single page and learn what combination is the most profitable.
- A redirect test/split URL test - type of A/B test that lets you test separate pages against each other. With redirect tests, the test variants are identified by URL instead of page element which is most useful when testing two very different landing pages or a complete page redesign.
- Server-Side Experiments - Create and deploy your own variants on your own system. You can still use Optimize to view reports and determine a winner.
Optimized E-Commerce Conversion Funnel
Let’s take a closer look at three steps that can help you build an e-commerce conversion funnel.
1. Customer Journey
In order to identify the journey that your customers go through on your page, you can use reports in Google Analytics such as User Flow. Define what exactly people do when they are on the website.
You should know:
- Which referring domains bring in the most traffic
- The number of touch points that the average consumer makes before purchasing
- The different behavior of people when they first touch the homepage and their behavior when they find one of your product pages.
2. Map The Funnel Stages to Conversion Triggers
Create a plan according to the four stages that we discussed above: awareness, interest, desire, and action. The plan’s goal should be to usher customers through your sales funnel. Define the types of content you’ll serve at each stage.
3. When a Visitor Becomes a Lead
Almost all e-commerce businesses think of visitors as leads when they hand over their contact information. That means you should create a lead nurturing strategy. How are you going to help consumers transition from awareness to interest to desire to action? Give your subscribers content through email which would be designed for all four stages!
Now you know that your potential customers will go through the four stages in their buyer’s journey. Some may need months to convert while others will jump through the stages righ away. The main point is to know every move of your prospects while they move through the purchase funnel. Use those insights and optimize every stage for a higher conversion rate. We hope you’ll implement some of these strategies and notice the increased e-commerce conversions immediately.
Are there some other strategies that you’re using to lead prospects in your e-commerce conversion funnel? Share with us in the comments section below.
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