On an e-commerce website, conversion funnels should be like the roads on a map. Everything depends on them and all activity can be blocked if something is wrong with a road. All strategic moves rely on the roads and the way they intersect. So, just like a country whose entire economy depends on transportation, make sure the roads inside your website are in perfect condition. And of course, that they drive visitors as fast as possible to the conversion point.
A very important structure for an e-shop, the conversion funnel refers to the pathway a customer travels from acknowledging the existence of an offer to the moment of a finalized transaction.
The purchase funnel actually has its roots in a concept 102 years older than the first e-shop. Created in 1898 by E. St. Elmo Lewis, one of the earliest publishers and advertising managers, the AIDA model states that the functions of advertising follow the model:
Attract attention – Awaken the interest – Persuade / Convince
• Awareness – first the customer needs to find out about a product, or be reached by an ad
• Interest – the customer starts to show interest in the product or service
• Desire – the customer starts to feel he needs the product
• Action – a purchase takes place
The same goes for the online purchase funnel. Each step needs to reach the customer and engage him more and more until the final action: the transaction.
But what persuades a visitor to pass through multiple website pages and then finally buy? Here is a list of tips you should take into account if you’re in search for solutions to optimize the conversion funnel.
1. Always analyze
Nothing can be perfectly done from the first time. So create a series of pages that will guide the visitor to your desired action. Investigate how visitors react, if they understand what they should do, what are their reasons for abandoning a certain page. Create an analytics funnel and determine abandon points.
Analytics Advocate Daniel Waisberg has given an interesting presentation about measurement across all platforms, attribution models in Analytics and establishing the Full Customers Journey to Online Purchase.
Besides analytics tools, you can also use click maps and heat maps tools to see how visitors perceive certain pages, what links or pieces of content attract more their attention.
2. Know your audience
Surveys can complete the data you have about visitors. You can ask questions about anything that concerns the conversion funnel:
– What made them want to leave the website? Were there any obstacles they encountered in the navigation or was it because of a lack of interest?
– What was their buying intention?
– What do they like and they don’t like about the website?
– How easily navigable do they find the website?
3. Make sure your customer’s pathway flows naturally
You can consider a great user experience the one that allows the visitor to concentrate on the information and captivates him. When the user has to concentrate more on finding buttons and ways of navigation, or to search chaotically for the information he needs, user experience is hindered.
So make a list of information that’s essential on each step of the conversion funnel: ad or source of traffic, landing page, product pages (if any), cart page, check out. And talk to your designer to create a logical flow between the pages. A popular model is to give a new clue on every step, then reiterate this information and explain it on the next step.
The conversion pathway should be governed by coherence. If you promised something on your ad, then develop your arguments on the landing page.
4. On every step, give them a reason to go further
The key to get as many visitors as possible to pass through each step, is to create persuasive and engaging content. Work on your call to action buttons, on headlines copy and any other element that could influence the visitor’s decision to pass on the next page of the conversion funnel. If you have doubts (and you should, because visitors have surprising preferences), you can always do A/B testing and multivariate testing on design and copy.
What makes the visitor go to the next page? On the ad, the reason could be a great sales proposition or a targeted offer. On the landing page it could be the targeted testimonials you display, a simple and clear layout. On the cart page, security markers always reassure visitors and give them one more reason (trust) to pass to the next step.
5. Deliver remarketing messages
Even if a visitor wants to leave your website while on a strategic page, it’s not the end of the world. You can use pop-up messages to retain these visitors by proposing them a better offer, something more similar to their interests, etc. You can also do cart abandonment emailing to remind them about the products they’ve showed interest in and to reengage them in the purchase. There are plenty of remarketing solutions you can put into practice.
Since there is no such a thing as a perfect preset conversion funnel, you can experiment with your conversion paths and try to create a user experience adapted to your target visitors.
However, we hope these tips will be useful to you and to your e-shop. You can also leave us other suggestions or questions. They’re always welcomed.