In the realm of eCommerce, the primary focus often lies on generating sales. Converting visitors into buyers stands as the ultimate goal for any eCommerce venture.

However, within this larger objective, there exist smaller yet significant milestones known as micro-conversions. These are the intermediary actions that guide visitors toward the ultimate goal of making a purchase, often referred to as macro conversions.

This article hones in on enhancing micro conversions, recognizing their pivotal role in elevating the overall conversion rates of online stores.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) experts analyze micro-conversions to identify deficiencies in their sales or marketing funnels, such as pages where users abandon their journey before reaching the final conversion page. 

By prioritizing optimization for micro-conversions, they enhance the user experience and augment the proportion of visitors successfully navigating through the entire funnel, consequently amplifying overall conversions.

Key Takeaways

  • Crucial Role of Micro Conversions: Micro conversions are vital steps that lead visitors toward making a purchase.
  • Essential Tracking Tools: Use tools like Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, Mixpanel, Hotjar, and Omniconvert to track and analyze micro conversions.
  • Optimizing Funnels: Design high-converting funnels to guide customers through each stage of their journey.
  • Identifying Bottlenecks: Tracking micro conversions helps identify and fix issues in the conversion funnel.
  • Building Trust: Focus on micro-actions to build trust and long-term customer loyalty, boosting overall sales.

What Are Micro Conversions?

A micro conversion (in e-commerce) is an action visitors do before they buy something. Of course, not all visitors will place an order, but you can encourage and stimulate them. Each micro-conversion brings them one step closer to the final purchase.

A micro-conversion might be

  • Downloading A File
  • Joining An Email List
  • Using The Search Filter
  • Looking At A Specific Product
  • Visiting A Landing Page
  • Subscribing To A Newsletter
  • Engaging In Social Actions (Like & Share)
  • Searching And Comparing Product Prices, Etc.

But how do you know which micro-conversion is the most important for your business? According to Jeremy Smith, you should look for:

Micro-conversion examples

Focusing on micro-conversions will make you understand the audience of your website because to micro-convert you have to segment the traffic and identify the main buyer personas. Once you have analyzed the traffic and the customers’ behavior divide it into segments and define the buyer persona categories. By doing this, you can now address them with personalized pieces of content.

Micro-conversions are the first step towards macro-conversions. Build up your way to the big elephant by creating a database with people interested in your business and giving them what they need and want. Persuade and transform them into buying clients.

Once you have a considerable mailing list, the best thing to do is to introduce them in a sales funnel. The first step was done: you have their attention, and the goal of this funnel phase was accomplished. The next step to get better results with the marketing efforts is testing which subject lines or offers have a higher conversion rate.

Micro Conversions And The Sales Funnel

According to Nielsen Norman Group, “Micro-conversions help you measure the impact of incremental user-experience improvements. Often, the effect of individual small changes cannot be detected at the macro-conversion level.”

Take a closer look at the store funnel. You’ll see there are several micro steps that people take before they visit your product page and add an item to the cart.

Generally, if you’ve 100,000 visitors to your homepage, if you optimize efficiently, you should expect about 30,000 of them to visit your Shopping cart.

Funnel micro-conversions

That being said, if you gear all your efforts toward generating sales (macro-conversions), you’ll miss out.

In early 2001, Bryan Eisenberg wrote about micro-actions. According to Eisenberg, “Conversion rates suffer when sites fail to drive customer micro-actions and maintain momentum through the sales path. Once the path is defined and each of the micro-actions described, you can work on optimizing the most effective call to action for each step.”

Here Are The 2 Ways To Drive Micro-Conversions

1) Design A High-Converting Funnel

Your marketing or sales funnel should be designed to cater to your ideal customers at every stage.

For example, at the top of the funnel (TOFU), you have a lot of people entering your funnel (i.e., when they fill out your sign-up form).


In Marketing 101, we know that these people aren’t ready to buy yet.

Of course, you could get trickles of sales occasionally, but you would make more money if you educate, entertain, and inspire these people to move toward the bottom of the funnel (BOFU).

The harsh truth is that when ideal customers visit your website for the first time, no matter how targeted they are, your conversion rates will be low.

We’ve already stated that the average eCommerce conversion rate is 0.5 – 2%. Best case scenario, it means that only 1 out of 50 visitors will complete an order.

Therefore, it’s clear that a lot of traffic is wasted, about 90%. If we focus on getting fresh visitors to an online store or sales page to buy right away, they’ll ignore us.

A pie chart from Ahrefs showing that 90.88% of web pages get no organic search traffic from Google, based on a study of approximately 920 million pages.

Since 2% of your cold traffic will nonetheless purchase your product, it’s wise to redirect your mind towards those 98% uninspired customers.

Here’s another chart showing the possible distribution of this 98% wasted traffic.

Let’s assume that 40% reach the landing page, 30% the category page, and 20% the cart page, but they all bounced, the smart thing to do is to pinpoint why these customers aren’t converting.

At this point, if you ask them to add a product to the cart, they might run away. Because they are not ready to buy – and there are reasons for that.

Reasons to leave the website

As people enter your funnel, you don’t want them to take the ultimate step (i.e., to purchase your product).

Even though that’s what you care about at the end of the day – but asking first-timers (strangers) to buy right away is not smart.

2) Target Small Wins

A person analyzing e-commerce performance metrics on a laptop.

In eCommerce, there’s an experiment that would help you understand how to get a big sale.

Below you’ll see how a small stone bar pushed down the biggest stone bar. That’s exactly what micro-conversions are all about. Concentrate on the small wins and stay consistent.

At a glance, you can see that when you get traffic, push it to your category/search pages, then you will convince them to use the filter so that they can reach the product pages. Gradually, persuade people to add items to the cart and complete the order.

Of course, in each stage of the experiment, you’re providing enormous value to your website visitors, in terms of video training, blog posts, podcasts, product reviews, and more.

Digital marketing experts like Eben Pagan, Ryan Deiss, Pat Flynn, and Yaro Starak use the exact strategy in their funnel to help customers – and get them to convert.

As it is with a SaaS business model, it is with eCommerce and selling of physical products. Psychologically, consumers like to take basic steps to build confidence in your brand – before purchasing your products.

In a nutshell, this is what the micro-conversions funnel entails. If you start using it, you’ll build strong customer loyalty – and at the end of the funnel, more people will convert and become paying customers.

sales funnel

Here’s The Breakdown Of This Chart

  1. The micro-conversions of your website visitors are to make them visit the product page and subscribe.
  2. Once they’ve subscribed to your newsletter, you’ll engage with them via email, and help them think like shoppers.
  3. Next, you want these shoppers to visit your product page and add items to the cart.
  4. Then, you nudge them to finish the order and because they’re already subscribed to your list, you can educate and inspire them further to come back and buy again.
  5. But it doesn’t stop there. You also need these repeat buyers to become raving fans. When they do, they’ll tell everyone about your shop. This is so important.
  6. Apple Inc., Amazon., and other top brands don’t necessarily go after quick sales. Their marketing funnels are designed to lead the shopper to become a raving fan.

For example, when the Apple iPhone 6 was released, it was my spouse who told me about it, not Apple or its founder. Once your online store starts getting word-of-mouth referrals, your brand awareness will increase – and sales will roll in profusely.

Micro Conversion Case Study

Sometimes it might happen to already have a micro-converting traffic segment and do not know about it. For example, on an e-commerce website, people who use the search tool qualify as micro-converters and they have an interest in a product category on your store. Here at Omniconvert, we have investigated this aspect for some of our clients, and we have discovered that visitors who use the search filter have a 6 times higher conversion rate.

Here’s an example to make the case for it. TinaR, one of the biggest fashion retailers from Romania, created a personalization experiment to remind visitors to use filters. Showing the users who didn’t use the size filter an exit intent popup that communicates the available sizes will help them close the sale. This personalization experiment aimed to increase sales for some specific product categories such as dresses and sandals.

Tinar - increase buying frequency with screenshot thumbnail.

The results? The conversion rate increased by 57.87%.

The Importance of Tracking Micro Conversions

Monitoring micro conversions is crucial because they serve as precursors to potential macro conversions. Prioritizing the enhancement of micro conversions is a logical step towards bolstering overall sales.

Here are some advantages of tracking micro-conversions

  1. Gain comprehensive insights into successes and areas for improvement.
  2. Obtain a broader understanding of customer interactions with the website, facilitating optimization efforts.
  3. Identify leads progressing towards macro conversions and tailor messaging accordingly.
  4. Uncover any bottlenecks in the conversion funnel, enabling prompt resolution.
  5. Measure user interest in various offers through micro conversions.

Here’s a hypothetical marketing funnel

A table showing user conversion rates and estimated values across different stages: acquisition, activation, retention, referral, and revenue.


“Does your visitor take micro-actions?”

The truth is that if your website visitors aren’t confident to check out your “Request a Quote” page, leave a comment on your post, or navigate to your product page, the problem isn’t in the product but how well your pages are optimized for micro-conversions.

Similarly, when people talk about getting repeat buyers, I don’t think they’re looking at the right metrics. Because, if, for example, you aren’t getting first-time buyers already, how on earth will you replicate the success?

No matter the products you sell in your online store, remember that delivering value is the key factor to growing a thriving business.

The major reason why optimizing for micro actions and not macro conversions from the get-go is powerful is that the former improves your brand. It increases the trust the customers have towards you.

A successful eCommerce business thrives in the face of harsh economic downturns, not because of a great product or pricing model, but its brand.

Here’s my question to you: If you had the opportunity to choose between making quick sales, and building trust with customers, which one would you choose?

Frequently Asked Questions

How can businesses effectively measure the impact of micro conversions on their overall e-commerce performance?

Businesses can measure the impact of micro conversions by using web analytics tools to track user actions such as newsletter sign-ups, product page visits, or downloads. By analyzing the data collected, businesses can assess the correlation between micro conversions and macro conversions, gaining insights into their overall e-commerce performance.

Are there any specific tools or software recommended for tracking and analyzing micro conversions?

Yes, there are several tools and software options available for tracking and analyzing micro conversions. Popular choices include Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, Mixpanel, Hotjar, and our very own Omniconvert. Each offers features tailored to e-commerce businesses to monitor user behavior and measure the effectiveness of conversion optimization efforts.

What are some common challenges businesses face when optimizing for micro conversions, and how can they overcome them?

Common challenges include identifying the most relevant micro conversions, interpreting data accurately, and implementing effective strategies to improve conversion rates. To overcome these challenges, businesses can conduct thorough data analysis, conduct A/B testing, and continuously iterate their optimization strategies based on insights gathered from user behavior.

Are there any industry benchmarks or standards for micro-conversion rates that businesses should aim for?

Micro conversion rates can vary significantly depending on factors such as industry, target audience, and business model. While there are no universal benchmarks, businesses can benchmark their performance against industry peers and track their progress over time to set realistic goals and targets for micro-conversion optimization.

Can you provide examples of innovative strategies or tactics used by leading e-commerce brands to drive micro conversions?

Leading e-commerce brands employ various innovative strategies to drive micro conversions, such as personalized product recommendations, interactive content, gamification elements, and targeted email campaigns. By leveraging data-driven insights and adopting creative approaches, these brands engage users at key touchpoints throughout the customer journey, ultimately increasing the likelihood of conversion.