Building a good conversion funnel on your e-commerce site means optimizing it in many different ways that can enhance your conversions and profits. This includes many practices that contain the whole design of your site, not just one aspect of it. You will have to provide a complete package for your users.
The conversion funnel consists of many smaller stages, and each of them can increase your chance of getting more sales on your site. Here, we will take a look at what a conversion funnel is, the parts that it consists of, and the 7 best ways to optimize the conversion funnel to make more sales.
The Conversion Funnel
It’s easier said than done; all you have to do is optimize your funnel, and offer a worthy service or products, and you will be on a good way to more sales, right? Well often, it is more complicated than that. Customers can be unpredictable, but improving and building a good conversion funnel brings a lot of new sales.
But what is a conversion funnel exactly? It is a path that your customer or user must walk or take on your site before they get to your cart and complete the purchase. There are 4 different stages of a conversion funnel, and in each stage, the numbers drop off, which is expected. The way we can optimize this funnel is by lowering those drop-off numbers in each stage of the funnel.
The 4 stages of the funnel are:
- The Landing Page (Interest-Visit)
- The Product Page (Consideration-Discovery)
- The Shopping Cart (Decision-Check out)
- Purchase (Loyalty-Orders)
To make the most out of this funnel, each of those stages needs to be optimized in some ways. In this article, we will take a look at conversion rate optimization best practices.
What do those stages mean? To begin with, all the customers that visit your site in one shape or another will start with the landing page. This is the most important step in the funnel, and where the drop-off number is the largest. In this stage your customers will get the awareness of your products and services, and where you must hook them to these. You will have to provide interesting content like free blog posts, articles, guides, and even some video guides and demonstrations to get their interest.
The next process of the funnel, where usually only 40-50% of the people from the landing page come, is the product pages. In this step, users will be curious about your products as you’ve hooked them with an interesting landing page. It is a crucial step, and it is where you should provide wholesome and interesting product pages. Talk about your products and give them some value, but don’t forget to include the specific details that some customers will be interested in.
After the customers decide that your product page was engaging enough to buy the product, they will enter the shopping cart phase of the funnel. This is a crucial step on the way to the purchase, and poor shopping carts are often the reason why people abandon purchases. They might add products to the cart, but they never complete the purchase. There are some good practices that can lower the number of abandonments of your carts.
The last step is the purchase, where users decide to buy something. These are the people that go through the whole funnel, and it is this number that you will want to increase. Having a good checkout system is important, but it is all about providing satisfactory products and transparent transactions that you should be looking for in this stage.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to improve your funnel in general, which involves actions.
Optimize your E-Commerce Funnel
1. Attract Customers Through Social Media (Interest Stage)
Marketing is part of the first stage of the funnel, the one which leads users to your landing page. Social media marketing that is, being active on different social media platforms has several advantages. About 90% of marketers claimed that social media created large exposure for their business. Among others, you can grow your brand awareness, generate more inbound traffic, improve brand loyalty, increase your search engine rankings and the most important boost your conversion rate.
Facebook is a social media platform that almost everyone in the world knows, it also has the most users. That is why it is important to set up an effective tactic that will bring Facebook users to your site. Facebook use among U.S. marketers slightly grew from 86.3% in 2018 to 86.8% in 2019. This number will possibly extend to 87.1% in 2020.
Facebook Ads are great, but that itself is not enough. It is about making attractive ads that promote your products well and then creating an attractive landing page that will inspire your visitors to continue down the conversion funnel.
2. Offer Free and Engaging Content on Your Landing Page (Interest Stage)
The purpose of your landing page is to attract users and make them want to buy your products, or at least to make them interested. People seem to choose pages and products that offer them value, and during this step, you need to do that.
This can include mini blog posts about your products or services, various promotional articles – these shouldn’t be about your products only, it can also be:
- bullet points
- numbered lists
- ‘How it works’ section
- sales letter
- first-person video
- quick quiz
- ‘Our story’ section
- comparison chart
- user-generated content (UGC)
- staff profiles
- interactive content
- photo spread
- icon set
- illustrations and diagrams
- schedules and syllabi
3. Use Social Proof on Your Product Pages (Consideration Stage)
When you are presenting your products on your products page, it is important to display some sort of proof, confirmation that your products are worth the customers’ time, money and maybe efforts. The best way to do it is by displaying social proof (customer reviews, posts, or helpful comments) on the product page. That way, your products will look more worthwhile.
A report from Minter found 70% of Americans are looking for opinions from review sites before making purchases. Good news BrightLocal found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
4. Optimize Your Product Pages (Consideration Stage)
The next step is a crucial one and is one that you should do if you haven’t already – optimize the product pages.
That includes giving customers all the information they need. The product descriptions shouldn’t be boring, for example, describe how it would make them feel, but make sure it includes some technical information as well.
Also, add practical call-to-action buttons on your site that would allow customers to buy quickly, and provide all the necessary info – shipping, costs and fees, and everything else. You can find great inspirations for your CTAs, but make sure that it’s fun, unique, and irresistible.
One factor that can not be neglected when talking about optimizing a product page is web analytics, especially qualitative web analytics tools like heatmaps, and session replays. They help you answer all the questions that start with “Why” during the process of optimization.
5. Introduce Exit-Intent Triggers (Shopping Cart Stage)
Too many shopping carts get abandoned. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to decrease that number.
One of the best actions you can take is creating a pop-up message when the customer is about to leave the cart. You can do that with exit-intent triggers, which can be very effective for this.
You can combine triggers for a better result. For example, Pixojet uses a popup with an exit-intent and a timed trigger.
6. Optimize Your Checkouts System (Shopping Cart Stage)
One of the most important parts of your conversion funnel is your checkout system. 7 out of every 10 visitors leave the checkout page without buying anything. And that’s a big number, there are several evergreen ideas to reduce that:
- Offer prices in local currencies
- Don’t make shoppers register
In a study, they found that around 30% of shoppers abandoned the checkout process when they were asked to sign up. Instead offer a guest checkout or create a user account automatically.
- Free shipping and free returns
Consider adjusting your product prices to include shipping. For NuFace, an online shop selling skincare products, adding a simple “free shipping on orders above $75” banner on their homepage increased orders by 90%.
Be responsive to all different kinds of mobile devices, that means use tappable buttons, make sure that it loads quickly (reduce the number of pictures), make navigation easier (align forms vertically).
7. Offer a Loyalty Program and Promote it (Loyalty)
The last step is one that never stops – keeping your customers loyal to you. It is an ongoing process that helps you create long-lasting relationships. Here, you can offer a special loyalty program with discounts and special offers for those who purchase more than once from you. You need to promote your loyalty program so that customers are aware of what they earn if they are loyal to you.
In a report, 84% of consumers said that they’re more likely to stick with a brand that offers a loyalty program. And 66% of customers confirmed that the fact that they are able to earn rewards changes their spending behavior.
Improving your conversion funnel is one of the most important tasks for businesses. It is an ongoing process, but one that is certainly worth your time. If you do it the right way and strive to improve something constantly, then results await.