Engagement

The Art Of Conversion: Strategies To Optimize Your Ecommerce Funnel

Published On: 21 Aug 2023

By:Lifesight

THE ART OF CONVERSION: STRATEGIES TO OPTIMIZE YOUR ECOMMERCE FUNNEL
Discover the artistry behind driving sales in the digital age. Explore proven strategies to enhance your ecommerce funnel and transform visitors into loyal customers, increasing your business's bottom line.

Are you familiar with this situation: You're an ecommerce business owner who has built an online store, invested in marketing, and stacked it with amazing products. Your biggest challenge is two-fold: firstly getting potential customers to the website and then converting them into customers.

And conversion funnel happens to be one of the most important aspects of building a sustainable ecommerce business. However, the average ecommerce conversion rate hovers between 2-3.68%. In other words, even a change in a few decimals can improve your bottomline.

If you already have an ecommerce business and have set up conversion funnel marketing, you only need to optimize this funnel for maximum ROI. On the other hand, building an ecommerce conversion funnel takes time and needs work to be fine-tuned.

Throughout this article, we help both new DTC/ecommerce business owners and marketing teams with conversion funnel optimization.

What is an ecommerce funnel?

An ecommerce funnel, also known as sales or an ecommerce conversion funnel, represents the various stages of a potential lead or customer interacting with any online store: right from learning about the brand to making the final purchase.

There are five stages of the conversion funnel:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action
  • Post-purchase

How to calculate the ecommerce conversion funnel rate?

Average conversion funnel rate = Number of customers / Total/average website visitors X 100%

A word of caution here: There is no universal conversion rate.

So the more expensive your products, the lower your conversion rate; as more consideration is put into this purchase. On the flip side, less expensive items have a higher funnel conversion rate.

Based on the Invespcro study, here are the average conversion funnel benchmarks industry-wise.

ecommerce funnel-Invespcro study-funnel benchmarks industry-wise

Tip: Ensure you have the ecommerce funnel metrics in place, such as data of website visitors, product views, checkout, add to cart, and purchases.

You must be thinking why do you need a conversion funnel for ecommerce?

The simplest way to answer this question is when you know where the customer is in the ecommerce funnel stages, you can send more personalized marketing.

Stages of an ecommerce conversion funnel

An ecommerce marketing funnel typically has up to five stages: awareness, interest, decision, action, and post-purchase. However, it varies from brand to brand based on their target industry, products/services, and market positioning.

Awareness stage

Shoppers in the awareness stage know your brand but have not yet purchased anything from your store. The goal of this stage is to attract them to your website.

Interest stage

In this stage, a shopper has landed on your ecommerce store's product page. An ecommerce store needs to put efforts into developing the visitor's interest by forming a close relationship.

Decision stage

When a shopper reaches the decision stage, they are already interested in your product. The goal at this stage of the ecommerce sales funnel is to grab their attention with outstanding product descriptions and videos and push them toward purchase.

Action stage

People in the action stage already know about your offerings and are ready to purchase. Here, you should remove probable frictions like not finding a convenient payment gateway or difficulty placing an order as a guest user to make the purchase process seamless.

Post-purchase stage 

Since the shopper has purchased from your store at least once, at the post-purchase stage, your marketing team should pull them back to the conversion funnel and convert them into repeat buyers.

DIY strategies to optimize your ecommerce conversion funnel

Each visitor coming to your ecommerce store has a different intent. Accordingly, their journey will also differ. Here are a few conversion funnel marketing strategies to convert these users into customers:

Awareness stage

Goal: To attract potential buyers to your website

SEO and content marketing

SEO and content marketing are highly effective for early-stage ecommerce stores for conversion funnel optimization as they're solid differentiators for your brand and help you build an organic presence at the lowest possible cost. Here are some tips to enhance eCommerce SEO.

Some beneficial ecommerce SEO and content marketing strategies include:

  • Build a content hub based on the intent of your target users. For example, if you sell skincare products, some of the most common queries of your target users can be - “how to protect my dry skin during winter”, “how to avoid open pores”, “how to avoid wrinkles” and more. Use free tools like Answer The Public and Google Trends to identify these queries and create a comprehensive content hub to address these concerns.
  • A great SEO strategy for ecommerce funnel optimization is to build a glossary of relevant terms. Some popular search terms for skincare include Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, and more. MakeUp store Beauty Brains Blush has a comprehensive makeup glossary fetching 10,175 monthly traffic.

ecommerce funnel optimization-beauty brains blush

Source

Social media and influencer marketing

Social media and influencer marketing have grown exponentially in the last decade. The Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2023 has projected that this industry will grow to $21.1 Billion by the end of this year.

Ecommerce stores can easily leverage this ecommerce conversion funnel strategy to scale. Here are a few ways to make the most of social media and influencer marketing:

  • Collaborate with influencers in your industry to share more user-generated content on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube as a part of your promotion strategy.
  • Affording top influencers is difficult for early-stage ecommerce stores. Instead, reach out to micro-influencers with lesser followers but a decent engagement rate. Micro-influencers generally have a loyal follower base with lesser possibilities of spamming.
  • Influencers will help with honest testimonials by explaining the pros and cons of your product. These testimonials will work as honest social proofs for your store and will be great lead-generation sources.

UK-based fashion store Misguided partners with micro-influencers and uses the hashtag “#babesofmissguided” to promote their products. This hashtag has over 365000 posts from micro-influencers, which is a massive source of acquiring new buyers for this brand.

Influencer Marketing-babesofmissguided

Source

Interest stage

Goal: Engaging the shoppers to build interest

Personalized product recommendations

Creating personalized conversion funnels for each potential buyer will help your DTC brand in the long run. Add personalized product recommendations to your product pages for each customer to make them feel more comfortable and boost the engagement rate. A report by Accenture shows that 83% of shoppers are ready to share data to receive personalized product recommendations.

The fashionwear fitness brand Bandier shows product recommendations when you add products to the cart:

Personalized product recommendations-Bandier

Personalized product recommendations not only improve the shopping experience for customers but have proven to be one of the most successful strategies to increase the average order value (AOV)and conversions.

High-quality product pages

High-quality product pages offer comprehensive product information to potential buyers and encourage them to purchase from your online store.

As a part of your conversion funnel optimization strategy, here are a few elements to include in your ecommerce product pages:

  • Add in-depth product information, including description, tutorial video, product configurator, customer reviews, return policy, pricing, potential delivery date, and availability.
  • High-resolution visuals that help the buyers make a purchase decision seamlessly.
  • All pricing information, including available offers, discounts, and shipping charges.
  • Creating an SEO-optimized product page with the headline, description, and image alt texts as the focus keyword. Also, ensure that the page load speed is high.
  • Use a chatbot on your product pages to provide instant assistance to customers.
  • Develop a repository of FAQs using Google Search Console, Quora, Reddit, and even the chatbot. Add the FAQs to each product page to help the users decide.

Here's an example of the ideal product page by SeaVees that has:

  • Size chart
  • Product images
  • Information such as materials, care, shipping, returns, and environmental impact
  • UGC images 
  • Related products
  • Detailed and honest product reviews

example of the ideal product page like-SeaVees example of the ideal product page-like-SeaVees example of the ideal product page-like-SeaVees1

Decision stage

Goal: Attract users and encourage them to purchase

Offering discounts and incentives

Coupons play a massive role in the user journey of ecommerce store customers. Using coupons and incentives strategically can maximize your funnel conversion rate.

Some ideas for conversion funnel optimization using coupons:

  • Providing special discounts to your regular customers on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Offering first-time shopping discounts to encourage new users to make more purchases.
  • Providing special deals on holidays like Christmas, 4th Of July, Thanksgiving, Easter, Black Friday, and more.
  • Offering referral bonuses to loyal customers and encouraging them to refer your store to others.
  • Arranging fun contests and adding incentives for passing different stages.

Below is an example of the online fashion store Asos.com offering special Sunday discounts to customers:

Offering discounts-like-Asos

Simplify add-to-cart experience

A high cart abandonment rate is a critical challenge that most ecommerce stores face. According to the latest research report, the average global shopping cart abandonment rate as of June 2023 is 71.51%. This means you should find a way to simplify the add-to-cart experience to avoid abandoned carts and optimize your ecommerce conversion funnels.

A checklist to improve the add-to-cart experience:

  • Ensure your website is mobile-optimized so that users enjoy a seamless shopping experience, irrespective of the device they use.
  • Make the “add to cart” option available on all pages so shoppers don't have to navigate through multiple pages when they want to add an item to the cart.
  • Offer free shipping to new users to increase the chances of buying

Personalized abandoned cart emails

Similar to the add-to-cart experience, an abandoned cart email also plays a massive role in retargeting the customers who leave your store after adding a product to the cart. An abandoned cart email should highlight the benefits of purchasing a product and create a sense of urgency with personalized email copy.Find out templates of personalized emails.

Here's an abandoned email copy from Prose that stood out to us:

 abandoned email copy from-Prose

Source

What's notable:

  • The email has an attention-grabbing headline.
  • The email copy focuses on the product's benefit and explains what the customer might miss if they don't purchase it.
  • Boosts confidence with free shipping and returns and user testimonials.
  • The email has a unique CTA that motivates the buyers to take action.

Action stage

Goal: To create a seamless checkout experience

Smooth checkout

A smooth checkout experience increases the possibility of converting a new customer to a repeat customer. The fail-safe ways to optimize your checkout experience are:

  • Enable the “guest checkout” option. Even a first-time shopper not registered to your ecommerce store can easily purchase without worrying about a long signing-up process.
  • Provide multiple payment options on the checkout page, like a credit card, debit card, PayPal, Google Pay, and cryptocurrency. The shopper doesn't need to restrict themselves and pick the most convenient payment gateway.

smooth checkout-asos

Source: Asos.com

  • Add trust signals like social proof, return policy, and HTTPS certificates to the checkout page to ensure build credence.
  • Avoid hidden charges during checkout and provide full disclosure of the final amount that includes shipping charges and applicable discounts. A transparent shipping and returns policy establishes transparency and will help you win shoppers' trust.

Easy to navigate the site

Your Ecommerce/DTC store should be easily navigable so shoppers can seamlessly visit different product and category pages and add their desired products to the cart for checkout without any complexities.

Post-purchase stage

Goal: Build loyalty and encourage repeat purchase

Send order confirmation emails

Order confirmation emails play a key role in retaining customers. As soon as a customer completes a purchase, they wait for a confirmation from the store. As a result, the average open rate of order confirmation emails is significantly high (over 70%). This means customer engagement is at its peak then, and these emails will be a great way to re-engage customers with new product recommendations.

Here is an example of an order confirmation email that includes an order summary, a new product recommendation, and engaging CTAs:

example order confirmation email-iherb

Create targeted loyalty programs

Targeted ecommerce loyalty programs prevent churn and increase the possibility of acquiring new customers through referrals: which is why they're an important part of conversion funnel marketing.

Walmart initiated its loyalty program called Walmart+. This subscription-based program claims to help users save over $1300 per year.

loyalty programs-by-Walmart+

Source

Use analytics to monitor and optimize your ecommerce funnel

Now that you know some of the DIY strategies to optimize your ecommerce funnel, let's look at the ecommerce funnel metrics you should be tracking to monitor progress.

Conversion rate

Ecommerce conversion rate refers to the percentage of total visitors who purchased from your store.

Conversion rate = No. of actions taken by visitors over a time period / Total visitors to your website in the same period

Conversion rate = No. of actions taken by visitors over a time period / Total visitors to your website in the same period

Benchmark - 1% to 4% (Source)

Cart abandonment rate

Cart abandonment rate is the percentage of customers who initiate a purchase but leave your store without completing the transaction.

Cart abandonment rate = Total no. of completed transactions/ Total no. of initiated sales

Cart abandonment rate = Total no. of completed transactions/ Total no. of initiated sales

Benchmark - 71.51% (Source)

Add to cart rate

It is defined as the percentage of visitors adding at least one product to their carts for a session.

Add to cart rate = No. of sessions when a product is added to the cart / Total number of sessions

Benchmark - 3% to 4% (Source)

Using Engage for unparalleled omnichannel attribution

For ecommerce stores with numerous product pages and various conversion funnels, it is difficult to manually track and analyze large volumes of data across different channels.

Lifesight's Engage omni-channel attribution simplifies conversion funnel analytics for your DTC store along with offering the following benefits:

  • Provides a data-driven, unified view of your customer journey with comprehensive insights into purchase paths.
  • Uses multi-touch models for each marketing channel to make data-driven business decisions.
  • Tracks your ad and email campaigns to identify actionable insights for highlighting to optimize your ecommerce funnel.

A conversion rate optimization case study - SmartWool

About SmartWool

SmartWool is a European online fashion store. It approached Blue Acorn to boost its conversion.

Challenges

SmartWool already had a well-designed ecommerce website with all popular conversion funnel optimization best practices. However, they were open to new suggestions.

Solutions

Blue Acorn started with testing category pages for the website and came up with the following suggestions:

  • They suggested a new design for SmartWool that is attention-grabbing as well as conversion friendly.
  • They performed A/B testing on the new design with different sets of images and mixed both unique and traditional images.

Results

17.1% increase in revenue per user.

Conclusion

The ecommerce funnel optimization techniques we discussed here are easy to implement and affordable. Regardless of the industry or size of business, you can implement these ecommerce marketing funnel strategies to boost your conversion rates.

The key takeaways to fast-track the conversion rate of your ecommerce store:

  • Implement proper organic, paid, and social marketing strategies
  • Engage audiences with personalized recommendations and crisp product pages
  • Encourage conversions with incentives
  • Create a seamless checkout process
  • Develop loyalty programs to re-engage customers

As a next step, try adopting the most suitable strategies from this guide and get started with the implementation.

To know how Lifesight-Engage can help you optimize your ecommerce sales funnel - request a demo!

FAQs

What report indicates where users start or exit the conversion funnel?

A: A goal flow report.

What channel would not be credited with a conversion in multi-channel funnel reports?

A: Television commercials

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