Are you looking to improve your ecommerce website, drive more conversions, and optimize the customer journey? Conversion funnel analysis is the key to taking your business to the next level.
By understanding how customers behave on your website at each stage of the funnel — where they enter and leave, what content and product pages they interact with, and their purchasing decisions — you can identify areas that you need to improve. This article will take you through what a conversion funnel is, how to analyze it, and give you strategies that will help you to optimize each stage of your funnel.
What are the different steps in the customer journey?
Before we dive into conversion funnel analysis, let's get clear on the different steps of the conversion funnel. You can create your own funnel – making it as detailed or as simple as you want – but the stages are usually defined in this way:
1. Awareness: Visitors become aware of a product or service through various marketing channels, such as social media and online advertisements.
2. Interest: Once visitors are aware of the product or service- they may take additional steps to learn more about it and determine if it is a good fit for them.
3. Consideration: At this stage, visitors evaluate their options and consider whether the product or service can meet their needs.
4. Intent/Purchase Decision: The customer expresses an intention to purchase the product or service at this point in the funnel by adding items to their shopping cart and making payment arrangements.
5. Conversion: This is when customers complete their purchase and become paying customers.
6. Retention/Loyalty: After making a purchase, customers enter into your loyalty program or become repeat customers.
For an ecommerce site, a simple conversion funnel might look like this:
Awareness: they see a social media ad and land on your website
Interest: they progress to your product page
Purchase: they complete your checkout flow
You might also hear people refer to the marketing or sales funnel. Richard Johnson explains that sales and marketing funnels are essentially the same – they map the path from brand awareness to purchase – though the name used depends on the context. A marketing team will talk about marketing funnels, while a sales team will talk about sales or conversion funnels.
What is conversion funnel analysis?
Conversion funnel analysis involves examining how customers interact with your brand at each stage of the funnel. This allows you to identify any areas of improvement so that you can optimize your website for better conversion rates.
In ecommerce conversion funnel analysis, brands typically look at how customers interact with their website. They see where people enter, what they do, and if they buy anything. This helps them figure out how to make the website better so more people will buy things from it.
How to analyze your conversion or marketing funnel
Analyzing your conversion funnel starts by understanding the customer's journey from introduction to purchase. You'll need access to a web analytics or funnel analysis tool such as Google Analytics and heat mapping software to track customer journey progress and user engagement at each stage of the funnel.
For example, Google Analytics can give you insights into how users interact with your website both on desktop and mobile devices—where they entered, what content pages they visited, which products they viewed or added to their cart, etc. Heatmapping software can provide visual reports on user behavior, such as which elements are clicked most often, how far down the page users scroll, and what percentage of users abandon a specific page.
By understanding precisely where customers drop off in the funnel, you can identify weak points in your marketing strategy that may be causing visitors to leave early and make adjustments to optimize the user experience.
Best practices for conversion funnel analysis
When it comes to building an effective conversion funnel for your ecommerce site, here are our best practices.
Always be testing different page layouts, content, calls-to-action (CTAs), etc., to see which approach works best for driving more conversions. A/B testing allows you to make small changes and measure the effectiveness of each in order to maximize conversions.
Analyze the entire customer journey, not just your website
Analyzing customer behavior doesn't start and end with website visits. Look at the entire customer journey, from first contact to purchase. What marketing channels are working best? Are customers returning after making a purchase? Where do customers drop off between stages of the funnel? Answering these questions will give you insights into how to improve your conversion funnel.
Take action based on data insights
Once you've collected data from your conversion funnel analysis, take action on the insights to make improvements. Whether it's adding more payment options at checkout or optimizing page layouts for better engagement, you can use data-driven decisions to optimize your website experience and increase conversions.
Conversion funnel optimization for your ecommerce site
Once you've identified friction points with the funnel analysis, start by solving any obvious problems — like errors from the site that stop users from progressing from one point to the next. Once that's taken care of, there are several strategies you can use to optimize every part of the funnel.
A/B Test Your Landing Pages
A/B testing (sometimes known as split testing) is a way to test two versions of a web page or app against each other to determine which one performs better. Experiment with different page layouts, content, and CTAs to find the most effective design that encourages people to progress to your product pages.
Improve Site Navigation
Simplify your website navigation structure so customers can easily find what they're looking for without getting frustrated or confused. One way to make navigation simpler is to use a search filter feature on your website. This allows customers to quickly and easily narrow down their selection of products based on desired features and attributes.
Reduce Load Times
Reducing load times can improve conversions because it helps customers get to the page they want faster, without any delays or errors. When a webpage takes a long time to load, potential customers might become frustrated and move onto a different website, leading to lost sales. There are a few ways you can speed up your site, like compressing image files and using a content delivery network (CDN).
Encourage micro conversions
Micro conversions refer to small actions taken by a customer that demonstrate the visitor's interest in making a purchase. These usually include signing up for a newsletter, creating an account, or adding items to their cart.
By encouraging these micro conversions throughout the customer journey, you can give customers an opportunity to engage with your brand and build trust. This can then lead to a conversion further down the line.
Read our guide to conversion rate optimization.
Offer Multiple Payment Methods
When it comes to website conversions, offering a limited range of payment options can be a huge barrier. Customers that have their preferred payment method may not be able to use it if you don't offer it on your site. This means they will look for an alternative solution and may end up abandoning the purchase altogether. Give customers the option of paying with their favorite payment method by offering multiple payment options at checkout, such as credit cards, PayPal, and Apple Pay.
Convert better with SMS
SMS is a great tool for supporting a conversion-optimized ecommerce site. From sending out promotional offers to remind customers of items in their cart to providing personalized recommendations, SMS can help you drive more engagement and conversions.
Emotive is an SMS marketing platform – it's the perfect partner for ecommerce brands who want to drive more conversions. With our advanced segmentation and automation features, you can easily send out targeted campaigns to the right audience at the right time, helping increase conversions on your ecommerce site. Book a demo today.