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In an ideal world, every visitor to your ecommerce site would be immediately intrigued by what they see, happily sign up for their email and SMS list, and promptly make a purchase while recommending you. enthusiastically to all their friends.
Unfortunately, our world is far from ideal, and this pink scenario is the exception rather than the norm. In reality, your potential customers are more likely to encounter one or more « pain points » in the process, which causes them to stop and reconsider what they are doing, leaving a potentially blessed retailer meeting and of frustrated and unfulfilled consumers.
But what pain points are we talking about? And how can we avoid the devil?
Simply put, pain points are problems, conscious or subconscious, that customers experience during their shopping journey. These can range from anything to minor inconveniences, with site loading and payment times, to fun popups, overly complex configurations or just a simple loss of interest.
Your job is to identify these pain points, which you can do by tracing the client’s journey with a conversion funnel.
What is an e-commerce conversion channel?
A conversion funnel illustrates the steps customers take on the journey – from their first spark of awareness about the existence of your business, to making a purchase with you and becoming a repeat customer.
Creating a conversion funnel helps you identify all those painful points that customers may encounter along the way, as well as highlight the areas that are most affected by conversions. This way, you can optimize your funnel to make sure your trip is as smooth and enjoyable as possible!
Let’s look at this Smart Insights funnel, for example. On average, from visitors to e-commerce sites, only 43.8% access the product page. The funnel becomes narrower as customers make their way during the trip, leading to only 3.3% of visitors making a purchase.
Obviously, each business will have its own unique conversion funnel, depending on a variety of factors. However, there are four basic steps that all conversion channels will have in common, during which time your potential customer will make key decisions based on their impressions of your brand:
Average funnel conversion benchmarks for sale online
If you look closely at each of these four main stages of your conversion funnel, you should be able to identify your points of impact and pain and begin the process of optimizing your customer journey, leading to better income.
So how can you improve your ecommerce conversion funnel? Let’s analyze the four stages in more detail and discuss some strategies you can use to smooth the paths between them.
This is the very top of your funnel – a consumer is trying to address a particular problem or need and becomes aware of your business as a potential solution.
You will want to enter as many people as possible in this first stage! It can occur in several ways: word, a search engine hit, social media or just a lucky strike. But regardless of the arrival of customers, they will need information; and a lot of that.
To turn awareness into interest and consideration, you will need to target your visitors with relevant information about the services and products you offer, special discounts, the story of your brand, and relevant content.
Content, in particular, is a great way to get organic traffic to your site without a large advertising budget. Think about it – your consumers are trying to address a problem or a specific need and offer you solutions both in your products / services and in your expertise.
Share your knowledge and build a brand reputation by creating quality educational content related to your field and directing traffic to your e-commerce site in the process.
Detailed and popular content ranks on search engines, making sure you become the direct page for search queries. And it doesn’t have to be just blogs – consider YouTube videos, podcasts, or Quora question forums.
As more and more people become aware of your brand through your content and expertise, you will attract interested and targeted customers to your site. We are now ready to move on to the next step.
With well-targeted potential customers browsing your site, you have successfully reached the stage of consideration.
People consider your products and may even sign up to receive email or SMS marketing. Now is the time to build trust and give visitors the confidence they need to move on to the next stage and make a purchase decision.
This is not the time for aggressive product promotion – it is more effective to allow your products to speak for themselves through social proof.
As human beings, we take cues from the actions of others. The social proof offers the assurance of the potential customers that they have bought and who enjoy your product – it is a perfectly normal thing to do!
Social proof is generated by ratings, reviews, testimonials and social media posts from your customers and is an incredibly powerful tool for building trust and confidence.
Use selected offers and informative reviews to provide context to customers’ products and photos on social media to present them in action. There are many ways to collect social evidence, but one tried and tested method is to send a captivating product review email to the most loyal subscribers and customers.
The consideration step is your chance to strengthen your relationship with potential customers. Here, you can get them to sign up for your email marketing promotions, follow your social media pages, or hire them with educational content such as paintings.
Customers have the opportunity to get acquainted with your brand and find out exactly what you have to offer – without a heavy sale. Other useful information to provide includes:
- Shipping and return information
- Clickable and creative calls to action
- Imaginative and captivating product description
- A special offer for an email address or first purchase
Until now, customers are entering a conversion funnel and must be seriously tempted to make a purchase. To give them that extra meeting they might need, we move on to the decision-making stage.
Different types of visitors offer different challenges at this stage – subscribers and returning buyers are less likely to drive to the dreaded abandoned cart than first-time visitors.
That’s why you should target visitors differently for the first time. You can offer that extra incentive to buy by offering a special discount or free shipping, for example. Something to remove that lingering doubt he might have to engage in that first vital acquisition.
You can do this with the clever use of on-the-spot messages, such as pop-up windows or abandoned cart emails, if that’s the case.
Pop-ups should be non-intrusive and timed carefully, especially with the intention of exiting. For example, if a visitor is about to leave your page without making a purchase, you may trigger a pop-up to offer an additional discount to complete the offer.
Abandoned cart emails are also effective because they make it easier for a customer to return to your site. With a single click, customers are returned to the article that tempted them (as well as similar products), with extra incentive, such as a discount offered in time to create urgency. With an abandoned basket rate still high at around 70%, these strategies for reducing you are key to increasing revenue.
Okay, you’re almost there! You have attracted awareness, you have gained interest and now you have completed a sale. Now we move on to the final and no less important stage of the funnel, which brings them back after they have bought.
Remember what I mentioned earlier about return buyers, who are less likely to abandon carts? It’s true. In fact, repeat customers are 9 times more likely to convert than a first-time buyer, which makes them incredibly valuable assets!
So how do you turn a unique purchase into a loyal customer? A sincere, well thought out, thank you email is a great place to show your loyalty program, to offer rewards and incentives to come back for more, and to fill out helpful forms such as reviews, surveys, and referrals.
Your thank-you email not only shows gratitude and meets customer expectations, but can build trust and strengthen your relationship. It’s a way to get a valued new member in your community, creating the sense of exclusivity and belonging needed to make sure a customer feels valued and comfortable staying engaged with your business.
You can keep this goodwill with captivating content delivered to their inbox at regular but not intrusive intervals, as well as personal touches such as birthday offers and special holiday offers.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully traced your customers’ journey by identifying key milestones along the way and viewing them in a conversion funnel.
As mentioned earlier, every customer journey is different – some conversion channels are very short and lead to a quick purchase, while others can take weeks or months of careful care along the way.
What’s important is to recognize the four key stages that all customers go through as they move through the funnel, no matter what you sell, and learn how to optimize them for the smoothest transitions. Higher conversions and repeat customers are your rewards for a more efficient funnel!
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