Conversion Funnels and Their Power in E-Commerce

Whether you’re a peddler of cupcakes or a purveyor of the law, the number one goal of your business is conversion. While these two services are undeniably different from the outside, the deeper mechanics of the customer’s journey towards conversion are closely similar.

In the fields of SEO and digital marketing, the phrase “conversion funnel” is thrown around a lot. Most businesses have a slightly different conversion funnel model, and all these conflicting viewpoints can get confusing if you’re trying to understand how to guide your customer to the “Buy Now” button.

The good news is that the models you see differing from company to company are just fractured reflections of the same five stages: Awareness, Interest, Decision, Conversion, and Re-engagement. Some are more in-depth, while others are highly simplified. The key is to find what works for you and optimise your site using the core tenets of this model.

Let’s say you’re the owner of an online cupcake store; we’ll call it “Byte Cakes”. Now, let’s go through the five stages and get you some customers.

Awareness – The Handshake

An emoji hand waving on a blue background.

As much as we would like to, we can’t just jump into the middle and bottom stages of the funnel. We have to take prospects from cold to warm, so we’re focusing on introducing potential customers to your brand and generating leads to your website.

You can think of the first part of the conversion funnel as the “handshake”. Your customer is encountering your business for the first time, and you want to be memorable! You want to occupy the “top of mind” spot and be the first thing that comes to mind the next time they need the kind of services you offer.  

Understand Your Audience

Understanding your audience is crucial, as you don’t want to be spending marketing efforts on an audience that won’t respond to your business. Those who don’t like cupcakes are few and far between, but your best bet is to use the information from tools like Google Analytics to get a clear picture of the specificities of your demographic.

Once you’ve done that, you can optimise your messaging, ad design, and ad placements to reach as many members of your ideal audience as possible. Tell your brand’s story, be as authentic as possible—all these efforts will help your brand resonate with the people who are most likely to buy.

Interest – Make Them Take Notice

Now that your customers know who you are, it’s time to make them notice your brand and, more specifically, your products.

People may now know about Byte Cakes. So, the next logical step in the conversion funnel is to let them know about the flavours and types of cakes (i.e. products and services) you have on offer. A great way to do this is through the creation of a customer connection.

Generating a Lead from Your Site

Once a customer hits the Byte Cakes site, we want them to be hooked on the content therein. To keep them engaged, the content must be excellent! Focus on creating compelling copy and intuitive user experience, as this will increase the number of times a customer browses your site as well as the amount of time they spend on your site.

During this stage, include something that will capture their email address, e.g. a newsletter subscription. When you do so, you now have a direct connection with your customer that you can use to perpetuate their interest. That’s progress!

Decision – Making the Choice to Buy

A pointer finger in yellow on a blue background.

We’ve all been customers of one business or another, so we have all felt that moment of decision while gazing at the product we’ve been interested in.

“Yep, I’m buying it.”

The key to getting your customer to this point is in constant connection. Use the email addresses you now have to market products in an appealing manner. Our recommendation? Try a weekly newsletter! It doesn’t clutter up their inbox (and thus annoy them into unsubscribing), but it does remind them of your products periodically.

For example, Byte Cakes could send out a weekly newsletter detailing the events they have catered, as well as small recipes and descriptions of new flavours they’re testing. Eventually, the customer will cycle past the interest phase and into the decision to purchase, which is exactly where you want them to be.

Conversion – Thanks for Your Purchase!

If there is one thing that you should take away from this article, it is this: do everything you can to remove friction from your buying process. If you want customers to convert and purchase a product from you, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so!

Optimise your products and payments page to create an easy journey from the “Buy Now” button to the “Thanks for Your Purchase” page. So many businesses neglect this pathway, and that leads to hordes of customers abandoning their carts right at the point of conversion. Here are some tips to optimise their payment process:

  • Ensure fast load speeds on your pages. Customers don’t like to wait!
  • Use an intuitive and recognisable payment portal. Using a payments portal that’s recognised by the customer will make them feel safe handing over their payment details, and make them feel good about the purchase.
  • Make it positive! Create a sense of happiness and congratulate your customer on their purchase. This will go a long way towards making them feel happy about what they’ve just bought.
  • Keep them informed. If you’re shipping something to your customer, make sure that you keep them informed of the parcel’s journey all the way from your shop to their doorstep.

Re-Engagement – The Conversion Funnel 2.0

And finally, the re-engagement stage. Most conversion funnels are missing this crucial step, so this is your chance to get an edge on many other businesses. Even when it is present in a business’ strategy, it is common for people to high-ball or low-ball the process of re-engaging their customers. Some send far too many prompts for the customer to come back, while others do nothing at all!

The sweet spot is right in the middle. Customers that have already bought something from you are an amazing market to have, because you don’t have to pay to get their attention, and you know for sure they’re interested in what you have to offer. Coupons, promotions, and engagement via social media are all ideal ways to coax an existing customer back without bombarding them.

Your options are endless, and you have all the time in the world to bring them back. Take your time, utilise a variety of tactics, and don’t overload them with too much information.

Good luck, and happy selling!

Navigate the e-commerce funnel with New Zealand’s best digital marketing agency.

Pure SEO is the digital marketing agency for every business. Our experts work round the clock to optimise our client’s online presences, bringing in conversions and navigating the ever-changing rules of digital marketing. Get in touch with us today to get started with changing your business’ website for the better.

Courtney-Dale Nel

Courtney is a Content Writer on the Pure SEO team. They have a Bachelor in Behavioural Psychology, way too much experience working with pigeons, and a fondness for nachos that rivals most marriages.

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