eCommerce Marketers need to be strongly focused on their customer conversion rates, and how to optimize their eCommerce website’s conversion funnel in order to maximize those rates and increase revenue streams. The following information highlights some key optimization factors, and how to provide an effective boost to your sales and marketing funnel. First, let’s briefly review what an eCommerce marketing funnel is, what it involves, and why its optimization is so important.
The Basics of an eCommerce Marketing Funnel
A conversion funnel in an eCommerce business is a visual representation of the typical route a consumer will take before making a final purchase decision. There are 4 basic stages of this funnel:
Awareness. The consumer first becomes aware of your product. This could be the result of an organic search, social media marketing, word of mouth recommendation, or any number of other campaigns or advertising initiatives. In the eCommerce industry, the consumer often enters this stage when they visit your online store.
Interest. At this point, the consumer shows interest in a specific product or category. If the consumer engages with your site, but does not make an immediate purchase, then you should follow up with them in some way. This stage encompasses your efforts to do so.
Consideration. During this stage, it’s important to talk about the benefits of your product, as opposed to its features. Focus on how your product can solve common pain points, and why the customer should purchase from you. A conversation centered around these factors will foster a desire to purchase within the customer.
Action. Now the customer is ready to buy from you. Here’s where you need to make your purchase process as seamless as possible. You can also seek to upsell to your customers at this point by offering other products or accessories that are most likely to relate to their needs and interests.
Of course, marketers are always looking for ways to optimize this process, since an average eCommerce conversion rate is only between 1 – 2%. Marketers want to help prospective customers easily find products, and thus reduce any costly friction. They also realize that optimizing this process once a visitor enters the site will not only increase revenues, but can also lower costs per conversion. In other words, optimizing the conversion funnel improves marketing ROI from all channels.
The Challenges of eCommerce Conversion Funnel Optimization
There are several obstacles that stand between a marketing team and an optimized eCommerce conversion funnel. In order to overcome many of these obstacles, companies must invest a lot of time and many resources into deep analytics and technical development.
Some key challenges include:
Creating a fast and mobile-friendly website. This is a heavy-duty engineering task, and is absolutely critical for conversion funnel optimization. For example, in 2019 the mobile share of organic search traffic hit 60% in the United States, indicating that mobile-friendly websites outperformed less responsive competitors by a significant margin.
Validating tracking and pre-purchase events on the website. Many companies leverage the features of Google Analytics or another tracking tool to compile data on customer pre-purchase behavior and leverage those data points into actionable conversion tactics.
Analyzing heatmaps and wishlist tools. Tools like Hotjar and Crazy Egg enable businesses to gauge customer response to a variety of experiential aspects, such as ease of navigation and overall satisfaction.
Building A/B landing page tests. Platforms like Instapage and MailChimp enable clients to perform split testing on landing page performance in order to boost conversion rates. Of course, it requires a certain level of proficiency to effectively use these tools and then analyze the compiled data – not to mention the resources required for designing and/or updating the landing pages.
Remarketing across multiple channels. One of the prerequisites for efficient remarketing is having an established infrastructure of customer tracking and segmentation already in place.
The good news is, there is a highly effective and scalable solution for all of the key challenges mentioned above.
The Solution to the Conversion Funnel Dilemma
Conversational guided shopping can help companies to solve almost all of their eCommerce conversion funnel optimization problems at the same time. In effect, this solution turns a conversion funnel into a conversational funnel, which can yield significantly higher ROI. It gives consumers a personalized, instant and effortless buying experience from the first touchpoint with your brand. It also solves a lot of challenges for marketers in the process. For example:
No more detailed pre-purchase event tracking, wishlist tools, or heatmap analysis. With a conversational guided shopping experience in place, marketers can compile data points flowing from the ultimate source: the customers. When customers declare data related to their needs, preferences, and behaviors, there is no more guesswork involved – just clarity. Easier optimization of your creative and the customer’s buying journey. Conversations with the customer often yield highly actionable insights into what needs to change, and what needs to stay the same. This considerably simplifies and streamlines the A/B testing process. Gone are complex landing page tests involving heatmaps and multi-team analyses. Your customer journey can be analyzed in full throughout the conversation and it’s easy to test, iterate and expand quickly.
Less friction points along the customer journey. When consumers can have a highly personalized and effortless conversation with your brand via a chatbot, your brand can help them find the products that they want, and offer customized recommendations. Best of all, this takes place in a mobile-friendly and highly engaging format . Chats operate in media-rich and highly interactive display ads on Google and on Facebook Messenger.
Advanced tracking and remarketing capabilities. An advanced conversational marketing tool enables you to mine each customer interaction for insights into the typical user flow. You can also retarget customers directly in chat, at no cost to you, with personalized re-engagement messages to direct them back into their conversation with your business on Facebook Messenger. As your database of consumer information grows larger and more sophisticated, you’ll be able to leverage conversational insights to sell more products, offer better customer experiences and train your guided shopping bot to get smarter and more adaptive to customer needs.
Optimizing the eCommerce conversion funnel takes insight, hard work, and perseverance. However, optimization is far easier (and comes with a higher ROI) when accomplished using conversational marketing techniques. Even companies as big as Telekom, Europe’s largest telecommunications provider, are able to get 9x higher conversion rates vs their website by leveraging conversational marketing.