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Conversion Funnel: Analysis and optimization for e-commerce

In 2020, the average conversion rate of eCommerce websites stood at a meagre 2.86%. This means that over 97% of online shoppers do not finish the intended actions during their sessions on eCommerce websites. Conversion typically stands for sales, but when it comes to eCommerce businesses, conversion means any intended action that you want your website visitor to take, including signing up for your newsletter, filling out a form, or connecting with your social media accounts through your website. 

ECommerce conversion funnel is a modified version of the traditional marketing funnel to fit the needs of your specific eCommerce business. Depending on your product category, budget, scale, and industry, the conversion funnel for your eCommerce business may look different and specific to your needs. For fashion brands, analysis and optimization of the eCommerce conversion funnel are absolutely essential to unlocking sustained growth in online sales and optimal user experience. 

ECommerce Conversion Funnel

An eCommerce conversion funnel of an online shopper on your website (from the moment they become aware of your brand to the moment they purchase your product) is crucial to guaranteeing sale for your brand. But eCommerce conversion funnels are anything but linear, because every online visitor or customer has a unique buying journey, with multiple touchpoints on your website that encourage them to move to the next stage in the conversion funnel.

The usual trend with eCommerce conversion funnels is that online users keep dropping off as they move through the funnel, however by tactfully analyzing and streamlining the funnel, eCommerce brands can increase conversions at every stage of the funnel. Brands need to closely watch and evaluate every step of the funnel to micro-optimize it at every possible touch point and trigger conversions. 

Stages of the eCommerce Conversion Funnel

For eCommerce businesses, the conversion funnel takes a different form than the traditional marketing funnel. The five stages of the eCommerce conversion funnel are –

  • Discovery

This is the first stage of your eCommerce conversion funnel that includes new visitors who came to know about your brand through social media, word-of-mouth, Google search, or any other source. The visitors get to learn more about your brand’s products, values, and services during this stage of the funnel. 

Users often start with your product page or home page and depending on their experience, they will choose whether to stay and spend more time on your website or bounce. This is why fashion eCommerce brands need to optimize every important page on their website, use compelling visuals and product imagery, and make their visitors’ shopping experience as seamless as possible.  

  • Interest 

The Interest stage of the eCommerce conversion funnel where you as a fashion brand actively start a conversation with your website visitors. eCommerce brands provide educational and engaging content to visitors during this stage to build interest in their products. 

This is the stage where the users are still researching the best options suited to their needs, and exposing them to buying guides, user-generated content such as videos, customer images and testimonials will help retain their attention and possibly move them to the next stage in the conversion funnel.

  • Intent 

At this stage of the eCommerce conversion funnel, the website visitors are interested in your products and possibly considering a purchase. This is when fashion brands can further enhance their intent to purchase by offering discounts and offers, and exhibiting the superiority of your products. 

High-resolution, well-executed product images play a key role in this stage (and in every other stage) to help users experience your products through high-quality imagery. After all, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in evaluating and purchasing the product. 

  • Purchase 

This is the stage where the website visitors can convert into prospective customers. At this stage of the eCommerce conversion funnel, the fashion brands want users to add products to their cart, navigate the payment options, and make the final purchase. 

It is important to optimize this stage in the funnel in order to reduce cart abandonments. Evaluating your checkout processes, ease of transaction, and simplicity of forms will allow fashion brands to streamline this stage of the conversion funnel. 

  • Engagement

Almost three-fourth of repeat purchases take place online, which makes it critical for fashion eCommerce brands to engage and re-engage their customers and encourage them to come back to your eCommerce store. The goal is not to restrict your eCommerce website to one-time traffic, but to give your customers reasons to re-visit and purchase more from your fashion brand. 

Many brands invite customers to join their weekly or monthly newsletters and welcome them to their ‘family’. Social media accounts are another gateway to establish constant touch and active engagement with your customers.

Analyzing Your Ecommerce Funnels

Your eCommerce conversion funnel will need both qualitative and quantitative analysis to really get to the bottom of the customer buying behavior. It can help to factor in KPIs specific to your eCommerce business that drive conversions across the funnel. Here are some of the fundamental KPIs that fashion brands can track to analyze their eCommerce conversion funnel –

  • Website and webpage traffic
  • Conversion rates 
  • Cart abandonment rates
  • Bounce rates
  • Average order and cart values
  • Product Returns

Tracking these KPIs with the help of digital analytics  will offer key insights into real customer behavior. 

Optimization of the eCommerce Conversion Funnel

Tracking and analyzing these KPIs will give you a clear picture of what’s happening behind the scenes on your fashion eCommerce website and allow you to make necessary changes to optimize the conversion funnel. You can implement a multitude of optimization strategies through the different stages of your eCommerce conversion funnel –

  • Discovery

This is the awareness stage when online shoppers should have a good reason to visit your website and make a purchase. Implementing omnichannel marketing strategies and leveraging social media analytics to target the right audiences can be just what your eCommerce store needs. Moreover, measuring customer response across social channels can help fashion brands discover unhappy customers of other brands and offer your products as the perfect solution.

Creating value-driven content like style guides, ebooks, and newsletters supported with high-quality product images can further drive optimization of this stage of the conversion funnel. 

  • Interest 

At this stage, eCommerce stores need to display high-resolution, vibrant product images across your website to help retain the attention and interest of the website visitors. The average person reads only 20% of a web page, but views every image on the page. Having a large number of product images will directly translate into more conversions, and will help fortify your brand’s image and persona. 

Using multiple product images from different angles and perspectives will enable visitors to gauge your products accurately, while also elevating desirability. Adding social proof such as customer reviews and ratings, video testimonials, and embedding user-generated content on your eCommerce website will further optimize this stage of the conversion funnel. On a more technical level, A/B testing your product pages can throw light on what needs work – sometimes changing image or copy size, product description, and even colors can make a difference in the conversion rates.

  • Intent

This stage of the funnel requires fashion eCommerce brands to solidify the visitors’ desire or intent to make a purchase. Making the processes simpler will help tremendously – enable easy add to cart options and create seamless checkout pages with multiple payment options. This is also when fashion brands can engage in exit-intent popups and on-site messages with high-resolution images to retain the prospects’ interest and curb page abandonments.

Brands can also send targeted and personalized emails that offer customized discounts and offers to the prospects who spent some time on your eCommerce website but did not complete the purchase. 

  • Purchase 

At this stage of the funnel, brands need to ensure ease of transaction and checkout processes, and make them as frictionless as possible. Offering last minute recommendations to upsell or cross-sell products and personalized discounts and offers can further drive conversions during this stage.  

  • Engagement

Now that the website visitor has converted to a customer, it is your opportunity as a fashion brand to re-engage and invite them back to your website. ECommerce stores can do this by integrating social media accounts into your website and encouraging customers to follow and engage with your brand. Make them feel like a part of your extended online family. 

Fashion brands can also invite customers to sign up for interesting content offers to keep the conversation going. Order confirmation emails are absolutely essential for brands to boost post-purchase customer engagement, since they have the highest open rate of 65%. 

Conclusion

Deconstructing, testing, and optimizing your eCommerce conversion funnel may seem like a daunting task, but it can fast-track your eCommerce store’s growth and customer engagement in a cost-effective, organic way. The best part is that you get to control, study, and streamline your current conversion metrics and marketing strategies that can help you enhance both online sales as well as customer satisfaction. 

Leveraging the power of professional product and on-model imagery is thus an uncontestable component of your eCommerce website and contributes significantly to your conversion rates. Platforms such as FlixStudio are transforming eCommerce photography by empowering fashion brands with high-resolution, AI-enabled product images that convert. AI-powered on-model photo shoots render high-impact images at a fraction of the cost as compared to traditional product photography. 

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Arunava Acharjee

(Product Marketing Manager)