Before a customer converts, he or she goes through various steps from the search system or advertisement to visiting the e-commerce site, navigating through it and finally making a purchase. This journey is referred to as a conversion or e-commerce funnel.

It is called a funnel because it illustrates the gradual decline in the number of potential customers at each step of the conversion journey.

The stages of conversion

The conversion funnel is divided into three main parts, the upper funnel, middle funnel and lower funnel. The upper funnel is where new visitors are attracted to the e-commerce site, the middle funnel where they are turned into interested shoppers and the lower funnel where conversions are finalized.   Each part is crucial in the path to conversion and different marketing tactics are required at each level for conversion optimization.

The process of converting a potential customer can be broken down into 4stages.

1. Generating awareness

All conversion funnels begin with creating awareness. This means making online shoppers aware of your merchandise. There are several ways to create awareness including clickable online advertisements, content marketing campaigns and organic internet searches. The key to effectively create awareness is determining the most effective marketing tactics and platforms for your e-commerce site.

2. Building interest

After generating awareness and driving traffic to your site, you need to get your visitors interested in your products. Focus on optimizing your site’s user and shopping experience. Improve its aesthetics by employing visually striking designs and engaging content and make it easy to navigate.

Monitor the exits at this point in the funnel and focus on making changes that retain more customers to the next step.

iii. Cultivating desire and trust

Customers reaching this stage are highly qualified leads who only need a little push to convert. They need to learn more about your brand and be able to trust it. At this level, you can deliver targeted, personalized content through email workflow campaigns to convince potential customers to move down the funnel.

1. Elicit Action

The final step in the conversion funnel is action. This is where your nurturing pays off and the potential customers respond by placing your product in their shopping cart. The only thing to do at this stage is to discourage shopping cart abandonment by streamlining the checkout process. The conversion funnel is complete when the customer makes a purchase.

Any of these stages can significantly influence conversion rate. You need to understand your customer behavior and their reasons for exiting at each stage of the e-commerce funnel to make improvements to it and boost conversion rate.