Optimizing Your Checkout Funnel

Almost every website has a goal. Often the goal is to get someone to buy something. Other times, the goal may be to get the reader to complete a contact request. Sometimes the goal may be to inform or entertain, but there is still a goal.

Focusing on e-commerce, the goal is to get the customer to checkout. In a typical buying process, a customer actually goes through a series of steps in order to checkout. These steps, in traditional marketing are often referred to as AIDA model. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. This model, developed at the turn of the last century, originally was focused on print and in-person advertising and marketing. Today, It is used to explain how a website and other types of communication engage and involve consumers in brand choice and how communications need to accomplish several tasks to move someone through a series of sequential steps from awareness through action.

Let’s focus on the parts of the model and look at how they can be measured.

Awareness is simply, do people know your brand, product, or idea exists? If you can’t be found, your potential customers won’t know you exist. Awareness can be measured in raw traffic to your site or search engine rankings. There are many techniques to help your site stand out in search engine rankings but in this article we’re going to focus on steering customers into your funnel once they’re at your site.

Interest in your products can be increased by engaging content about your brand or about your industry or market. Your site could include a blog with engaging articles or activities that feature your products. Examples include lifestyle articles featuring interesting people wearing your apparel or recipes featuring your products. A good way to measure interest is looking at your bounce rate – the percentage of visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. Interest can also be measured by clicks into product list (category) pages.

Desire is curated by informative and exciting product content. Exciting product content includes the images and the copy around your products. Look at your product list pages – in addition to your individual product images, you can use hero images to create a mood showcasing your products. Another way to create desire is to use user generated content. Customer reviews are a great way to let potential customers hear from satisfied customers. Social content like Instagram can be leveraged to show user submitted photos of customers enjoying your products. Instagram photos can now be clickable and take a user directly to your product pages. Desire can be measured by clicks into product detail pages. It can be further refined by looking at a heat map of pages to see where customers are focused.

Action is getting customers to purchase. Start by looking at your add to cart and checkout process. Are these engaging and easy to navigate? Are there areas where your customers could get distracted and abandon checkout? Action can be measured by clicks to add to cart and successful checkouts.

There is a rich set of tools available to measure activity on your site. We can use Google Tag Manager to add code to track user actions and these actions can be tracked in your Google Analytics account. There are several good heat map tools that we can install on your site to show user focus on your pages.

- Endertech Alumnus | 

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