Why and how to optimize your purchase funnel

How the right tools can help improve the conversion rate of your store.

If you landed on this page, it must be because you are already familiar with the concept of the purchase funnel. In ecommerce, this corresponds to all the steps between the customer's first contact with a brand or a product and the moment when the customer makes a purchase. In this process, we often identify the following steps:

  • Awareness: moment of awareness, discovery of the brand or product. This is the first step towards acquisition.
  • Interest: first contact with the brand or product and researching it.
  • Desire: the visitor indicates his/her intention to buy our product
  • Action: the most anticipated step, the purchase.

Each step is associated with specific actions that will allow you to successfully convert a visitor into a buyer. The verbs attract, convert and analyze, illustrate the steps of the conversion process of the purchase funnel. Here's why these actions are so important, and our advice on how to carry them out.

How can you better attract visitors to your online store?

Before deciding to buy, the visitor goes through a process that leads them to make certain choices. This process begins when a prospect discovers a product or service, and it is at this point that we speak of the acquisition or attraction stage in ecommerce.

To attract a maximum number of prospects and make your brand visible, you need to know your target audience and how and where to communicate with them.

Marketing in the broadest sense of the word includes the methods most commonly used to attract prospects in ecommerce. This can be SEO, SEA, retargeting campaigns... But it is more and more advisable to focus on social commerce which is becoming increasingly important at this stage of the funnel. Today it is almost impossible for a merchant not to be present on social networks, as they are often the first place where the product and the prospect meet. Working on your presence on social networks simply means boosting your visibility.

The rise in the use of networks like Facebook or Instagram to follow and learn about new brands explains the popularity of tools like Facebook Ads, which have the advantage of offering you the ability to target your audience with great precision.

72% of ecommerce companies use Facebook to deploy their digital marketing actions and 61% use Instagram
(State of Ecommerce 2021, Catalyst & Kantar)

What should I do?

Through advertising, bet on visibility on your target's favorite social networks. There are a lot of them today so you need to be sure to focus the bulk of your efforts in relevant platforms, for example Instagram for clothing and accessories, or Pinterest. Most ecommerce solutions allow you to link your shop to your social networks. This is the case for PrestaShop users, who can take advantage of this visibility thanks to modules such as PrestaShop Social which makes it easy to create ads.

How to improve conversion?

At this point, you've accomplished the hardest part: getting your potential buyer's attention so that they see you as the answer to their problem or simply their wish.

Now that you are being considered, this implies that your offer will be compared with the competition, so you need to convince the audience that your solution is the best and guide them towards a quick and easy purchase.

But the conversion doesn't stop there: once the customer is convinced and decides to place the product in a shopping cart, other factors come into play. The end of the conversion is based on the user experience at the moment of purchase, with two particularly important aspects:

  • Conditions of shipment and returns
  • The quick and easy payment process

Above all, consumers want simple, low-cost shipping/return conditions and the ability to pay easily with their preferred payment methods.

43% of online consumers say that a quick and easy checkout process makes them more likely to complete a purchase
(Connecting the dots 2021, GWI)

What should I do?

Your shop must offer different shipping methods (free shipping and free returns are preferable) as well as a simple, fast checkout process that offers various payment methods. Make sure you know the preferred payment methods of your customers, which often vary by region. It is therefore all the more important if you sell internationally.

For PrestaShop users, the PrestaShop Checkout module contains all the features you need to offer the best user experience: personalized and localized payment options, paying in 4 instalments, 100% safe and secure... Enough to satisfy all of your customers, no matter where they are in the world.

Continuously optimize your strategies with data

The customer was attracted, persuaded, and ended up buying from your store. Whether or not you are just starting out in ecommerce, you surely know that your story with the customer is just beginning. After attraction and conversion, the goal is to retain and keep your customer engaged with your brand and products.

In marketing there are many ways to boost customer loyalty: dedicated campaigns, loyalty programs, educational content about the product... There is a wide range of options, and room for creativity when it comes to engagement.

As a merchant, the real challenge lies in data analysis and data quality. Without this, it is impossible to operate at any stage of the purchase funnel, because if you don't understand your target's behavior, tastes and preferences, you won't be able to develop relevant strategies to attract and convert them.

These data are precious: they allow you to establish your KPIs, to optimize your current marketing actions, and to come up with new action plans. You need to be able to understand the behavior of customers on your site, where they come from, what they like and dislike. In other words, knowing how to analyze and understand your data is the key to creating and establishing the right marketing strategies

What should I do?

Today we have many tools to track our KPIs, analyze and structure our data. Google Analytics is probably one of the most well-known, but it is important to be able to visualize the performance of your shop and your customers from your shop itself. In this respect, PrestaShop Metrics is an ideal solution as it allows you to integrate PrestaShop and Google Analytics data, accessible from your back office. A simple and effective way to have your most relevant data at your fingertips

56% of ecommerce professionals invest in data analysis, making this one of the largest  ecommerce budgets.
(State of Ecommerce 2021, Catalyst & Kantar)

PrestaShop Essentials - helping you succeed

With these tips in hand, you can now take action and boost your purchase funnel. The PrestaShop Essentials suite has been designed to meet the most essential needs of e-merchants, and to help merchants make their store a success. Developed in partnership with leading web and ecommerce players, each module addresses the key areas discussed earlier: sales, payments, marketing and analytics.

Boost your online store and improve conversion with the PrestaShop Essentials modules

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