E-Commerce is still in its early stages in South Africa. However, research shows that it is steadily growing year by year and experts say that 2018 is the year it makes big strides.
Most E-Commerce website reporting tools display a limited amount of data, such as website visitors, traffic sources and which devices users are using to access the website. This provides some valuable insight, however, information about the online sales process is not included in this data.
E-COMMERCE SALES FUNNEL EXPLAINED
The definition of a sales funnel is a model that lets you visualize where your prospects are in the process of making a buying decision.
With an E-Commerce sales funnel the process is broken down into phases. Namely, how a visitor landed on your website, how they interacted and then made the purchase.
Depending on how the E-Commerce store is set up and what the store is selling, will determine the different phases of the sales funnel. Knowing about your sales funnel and optimizing each phase is extremely important to improve your online sales conversion.
A TYPICAL E-COMMERCE WEBSITES SALES FUNNEL HAS FOUR STEPS
1) Awareness – This phase is where visitors have landed onto your E-commerce website and are browsing through the various sections.
2) Interest – This phase is where a visitor is browsing the products on sale and then viewing the product information in more detail.
3) Decision – The visitor is satisfied with the product(s) they’ve researched in the interest phase and proceeds to add the item(s) to their shopping cart. They are able to review what they added, make modifications or add extra items if needed. Their intentions are to purchase these items.
4) Action – This is where the order is processed and paid for, in other words, the sale has taken place.
THE GOOGLE ANALYTICS SALES FUNNEL
In Google Analytics, this funnel translates to a sequence of pages, which would be considered the goals that the user would need to go through in order to complete a purchase.
Analyzing the performance helps to identify potential barriers that people may be experiencing on your site.
Each section of the funnel shows the percentage of people who continued to the next step, as well as a final conversion rate at the bottom. The funnel conversion rate measures the percentage of people who entered the funnel and completed the final goal.
In this example, we can see that 1,133 people entered the cart checkout process and 682 completed it.
OPTIMIZING YOUR SALES FUNNEL
To analyze why people leave before completing a phase, we need to ask:
1) Was the next step not clearly labelled?
2) Should there be a stronger call to action to guide visitors through the process?
3) Was there a usability issue?
4) Was a lengthy form too intimidating?
Also, look at pages where people went after leaving the cart phase, many people seem to be jumping back to previous stages.
Lastly, something to consider is if they encountered a poor user experience, slow speeds, unexpected costs or concern over security.
By enabling Google Analytics and setting up goals in your E-Commerce sales funnel, it allows you to visualize where improvement is needed and to take the steps needed to improve your E-Commerce store’s performance.
Having this information at your disposal allows you to visually understand the process and where bottlenecks are.