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Elements of conversion funnel

Sunday, July 7th, 2013 by Servage

The term, “conversion funnel” may be less familiar to visual designers of websites, but most programmers, accustomed to SEO, know the idiom very well. It’s true that each change in our design of the website or web application may affect the conversion rate. So let’s understand this conversion funnel and its design techniques.

Conversion 

As stated above, we target conversion, which means transforming visitors of our website into our customers.This meets our primary goal of the website in the form of purchases of products or services, or perhaps in filling out a form or other site objectives. Conversion funnel deals with the steps involved in the process of reaching the final goal on the website.

As its name suggests, the funnel means it narrows progressively towards the end goal. In other words, many visitors enter into the mouth of the funnel, but a smaller number of visitors turn into customers at the end. Each website has its own targets and means of conversion as well as steps or pages involved in the conversion. Defining conversion funnel is therefore difficult as it varies site-to-site. Nevertheless, let’s look at some typical steps involved.

Conversion Funnel

As the word conversion is mainly attached with e-commerce, it is better to review conversion steps for a typical e-commerce site. First and foremost is the home page where almost all visitors land and start their journey towards buying a product/conversion. Therefore, the second step would be the product or services page. Afterwards, visitors will enter on the payment or checkout page and finally, accomplishing their purpose, means doing purchases of products.

Some visitors during their journey will drop off at each step, while a few visitors will become customers. Thus, some level of drop off is expected. When drop off reaches a considerably high level, we should consider it unusual and pay attention to the various factors that affect the conversion, including site design and aspects of website application. Amongst these many elements, we have to sort out problematic issues and fix them.

Remember, the first and foremost step of a conversion funnel is our Home page, which is a gateway of our website. When a visitor lands here, they generally expect it will describe the purpose of the website and tell how a visitor can find whatever they want. The Home page will answer many important basic questions for our visitors, through texts, design elements and other content.

Product Display

For instance, if your website is selling men’s and women’s garments, then your home page should display the latest products or hot selling items. Here, product display has two options: grid view and list view. Since this product type needs a presentation of quality images, we definitely prefer grid view over the list view. List view is good for electronic gadget type products where visitors seek pertinent information related to features.

In recent trends, product images displayed in the grid view are positioned as somewhat bigger than thumbnails, with some added functionality, like regional zoom or pop-up zoom when an image is hovered. These efforts not only keep the visitors around for more seconds on the home page, they also create interest in the merchandise and lead them to the product page for further journey. At present, we have technologies and tools to display high-resolution images, without leaving the Home page. We can even reach to the product page with regional zoom effects, where a visitor can see particular details of the image without enlarging the whole image.

There are many other design and coding aspects, which need to be considered for the enhancement of the conversion funnel, but we will discuss them later on in this series.

References & more reading:

Analyzing Your Conversion Funnel

Ecommerce A/B testing: Larger product images increase sales by 9%

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