Customers don’t appear out of the blue – they always follow one of several possible paths to find your eCommerce brand, locate the product or service ideal for their needs, and make a purchase.
You might already know about conversion rate and its importance, but you’ll also need to master conversion paths to maximize the profits of your eCommerce store.
Let’s break down conversion paths in detail in this beginner’s guide.
In a nutshell, a conversion path is any step-by-step process in which a lead or prospective customer is attracted to your website, then makes a purchase and converts into a paying customer or subscriber. Think of it as the exact process by which a lead converts into a customer.
Here are a few examples:
Each of these conversion paths resulted in a new customer or prospective customer in the future. But eCommerce executives need to understand how conversion paths work and optimize their brand and its conversion paths for maximum effectiveness to ensure success for their online businesses.
Why worry about conversion paths? Because optimizing them allows you to shorten the time it takes to convert a lead or prospective customer into a paying customer.
In many industries, drawing the customer’s attention is just the first step of the conversion process. It may take weeks or even months after a prospect or lead becomes aware of your brand make a purchase.
Certain conversion paths are better at getting people into your conversion funnel and getting them to visit your store with the intent of making a purchase. Other conversion paths are more meandering and could cost you time and money.
Additionally, understanding conversion paths and optimizing them for conversion rate efficiency can shorten your cash conversion cycle or CCC.
In brief, a cash conversion cycle is a metric that tells you the time it takes for an organization to convert investments in inventory or resources into cash flow. In simpler terms, CCC tells you how long it takes for your investment in your products or services to make a return.
For example, if it takes your company one month to acquire the resources to make its products, another week to construct the products, and a full two months to market and sell the products, the CCC for those products is three months and one week.
By optimizing your conversion paths, you can shorten the last step of the CCC and net your business higher profits in a shorter time.
There are many ways you can improve conversion paths for your eCommerce store. Let’s take a look at some of these strategies now.
For starters, always be sure to analyze your current conversion paths. Take a look at your marketing channels (i.e. social media marketing, paid ads, search engine optimization, and more) and try to discover which channels lead the most customers to your store.
Then figure out how long it takes on average for a visitor or lead to convert into a paying customer using those channels. In doing this, you’ll be able to figure out which conversion paths are most efficient and thus which paths need the most work.
No matter which conversion paths are doing the best, you’ll always need to create an offer attractive content. “Content” in this sense means any products or services you provide to your prospective customers, not necessarily written content.
As you analyze your existing conversion paths, revamp the content on those paths to make them more attractive and urgent for prospective buyers.
For example, if your email marketing conversion path isn’t doing so well, you can always add new content or special offers to your email ads that may have a better chance of drawing customers to your store.
When a customer clicks on an ad, searches your brand's name, or clicks through to your site from social media, they arrive at a landing page. Similarly, when they make a purchase or subscribe to a newsletter, they see a thank you page.
Both of these pages need to be top-tier in every way, from design to content and so on. Take the time to ensure these pages are as high-quality as possible — they can make the difference between whether a visitor stays on your site and converts into a customer or clicks away and escapes the purchase funnel at the last moment.
People only stay on-page for an average of 15 seconds before deciding if they’ll click away, after all.
In addition to all the above actions, you should also ensure each page on your site has at least one call to action, inspiring visitors to make a choice or purchase.
It should go without saying that other copy needs to be high-quality, typo-free, and inspiring rather than just taking up space.
Each of the above strategies is just the start – there are many more in-depth means to optimize conversion paths.
All in all, understanding conversion paths is just the start of mastering your eCommerce store and maximizing conversion rate. It can be tough to get started by yourself, which is why Building Blocks is here to help.
Building Blocks is a one-stop-shop masterclass in eCommerce brand building, marketing, and more. Start one of our free modules today.
What Is a Conversion Path? Definitions, Do's and Don'ts, and More | ClearVoice
Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC) Definition | Investopedia
Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile: What You Get Wrong about the Internet | Time