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The success of any business is defined by its ability to lure customers, convince them about the service to confirm a purchase, and in the long term retain them for future business. This three-step cycle ensures that the organization is effective in bringing aboard customers and consequently driving sales. However, achieving the desired goal may not be as simple as it looks. If that was the case, we wouldn’t have mathematics or psychology brought into the digital marketing sector.
“Purchase Funnel”, an e-commerce model illustrating consumer journey towards buying the product or service outlines the processes a customer undergoes before his/her final choice. This theoretical model was chosen particularly to demonstrate the struggle of the conversion process and optimize business marketing strategy. The “conversion sales funnel” highlights some key stages or phases of the business process and depicts the likelihood of customers proceeding to the next stage via its shape.
Business owners operating through web-based platforms often implement psychology to evaluate the correlation of the scientific subject with that of their business strategy. This is particularly useful to UX designers of a website who need to “connect” with the users in their goal to persuade them to carry out a successful purchase or subscription. Thus, these “six principles of persuasion” put forth by psychologist and marketer, Robert Cialdini, are closely related to the marketing principles and how some aspects should be prioritized over others to meet users’ expectations and retain them long enough on the website to drive a successful conversion.
No matter which external field you delve into outside the marketing world to understand the digital landscape better, you return with the same results and key principles that will lead you to optimize your conversions better. These common values overlap and serve as comprehensive fundamentals for devising a perfect strategy to derive effective conversions.
The first step, as always, is to draw the user in by redirecting them to the business platform via any channel or source in the online environment. Social media channels are the goldmine of digital marketing, especially with giants like Facebook that house 2.2 billion active users. Around 95% of the surveyed millennial group (aged 18-34) agreed that they started pursuing a brand’s service after becoming aware of its presence on social networking sites. Moreover, ads and marketing attempts can be devised according to the demographics as services like the Facebook Audience Insight Tool, allow you to segment larger audiences into smaller pools of individuals to target your product. On such platforms, users who made a purchase considered two factors, above any else, for their decision. Almost 48% consumers opted for the purchase because the brand was responsive on social media while 46% of the customers valued the brand’s ability to communicate forth; promotions and special vouchers as incentives for trying out their service.
For many brands, especially those dealing with original content on a frequent basis, targeting specific keywords can improve the chances of being prominent and visible on the higher spots in the organic search results. Google Trends and Google Analytics can help you focus on keywords most searched for, while Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush also grant access to functions including keywords being used by the competitors within a certain niche.
Lastly, embedding links called backlinks that redirect back to your platform not only allow you to increase your Domain Authority to get on Google’s radar of valuable websites but also create brand awareness among different sources including blogs that bring traffic. Again, the aforementioned tools include integrated tools for link building to help with your brand’s outreach.
Once you’ve caught the user’s attention, it’s now time to work in terms of presenting the aspects that your brand and its website is honoured to house. These include a good UX design, a fluid and robust navigation system and a streamlined overall surfing experience. An abundance of attractive, prominent, and interactive Call-to-Actions (CTAs) will ensure that the user is never confused about what action to take next, so these buttons create a sense of satisfaction.
All the intricacies involved in increasing the customer base matter. This is exemplified by looking at Offer Factor, an e-commerce fashion retailer that incorporates the navigation bar at the top, such that it tracks the user’s movement and progresses on the same pace as the user. This means that no matter where you are on a particular page, you wouldn’t need to scroll all the way up to redirect to a different section of the web.
Keeping aside the design and accessibility of the website, the technical aspects or simply speaking, the functionality of the platform matters a lot to keep bounce-rates to a minimum. This is especially true when the page load times are considered where the optimum benchmark lies at 3 seconds, and any further delay can lead to the loss of 53% website visitors from the in-bound traffic.
Mobile usage statistics have escalated, with over 3.5 billion active operators as of late. Smartphone consumers have spent over $1 trillion in purchases, both online and offline. It is therefore imperative to ensure that mobile-based variation of the web-platform remains consistent by using an intuitive and accessible user-interface. With respect to eliminating any hurdles and striving towards user convenience, incorporating tools like Google’s Lighthouse and Analytics tool or Adobe Analytics will ensure that user’s heatmap and behavioral patterns are analyzed, while providing valuable insights into the elements associated with server load, error handling and navigation.
User engagement and satisfaction
The first two steps, often cited as the toughest, are now in the rear. After luring the user in and giving him enough reason stay and browse through the services helmed at the particular website, now comes the delicate part, where you finalize the deal by ensuring authenticity and originality of the content, such that it relates with the audience and helps you gain their trust. Here, presenting the content that’s unique or concise and relevant, will be your key to gain the confidence of the customer and encourage him towards the subscription page.
Recently, visual content, which comprises infographics and video content has seen growth when it comes to engagement rate of the users. The former is reported to boost the appeal among the visitors by 40% by presenting complex data in a simplified, organized, and a shareable format. Video content is also on rise.
As for video content, its format is an attractive way of selling your products and services as it holds a user-retention rate of 88%. These could range from live-streams on popular social networking sites like Facebook or Instagram to informative or instructive videos on the product page that tells the user more about the product from a non-binary perspective. For a good example, there’s yet another e-retailer with UK-based brand, ASOS where every apparel along accompanies a video, with duration of 10 seconds.
High quality product photography goes a long way as it builds trust and credibility of a business towards its customers. Image of a product is the easiest way to gravitate the attention of customers and testify the quality of product you’re selling.
Lastly, sponsors associated with the brand, celebrity endorsements, customer reviews & feedback, and frankly any display of expertise and knowledge within the field is sure to secure visitors and direct them towards the final goal, the final step at the end of the conversion funnel: becoming a new consumer.
Understanding how conversions work and the complexities involved throughout the process are essential for reaching out and securing the potential customers. Therefore, emphasis is on following the basic principles, all of which deal with consumer satisfaction, engagement and retention. By effectively utilizing digital marketing platforms to garner traffic and then subsequently captivating the audience via attractive visual content, smooth UX and UI of the website design, and a deep respect for their expectations; the journey for both the consumer and the business ends on satisfying terms, as the business works towards the reiteration of the same venture for a different customer.