Know Your Funnel

The Funnel. Fall Out Reports. Customer Drop Off. All basically the same thing: Where is it that customers are leaving your site instead of finishing their transaction?

Let’s look at an e-commerce funnel (since that’s my area of expertise) as an example.

Most e-commerce sites follow the same basic format:

  • Homepage
  • Product list page (categories, searches, where multiple products show up)
  • Product detail pag
  • Shopping cart
  • Steps of checkout (where to ship, how to pay, receipt).

The main metric companies will look at is conversion rate (number of orders placed divided by the number of visitors to the site). But when you have a conversion rate concern, what do you do?

Look to the funnel!

By analyzing your funnel, you can identify possible pain points your customers are having. Do they spend a lot of time searching for things and not finding what they want? Do they bounce back and forth from product lists to product details? Are they having a hard time making it from the cart to starting checkout?

Once you identify the areas of the site where you’re losing your customers, you can begin to deep dive into what issues they’re having. Does a “quick view” not provide enough detail for them to make a decision? Are they struggling to understand how the cart information is laid out and don’t want to commit to starting the checkout process? Are your search terms not returning relevant results?

From here, you can do a number of things to isolate the problems. A/B testing of new layouts or more obvious calls to action. Usability tests to get customer feedback on what might be frustrating them. Page performance analysis to see if information can load faster. Session replay to watch frustrated sessions and see in real time what your customer is experiencing.

The list goes on and on, but it has to start from knowing your funnel. Without that, it’s just chasing your tail trying to hypothesize why you’re losing customers.

Know your funnel, then go from there.