Conversion Funnel Optimisation

What is a conversion funnel?

Your conversion funnel (also known as a ‘purchase funnel’ or ‘sales funnel’) is a term used in ecommerce to describe the journey your customers take on their way to completing a desired action on your site (i.e. converting).

Typically, this desired action or conversion will be a product purchase; however, conversions can vary depending on your business goals, or the industry you’re in. For example, for a blog, a conversion might be a sign-up to their company newsletter. For a review site, a conversion might be a user leaving a review.

What does a typical conversion
funnel look like?

A typical conversion funnel for an ecommerce website will often start with the awareness stage, and end with a product being purchased. The steps in between will largely depend on the structure of your ecommerce site and the design of your checkout, but generally speaking, most ecommerce share the same core stages.

Conversion funnel stages

The stages of an ecommerce conversion funnel are usually as follows:

  1. The user lands on your site
  2. The user views a product or service
  3. The user adds this product or service to their basket
  4. The user enters the checkout
  5. The user completes their purchase

The checkout stage of your conversion funnel can often be broken down into several steps itself, for example:

  1. The user lands on your site
  2. The user views a product
  3. The user adds this product to their basket]
  4. The user enters the checkout
  5. - The user signs in or registers (or opts to check out as a guest)
    - The user fills in their delivery information
    - The user fills in their payment information

  6. The user completes their purchase

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The ecommerce conversion funnel

The ecommerce conversion funnel is typically represented as follows:


Many ecommerce businesses consider their respective conversion funnels to have another stage above ‘Site Visit’, representing those prospective customers who may or may not have landed on your site yet. You can think about these prospects in a number of ways. Perhaps you might want to quantify the opportunity in terms of your market size. Alternatively, if you’d rather measure the effectiveness of your ads at this stage of the funnel, you could consider these prospects as the number of people that see your ads (i.e. the number of impressions your ads receive).

How to use this data

However you choose to define the steps of your conversion funnel, by quantifying each step in this way, you can begin to analyse the percentage dropoff you experience at each step of the customer journey. This insight empowers you to start working out exactly where you’re losing out on the most potential transactions.

For example, if a very high proportion of visitors who add a product to their basket end up completing their purchase, you can deduce that the conversion rate of your checkout is relatively high. Therefore, instead of investing resource in checkout optimisations and analysis, you should probably invest in trying to get more of your users to add products to their basket.

Armed with this insight, you can begin to brainstorm ideas to improve the conversion rate of your product pages (or Product Detail Pages) and category pages (Product Listing Pages), and start building A/B tests on those pages to evaluate your hypotheses.

The lead conversion funnel

The lead conversion funnel (also known simply as the ‘sales funnel’ for many B2B businesses) follows exactly the same premise as the ecommerce conversion funnel. The primary difference is that instead of tracking these customers on their journey to buying a standard product, you’re tracking them on their journey to buying a B2B product or service, but the idea of the funnel remains the same.


One other potential difference is that instead of analysing the various stages of your checkout (on your customer’s path to conversion), you might be tracking their progress from ‘prospect’ to ‘cold lead’ to ‘warm lead’ (to a converted customer).

However, again, these differences are only surface-level. The principles behind the funnel, and the analysis and optimisation opportunities it offers your business, work exactly the same way.

Conversion Funnel Services

If you’d like a hand analysing or optimising your website’s conversion funnel, reach out today to see how Optiminder can help. Optiminder can help you establish the conversion funnel that’s right for your business, based on your data, marketing strategy and business goals. Once your conversion funnel has been established, we can deep-dive into each stage of your funnel, and identify and prioritise the various problem areas and areas of opportunity, to ensure that the areas you’re investing resource in are the ones that offer the greatest potential benefit.

If you’d like, we can also help you draw up an optimisation roadmap, with a data-led backlog of A/B test ideas to deploy, to help you trial different solutions to these identified problem areas and see which solutions perform best with your customer base. If you don’t have an in-house Optimisation team, or if they’d like some support executing this optimisation roadmap, we can also help you build and deploy the tests using the A/B testing platform of your choice.

Get in touch today to find out how Optiminder can help you turn your traffic into transactions.