We’ve covered effective SEO practices for driving up the number of potential customers to your site (Article 1, Article 2, Article 3). However, getting them there is only step 1. The ecommerce sales funnel begins with the initial site visit and ends when the customer makes their final payment.
Along the way, keeping your customers engaged and yourself from being subject to the dreaded “shopping cart abandonment” becomes an increasingly difficult task.
Each stage of the ecommerce sales funnel is either an opportunity for a customer to say goodbye to your site, or an opportunity for you to further captivate their interest and move them further along to completing checkout.
In our work in building Magento ecommerce sites, we’ve found a handful of Magento extensions that are particularly effective in making each stage of the sales funnel a valuable, sales-encouraging experience.
As soon as a potential customer lands on your site, greet them with product offerings that are tailored towards them. Customer Specific Products is a Magento extension that allows you to control what a customer sees. You can choose to hide or display certain product categories, as well as set custom pricing for specific customer segments. Customizing your store’s product offerings so that only the most relevant ones at the most attractive price are displayed takes away the distracting and unnecessary clutter that often lead to abandonment at this stage.
If you’d rather not limit your product offerings to any of your visitors, it would benefit you then, to make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for. Many customers will come to your website with a specific goal in mind—these people know exactly what they want and they’ll head to the search functionality on your site to find it. In fact, search users account for 30% of your customers and are more likely to convert.
Elastic Search provides a faster and more a valuable search experience than Magento’s default search function. Autocomplete, autocorrect, and did-you-mean features make it easier for a customer to find what they’re looking for or point them to similar products. Best of all, the extension delivers fast search results, but works with other pages of your site so that those pages load faster.
To take product search one step step further, consider installing live chat on your site in order to personally assist your shoppers find what they’re looking for.
Now let’s consider those who are still looking. Perhaps these customers don’t know exactly what they want but it helps to have the tools available for them to narrow down their choices. The 2 Layered Navigation extension allows customers to filter products by certain attributes such as size, style, color, and so on. The extension also comes with a handy price slider with which your customers can narrow down these options to those that fall within a desired price range. All of this happens instantly thanks to Ajax Loading.
Enticing Product Pages
By now, your customers have found something that they consider purchasing and thus, are on an individual product page. Here, you can up the item’s appeal by equipping its page with extensions that really show off its awesomeness.
If you’ve got videos that highlight the special features of your products, Magento Product Video helps integrate them onto the product page. The extension supports both YouTube and Vimeo, as well as allows you to upload videos directly.
Magic Zoom Plus, gives you the sought-after zoom feature for your products images, giving the discerning customers a literal closer look at the details of your products. “Hover over to zoom” and “click to enlarge” both come with this extension. Best of all, it’s compatible on all major browsers as well as mobile devices and tablets.
If your product offerings come in a variety of colors or patterns, Color Swatch lets your customers to visualize each one in their varying colors, designs, textures, and patterns.
Proceed to Checkout
Now, we’re at the home stretch of the purchasing process. This is where 46% of cart abandonment occurs. To combat that, make your check out process simple and distraction-free.
- Condensing the traditional six-step check out process into one page.
- Auto-completing address fields with information from Google Places.
- Dynamically updating the total price whenever the customer changes the order quantity and/or shipping method.
The checkout page is also where you can tackle the issue of shipping. Unexpected shipping cost is the primary reason for 25% of shopping cart abandonment occurrences. Magento’s default functionality only allows you to calculate the weight of the entire order to send to your shipping provider and we know that shipping an entire order in one package is rarely the case for businesses.
Here’s where Dimensional Shipping comes in. This extension allows you to break the order down based on how you actually package them. At checkout, Dimensional Shipping calculates the dimensions and weight of the package(s) based on your rules on how certain products will be packaged. This information is sent to your chosen carrier and your customers get more accurate live shipping rates for their order. Dimensional shipping is compatible with FedEx, UPS, and USPS live rates.
Congrats! Your customer has successfully placed an order thanks to a well-oiled sales funnel. But even after the final purchase, steps can be taken to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Here are a few more modules we love that put the cherry on top of a successful transaction:
Need some more help in your ecommerce efforts? Contact us for a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of your website and we help do away with those abandoned shopping cart blues.