Alina Yarova

Head of Content

Conversion funnel

Ecommerce Conversion Funnel: Definition, Stages & 4 Optimization Strategies

Implementing and setting up a conversion funnel is a direct way to increase sales. It's also the most significant headache for all marketers, product analysts, etc. Adapting, analyzing, and regularly optimizing sounds like an endless and incomprehensible stream of processes that specialists responsible for increasing sales in a company face.

In this article, you will learn the main stages of the ecommerce funnel and methods of analyzing and optimizing it. It directly helps to identify and anticipate problematic moments and get the highest possible profit from business activities.

What is Ecommerce Conversion Funnel

The conversion funnel (or sales/purchase funnel) is the path a website or application user takes when interacting with a business from "newbie" status to customer. This path should outline and clearly capture each stage of your customers' thinking when influencing their interaction with your brand to make purchases.

What a funnel looks like:

Sales funnel

Based on the image above, we clearly understand that every business can adapt the funnel depending on the type of product offered, the interaction platform, the niche, etc. It’s essential for us to show the difference using the traditional approach and draw parallels with the ecommerce funnel to make the adaptability of the layout clear.

The diagram also shows that the funnel metaphor is appropriate for outlining the stages of business interaction with a customer. It's a kind of filter that gives businesses a smaller but more targeted audience as they approach conversion.

An ecommerce funnel is a vital tool for creating the most convenient and valuable customer journey, ensuring that potential visitors become regular customers. The company cannot spend its budget on close communication with all potential customers, so it is crucial to understand which audience is most interested in the product and where to direct the most significant marketing efforts.

Thus, a properly constructed conversion funnel saves the budget by directing it to work with a truly interested audience.

Main Stages of Ecommerce Conversion Funnel

Properly defined ecommerce funnel stages allow you to plan the best path for your target audience from browsing to purchase. Additionally, with a clear and well-designed layout, you can effectively test and optimize your conversion funnels to increase your overall conversion rate.

Keep in mind the four main stages of any conversion:

AIDA marketing model of consumer behavior

  1. Awareness is the top of the ecommerce conversion funnel. At this stage, the company informs people about the brand in selected channels to attract the potential customers' attention. This is the first step in developing long-term customer relationships – the audience needs to learn about your product and business and see your website.
  2. Interest. After attracting new users to your website or app, generating interest in your products is essential. Relevant content, attractive design, and special offers from the brand (for example, for the first purchase) play an important role. These are all good ways to encourage visitors to continue interacting with your brand, sign up for newsletters, and follow the company's life.
  3. Desire. At this stage, businesses must build trust and a desire to buy. "Desire" is about personalized communication, relevant offers, high-quality communication in the proper channels, etc. Interested buyers who see value in your products and company will go down the ecommerce funnel and get closer to converting.
  4. Action (conversion sequence) is the purpose of creating and implementing an ecommerce conversion funnel. At this stage, your visitors have passed all the previous stages, successfully interacting with your brand, and are ready to make a conversion. Here, you are already working with the best target audience.

Depending on your marketing campaign or conversion goal, the “action” stage can be divided into several stages.

Take note:

the more you optimize and customize your ecommerce conversion funnel, the more complex it will be. Accordingly, it will definitely be different from the one shown above. These 4 steps are just a framework, so analyze and evolve your funnel in response to your customers' actions and new market challenges.

How to Analyze Ecommerce Conversion Funnel Performance

More than 70% of customers are likely to leave abandoned carts instead of making a purchase. That`s why you need to promptly identify the funnel's weaknesses and make changes to adapt to the customer’s wants and needs.

The conversion funnel analysis is incredibly relevant for marketers, product analysts, and business owners. Below, we reveal the secrets of funnel analysis to help you understand which part of the funnel needs improvement.

Of course, it's essential to use services like Hotjar to understand the heat map of customer movements on a particular page. Still, we offer a step-by-step breakdown to help you analyze the marketing sequence.

Take a top-level approach

This method involves analyzing the top-level funnel at the main stages of conversion.

Conversion funnel

In this case, you need to focus on the engagement rates for each conversion stage and determine which stages need to be driving traffic efficiently enough. For example:

  • an unexpected drop in activity even before viewing the product;
  • decrease in traffic after viewing only one product;
  • loss of potential customers when they add products to their carts.

All of these are obvious signals for specific funnel improvements. Here's an example of how the company analyzed the top-level conversion funnel – they evaluated the activity of 1000 visitors who come to the website:

Top-level funnel analysis graph

The analysis clearly shows the percentage of people out of every thousand visitors who go down the ecommerce conversion funnel from each stage. Looking at the numbers, it is much easier to understand the effectiveness of the tools. After doing some calculations, it was found that the website conversion rate is 4.6%.

The analysis also clearly pointed out the problem areas of the funnel, namely, the area between adding an item to the cart and making a purchase, where more than 40% of potential customers slip away.

Deep dive into the features

Using the same example, we can dive even deeper into point analysis by exploring opportunities to improve the percentage of purchases after adding an item to the cart.

Conversion funnel analysis graph

A closer look at the customer journey shows that almost 90% of visitors who added a product to their cart visited the cart later, so this step works well. However, there is a significant drop between visiting the cart and entering personal data. Almost 30% of people who go all the way to view their cart then leave. This is the point we need to work on.

Crucial KPIs to track

  • The overall conversion rate quantifies the total number of visitors who successfully convert after interacting with your website.
  • The marketing channel conversion rate monitors the performance of various channels in driving conversions, helping to discern which, like Adwords or Twitter, yields more conversions.
  • The page conversion rate compares conversion rates across different pages on your website.
  • The campaign conversion rate evaluates the effectiveness of your different marketing campaigns.
  • The individual ad conversion rate reveals which ads attract the most qualified traffic and how modifications impact their performance.
  • The keyword conversion rate indicates which keywords provide the most value for your investment.

How to Optimize Ecommerce Conversion Funnel: 4 Best Strategies for 2024

Make your website simple and clear

Every step of a potential customer's journey should be intuitive. This also includes not overloading pages with various interactive elements, recommendation blocks, unexpected popups, etc., which can distract attention from the target action. The sequence of transitions should be designed to encourage action, regardless of the conversion goal. Be concise and specific, and provide relevant content on each page.

Define the action you want to perform for each step and ensure your page doesn't distract users from that action. The busier your steps are, the more distracted the user will be. Keep sight of the ultimate goal.

Make your website easy to navigate

No matter how good your product is, you won't get any sales if a customer needs help figuring out where to find it on the website. Easy navigation is about the convenience of using a source, an intuitive interface, and a well-thought-out customer journey.
This is one of the funnel elements that play an important role in moving the customer to the conversion stage. It is essential to allocate time and resources and set up convenient navigation. What is important to consider:

  • Make sure that no matter how a potential customer lands on your site, they have an obvious and easy way to navigate your product pages.
  • The path to the shopping cart from any website page, the ability to view the products in the cart, and the ability to adjust the final purchase.

For various reasons, people can abandon a purchase or lose interest at any funnel stage. Easy navigation will allow you to consider the customer journey and possible reasons for abandoning the purchase. The more intuitive and convenient you make your website, the better your conversion rate will be.

Always be testing

No matter what changes you implement on your website, the best conversion funnel optimization method is A/B testing. Target different variants of your website, newsletters, widgets, etc., to different audience segments. This way, you can experiment with assumptions about potential customer actions on the website, such as leaving data in the subscription form or responding to a popup. The possibilities for such testing are unlimited – just repeat this technique until you achieve your goals.

Test every change you make and force yourself to create hypotheses for other things you can test.

Use marketing SaaS solution 

To perform many tasks while optimizing the funnel, you need to use more than one service – to understand your audience portrait, conduct testing and track results, send emails, engage customers, and motivate them to convert, etc.

Working with different audience segments at various life cycle stages is a titanic work that needs to be done quickly and on time. Think about how much money you spend while your product analyst and other experts analyze different information on different platforms and do the same job every day.

To avoid downtime, quickly process all the data, and avoid wasting time on repetitive processes, you must learn how to automate your marketing and thus improve the omnichannel journey orchestration. Using one program solution, such as a marketing automation platform or customer data platform, you will save time, money, and your team`s energy to focus on objective funnel optimization – not switching web windows.

Use Yespo for Conversion Funnel Optimization

Returning to the above four stages of funnel optimization (awareness, interest, desire, action), it becomes clear that an assessment of the customer lifecycle and sales funnel helps to find conversion growth points. How can Yespo omnichannel CDP  help in this case?

1. It is convenient to process large volumes of personal customer data in real-time in order to collect them into customer profiles further and thus set up hyper-segmented campaigns with personalized recommendations.

Yespo CDP omnichannel features

2. The platform has a user-friendly email builder with an integrated AI assistant, a builder for website widgets, and messages across multiple channels for multilingual audiences.

3. Creating appropriate workflows will help you carefully consider how to improve gentle but effective omnichannel marketing at different stages of the customer's lifecycle.

Trigger-based automation workflow example

4, Thanks to the ability to create personalized website recommendations, you can quickly improve cross-selling and upselling by adding special blocks to the necessary pages. Moreover, you can also use special product recommendation blocks in emails, applications, etc.  

Example of a recommendation block on the cart page

5, A/B testing will help you find the best solution for ecommerce funnel optimization.

6, Сustomer segmentation – basic and advanced – will help you better work with your audience at each stage of the funnel.

To learn more about Yespo CDP's capabilities and benefits, use the form at the end of the page to request a call with our representatives.


Conversion is a targeted action that business owners expect a user or website visitor to make. Accordingly, all marketing revolves around creating and improving the conversion funnel.

Most often, the target action for the retail niche is a purchase, but this is not always the case. Depending on the conversion you want to get as a result of setting up a funnel, the stages of this funnel may differ.

Above, we gave an example of a classic marketing funnel and compared it to an ecommerce purchase funnel. Remember that this is just a mockup, a framework that will certainly expand and change under the influence of specific actions of your users and market conditions.

Key takeaways that we recommend to remember:

  • A conversion funnel is how you plan for your customer to get a conversion. Make this path simple and intuitive.
  • When you start analyzing your conversion funnel, take a top-down approach: start with the main stages and then drill down into the ones needing the most attention.
  • Test every change to make sure your funnel is delivering the most value.

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Alina Yarova

Head of Content

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