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The most popular conversion paths in online stores – data analysis

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Where do the users come to the website from? Which access channels are the best to invest in? To answer these questions, we need to find out what are conversion paths and how to find those related to our website.

Before a visitor to our online store becomes a customer, he or she takes many steps. First, he searches for a password on Google or sees an advertisement on Instagram, then he likes a profile on Facebook, sometimes he will go to the website via a link provided on the influencer’s channel. It happens that he will look at products on the phone, and only in a few days at home, on a laptop, he will enter the name of our brand in the search engine and buy the product.

What are conversion paths?

The path that the user travels to make purchases in our store is the conversion path. We can check it with Google Analytics. In its basic setting, the tool will show us from where in the network the person who finalized the transaction came to our website. This is how we can check where we get the most customers from.

We distinguish six basic categories of reaching. The first one is Direct, i.e. direct inputs. This is what we call an event when the user has entered the website after correctly entering our store’s address in the web browser bar. Organic search and Paid search mean that a person clicked on a link to our website because it appeared as a response to a search query entered into the search engine. References from other sites, e.g. when someone recommends our site in an article or blog post, will be visible to us as Referral. If our website is included in the search engine index thanks to appropriate positioning, it is an organic search. If the link was sponsored (thanks to which it was placed at the top of the page), the entry will be marked as Paid. All traffic from social media: links from posts, descriptions on profiles, relationships etc. will be marked as Social. The last category is Display, i.e. switching to the website from paid banner campaigns.

The most popular conversion paths in online stores

A few steps before buying, i.e. multi-channel conversion paths

Seeing the statistics from six reach categories, we can determine which media generate the most entries completed with a purchase. However, is this data sufficient to determine which promotional activities are most profitable for us? If the fewest converters to the website appear, for example, from sponsored posts on Facebook, should we stop investing in this type of advertising and shift the entire budget to another place? It is unfortunately not that simple. Users rarely make a purchasing decision the first time they contact the brand. Sometimes it takes several weeks between getting to know the product and buying it. If we have the most sales from direct visits to the website, it means that users got to know our brand well earlier and wanted to buy a specific product.

How do we know which conversion paths are popular?

In Google Analytics you will find the Most important conversion paths tab, this is where the most interesting information for us is hidden. We will learn in it not only the last category of places from which the user entered the website, but above all the path most often followed by people who decide to buy in our store. We can see, for example, that most people entered our website via social media, then clicked on a paid link in the Google search engine and only later decided to enter the name of our website directly in the browser and make a purchase. Dear users can look very different and can be a combination of all reach categories. However, if several ways are repeated in a larger number of people, it will be valuable for us to know about the behavior of our customers. Knowledge of popular conversion paths will help us optimize advertising activities.

If the first meeting with the brand in the majority of recipients takes place via social media channels, resigning from promotion, e.g. on Instagram, may drastically affect sales – even though we do not have direct purchases from this application at all. Getting to know the way of users and a good analysis of the data obtained in this way is also an opportunity to build better recognition. If we know the route most frequently traveled by our customers, we can also consciously adjust the messages about the product they encounter when they come into contact with our brand at various stages of the journey.

The most popular conversion paths in online stores

How to use data on conversion paths?

As with all information obtained from analytical tools, it is worth combining various data. A broader look at what conversion paths are will allow us to avoid hasty actions, but also help us “empathize with the user’s situation”. Sometimes it will also allow you to eliminate previously unnoticed errors or obstacles. If a customer needs to visit our website 15 times before making a purchase, maybe it is not clear enough and easy to navigate? If the multi-channel conversion path is too long, it may be because only a really committed user is deciding to buy. Shortening the path from getting to know the product to buying will not only lower our customer acquisition cost, but also have a positive impact on the purchasing experience.

Continuous analysis of data on popular conversion paths and testing new hypotheses about customer behavior can be a source of invaluable knowledge about the most important people in the online store, about our customers.

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