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Shoes of Prey: Enhancing the buyer experience with Multi-Channel Funnels

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | 10:28 AM

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Multi-Channel Funnels are a new set of reports that show which marketing channels your customers visited your site from during the 30 days prior to a conversion or purchase. In this series of three posts, Michael Fox, co-Founder and Director of Operations of Shoes of Prey, shares how he uses these new reports to improve sales for the business. - Ed.

What are Multi-Channel Funnels reports?
We were excited to be one of the earliest testers of Google Analytics’ new Multi-Channel Funnels reports. Multi-Channel Funnels are a new set of reports that show how customers arrived at our site (i.e. which channels they interacted with) during the 30 days prior to a conversion (e.g. newsletter sign-up) or purchase. We get a better understanding of what role website referrals, searches and ads play towards influencing a purchase; and how much time passed between the visitor’s first visit and their purchase. What this means is that we no longer have to base our decisions based on the source of the last click. Using these reports, we can now look at all the channels that visitors may have used prior to converting. This gives us much more powerful insight into which channels are working for us.

I would like to walk you through how Shoes of Prey gained useful insights that helped our business through these sets of reports. Today, in the first of our three articles, I’ll focus on the Top Conversion Path report.

Top Conversion Paths report
We use the Top Conversions Paths report to understand the sequence of channel interactions that led to conversions. For example, if we study this conversion path (the number of times a customer visited our website, and from where) below, we can see that two conversions happened due to a series of interactions where the visitors:

  1. First visited us three times via a direct visit (i.e. using a bookmark or typing our URL directly into their browser)
  2. Then visited us by clicking on a paid ad
  3. They returned twice more to our site, but this time from clicking on organic search results
  4. Then they visited us again directly three more times
  5. Finally they came to us through organic searches. They ended up purchasing a pair of shoes on the very last search.
We could then further break out these results to see more details, for example, which particular keywords attracted the visitors when they came to our site via Paid Advertising and Organic Search.

Insights: Is there confusion among some of our customers?
When analysing recent top conversion paths, we realised that a significant number of sales occur due to a series of direct visits from people who had typed in the URL or came from a bookmark. Some visitors were making up to 30 direct visits before purchasing a pair of shoes!

It was heartening to see a lot of all-direct visits, as it signified that these visitors had made up their mind to purchase their shoes from us. We realised, however, that we need to take efforts to help our customers design and purchase their shoes in a fewer number of visits. We understand that our offerings could be overwhelming for some customers when they could choose from over four trillion shoe combinations!

Actions: Reducing the number of visits to purchase
We took steps to drive more of our potential customers to our leather videos. We wanted them to learn more about the products in a shorter period of time and encourage them to design their shoes sooner.

We also implemented a website chat solution that allows customers to ask us questions while browsing the site. We can answer their questions in real-time and hopefully help them arrive at a decision sooner.

We have also been continually testing changes to our user interface that would help customers reach a decision on which pair of shoes to purchase. These include testing different forms of wizards and guides, and even highlighting how to get started.

Results: Shortening the purchase cycle
Taking these steps have helped our customers make a purchase decision sooner. In the last three months we’ve seen a 40% increase in our conversion rate and a shortening of all-direct paths before a sale. We’ve seen same-day purchases increase by 20% and 12+ day purchases fall by 8%.

We found the Top Conversion Paths report to be an eye-opener. It clearly demonstrated to us how our potential customers were interacting with our site prior to making a purchase. I encourage you to start looking at your Top Conversion Paths report now - I guarantee that you will find at least one conversion path worth exploring that you had never considered before!


Yotam Tavor said...

Multi Channel Funnels are an amazing addition to Analytics. The insights provided are easily translated to Action Items that can deliver business results.
I did a little outside-the-box exercise with multi-channel-funnels by setting a homepage view as a goal. I received lots of information on where traffic is coming from - that I didn't know of before. I wrote about it at SEOmoz: Funneling Fun with multi channel funnels

I hope you find it insightful.