Metrics That Matter: The Mid-Funnel Data
The Mid-Funnel: Understanding Engagement
We've already taken our first steps in the online shopping journey, saying "hello" with the top of the funnel. But what happens after the first impression? That's where the middle of the funnel – the Engagement Stage – comes to play. This is where we start a friendly conversation with our visitors and maybe offer them a cup of coffee (or a virtual discount code!).
Just as we had northstar rate metrics that serve as the basis of analysis in the Acquisition stage, we have the same concept in the Engagement stage. Here’s what we look at for those top of funnel visitors:
Engaged User Rate: Starting the Conversation
Remember when we said "hello" to our visitors at the top of the funnel? Well, now that they're in the door, we want to start a conversation with them. The Engaged User Rate tells us how many visitors are talking back – by clicking around and viewing different products. This serves as the baseline for Engaged users across all other metrics. Users who did not engage cannot be considered as a part of the population for this step of the funnel.
Cart Active User Rate: What are you buying?
Now, imagine this visitor grabbing a bag of coffee while looking around. In the online store, this is like the Cart Active User Rate. It's the percentage of visitors who not only look around but also start adding things to their cart. This number is super important – it's the main star of our show today. Why? Because adding something to the cart is the first step toward buying it. It's the first sign of their intent to purchase.
Other Metrics to Consider
Active Cart User Rate is the biggest factor of the mid-funnel, but there are some other interesting metrics that point towards purchase intent:
- Engaged Product View Rate: This tells us how many engaged visitors are looking at specific products in detail. It's like someone not just glancing at the coffee menu but actually reading the descriptions of the single-origin beans.
- Engaged Category View Rate: And this number shows us how many engaged visitors are exploring different categories – like someone wandering from the coffee section to the pastries and sandwiches.
- Engaged Page Views: This is the total number of pages that our engaged friends have looked at. More page views could mean they're enjoying their time and finding lots of things that catch their eye.
From Browsing to Filling the Cart
Our goal is to move our visitors from just looking around to actually filling up their carts. This is where the Cart Active User Rate comes in. We want this rate to be as high as possible because it means our visitors are getting closer to buying.
But how do we do that? The rates we talked about just before are indicators of mid-funnel performance. And understanding how different segments of customers perform on each of those rates will tell us what's working and what's not.
We’ll want to know how many visitors are returning customers vs new, where they came from (heard about us), and what products are most popular with these groups.
We want to keep our visitors engaged, so we'll make sure our pages load fast (that's where the Average Cache Hit Rate comes in), Product and category pages are optimized for customers, and nobody finds an empty cart (Currency and bug related issues on ATC).
The Story of the Numbers
These numbers tell us stories. They show us if our visitors like the new espresso blend or if they're all about the cold brew. They let us know if the gluten-free muffins are a hit or if everyone's reaching for the chocolate croissants. Maybe they often add multiple items to their basket before checkout, and gives us a bundling opportunity.
And what about the time of day? Maybe our morning rush loves the quick grab-and-go items, while the afternoon crowd is here for a larger lunch. By understanding these patterns, we can optimize the store to provide the best possible experience for what our visitors are looking for using the data we have about what works, and when.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, our coffee shop's success isn't just about how many people walk in. It's about how many are engaged, how many are filling their carts and eventually purchasing. But understanding each step of the funnel on the way to the purchase is just as important as knowing how many will eventually convert.
We’ll take a look at some dimensional analysis in the mid-funnel next.