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What Are Micro Conversions and How to Use It For Shopify

You might not have heard of a micro-conversion if you're new to eCommerce. It sounds like some kind of tech jargon that's confusing to those outside the industry but actually makes a lot of sense once you understand it.

Micro conversions are small yet extremely valuable actions that users take on your Shopify website before they become customers. 

For example, when a website visitor notices an email sign-up form and clicks the link to sign up, this is a micro-conversion. When a website visitor sees a “free sample” subscription offer, clicks the link, and fills out the sample offer form, this is another type of micro-conversion.

But what are micro conversions? How do you track them? And how can you use them for better eCommerce conversion optimization? Keep reading to find out more.

What is a Micro Conversion?

Micro conversions are the small actions users take when making a purchase. These actions do not necessarily lead to a direct sale but can contribute to one.

Whether adding a product to a wishlist or viewing a video on your blog, these seemingly inconsequential actions are important to track because they inform you about your customers and help you run your e-commerce more effectively.

The end goal of a micro-conversion campaign is to increase your overall conversion rate.

Tracking micro-conversion actions can enhance your CRO approach, help you better understand your users, and increase your Shopify store's revenue, sales, and customer retention.

Examples of micro-conversions

The best way to grasp this topic is to use a real-world example. Consider a scenario wherein you have to purchase a birthday present for your wife online. You would take the following course of action, often known as the customer journey:

  1. Visit the website
  2. View the category pages (e.g., Gifts for Her)
  3. View a sub-category page (e.g., jewelry)
  4. View an individual product page (e.g., a diamond necklace)
  5. Add the product to your shopping cart
  6. Proceed to checkout
  7. Enter your delivery address
  8. Select shipping
  9. Enter your payment information
  10. Place the order

From this example, you can consider steps 2-9 as micro-conversions, or what are called process milestones. Meanwhile, the ending action, step 10, is the macro-conversion, also called the primary conversion or, more simply, the conversion.

You could, of course, bypass some of those stages by looking for a specific product or product line, but your route would still consist of a sequence of micro-conversions that eventually lead to a macro-conversion.

Here are other examples of micro conversions for eCommerce websites:

  • Email sign-up.
  • Download a free ebook.
  • Watch a video.
  • Add to cart.
  • Book a call or demo.
  • Download a free trial or request a quote
  • Consume some content
  • Subscribe to a newsletter
  • Add an item to their cart
  • Viewed a product
  • Click “read more” on a product description
  • Read reviews
  • Take a quiz
  • Download a lead magnet
  • Subscribe to an RSS feed
  • Follow or like a social media profile
  • View two or more pages on a website
  • Watch a video
  • Subscribe to push notifications or SMS
  • Share content on social media
  • Share a product on What’s App or Messenger
  • Site search

Some sites weigh micro-conversions differently. A micro conversion demonstrating strong consumer purchase intent, such as browsing for a product page, may be more valuable than liking a brand's social media post.

Micro vs. Macro Conversions: The difference

Micro and macro conversions both refer to a user taking an action that leads to some sort of goal. A macro conversion would be considered the end result of your business's long-term goal. 

Micro conversions are the small steps a visitor takes to engage with your website. They are often called micro-conversions or micro-actions. Micro-conversions are broken into process milestones and secondary actions.

  • Process Milestones: These are the moments when someone engages with your website in a meaningful way. Examples include a visitor scrolling to view an image on your homepage, clicking on a link in an email, or completing an online form.
  • Secondary Actions: These are the smaller steps after a process milestone has been achieved. Examples include scrolling down to read content after clicking on a link or clicking on another link after scrolling through content.

To sum up: Macro Conversion is when someone buys something from a website; Micro Conversion is when someone does anything else before purchasing.

Macro Conversions = Big Goals (Sale, Purchase, Sign Up)

Micro Conversions = Smaller Goals (Add To Cart)

In most cases, businesses can't reach their macro conversion without first achieving micro-conversions. 

How to track micro conversions on Shopify?

To track micro-conversions, you must first determine which ones you want to monitor. Begin by looking at the sales process. Is there a certain group of customers that are more likely to convert? Take note of the processes involved in the conversion.

Smaller businesses may opt just to track micro conversions most likely to result in a sale, such as adding a product to their basket or creating an account. If you have a small amount of bandwidth, these could suffice.

If a Shopify website has more resources, it should keep track of every single micro-conversion that occurs. This information can increase revenue by identifying where customers exit the funnel.

The ability to track micro-conversions along the customer journey may help your team increase revenue by letting you know what makes customers convert and delivering it to them.

Once you know what to track, it’s time to set up your tracker. You can track micro conversions in a variety of ways.

But Google Analytics and Shopify's built-in conversion tracking are the first tools you should use to track micro conversions.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics’s Goals feature is one of the simplest ways to track micro conversions. It's a fairly simple process:

  1. Login to your Google Analytics Account.
  2. Choose the right website if you have more than one.
  3. In the left-hand panel, click “Conversions” then “Goals.”
  4. Click “Overview” then “set up goals”.
  5. Set up the parameters for your goal.
  6. Now you can track micro conversion in Google Analytics.

The downside of this method is that it only works for people who are already logged into their Google account before visiting your site — so if you want to track every visitor, it will not work for you.

Shopify tracker

Shopify tracks Adds to Cart and Page Views that take place on and via their platform, but not Email Subscriptions or other micro-conversions that take place outside of their platform.

The platform’s conversion summary provides a snapshot of past visits and activities that led to a customer's purchase. On the order details page, the conversion summary provides an overview of:

  • the customer's total number of orders from your store
  • the customer's total visits to your store in the last 30 days
  • the origin of the customer's first visit to your store.

Clicking “View conversion” should also provide additional conversion details for that customer:

  • the total number of visits the customer has made to your store
  • the number of days between the first visit and the most recent visit
  • an overview of customer activity, including visits between the first and most recent visit.

The conversion summary on an order details page is specific to the customer who made that order. If you want to view comprehensive conversion information for your store, then use the online store conversion report.

Why micro-conversions are important

Tracking micro conversions will allow businesses to gain insight into how their customers navigate through their website, which can help increase their online store's overall conversion rate.

They also help make your customers more likely to become repeat buyers or users. It could be as simple as signing up for your email newsletter or downloading an e-book, but that little extra effort makes a big difference in how much revenue you'll earn from your store.

Micro-conversions are also the backbone of customer loyalty programs and can help you increase average order value, average revenue per user, and even average revenue per order. That's why it's important to keep track of which areas of your business need improvement so you know where to focus when developing strategies for growth!

How to build a micro-conversion ladder or framework

A micro-conversion ladder is a series of micro-conversions that lead to one macro-conversion. The macro-conversion is the ultimate goal of your funnels, such as generating leads or increasing sales. The conversion rates will vary by business and product, but in general, you should aim for a conversion rate of at least 1% on each step along the way.

The idea is that you can use one free offer at each stage of your funnel to generate traffic to your site. Then, suppose someone clicks through from an ad or social media post and comes to your landing page. In that case, they're more likely to convert because they've already invested some time into looking at what you have to offer before deciding whether it's worth spending money on it.

Imagine you want to sell a new product to a new customer. When they first visit your site, their compliance and readiness to buy are low, therefore, the site takes a risk by making a big request without establishing compliance.

Instead of making a sale request early, break it down into micro-conversion stages.

You can start by asking your visitor to do small steps like view a short video or read additional copy. If they agree, you've got their attention; you can ask for more.

A bigger request risks rejection, but since you've already gotten cooperation from your visitor with a comparable, smaller request, you have a better chance.

After the first small requests, you can try to ask for an email address or contact details. Remember to escalate progressively, not all at once.

Your prospect customer learns more about your brand as they comply with your incremental instructions. This creates trust and warms them up.

You may use this example of a conversion ladder in any sales process. Find a simple request most of your visitors would comply with, then progressively ratchet up your asks until you reach your target.

Micro-conversions can be especially helpful for low-traffic Shopify websites.

We found that by tracking micro-conversions, you’ll be able to see how customers interact with the different aspects of your funnels. This will help further optimize the conversion process to boost your sales.

If you do the math, and start with a goal of increasing overall micro conversions by 20%, you should easily increase your conversion rates by 5%. That’s not too shabby for a simple strategy like this!

Conclusion

Micro conversions are a great way to track website visitors who have shown interest in your products and services. They are also very useful for Shopify sites with low traffic or small budgets. It is important to remember that every visitor who shows up at your store can potentially become a customer so long as they are qualified.

Micro-conversions will help you determine if your prospects like what they see before investing more time into them.

Remember, micro-conversions don't cost anything extra but require some effort on behalf of the business owner, so keep this in mind while you're building out your marketing strategy.

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