Shutterstock Product VP on E-Commerce Growth (Part 2)

If you’re managing an e-commerce product, you need to drive customers toward a purchase decision. That said, it takes time and careful planning to guide users toward an eventual transaction. How do you move people from first contact to paying for an item? Said differently, how do you convert a visitor into a customer?

The best way to keep people moving through the funnel is by establishing a series of engagement milestones. In other words, these are frequent triggers that keep your users coming back – even before they decide to buy something. On any e-commerce platform, you have to assume that most people aren’t going to immediately purchase an item.

As a result, the key is to drive on-going engagement that brings them back to your platform.

Ultimately, each small step will lead them to a purchase decision. Most importantly, you need to keep customers coming back as return buyers – which means that you cycle them back to the top of the funnel.

Getting back to the top of the funnel, your initial engagement milestones should focus on sparking interest for users to explore the site. Simply put, they’re not going to be in a “buying mood” from the start. However, there are opportunities to prompt users to “explore” the site or to “favorite” select items that are appealing. In addition, you can show videos or take them down a discovery path that builds a gradual commitment to make a purchase.

Ultimately, these interactions allow customers to engage with your platform without too much commitment. While e-commerce platforms must be tailored to drive transactions, you’re not going to gain long-term customers unless you nurture them along the way.

In the end, product teams can better understand their customers’ interests by monitoring these engagement milestones. For example, if you see a pattern in the items they are favoriting or clicking on (let’s say puppies), then you can re-target them with an offering that will make a purchase more likely. The key is to slowly introduce customers to your value proposition and build their confidence in wanting to buy from your platform.


Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 3

About the speaker
Chris Cosentino Shutterstock, VP, Product Member

Chris Cosentino is a VP of Product Management at Shutterstock where he focuses on optimizing and building an e-commerce marketplace to enable creative professionals around the world to tell their stories. Prior to his time at Shutterstock Chris was a Group Product Manager at Etsy - focused on building a global payments platform for buyers and sellers and then leading overall growth. In previous roles, Chris also worked in enterprise software and finance. He received a degree from Boston College.