Sales funnel: why is it important for your E-Commerce?
When users visit an online store, any owner’s wish is just one – to fill their carts and spend a lot of money, but… what if they don’t?
We humans and consumers have active lives. Many times we are looking for something just for the sake of it and our final “click here to buy” will not be that day.
What we mean here is that this sale will not always be made on the first visit. However, this user has already entered your sales funnel – and this is where we will look for a way to convert him into a customer.
What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is a marketing term to define the customer’s journey. In other words, the journey that potential customers take to make a purchase. There are different stages on a sales funnel, better known as:
- the top of the funnel (TOFU)
- the middle part (middle of the funnel (MOFU)
- the bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
These are the most commonly used terminology. However, these stages may vary depending on the company’s sales model.
The 4 stages of the Sales Funnel
A typical sales funnel involves 4 stages. At each stage, the customer makes decisions based on their perception of your brand, product, and competition.
Stage 1: Awareness
The first step is at the “knowledge” level because this is where people become aware of the product or service for the first time. There are several ways where this can happen such as advertising, social networks, and even the old “from mouth to mouth”.
How and why these people go deep into the sales funnel depends on the capacity of sales and marketing.
Stage 2: Interest
After knowing the brand, it’s time to evaluate it on the basis of interest.
The potential customer will make some research to ensure that the offer they found is the best in the market and the one that best suits their situation.
Stage 3: Desire
Building strategic call-to-action (CTAs) try to focus on the benefits of buying from you.
For example, Apple focuses on how stylish, easy-to-use, and on the “Apple lifestyle” its products are, rather than on boring features and specs.
Stage 4: Action
All the work comes down to this step: whether the customer makes the purchase or not.
Make sure your checkout process is running smoothly so it doesn’t cause problems and make the potential customer give up.
Even if (s)he gives up – the deal won’t be lost forever.
You can always create remarketing campaigns and try to regain that sales cart! (Learn how to recover abandoned carts here)
Create an Ecommerce Sales Funnel in 3 steps
There are only three steps to creating an e-commerce sales funnel – They will help you identify what your customers want and need. Let’s look at them individually.
1 - Identify the customer journey
Google Analytics can help you map the customer journey using reports like behavior flow. Find out what people do when they access each page on your site.
Visitors behave differently when they come to your homepage for the first time. How do they find the page for a certain product? Why do they click on the initial banner and not on the menu? What are the sources of your traffic? Which source converts the most?
Google Analytics helps you understand this journey and identify potential sales!
2- Map the funnel with conversion targets
With those four stages outlined above – awareness, interest, desire, and action – develop a plan to drive users through the sales funnel. Add goals on your website and see where users like to go the most!
3 - Define the point at which a user becomes a lead
For most e-commerce companies, a user becomes a lead when the user provides contact information.
Decide how you can encourage the user to transition from awareness to interest and then from the desire to action. This is where an Email Marketing strategy is important.
Still don’t know what leads are? Learn in this article how leads are important to increasing online sales.
Analyze and optimize: Home page / Form / Checking out
For an eCommerce website, your homepage should have a special focus on products, promotions, delivery information, trust, and reputation. It’s tricky to do this juggling – that is why there are A/B tests to be able to figure out (through Google Analytics) what works best!
Optimize first. Take into account SEO and user experience so that Google can find you relevant and therefore place your website (organically) on the first page.
Lead forms are your company’s bread and butter! Try to be aware if they are exhaustive and if they are directly related to your email – remember that hot leads always have a better chance of converting.
Reduce your forms to just essential information. If you just want an email address, just ask for that information. Don’t demand unnecessary information such as age, date of birth, or location!
Try to offer more payment options, use two-page checkouts, and add progress bars to help the user feel more secure. Add trust seals to show you’re concerned about privacy and security and don’t add any surprise charges during the checkout process.
The eCommerce sales funnel can be tricky, but if you’re prepared and have the right data, you can improve UX and increase sales.