Ecommerce Conversion Funnel: The Definitive Guide for More Sales.
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You have a great product and a beautiful website, but you aren’t getting sales.
This spells disaster for any business.
But before you jump ship, have you ever considered using an ecommerce conversion funnel?
An effective ecommerce conversion funnel will boost your sales, but what is it and how does it work?
Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of ecommerce conversion funnels and how you can use it to grow your business.
Consider your own journey as a consumer for a moment.
Have you ever found a new ecommerce store, found a product you liked, and immediately bought it without comparing prices or reading reviews?
You first realize you need something.
Next, you find a few stores selling what you need.
You browse the stores and read some reviews until you find the perfect fit.
To your delight, not only do they have the product you need, but they also have different sizes, colors, free shipping, perhaps a special offer or two, and a lot of other products you never realized you wanted.
Finally, you whip out your credit card and support this wonderful store that seems to be so in tune with your every desire.
You’ve just passed through a very successful conversion funnel.
It’s a marketing strategy where everyone wins.
The consumer fulfills their needs, and the seller wins a loyal customer.
An effective ecommerce conversion funnel will bring consumers to your site, match them up with products they need, and turn those visitors into customers.
This may sound complicated at first, but considering the high failure rate of startups, up to 90%, can you afford not to try it?
Understanding the consumer journey is an important step in developing a successful conversion funnel.
The details of your funnel might differ from product to product, but the consumer journey essentially remains the same.
Here are the 5 stages in the consumer journey:
The consumer becomes aware of a specific need or problem and starts looking for a solution.
In their search, they come across your site or product on their search and so become aware of your product and your brand.
The consumer is not hooked yet, but they know about you.
Next, the consumer starts browsing your site, looking at your products, and perhaps compares them to similar products on other sites.
They might be looking at specifications and how this will fulfill their needs.
They may not be buying yet, but they are interested.
Not only is the consumer satisfied that your product fulfills their need, they really want your product.
You have convinced the consumer that your product is the best option available.
The consumer takes the leap. They go to your check-out page and buy the product.
Finally, the consumer is so pleased with their purchase, they return to your site to shop some more.
Ideally, they’ll also refer your website to friends and family. You've won a returning customer.
It’s important to know who your target consumer is so you can find them and market to them specifically.
A 30-something-year-old mother of two wanting to start her own business will have different needs from a 60-something-year-old CEO wanting to run a small business as a hobby.
Targeting your marketing to the mother, and solving her problems, will be twice as effective, as you can focus on meeting her specific needs.
Also, take some time to learn more about the demographics of various social media platforms and match them with your ideal consumer.
A 20-something-year-old student probably won’t have a LinkedIn account, and a 60-something-year-old grandmother is unlikely to have a TikTok profile.
Similarly, someone looking for a language editor will most likely not be looking on Instagram.
However, 54% of Facebook users are female and 86% are between 18 and 29. So if your ideal consumer is female and in her 20s — Facebook would be a great platform to advertise on.
Create awareness of your product and brand by identifying and targeting your ideal consumer directly.
No matter how clever your idea is, or how original your product is, odds are, you aren’t the only one doing it.
Free content is a great way to build a relationship with your consumer and to show that you care about them — not just their money.
Your content needs to be light-hearted and entertaining.
If your content is enjoyable, your consumer will return and might buy something.
Try to keep your content related to your product and consumer.
For a site focusing on women’s evening wear, a post on fashion choices in World of Warcraft probably won't work.
However, a post on what Kate Winslet wore on the red carpet should be more successful, especially if you have something similar available for purchase.
Your consumer is aware of you and your brand and is taking a closer look at what you have to offer.
You need to make it as easy as possible for them.
Having to search through multiple pages of products and finding everything from pool pumps to baby shoes might frustrate or bore your viewer — causing them to leave.
This will lead to a higher bounce rate and lost sales.
We’ll cover more of that when we look at important Key Performance Indicators.
But first, here are some ideas for optimizing your product pages:
People like to read reviews, and adding positive testimonials on your site can improve traffic and sales.
Don’t be shy about using those reviews in marketing emails either.
Invite your customer to leave a review — perhaps even offer a small discount on a future sale.
A personalized email reminding your existing customers to leave a review of their experience will go a long way — 72% of consumers state that they're more likely to open a personalized email.
Make your customer feel valued and provide a quality shopping experience and you're likely increasing your odds for a positive review.
If people like what you’re doing, spread the word!
Your product can solve their problem — but how is it better than all the others out there?
Instead of just explaining why it fulfills their need, focus on the benefits.
The consumer needs a writing course to improve their writing. Your online course fulfills their need, but why is it a benefit?
The future writer is improving their skills — their writing is more polished and comes across as professional.
With a more professional style, their email marketing campaigns are more successful and people have more trust in their website content leading to sales.
Not only that, your future writer finds that writing is a skill that can be learned, not a mystical science, boosting their confidence.
Your consumer started with needing the product — now they want it!
Don’t be shy about adding a little extra incentive to make your product more desirable.
Who doesn’t like a special offer now and then?
A 10% discount on a first purchase, some free samples, or a small gift can tip the scales in your favor.
69% of shoppers are more likely to try a brand if rewards are involved.
Don’t underestimate the power of exclusivity.
Find a way to make your customer feel special.
The time has come for your customer to head to the check-out page and buy your product.
Make it as easy as possible with a simple check-out page and no hidden costs!
Simplify the check-out process and be sure to provide multiple payment options.
If possible, throw in free shipping on their first order to provide that last nudge.
Ensure that your return policy is clear and easy to find.
Your customer is more likely to shop if they know they can return the product if they are not satisfied.
Not everyone who makes it all the way to the check-out page will make a purchase.
Around 69.8% of shoppers will abandon their carts along the way.
There are many possible reasons for this — but don’t let the abandoned cart be forgotten!
An email reminding the shopper of the abandoned cart might bring back the customer who got distracted mid-sale.
Here's an example from Not on the Highstreet to remind shoppers to return to that cart:
Consider offering a further discount or a special offer to entice the customer to go through with their purchase.
Be careful though, you don’t want people to abandon their carts halfway through on purpose to get access to those special deals.
A happy customer is a returning customer, and a good way to remind them of all the other wonderful products on your site is to set up a wishlist.
A wishlist is a feature that allows your consumer to pick out products that they like but won’t buy just yet.
Whenever you run special deals on items on their wishlist, send an email inviting the customer to the site to come and take a look for themselves.
You’ll find wishlists on almost every major online retail website — from Amazon to Steam.
If Amazon is doing it, why aren’t you?
Loyalty award programs are a good way to reward returning customers.
You have a 60% + chance to gain a sale from a returning customer than from a first-time visitor.
We're all familiar with the points system — points are awarded on purchases that can be converted into vouchers.
This isn't the only loyalty award strategy out there.
Consider your consumer and your brand. How can you reward your consumer?
A website selling luxury goods, like perfume and cosmetics, could offer a free gift once a spending milestone has been reached.
However, customers buying necessities, like food and clothes, would probably prefer loyalty points or cashback.
A referral is a powerful tool that should not be ignored.
77% of shoppers are more likely to trust a referral from a friend.
As an added bonus — referred customers are four times more likely to refer others to your business.
Remind your customers to invite a friend and add some incentive for those that do.
Offering a discount to a new customer might win you a customer.
Reward loyal customers who send referrals your way to improve your customer relations and grow your email marketing list.
Don’t shy away from using your website analytics to improve your sales.
However, considering the volume of information — this can be rather overwhelming, so focus on the following indicators.
Before you can make any sales, you need traffic.
Knowing how many visitors your site gets is an important first step.
This comes back to knowing your consumer.
If you’re not getting enough traffic, you might be advertising on the wrong platforms or to the wrong audience
How much you can spend on advertising to draw more traffic will depend on your budget.
Link to reputable sites and make sure that you have content worth coming back for.
You have the traffic, but your conversion rate from leads to sales is low.
It’s time to consider how you can improve your conversion rate from awareness to sales.
Improving your conversion rate will increase your sales.
In order to go from the awareness stage to a sale, your consumer needs to trust your product and your brand.
You can do this by:
Your goal is to get interested consumers to take action and become loyal customers.
Optimizing your conversion rate will help you reach this goal
Your website’s bounce rate refers to the number of people that leave your site after visiting just one page.
If people lose interest quickly, you are losing sales.
Optimize your site’s navigation.
A site that's hard or confusing to navigate will quickly discourage visitors.
Make sure that your advertisements for your product are clear and avoid ambiguity.
A misleading advertisement is probably drawing the wrong crowd.
People visiting your site who have no interest in your product will lead to a higher bounce rate.
No amount of traffic to your website is going to be any good if you’re not converting leads to sales.
Increasing sales is a study all on its own, but the more desirable your product, the more likely you are to have a sale.
If your leads to sales conversion are low, consider the consumer journey again and make sure you are covering your bases:
Special offers, exclusive deals, free samples, and limited-time webinars are all ways to make your customer feel special and drive sales.
Some customers are reaching the sales page, adding products to their cart, but they're not checking out — meaning that you don’t get the sale.
This could happen for a lot of reasons, but if your cart abandonment rates are high, it might be time to reconsider your check-out page to see what’s discouraging your customers
Long forms asking for unnecessary information will discourage a shopper.
Keep your check-out forms short and only gather the information you need to get the product to the customer and for future marketing.
No one has the time to fill out unnecessary fields!
Be mindful of the payment options you offer — because your customers will be.
A wide selection of payment options will allow your customer to use the option they feel most comfortable with and thus increase sales.
Be upfront about the shipping cost — free shipping is ideal if possible. Any hidden costs will lead to your customer abandoning their cart.
You could also lose your customer’s trust — not only did you lose this sale, but future sales as well.
Finally, your customer is vulnerable when giving out their personal and confidential information.
The use of trust badges, such as PayPal or Visa, will increase the customer’s trust in your brand as the company collecting their information is trustworthy with a good track record.
It’ll also ensure that your customers know your website is safe and secure.
Why is this important?
Understanding the consumer journey, and how it applies to your product or service, is an important step in creating an efficient conversion funnel.
Remember the five stages of the consumer journey — awareness, consideration, desire, action, and loyalty, and how you can optimize your consumer engagement in each stage.
This will convert interested buyers into sales and win you returning customers.
Remember to use Key Performance Indicators to keep track of how your website is doing so you can pin down any issues that need resolving.
At the end of the day, we all want sales, and your brand and product aren’t just sets of numbers and statistics.
Cultivate your brand, your voice, and your relationship with your customers to stand out and get noticed.
Now that you know how with our easy guide, go out there and develop a leak-proof conversion funnel for your product and watch your sales increase!
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