Modern eCommerce Funnel and its Outlook in 2021

Ecommerce has evolved, but did the hunger to optimize sales funnel ever fold? I don’t think so.

Ask yourself: aren’t you always looking for your customers to balloon up their carts? Don’t you want them to spend plenty of cash on your products and services?

As much as it’s true, the sad part is: they don’t always behave the way we want.

Let’s be honest…

There’s plenty of distraction while looking to buy something. And the biggest distraction is… You guessed it right!

US! OURSELVES!

Yes! Visitors do get away from their screens or get stuck in other work sometimes.

But it’s either a website load time, or a terrible customer experience, and a poor checkout page that distracts them from your page.

Whatever is the case, if we aren’t fixing the sales funnel, we’re literally snagging the visitors from becoming our potential buyers.

The reason why I focus on the sales funnel...

Well, because customer behavior has evolved in due course. Does that demand tweaks in the sales funnel? Absolutely!

Now, this might offend a lot of traditional marketers. Might they as well whisper, “Whaaaaaaat? The sales funnel is perfect. You gotta fix your head.”

But let me tell you. The sales funnel has been tweaked many times ever since its development in 1898.

Look! The overall concept of the sales funnel is the same. Nothing has changed much.

But we’re only optimizing it for the kinds of eCommerce we have, especially with the likes of headless commerce catching up lately. So these tweaks are more than necessary calls at times.

Knowing the sales funnel for your eCommerce before upgrading it…

You can’t upgrade your modern-day eCommerce sales funnel unless you know its stages

Let me explain these stages with examples:

Let’s say you run an Instagram Ad to drive traffic to your eCommerce landing page. What will you do next?

Most probably, get them signed up for the email list instead of selling the product directly. Right? Thinking of selling them right at the first stage is like a waiter asking for dessert even before the meal has started.

So it’s clear your visitors are not signing up unless you offer them lead magnets like free services, products, or trials. Pretty easy, right?

Once they’ve signed up, you have the leads ready, and your prospects are potential buyers. What does this mean? Well, they’ve entered the sales funnel.

Now, you mail them informational content to add value and meaning to their lives for the next few weeks.

Note, you’re still not pitching your products/services but are interested in solving their daily problems with carefully catered content.

After the email blitz, you make an offer they can’t refuse... maybe something like a 20 percent coupon off for the first order. And they finally purchase with you.

If you noticed, these are the stages:

  • Awareness: You run the Instagram ad.
  • Interest: You give them lead magnets like free trials to have their email ids.
  • Decision: Your email blitz and content prepare them for purchase.
  • Action: Your leads take action, and you use retention techniques.

Everything you do for conversion rate optimization, you do at these four stages. It’s more or less like optimizing the customer journey at each stage of the funnel.

So let’s optimize the sales funnel for your eCommerce— stage-wise.

Check out the optimization.

Stage 1: The awareness stage

Here, you’re announcing yourself to the prospects for the first time.

#1 Speak up about your eCommerce through social media targeting and social commerce

Since over 3 billion people are on social media, you’ve almost half the world to tell who you’re, and your business is.

So you run social media ads to target your niche audience. Run sponsored ads on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc., to attract prospects on your landing page.

You can also make yourself available and visible on forums such as quora and Reddit. Be a part of your niche community, answer people’s queries, and fuel your prospects to the funnel.

Don’t undermine PPC advertising and search engine optimization efforts. You’re basically putting direct and indirect ads to make prospects aware of your business through as many channels as possible.

#2 Create quirky and meaningful awareness campaigns

How you market yourself at the awareness stage is the key to knowing whether your prospects will become potential buyers.

I’ve seen plenty of social media ads being clicked for nothing. Why? Because they don’t invoke emotions. Running an ad is not rocket science. But running the right ad to the right audience at the right time keeps the needle moving.

Your ads ought to generate curiosity; they ought to compel users to take action.

So try to create quirky and meaningful awareness campaigns… you want to create an impression that strikes them immediately, and they land wherever you want them to!

Stage 2: Interest stage

The visitors have gotten into your sales funnel... they know about you and your brand.But they haven’t become your lead. You want to optimize the sales channel to a level where they leave you valuables as their emails and contact numbers.

Here’s how you do it:

#1 Create an interactive landing/product page

You’ve visitors because your marketing tricks at the awareness stage worked. But you don’t want them to be stuck as your visitor.

The fact eCommerce/website users pay very little attention (just over five seconds), you’ve to get your landing/product page as interactive as possible.

Ask yourself: what is it in your eCommerce that can pursue them to share their valuables? Will you take any action if you were the customer?

To make things work out, see if your:

  • Your images have high quality
  • You’ve communicated details properly
  • Your copies are inciting

#2 Figure out how they engage with the product pages

Creating a good product or landing page is half the job done. The other half relies on determining how they interact with your page.

It is basically dissecting if your efforts on the page work or not. Now you may ask how do we figure out their engagement with the product pages.

Well, it’s possible with a mix and match of a few marketing tools that tell you about their behavior.

Tool 1: Analyse customer behavior with Snapshot

The tool captures where they click and where they don’t. It tells how much time the customers spend on your landing or product pages. Know where to put the most important call to action on your page with the Snapshot tool.

Tool 2: User tracking reports with the heatmaps

It’s similar to the snapshot tool. It tracks the users and their engagement with your eCommerce with color. You can easily trace if they’re clicking or overviewing your CTAs if your copywriting invokes the right emotions for sales.

 

Tool 3: Scroll maps for user behavior

It’s no surprise users have learned to ignore marketing ads. It’s a learned behavior in the past decade. Anything that looks like a cluttered graphic is bound to be ignored.

You can have insights on which ads and products they ignore with the scroll maps.

Scroll maps are quite similar to heat maps, but they’re designed to show if people stopped at your ads/products or scrolled mercilessly. This way, you can change the areas of the pages where they scroll quickly.

 

Tool 4: Confetti for pinpoint accurate clicks

Confetti report tells you the exact point at which your visitors are clicking. Nothing comes close to as perfect as this tool.

 

Stage 3: Decision stage

You’re at the point where you’re trying to pursue your customers. They seem to be interested and are looking to buy from you. But are you giving them enough reasons to make a purchase? Let’s see how you can optimize at this stage:

#1 How easy is it for them to buy? Use search and product filters.

The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your buyers with a long list of endless products. How easy is it for them to browse through your catalog and make quick decisions?

Listen! They’re already searching for products. They might as well compare your products with the other competitors. Are you solving their search problem? If no, here’s how you can do:

Tip 1: Use suggestions for product

Make sure your search bar is smart! As soon as users input a string, the auto-recommendation should smoothen their buying experience.

 

Tip 2: Show alternatives with no results

In case their search query fetches nothing or shows “no result,” give them something to cherish; it may be an alternative product.

The idea is to prevent them from leaving your store. Alternative products keep them glued to your eCommerce and make your sales funnel highly optimized.

Tip 3: Give hints and correct search queries

Optimizing the funnel means... you’re making the entire customer journey a piece of cakewalk for them. That also includes giving hints when they’re looking for something in a search query.

There are times when they don’t know the exact term for the product. That’s when your smart search engine with synonyms and multiple language capabilities should ease their decision-making.

 

Tip 4: Use simple filters

Stores with thousands of products can annoy buyers more than they please. This only fails them from reaching any buying conclusion.

Fortunately, product filters can make the entire eShop appear less cluttered and user-friendly.

Use simple filters and sorting extensions in your eCommerce to quicken their buying decision & accomplish your sales target.

#2 Push customers in the funnel through live customer support

It’s not something new. Live chat drives average order value by 100% to 300%.

Since these chats give quick solutions to customers’ queries and improve customer service— chances are high you’ll end up building trust and loyalty among them.

And trust and loyalty bring sales figures.

#3 Follow up with your customers

As I mentioned, the entire world is here to distract your customers when they make a purchase.

They might abandon your store even when they’re on the checkout page. You never know what’s happening with them during the purchase cycle. So you want to get back to them with a follow-up message.

Tip 1: Send them follow-up emails

Customization is fine, but your email should be highly personalized and laser-targeted with words. It shouldn’t be very pushy and salesy, but you can offer them help to complete the purchase.

Don’t forget to brand your customer support emails. A logo and a purchase link to their carts will bring your customer back to the site.

Tip 2: Remind them to complete their purchase on social media

You can run ads on social media and remind them to finish their purchase cycle. Again, make your marketing copies super exciting.

Tip 3: Calls and push notifs

While calling each user can be challenging, there’s no better conversion technique than a personalized call. It shows you’re willing to travel an added mile to help them buy their favorite products.

You can also push a reminder through the push notification feature on the eCommerce application.

 

Stage 4: Action stage

It’s going to be your favorite stage if you’re a marketer. Obviously, for the fact, your efforts reap fruits here.

This stage measures the power of average order values you can take. And it comes with intelligent tactical moves. They’re:

#1 Work seriously on product recommendations

It’s surprising most marketers get users to this stage and get satisfied with one or two orders, primarily when the techniques as product recommendations exist.

You won’t believe Amazon generates one-third of its revenue through cross-selling. It’s crazy how cross-selling is still under-utilized in the action stage. They say, “strike when the iron is hot.” This is when the iron is hot to double or even triple your sales.

You can cross-sell your products in three ways:

Way 1: Personalized upsells

Since eCommerce tools record users’ history, the personalized upsells would include recommending products based on that. It’s like... diving into a customer’s past buying behavior and suggesting similar items.

 

Way 2: Product bumps

You show similar/related products when the users are checking out. It ensures they have more or better valuables to add to their cart.

 

Way 3: Email upsells

You encourage them with automated emails to buy more and get free shipping. So your email is a win-win for everyone.

 

#2 Stick with customer experience fundamentals

Your sales funnel is only good as the buying experience you create.

If you’re not sticking with fundamentals as fast catalog loading, visually appealing aesthetics, easy navigation, and fantastic customer support, squeezing customers through the sales funnel becomes difficult.

#3 Simplify the checkout process

Your users are checking out the page. They’ve already spent too much time filtering the products. You’d never want them to get frustrated at the last point of purchase. Here’s how you let them hit the final nail with ease:

Tip 1: Store their login info to prevent them from entering tedious questions over and over again.

Tip 2: Autofill their checkout forms with autofill APIs.

Tip 3: Let them set up federated accounts through Facebook or Google.

Tip 4: Remove all the distracting elements on the checkout page.

Tip 5: Don’t hesitate to give “guest checkout” options.

Tip 6: Refrain from asking too many questions. Nothing annoys more than the never-ending form.

..

 

The final words

Honestly, there are endless things you can do to optimize your sales funnel. But I have mentioned a few sure-shot tips that should see your customers sailing through the hassle of a bad buying experience.

Should you look for an effective sales funnel, do everything in your might to create a great customer experience. Nothing beats that! And that comes with adding tweaks to all the stages of the customer journey.

Please note your work is not over yet! Now you have to repeat the process, but to retain your old customers.

Image Credit: Web

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