The sales funnel, are your customers following it?

The sales funnel, are your customers following it?

Having a sales funnel can be a huge help when it comes to creating and modifying your eCommerce store. They give a visual view of your customer’s journey to finding you and give insight as to how they experience shopping with you. It represents the journey from finding you to purchasing from you and can show you where your customers are most frequently lost by covering the basic stages of interest that lead to a sale. Easy to assume from its name, this visual is in the shape of a funnel. Meaning it is smaller the lower you go down, representing the normal loss of audience as each experience progresses. The top bracket is usually much larger than the bottom, as fewer people will reach the lower stages of interest that the higher ones, the lower down the funnel customers get the more specialised their interest is. The people in this lower bracket are usually more likely to make a purchase. But what exactly are the brackets involved in a simple sales funnel?

Awareness

The top and biggest section of the funnel, this section represents the people who learn about your product or service. It may include a first visit to your website page and can form from any kind of advertising or other source, including adverts, social media and browser search. This first bracket contains a wide amount of customers, many of them possible customers but some will not be interested. At this stage they may leave your website due to uncertainty or the desire to look around for better deals and brands. This can be due to the prices of your items, you not having exactly what they need or even them changing their mind on a product. This stage is crucial in the funnel as it is when customers first learn about your brand, create this stage by putting effort into advertising and getting your name out there. Advertise anywhere you can on google and promote your social media as much as possible for more chance at being seen.

Interest

The second stage of the sales funnel is interest, by this point you will have lost some potential customers that were not interested in shopping. You should now be left with those who are actively looking for a product or service similar to what you provide. They will be using search engines to find what they need and with correct promotion and wording you should be coming up in the results. Having good content on search pages will bring their interest to your website and your product or service. At this point you may receive some newsletter sign ups or social follows as they decided to keep an eye on you as they ponder a purchase. Don’t be disheartened by the drop in customers as brackets go down from here, you can’t convince every person who has heard of you to purchase from your brand, and keep in mind the more concentrated your audience gets the more likely they are to purchase. Create this stage by putting out well crafted adverts and offering great onsite contents such as blogs. Make sure your browser search content is shaping up well to increase chance of engagement.

Decision

The third stage of the funnel, and where customers start to become a little more serious, is where customers decide to take advantage of your product or service and look into them a little more. Checking out details and working out prices, comparing to other products they may have found and starting to make a choice on whether to purchase. By this point in the funnel you will have even less customers and be left with those who have narrowed their choices down to your store and maybe one other. Customers may have been lost at this point to better deals, another brand they already prefer or a new one they’ve decided to try. It is at this point that selling your products is crucial, so make the benefits of all your products and services clear. If possible at any point communicate with the customer to help them with their choice, offer any benefits or deals you may be running. Show throughout the website the benefits of signing up to your store or purchasing from you, make it sound too good to miss. Make this stage happen by optimising your site content to make your products look great, offer detailed descriptions for each that clearly label what your products do and their positive factors. Allowing review from past customers can also be a benefit here as long as your products and services are good enough to provoke good reviews.

Action

The last and smallest stage of the funnel, is where a customer has decided to go ahead with purchasing your product or service. It is at this stage that they officially become a customer of your store as they make their purchase. The amount of customers left in this section will be considerable less than in the first of ‘awareness’ and still less than the ones before it. Some customers can still leave when they get to this sale if they find a product somewhere else last minute or unforeseen circumstances occur. But the majority will end up purchasing from you. There is not anything to do to make this section happen other than what has already been covered above, after a purchase however it is essential to start looking into retention techniques and strategies.

The sales funnel is helpful for finding problems with sales and helps identify which section of the sales journey customers are being lost at, as too few people in any area indicates a problem. For example, if many get to the decision stage and start looking at your products in more detail, than most of them suddenly back out, there may be a problem with your products, descriptions or website for something to have put them off sd quickly. You can then use this information to focus efforts on the factors that influence the section affected. Depending on how your store works or if you need more information from your sales, there may be a few extra steps that need adding into your businesses sales funnel. Separate each section into smaller ones as much as possible for a more detailed review of your sales process from being found to purchasing. Using a sales funnel effectively can lead to the discovery of weaknesses that would otherwise gone unnoticed and help you work on them.

About the Author
Laura
Content Manager