The sales funnel of your eCommerce business is a vital cog in the machine. If it isn’t working properly, you aren’t maximizing the revenue your business should be making.
Every stage of the sales funnel is vital, and it takes time and strategic thinking to make the most out of each touchpoint with a customer.
This article explains how to optimize the sales funnel to improve profits and build a more successful business online.
6 Steps for Sales Funnel Optimization
To get the most out of your sales funnel, make sure that you optimize each stage within it. Here are some great strategies for the different phases of the customer journey:
- Get More Targeted in the Awareness Phase
The first stage in the sales funnel is awareness. You need to make potential customers aware of your business before they can investigate what you sell and decide to make a purchase. One of the best strategies to use these days is a hyper-targeted strategy.
With platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Ads, you can drill down into who your target audience is and place your adverts right in front of those specific people. On Facebook, you can create advert audiences based on location, specified gender, age, interests, and content they generally interact with on the platform.
Instead of sending your message out wide to catch those who fall into your target audience, you can place a personalized message in front of only the people you want to reach.
2. Focus on Social Proof in the Interest Stage
People put a lot of stock into social proof these days, especially when it comes to eCommerce. If consumers can’t touch the item before buying it, they want to hear from people who have bought it and physically seen and felt it. This means that online reviews are hugely important for helping your customers move from being aware of your brand to being interested in buying your products.
Put time, effort, and even some of your marketing budget into gathering reviews. You can do this through email campaigns, asking existing customers to rate their purchases. Offer prizes or discounts on future purchases as incentives.
3. Look for Bottlenecks in the Buying Process
Once you get your target audience to the point of making a purchase, you want that process to be as easy as possible. If there are any snags, hold-ups, frustrations, confusion or bottlenecks, you will see drop-offs in the customer journey. Take your time going through the process, from seeing the product in an advert to putting in your credit card details and confirming the purchase.
With eCommerce, you have the bonus of analytics on your website and online store. You can easily see where potential customers are stopping their journey and analyze why that might be. For example, if people drop off when they reach their cart, you can analyze if there is a problem with putting in details to make payment. Maybe the signup process for your website is too complicated.
4. Spend Some Time on your Product Pages
Product pages are where the magic happens. This is the window of your online shop and the part of the buying process where the customers examine the product all rolled into one. Great photos and other digital assets will make a potential customer stop and take a closer look. They’ll also tell the customer more details about the product. So, customers need to see inside the bag, the details on the jacket, the switches on the device, and every other facet of a product.
You also need to include good product descriptions and that all-important social proof. Additionally, you need to ensure that the process for placing an order is clear. Show details like sizes and make it obvious that different sizes or color choices will impact price.
5. Work on Upselling and Cross-Selling to Boost Orders
If you can increase the average order price on your eCommerce store, you will see some major positive shifts happening to your bottom line. There are many ways to do this. But it’s important to note that you want to get people at the action phase, right when they’re actively adding a product to their cart.
Some of the most popular and impactful tactics include having a “Recommended Products” section on your product page. Just below the main product of the page, include a list of other products that complement the main product. Alternatively, you could list products other customers regularly buy with the main product.
6. Don’t Forget About Customers After They Buy
Finally, you never want to forget about your existing customers. They’re as important in your sales funnel as your new potential customers, if not more important. Why? Because it’s far more cost-effective to sell more products to an existing customer than it is to spend time and money on bringing in new customers. If you know how to calculate profit margin, you can see this.
In addition to offering great after-sales care, you should focus on returning customers for more sales. A great tactic here is to ask for feedback on purchases and offer rewards for providing it—remember that social proof is critical for eCommerce.
You can also offer special deals for existing customers only. Another great tactic is to start a referral program where you give existing customers a discount if they refer a friend. Loyalty or points programs also work well. Give your loyal customers discounts and cashback, and they’ll keep returning.
Keep on Optimizing, and You’ll See the Difference
Optimizing an eCommerce sales funnel is an ongoing job. Once you’ve completed these six steps, you can return to one and find new ways to optimize. It’s important that you consistently monitor your sales funnel, as well as eCommerce trends, to ensure that your business is getting the best returns possible.