Sales funnels are a great way to understand consumer behavior and help online business owners convert visitors into paying customers. A typical sales funnel has three major stages – Awareness, Desire, and Purchase. In a traditional offline model, a customer might walk into a store with a desire, however the experience and expertise of the salesperson would decide the fate of that lead. However, in the online model – each step is an opportunity to convert, and there are opportunities to test and optimize the same.
Hence it is important to understand the following things before setting up a sales funnel –
- Who is the Target Audience (TA) for the product/service?
- What is the problem that TA is facing?
- Will the product or service from your company solve that problem?
Online store fronts that understand the above points and provide smooth user experience from search to purchase see some great conversions.
What are sales funnels, and why are they important?
A sales funnel is an automated marketing structure that replicates and tracks a customer’s journey from the point they get to know about you and your brand, till they become advocates for your products. Setting up an effective sales funnel and constantly working on improving it will yield higher returns from your marketing efforts. Let us understand the process in little more detail –
Top of the Funnel (TOF)
This part of the funnel generally addresses the awareness problem. In this stage your brand should be investing in ways and methods to increase brand awareness, traffic to the website or app, reach of the digital marketing campaigns and eventually engagement and impressions
Middle of the Funnel (MOF)
As the customer moves ahead in the brand engagement journey, the lead falls into the ‘middle of the funnel’ category, where their consideration is influenced in an attempt to convert them. This is where the customer is nudged via customized emails, SMS, or WhatsApp messaging to consider your product/service.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOF)
Effective engagement with the customer not only converts the sale, but also has the potential to turn the customer into a brand ambassador
How to create a Shopify sales funnel
Now that we understand how a sales funnel works, let us understand how to create a Shopify sales funnel with the time-tested AIDA framework: attention, interest, desire, action.
- Developing a Marketing & Outreach Strategy
A robust outreach and marketing strategy not only helps understand the market better, but also helps with streamlining the product messaging and positioning. Hence creating a customer persona is a great way to begin.
- Brand positioning through SM content, ads, SEO and email marketing
The intent is to divert the prospect’s attention towards your brand. Search and SEO among other tools and methods play a key role in this stage. Based on the persona, an effective campaign consisting of social media content, target keywords and influencer relations is key here. In this stage content plays a major role!
Nudge the prospect enough to convert the prospect’s thinking from “oh, what is this brand?” to “I like this brand”.
- (Re-)Targeting the audience specifically for your product or service is a great way to nudge. Establishing the superiority of your product through ad copy, highlighting benefits to converting the audience into a ‘lead’.
- The target audience persona exercise immensely helps in this stage, as it helps develop and deploy personalized content to the prospect
- Showcasing the products exactly matching to the prospect’s searches, using site search.
We’re in the middle of our funnel. This is the time when the prospect needs to be nudged and reminded with specific information. This is the stage where you will need to use clear-cut product descriptions, crisp product images, social proof and various kinds of discounts to increase the odds of visitors converting.
In the desire phase, the prospect has most probably made up his/her decision to buy the product and needs a little more social validation to make that purchase. Reviews are a great way of reassuring the customer of the product value and brand loyalty. According to this research, 91% of the people occasionally check online reviews and 84% have great trust levels, as high as a recommendation coming from a personal acquaintance.
Congratulations! The prospect has made the purchase finally and has now become a customer. However, it is not advised to lose track of the lead as yet. Shopify provides a lot of mechanisms to engage with the customer even after the sale is done. Some of key things to consider implementing in the action stage are –
- Implement retention programs & loyalty programs.
- Ask for consent to be added in the emailers list for frequent discounts.
- Get customers to review your products
How to optimize the sales funnel for accelerated growth?
To extract the full value from the sales funnel, it is important to review and reassess the funnel strategies on an ongoing basis. There are some growth hacks that you may want to consider implementing for your brand -
- Smart site search results
From engagement to conversion, the smart on-site search results help optimize the sales funnel immensely. New methods such as neural search, including pictures in the search results on the site are a great way to read and understand the behavior on the website.
- Upselling bestsellers & cross-selling
Post purchase nudge offering a discount on the next product added into the cart in the next 5 mins is a great way to cross sell and increase the average order value. A Shopify plugin to make customized suggestions based on site search history and products viewed is a great way to highlight best selling products.
- Nurturing leads
Nurturing leads with follow-up emails is a great way to engage with the site visitors. A nurtured lead is likely to make a purchase that is 47% greater in value. The prospects/customers feel more valued and develop loyalty if they receive communication from your brand. One of the great ways to ensure there is recall is to send a discount code – either for the next purchase or the new product line which is launched recently or just because it is a milestone in the customers’ life like a birthday/anniversary.
Cart abandonment is one of the major problems that marketers face when trying to establish their shop online. With the average cart abandonment rate being 79%, it is crucial to retarget customers who know about your products and have added them to their carts with a purchase intent.
Sealing leakages in the funnel, i.e., identifying and fixing the step(s) in the funnel where you’re losing large chunks of potential customers, is absolutely vital.
Boosting the online sales with optimized Shopify sales funnel is a great way to realize ROI on the spends. Having a well-planned Shopify sales funnel is crucial for your store. Shopify has over 2,000 apps to improve your customer experience and help you achieve higher conversion rates.
Apps such as Zevi are a great way to improve sales by deploying smart search mechanisms. AI based analytics of the dead-end search to improve the conversion rate, deploying an analytics engine to understand revenue per search are some of the features that Zevi provides. A great way to understand how to use search functionality for greater revenue. Try Zevi for free today.