The sales funnel is universal. There are all the people in the world. Next is the percentage that has heard of your brand, seen your product in the store or saw your website domain somewhere. Smaller yet is the number who actually considered buying your product in the store, click on the link to the e-commerce link or walk into your service business. The final step is sealing the deal, the conversion of a visitor to a customer when they buy a product through your e-commerce site or pay for the item at the register. Your eCommerce site needs to understand the sales funnel in order to grow.
Target Your Advertising
Too many people assume that everyone is a potential customer. In reality, if someone doesn’t have children, they’re not really interested in baby diapers. If they don’t have the problem to which your product is the solution, your ad touting it as the default solution to the issue is irrelevant. You can dramatically improve the results of the sales funnel if you better target your advertising. Find out where your customers are and advertise your product there. Learn what key search terms and questions they’re asking, then link your content to those terms so it comes up first and foremost in their search results. When you aim at your audience, far more of those who see the eCommerce site will truly be interested in it – and buy from it.
Qualify Your Customers
A good way to improve the conversion rate of your sales funnel is to qualify your customers. This is where you separate the curious from the serious potential customer. You can do this through your landing page. You could offer them a free trial of the service, a free sample, or a free download of marketing material in exchange for their contact information. Those who say no aren’t interested. Those that are considering your product, as well as others, may sign up to get the freebie. The freebie gives them a literal taste of what you’re offering, increasing the odds they sign up or buy shortly thereafter. Or it puts them on a mailing list where you’ll send them marketing messages tailored to them that increase the odds they’ll buy later.
Build a Relationship
Relationships affect sales in several ways. First, it increases brand recognition and trust with the potential customer. When they’re reading blogs related to your product or the problems they deal with on a daily basis, they’re more likely to buy from you eventually and they’ll probably share the links with their friends. If they’ve already bought the product or service from you, the constant contact through marketing messages, blog posts, and social media content keep your brand first and foremost in their minds. It increases the odds they’ll become repeat customers.
Close the Deal
It is amazing how often someone has a page full of reasons to buy the product but fail to “close the deal” with a link to buy the product. If someone has to go hunt for the “buy” button or try to find the product on your page, the odds they won’t buy just went up. Another mistake is putting too many calls to action in marketing content; ask them to sign up for your email marketing list or buy your product, but not both. And given a choice, close the deal by asking them to buy the product.
Focus on Improved Conversions
Instead of trying to double traffic to your website, look for ways to double the conversion of visitors to customers. If people are landing on a web page when looking for something else, either tailor the page to keep them on your site or create a new page that is a better fit for the content they want so they don’t bounce away. If they’re abandoning shopping carts, you’ve lost customers who were incredibly close to buying. Maybe you need to add new payment methods, streamline the checkout process or make them feel more comfortable with the security of their data to get them to finish the checkout process. Doubling these conversions has a direct impact on your bottom line because it increases sales by that much. Furthermore, reducing the bounce rate from your site improves your site’s ranking with search engines, while increasing customer satisfaction improves the odds you’ll get word of mouth referrals.
When you understand the sales funnel and its application to eCommerce, you’ll be able to increase customer conversions and sales for relatively little effort. It is hard to find anything else you could do with this high an ROI.