Running an e-commerce store is every entrepreneur’s dream. You get to work on your own time, and it is also satisfying to watch your business grow from a small-scale operation into a large one. However, a customer has to pass through different stages before they can be converted from a visitor to paying client. This brings us to our subject of discussion, “sales funnel”. By understanding what it means and how it works, you would better understand how to convert more leads into paying clients.
What is a Sales Funnel?
Unless you’re in the marketing field, this is a term you might not be familiar with. This is funny considering how you’ve gone through one every time you made a purchase online. The journey you made from seeing an ad for a product or service, visiting the website to making a purchase, is all part of that company’s sales funnel.
You see, sales funnels document how every customer moves from a moderately curious observer to a paying one. This is where the term “funnel” comes into play because a lot of people show interest initially but only a few make a purchase.
Once a prospect sees or hears about your product they’ve already gone through a stage of your sales funnel. But what we need to answer here is, have you properly built it to ensure you convert as many clients as possible? By understanding the different stages of it, you would be able to answer the above question.
Sales Funnel Stages
It is easy to deduce what this stage means from the name. Simply put, it focuses on the medium through which customers hear about you for the first time. Before prospects hear about you, they might not have known the problem you wish to solve even exists. But then through your marketing efforts, they get to learn or become “aware” about that problem and your product or service (the solution).
Awareness can be achieved in different ways, it could be word-of-mouth, television adverts, social media posts, etc. How much of an impact or impression you make in the “awareness stage” will determine if a lead moves on to the next stage. Therefore, extra attention is paid as we go further down the funnel. It’s easy to make people aware of a product but keeping them interested till they check out is where the real challenge is.
At this point, you have successfully captured the attention of prospective customers. For a customer to get to this stage it means the method by which they came across your product was particularly engaging.
The interest stage is where the reputation of your brand would be useful. Now is when google searches are made about the service and product you offer. What they’re trying to ascertain at this point is whether you’re the right choice for them. Placing yourself as an authority online would help future clients take another step down the funnel. Visit https://www.youtube.com/ to learn more about how you can keep customers interested.
Clients in this stage have reviewed your product or service and have decided that you’re trustworthy enough to look into. The number of people in this stage would also be considerably lower, some might have found better alternatives or just don’t think you’re the right fit. We say that they’ve “fallen out of the funnel”.
Since it’s time to decide, factors like your pricing structure and packaging options would be the focus of the day. Explaining these in detail would help prospects better understand why they should buy from you. It is also important that you make provisions for inquiries; having a phone line that prospects could call for any question helps establish trust. You can also release sales pages and webinars to provide more information.
Now, this is a word every e-commerce owner loves to hear, action! At this stage a prospect has decided to purchase your product or service. However, it is possible to have a prospect reach this stage and not close the sale but most times, it doesn’t mean the deal is gone. They might plan to purchase in the future. You’ll probably have to run retargeting campaigns to remind them to check out.
But the action stage extends beyond landing initial sales. Various tools exist that can help you know where to direct your focus and retain customers. Many initiatives could be taken to do this, you could offer discounts, rewards, emails informing them of new additions, and much more.
Why Do I Need a Sales Funnel?
Today, it is impossible to be profitable in your business without a proper plan in place for converting customers at each stage. Below we would highlight a few reasons why you need a sales funnel.
It Helps You Understand Prospects Better
Information is readily available to us all at the click of a button and this has made customers nowadays more inquisitive. Believe us when we say that they would find out all there is to know about your business. It doesn’t matter how attractive your landing page is, there needs to be more depth to you. With the use of a sales funnel, you would be able to devise a means to slowly convert a large population of prospects into paying customers.
Most Purchases are not Instant
Most times, a person can like your product but not be able or interested in getting it at that particular time. If you have a sales funnel in place, you will understand that you don’t really need them to make the purchase at once. What you need is to keep prospects informed and interested in your product until the moment they are ready to take the next step.
It Results in Recurring Purchases
A business without a sales funnel would be best friends with one-time customers. Imagine if you could keep a majority of your customers active? That’s how big brands make the big bucks; with the use of sales funnels, they can keep customers active for as long as possible.
Starting a business is tough, especially If you don’t know how to traverse the marketing space. Hopefully, after reading this article, you would better understand how sales funnels work and why you need them to convert more leads into loyal, paying customers.