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Understanding Your Marketing Funnel: A Guide for Ecommerce Companies

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If your ecommerce business is making sales, you likely have a marketing funnel. But that doesn’t mean your funnel is firing on all cylinders.

Which sparks an important question: has your marketing funnel been intentionally created and refined to maximize conversions?

Here’s the deal. Spending all your budget on a viral social media campaign or saturating your paid ad campaigns with a massive budget might bring people to your site, but it means nothing if visitors aren’t converting.

And when you consider the average conversion rate for ecommerce websites varies between 1% and 3%, depending on the country and your exact industry — it’s easy to see how a fine-tuned marketing funnel can make all the difference.

Truly understanding the importance of a quality marketing funnel can transform your conversion rates, allowing you to create targeted campaigns that take your company to the next level.

So, let’s dive into what marketing funnels are, how they work, and the different stages you need to know about to maximize their effectiveness.

Build (or Refine) Your Marketing Funnel for Maximum Conversions

Before we start discussing actionable advice, you need to make sure that you’re all set up to track and analyze notable key performance indicators (KPIs) that will ultimately highlight the effectiveness of your marketing funnel.

[Check out our KPI Post for more]

Marketing Funnel KPIs You Need to Track

Your chosen ecommerce platform combined with an analytics solution, such as Google Analytics, will help you track each of the following KPIs:

  • Traffic: How many people are visiting your site?
  • Conversion rate: What percentage of visitors are making a purchase (or the chosen conversion goal)?
  • Bounce rate: How many visitors leave your site without viewing a second page?
  • Sales: How much money is your website generating?
  • Cart abandonment: How many visitors load up a shopping cart and then leave?

Most ecommerce sites will have the straightforward conversion goal of making a sale. However, it’s worth noting that websites with high-ticket products often go for lead generation to have a sales team or email marketing campaign nurture those leads. Then, when the time is right, they make a purchase and become a customer.

1. Top of the Sales Funnel: Discovery and Awareness Stage

The buyer’s journey starts with customers becoming aware of your brand. It’s often through a paid ad campaign but can also be organic social media posts or SEO search results. It might even be through word-of-mouth or backlinks.

Suddenly, they’re aware of your business and intrigued that your products might address their pain points. You must briefly describe what you’re offering and encourage them to click through and visit your site.

Powerful ad copy and highly targeted keywords will help your paid ad campaigns build intrigue and encourage them to dive further down the funnel by clicking on the ad or social media post.

2. Middle of the Sales Funnel: Interest and Consideration Stage

Your funnel becomes narrower as some people click through and others scroll past your ad. However, those who clicked are now clearly showing interest in your business.

Landing pages are powerful tools for educating visitors about your products. Use demo videos, testimonials, and persuasive copy, all on a specifically designed page associated with the specific marketing campaign that brought them to your site. Remove the navigation and keep them focused.

Instead of landing pages, compelling blog posts, in-depth guides related to your industry, or even webinars all help users still exploring your company. Each type of content is to demonstrate your expertise in your industry.

The chances are that they’ll start browsing your store to see what you offer, how much it costs, and if it’ll truly address their needs. Optimize your product pages to make them nice and easy to see what you’re offering. Common areas to focus on are:

  • Put social proof front and center, primarily reviews from previous customers
  • Make it easy to search by product name and description
  • Write descriptions that give all of the information someone will need
  • Create a compelling ‘Buy Now” and “Add to Wishlist” button that’s easy to find
  • Clearly state your return policy and shipping information

3. Bottom of the Sales Funnel: Decision and Conversion Stage

It’s the moment of truth — has the rest of your funnel convinced them to become a paying customer?

At this stage, they’ve honed in on the product they’re interested in and are deciding whether to buy it or leave your website, potentially never to return.

The goal of every previous stage of the marketing funnel is to have every part of the visitor saying, “I need to buy this product to solve my problem or satisfy my desire.”

Some strategies to employ at this stage are:

  • Incentivize them to check out: Give them free shipping, plenty of payment options, and maybe a first-time customer coupon. Display your return policy, and make sure it’s easy to understand and generous.
  • Put exit intent pop-ups to work: An exit intent pop-up will appear if they move their cursor to close the tab or otherwise leave the page. Tempt them with additional discounts and earn their purchase.
  • Bring them back with cart abandonment campaigns: Did they end up not converting, but you got their email address? Have a campaign to send them an email offering an additional discount or otherwise reminding them about your website and product. Amazon regularly uses this trick, and they do so for a good reason – it works.

4. (BONUS) Post-Sales Funnel: Retention and Loyalty Stage

The previous three funnels are generally what people mean when talking about marketing or sales funnels. However, the rise of easy-to-use ecommerce platforms and plugins opens up a new stage: loyalty and retention.

Loyalty programs are well received by most consumers today. In fact, 52% of consumers will join a loyalty program for a brand they purchase from frequently. Additionally, 84% of consumers make redemptions from a loyalty program. The takeaway? Loyalty programs keep customers engaged with your brand and its products and services, so don’t miss out on this important opportunity.

Send former customers to remind them about your products. Offer a return customer discount and let them know about any new developments.

You can go even further and create a fully-fledged loyalty program. Reward customers for coming back, spending more money, or referring their friends to your store.

Keep Refining Your Marketing Funnel and Analyzing Results

You’ll have plenty of analytics to create data-driven decisions about how to alter and refine your marketing funnel. For example, your paid ad campaigns might benefit from targeting different keywords or more compelling copy, while your checkout page might be unknowingly causing people to leave your site.

Continually track and analyze target KPIs to help refine your marketing funnel at every stage to maximize conversions. After all, your marketing should be agile enough to adapt to changing trends — which means following the insights you gather from your data.

If all of this seems like too much, you can always bring in the experts to help you fully realize the potential of your paid ad campaigns and associated marketing funnel.

Emarketed provides boutique paid advertising services to ecommerce brands looking to scale, grow, and convert.

Are you looking to take a data-driven approach to your ecommerce marketing campaigns? Do you want to build funnels designed specifically for your target audience? Contact us today to connect with our team of ecommerce experts.

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