Updated: 3 days ago
In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, achieving more online sales is the ultimate goal for businesses. Whether you're a seasoned e-commerce business or just starting your online journey, understanding and optimizing the conversion funnel can significantly impact your success.
Consider the last time you made an online purchase. Did you immediately make the purchase the moment you discovered the product? Maybe, but probably not. There's a well-known saying that suggests most consumers require exposure to a brand at least seven times before they feel comfortable making a purchase.
More likely, you first came across the product some time ago, visited its website for a preliminary look, took some time to think it over, possibly browsed through reviews, and explored alternative options. Finally, after some contemplation, you revisited the website and completed the purchase. Perhaps you didn't realize it then, but you were essentially navigating an e-commerce conversion funnel – a journey that many of your customers are likely to follow as well!
What is a Conversion Funnel?
In marketing, the “Conversion Funnel” is a concept used to describe the different stages of the buyer’s journey, that potential customers go through before they take the desired action (i.e., convert). This can apply to any business, and you can guide people through the funnel in order to convert them from potential buyers into customers. The four stages of the conversion funnel are as follows:
Stage 1 of Conversion Funnel: Awareness Stage
Who is at this stage? Anyone who is not actively searching for solutions. They may be casually browsing online without a specific problem in mind. At this point, it's crucial to educate them about potential issues your product or service can address, or even make them aware of problems they might not have recognized yet. The key here is to provide passive information that piques their interest and curiosity.
To increase awareness, your brand should be visible to consumers through various channels, including television (linear and streaming), digital advertising, audio advertising, social media campaigns, content marketing, and more. Notably, 87% of shoppers begin their online product search on a digital channel other than a brand-owned website, making these touchpoints increasingly important. Your goal at the end of the awareness stage is to educate potential customers about your brand, products, and services.
Stage 2 of Conversion Funnel: Interest Stage
Once a person becomes aware of the problems and your brand in the Awareness Stage, the next step in the funnel is to cultivate their interest in your brand and educate them about your offerings.
People start actively searching for solutions to their problems. They may take actions such as following your social media accounts, subscribing to your email list, asking questions, sending direct messages, or exploring different brands. This stage involves a mix of passive information feed and active searching as potential customers begin their quest for the right solution. Therefore, your primary objective is to enhance their familiarity with your brand and provide them with valuable content that sustains their interest and propels them further along the funnel.
To effectively engage and maintain their interest, you should offer content that provides significant value to your prospects. This content can take various forms, including blog posts, infographics, digital magazines, videos, email newsletters, or downloadable guides—content that resonates with the pain points of your ideal customers.
Stage 3 of Conversion Funnel: Consideration Stage
The Consideration Stage is a pivotal phase in the buyer's journey, where customers actively compare product features, brand reputation, and pricing to find the best solution to their recognized problems. They start asking questions like:
"Is this product necessary for me?"
"Does this brand align with my preferences?"
"Do the features and benefits meet my requirements?"
Your task here is to not only demonstrate your understanding of their pain points but also position your product or service as a viable solution to their problem. The ultimate goal is to encourage them to delve deeper into researching your product or service, while concurrently building trust with your target audience. Active searching and comparison are common behaviours in this stage as customers seek the best-fit solution as they want to invest in brands they trust.
Stage 4 of Conversion Funnel: Conversion Stage
The conversion stage is the “bottom of the funnel”. After progressing through the Awareness, Interest, and Consideration stages, potential customers have gained a thorough understanding of your brand and offerings. Now, they are prepared to take the decisive step of becoming paying customers.
At this stage, your objective is to facilitate a seamless and compelling conversion process. This includes ensuring that your website or platform offers a user-friendly interface, a straightforward checkout process, and enticing offers that motivate visitors to make a purchase. Implementing strategies such as offering deals, upselling, bundling products, and providing a fast and easy checkout experience, as well as options like monthly payment plans, can significantly boost your conversion rates. These strategies encourage potential customers to make the final decision to become loyal customers of your brand.
Plan Your Approach for Online Sales Success
After gaining a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey, the next pivotal step is to plan your approach.
Define Your Objectives
Begin by clearly articulating your business objectives. What is the overarching goal of your online sales efforts? Is it to boost revenue, expand your customer base, introduce a new product line, or achieve a combination of these outcomes? Establishing well-defined objectives provides a clear direction for your online sales strategy.
What is the Problem that Your Product or Service is Solving
To succeed in online sales, it's crucial to understand the problem your product or service addresses. Delve into the issues your target audience may experience. Explore what motivates them to seek solutions and how your offering provides those answers. By clearly defining the problem, you position your product or service as the solution, making it more enticing to potential customers. This alignment between customer needs and your offering is the key to effective marketing and sales strategies. It allows you to focus on what matters most to your audience and demonstrate how your business can improve their lives or make things easier.
Identify Your Target Audience
One of the cornerstones of effective online sales is understanding your audience. Create detailed buyer personas that represent your ideal customers. Dive deep into demographics, interests, pain points, and purchasing behaviours. The better you grasp your audience, the more precisely you can tailor your marketing efforts to resonate with them.
Leverage Your Competitive Advantage
To stand out in a crowded digital marketplace, you must thoroughly analyze your competitors. Scrutinize their products or services and understand what they offer. Then, identify your unique selling points (USPs) — the elements that set your business apart from the competition. You'll emphasize in your marketing endeavours to show customers why choosing you is the superior choice.
Develop a Capable Website
Your website serves as the core of your online business. Ensure that it is user-friendly, visually appealing, and easy to navigate for visitors to access information and make purchases. Additionally, it should incorporate features and functionalities that enhance the overall customer experience, fostering trust and encouraging conversions. A capable website is your primary touchpoint with potential customers, making it crucial for converting visitors into customers.
SEO: Boost Your Online Visibility
To maximize online sales, it's important to ensure that your website appears when potential customers search for their needs. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is like a compass that guides users to your website.
1. Keyword Research
Begin by identifying the words and phrases (keywords) that potential customers are likely to use when searching for products or services like yours. Tools such as Google Keyword Planner can assist you in discovering the most relevant keywords for your business.
2. On-Page SEO
Optimize your website's pages for search engines. This entails strategically using your chosen keywords in your page titles, headings, and content. Ensure that your website's structure is logical, making it easy for search engines to crawl and index your pages.
3. High-Quality Content
Content reigns supreme in the world of SEO. Create valuable, informative, and engaging content that caters to the needs of your target audience. Regularly updating your website with fresh content, such as blog posts or articles, can boost your search engine rankings.
Earning links from other reputable websites to yours can significantly improve your SEO. These links, known as backlinks, serve as a vote of confidence in your site's authority and credibility. Building high-quality backlinks should be an important part of your SEO strategy.
5. User Experience
A user-friendly website enhances the user experience and impacts your SEO. Ensure that your website is easy to navigate, loads quickly, and provides a seamless experience for visitors.
By implementing these SEO strategies continuously, you can enhance your online visibility and increase the chances of attracting potential customers to your website.
Google Ads for Each Conversion Funnel Stage
Google Ads is the most effective advertising platform for generating leads and sales. It is ideal for direct response marketing where you want to drive people to take action and convert on your offers.
In the early stages of the conversion funnel, your goal is to raise awareness about your brand and products and attract cold audiences. Google Ads campaign types to help you reach a broad audience are:
These visually appealing banners within the Google Display Network are perfect for introducing your brand to a broader audience. Captivate their attention and let them know you exist.
YouTube Video Ads
With YouTube TrueView ads, you can engage potential customers through captivating video content that introduces your brand and sparks interest.
Interest & Consideration Stage
As potential customers move into the interest and consideration stages, your ads should provide them with more information and nurture their curiosity.
Display Remarketing Ads
Remind users who have previously visited your website about your brand and products. Display ads can include product recommendations or educational content related to your offerings.
Search Remarketing Ads
For users who have shown interest but haven't converted, use search remarketing ads with tailored ad copy and relevant keywords to bring them back to your website.
In the final stage of the conversion funnel, the goal is to prompt immediate action, targeting two key audiences: those who have previously engaged with content or a website, and those actively searching with high-buying-intent keywords on Google. Tailored ads are crafted to guide both groups toward completing their desired actions.
These highly targeted ads are perfect for users actively searching for your products or services. Craft compelling ad copy with strong Calls-To-Action (CTAs) to prompt customers to take action.
If you're running an e-commerce business, leverage Google Shopping ads to showcase your products with images, prices, and reviews directly in search results, effectively capturing the attention of audiences ready to buy.
Your Trusted Partner For Online Sales Success
Understanding the conversion funnel and optimizing your online sales strategy is a continuous journey. Start with a clear plan, create a capable website, leverage SEO and advertising, and consider seeking professional guidance when needed. You'll be well on your way to achieving more online sales and growing your business.
LRDG specializes in optimizing resources to drive customer-oriented sales growth. With a clear marketing plan, a capable website, SEO, and advertising expertise, we’re here to help you achieve your objectives.
Ready to take your online sales to the next level? Contact us now for a Free 30-minute business strategy consultation to discuss how we can help you achieve your objectives and boost your online sales!