eCommerce Sales Funnel: In-Depth Guide

eCommerce FunnelMaximizing your eCommerce store’s profits means optimizing every stage of the sales process.

Your goal should be to optimize your marketing activities in each stage of the funnel to make sure that you carry as many users as possible to the next stage.

Building an e-commerce sales funnel for your online store helps you map the buyer’s journey and identify what you need to do at each stage.

This article takes an in-depth look at what an eCommerce sales funnel is, how it works, and the different stages of an eCommerce conversion funnel.

Let’s get started!

eCommerce Sales Funnel Summary

  • An eCommerce sales funnel generally refers to a route a customer takes from first becoming aware of your products or services to making a purchase.
  • This process also includes upselling, cross-selling, customer retention, and subscription-based models.
  • A typical eCommerce conversion funnel involves four stages:
    1. Awareness
    2. Interest
    3. Decision
    4. Action
  • During each stage, the consumer makes decisions based on his or her perception of your brand, product, and the competition.

What Is an eCommerce Sales Funnel?

An eCommerce sales funnel generally refers to a route a customer takes from first becoming aware of your products or services to making a purchase.

This process also includes upselling, cross-selling, customer retention, and subscription-based models.

An eCommerce funnel is also known as an eCommerce conversion funnel.

The stages of your eCommerce sales funnel are usually very similar, but the specifics depend on your product and audience.

eCommerce Sales Funnel Meaning and Definition

The term sales funnel was derived from a model created by St. Elmo Lewis in 1898.

Today, marketing experts define a sales funnel as the steps a customer should take before purchasing a product or service.

An eCommerce sales funnel describes the stages a customer has to go through from the time they discover your product, service, or brand to making a purchase.

It includes upselling, cross-selling, lead magnets, customer retention, etc.

Most online businesses rely on the eCommerce sales funnel to boost their sales.

It also plays a crucial role in generating traffic for your site and doubling conversion rates.

To get maximum positive results, you have to learn how to optimize your funnel to reach a larger audience and make your content more visible.

The power of an eCommerce sales funnel lies in knowing your potential customers inside out.

You should know:

  • Their problems
  • Main pain points
  • And how your products or services will solve their current problems.

Additionally, building an eCommerce sales funnel helps you map out a customer’s journey and what should be done in each stage to close a sale successfully.

eCommerce Sales Funnel Process Explained: How Does It Work?

Ecommerce Funnel ProcessThe process of an eCommerce funnel starts with creating brand awareness.

This can be through a Facebook ad, social media post, paid ads, content such as blogs, videos, etc.

Once your brand, products, or services become visible to customers, the next step is to take your visitors down the funnel.

After your customer clicks on one of your links, they’re redirected to the landing page or website for more information about a particular product or service.

This is where you turn a visitor into a lead.

From this step, your lead can subscribe to your email list, join your webinar, or take the next designed step in your marketing strategy.

If they’re pleased with what you’re offering, they’ll click on the Call to Action (CTA) button and proceed to the checkout process and finally purchase the product or service.

eCommerce Sales Funnel Model

eCommerce Funnel ModelThere are different types of eCommerce sales funnel.

Some businesses have long conversion models, while others have shorter ones.

However, the approach used largely depends on your business, type of customers, and targeted audience.

An eCommerce sales funnel starts when a potential customer comes across your advertisement, social media post, or content and clicks on the link offered.

It ends when a customer makes a sale.

Every eCommerce sales funnel has a lead magnet used in attracting clients. This is used to collect clients’ information, i.e., email address, to open up a communication channel.

What Are the Main eCommerce Conversion Funnel Stages?

A typical eCommerce conversion funnel involves four stages.

During each stage, the consumer makes decisions based on his or her perception of your brand, product, and the competition.

eCommerce Sales Funnel Stage #1: Awareness

Awareness - eCommerce Funnel Stage

In this first stage, you introduce your brand to your potential customers.

It involves shedding the light on your business so that consumers can know what you’re offering.

In the awareness stage, a consumer becomes aware of your brand and looks for a solution in the products or services you’re offering.

The goal in this stage is to attract as many prospects as possible.

Not just random visitors, but consumers who are interested in your product.

eCommerce Sales Funnel Stage #2: Interest

Interest - eCommerce Funnel StageAfter grabbing your audience’s attention, the next step is to arouse their interest.

The interest stage involves keeping your audience in the loop.

At this stage, you’re no longer dealing with strangers.

Most consumers have already opted-in to your email subscription or filled in their details on your page.

Since these clients came to your page through organic or paid searches, they are already considering purchasing your product or services.

Therefore, your task is to make them opt for what you’re offering before settling for another buyer.

Most consumers have numerous inquiries about your products or services in the interest phase and how it will benefit them.

You can provide more information to your consumers via an email campaign or through question and answer forums on your various social media pages.

Remember to keenly evaluate your potential buyers’ problems to provide the exact information they are seeking so that it’s easier to convince them to make a purchase.

eCommerce Sales Funnel Stage #3: Decision

Decision - eCommerce Funnel StageYou have managed to keep your customers interested in what you’re offering.

They have probably already added your product into a cart.

All that is left is to give them one final push to complete the pending transaction.

This is the most critical step because once a customer leaves your site, the chances of coming back are slim to none.

You can use onsite messages and emails to persuade customers or offer testimonials.

If a customer added a product to their wishlist, you could send them offers and crazy discounts through push notifications to persuade them to make a sale.

Another trick is to use more action words in your CTAs.

Additionally, you can explain the product’s benefits through the CTAs to create more desire for your audience.

For instance, instead of saying ‘Buy Now‘ you can say, ‘Grab product XYZ for extra storage of your personal belongings

eCommerce Sales Funnel Stage #4: Action

Action - eCommerce Funnel StageThis is the time to close a sale.

At this stage, you want your customers to add an item to their cart and finally complete the checkout process.

Ensure that your checkout process is simple to navigate without unnecessary fields or charges.

This reduces the cases of cart abandonment.

You can also conduct split testing into various checkout pages to determine which one is received well by your customers.

Always keep in mind that your customers’ journey doesn’t end at the action phase.

What follows after completing a successful sale is customer retention.

Therefore, find a way to build a long-lasting relationship with your customer.

How to Build an Ecommerce Conversion Funnel for Your Online Store

There are 5 steps you can take when building an eCommerce conversion funnel that helps you identify what your prospect wants to close a sale:

  1. Create a landing page for your product
  2. Add the frontend offer
  3. Add the middle offer
  4. Include a backend offer
  5. Start driving traffic

1. Create a Landing Page for Your Product

eCommerce Funnel - Landing PageIn your eCommerce funnel, the landing page should be designed for one primary purpose – to get prospects to click on the Call to Action (CTA) button.

This makes landing pages an essential part of your funnel in increasing conversion rates and lowering the costs of acquiring new leads or sales.

Creating landing pages is simple because most sales funnel builders offer this option.

For example, ClickFunnels is one of the best sales funnel and landing page builders.

It offers numerous templates making the creation process an easy drag and drop procedure.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating the best landing page for your program:

  • Focus on the benefits of your product, not the features
  • Limit distractions by leaving out any irrelevant piece of information
  • Make it scannable
  • Place your CTAs strategically and easy to spot
  • Use a friendly tone
  • Create more pages to generate more leads

If you’re having trouble coming up with the right content for your landing page, you can outsource freelancing services.

2. Add the Frontend Offer

Ecommerce Funnel - Frontend OfferOnce your landing page is ready, the next step is to add the frontend offer.

This is any offer used to attract new prospects to your product.

It can be free shipping, discount, etc.

It can also be an opt-in page offering customers a free product or sample.

It should be lower in price to bring in more customers. The key is to get your prospects excited to continue doing business with you.

Let’s look at some components that make a great frontend offer:

  • Create a low entry barrier – since the purpose of the frontend offer is to acquire several new customers, it should be straightforward. Prospects are often skeptical, especially when it comes to taking risks. Thus, make your offer a no-brainer, i.e., low pricing.
  • Offer unexpected value (over-deliver). Quite often, prospects don’t expect too much, especially when trying out a new product. Offering valuable items not mentioned or expected to a customer is the best way to exceed their expectations.
  • Provide superior customer experience – everything about your frontend offer should be designed to wow your prospect. You can show them how far you’re willing to go to provide the absolute best and meet all their needs.
  • Offer top-notch quality. Don’t put products based on the price you’re going to charge. Instead, base your offer on the lifetime value of the potential recurrent relationship you may have with your client.

3. Add the Middle Offer

eCommerce Funnel - Middle OfferThe middle offer is aimed at nurturing the relationship with your potential clients and building the purchasing intent.

It reaches prospects who are already in your customer database engaging with your products.

It should evaluate and convert problems into potential solutions.

You can offer them more important and beneficial content such as buying guides, offer to join royalty clubs, educational resources, discounts, downloads, etc.

The content published should align with your buyers’ needs and gauge their readiness to move closer to making the actual purchase.

For example, if you run an online clothing store, your middle offer can be a detailed size chart for the clothes you sell and a discount for anyone who purchases the clothes on the chart.

But, your middle offer should be highly valuable and slightly more priced than the frontend offer.

4. Include a Backend Offer (Upsell)

eCommerce Funnel - Backend OfferA backend offer means to offer another product or service to a customer who has already purchased from you.

Think of it as an upsell.

This is a good way to take advantage of the already existing relationship with your buyers.

Back-end offers consist of a follow-up email sequence used to nurture the customer further.

Which in turn moves them to another offer or another funnel introducing them to a whole different range of products.

To most online entrepreneurs, money is at the backend.

This is your chance to generate high profit, including recouping the losses made at the frontend offer.

5. Start Driving Traffic

eCommerce Funnel Start Driving TrafficAfter creating your landing page, frontend, middle, and backend offer, the last step in your conversion funnel is to start driving traffic.

Traffic is the backbone of your sales funnel.

Without traffic, your conversion funnel will collapse.

This means no leads, no sales, and no conversions.

You can drive traffic to your funnels in a variety of ways:

  • Use social media to add value. You can create social media posts and even open a Facebook group. You can also leverage Instagram hashtags and influencers to promote your product.
  • Create content. Statistics indicate 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement. The best way is to center your content towards your product. For example, if you’re selling men’s clothing online, your blog can be around finding the best style for spring or winter.
  • Invest in paid marketing. For example, Facebook Ads. Twitter Ads and Google Adwords.
  • Utilize email marketing and send offers to prospects via email. Email marketing was and is still a very effective marketing strategy. It has a higher ROI compared to social media marketing.

eCommerce Funnel Examples

1. eCommerce Funnel eCommerce Sales Funnel

Honest is a safe baby and beauty store that brings thoughtful designs and innovative formula to baby and beauty products.

Honest has a detailed blog explaining to readers about their health, wellness, and lifestyle products starting from the awareness stage. Blog eCommerce Sales FunnelTheir blog content is well SEO optimized, making them show up in random searches such as ‘DIY lip scrub.’

This is used to capture the prospects’ interest and drive them further down the funnel by getting them on their newsletter.

They offer free trials for Honest products.

This is the frontend offer.

In the interest stage, Honest has excellent product bundles and photographs to entice customers to make purchases and free shipping for all orders above $50.

They also use their guarantees to assure customers of the quality of the product.

To prompt customers to make quick decisions, they have volunteer products to make customers feel like they are participating in a good cause.

They also have a referral program where a buyer gets $20 every time a referral makes a purchase.

This entices customers to take quick action and continue to enjoy extra benefits.

Lastly, Honest offers monthly bundle subscriptions to give customers an easy time in roe-ordering for recurrent purchases.

2. Dorco eCommerce Funnel

eCommerce sales Funnel - Dorco

Dorco has been selling advanced shaving razors for over 60 years.

They have a content site called Dorco’s Shave Talk that educates people on shaving tips and draws them closer to the community.

This is their awareness stage.

Their content is also search engine optimized to rank highly in searches.

After the awareness stage, Dorco prospects are introduced to their unique products and discounts as part of their frontend offer.

They also offer multiple competitions, i.e., fathers day competition and prizes, to accelerate the decision-making process and finally leading to a sale.

Dorco’s strategy of getting recurrent sales is through refill cartridges.

If a customer already has one of the razors, they can browse and order the best refill cartridge that suits them.

eCommerce Funnel Templates

The good news is, you don’t have to build an eCommerce funnel from scratch.

Different funnel building platforms have numerous eCommerce funnel templates.

For example, ClickFunnels has over 138 different free funnel templates suitable for various industries and small businesses.

Ecommerce Funnel Templates

Click here to download the ClickFunnels eCommerce templates for free

eCommerce Sales Funnel Optimization

For your funnel to convert highly, it must be optimized.

Here are the 5 main tips to optimizing your eCommerce funnel:

  1. Run A/B tests
  2. Make your content SEO friendly
  3. Run a deeper funnel analysis
  4. Make your pages mobile-friendly.

1. Run A/B Tests

Conducting different tests on your eCommerce funnels helps you determine and use the variation that works best.

ClickFunnels allows you to conduct multiple testing on different parts of your funnels.

2. Employ SEO Techniques in Your Content

Search Engine Optimization techniques are essential if you want your content to rank highly in search engines.

For instance, you can use keywords in your blog or landing page headlines.

3. Run a Deeper Funnel Analysis

First, establish the area in your funnel you may feel needs to be rectified and run a more in-depth analysis to detect any shortcomings.

You can use tracking data to see how your audience interacts with these areas of your funnel.

4. Make Your Pages Mobile-Friendly

Today, many people access the internet via their phones as compared to on computers.

Creating mobile-friendly pages gives users a good experience. Users will abandon your sales funnel for various reasons. Don’t let mobile responsiveness be one of them.

Final Words About eCommerce Funnels

eCommerce funnel might look like a complicated thing, but if you’re armed with the right data it can help you improve the user experience and generate more sales.

Optimize each of your eCommerce funnel stages for higher conversions and sales.

This will help you generate higher revenues with the same amount of traffic your getting.

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