The goal of basically any eCommerce business is to entice visitors to walk through the virtual doors, peruse the virtual aisles, and eventually, complete a purchase that enriches their lives and results in a revenue stream to you – the perfect world.
But that’s not quite always how it works. Instead, consumers often follow a process along a theoretical framework known as the “eCommerce funnel” that indicates (and in some cases, predicts) their behavior.
Here’s what you need to know.
What Is the eCommerce Funnel?
The eCommerce funnel, also known as the eCommerce conversion funnel or eCommerce sales funnel, is a model with five (sometimes three) distinct stages that define the customer journey and indicate a lead’s willingness to purchase.
At each stage, the behavior will vary slightly, and there are different marketing tactics you can follow.
What Are the Stages of the eCommerce Funnel?
1. Awareness (a lead visits your online store or eCommerce websites)
Awareness is the very first stage of the funnel. At the top of the funnel, potential customers have just become aware of your eCommerce business. Some consider this first stage the point at which website visitors actually click on your listing.
Three of the most effective marketing strategies to generate higher visibility and entice clicks are social media marketing, SEO, and PPC marketing. All three of these will get your website in front of more eyes, and social proof will improve your image overall.
2. Interest (a lead visits a product page, or actively seeks information on your products or services)
A potential customer is at the second stage once they have visited a target landing page or navigated through naturally to one of your product pages. They might also visit blog pages.
At this point, the client is interested in learning more about your product to determine whether or not he or she wants to make a purchase.
Optimized page copy and blog posts, which will positively influence a lead’s perception of your products, are arguably your greatest asset here. UX and SEO-optimized copy can also diminish exit intent and help secure purchases.
3. Commitment to purchase/begins the checkout process
This is the stage at which the client has committed to completing a purchase on your website. At this stage, you want to capture an email address (to be used for future email marketing efforts) and ensure that you offer a simple, streamlined, straightforward checkout process through your checkout page to reduce cart abandonment rates.
4. Engagement with other aspects of the website that capitalize on cross-selling or upselling opportunities.
At this point, a customer has already begun to complete checkout and has the intent to purchase – but your work optimizing the eCommerce funnel is not complete. This is the point at which you want to introduce cross-selling and upselling opportunities to maximize conversion value on the sale.
“People also buy” tiles and collections, or pop-ups with suggested add-ons can improve customer satisfaction and add to your bottom line.
5. Completes the purchase
At this point, the customer has clicked “order,” and completed a purchase. However, optimizing the funnel at this point revolves around remarketing. Connecting with this customer on social media, retargeting through PPC, and reaching out to them via email marketing can improve customer engagement, and overall satisfaction, and result in repeat purchases in the future – boosting ultimate customer lifetime value.
Looking for More Marketing Tips?
Looking for more in-depth information on the eCommerce funnel, how it works, and where your marketing spend should be allocated? Visit Genius eCommerce online at GeniusEcommerce.com – there are plenty of interesting headlines in their mix!