Congratulations on starting a Shopify store! Shopify probably guided you through the initial setup, but now you have a fancy new storefront and are thinking… now what? Creating a sales funnel is the first step you should take after opening your store through Shopify. Your sales funnel is the answer to how you’re going to sell your products and grow your brand.
What is an ecommerce sales funnel?
An ecommerce sales funnel is the path that your customers take to make a purchase, from their first glance at your brand to the final checkout.
In most models, it includes Awareness, Interest, Sales, or Traffic, Leads, Sales (depending on the author). Here’s what the steps of a sales funnel can look like:
- Basically, it starts with potential customers who are now aware of your products because of ads or other marketing efforts.
- Next, they become interested in your products, making them a qualified lead, and they seek out more information about your products. A lead may go to product reviews, or read an article about your products.
- Lastly, they are converted into customers when they add something to their cart and make a purchase.
In Shopify, sales funnels are essential to your success as a store. You need to feed each part of your sales funnel in order to have a store that generates revenue and purchases. A well-built sales funnel can help you build your entire brand from the ground up.
Shopify will do a lot to set up your store, but your sales funnel will require optimizations specific to your audience. Shopify will set up your checkout flow and it will manage your products and your collection pages. However, you’ll want to make sure that key areas are customized to promote sales of your products according to your audience’s preferences.
A sales funnel is basically the buyer’s journey from beginning to end. Your sales funnel should always be trying to move your customers further down the funnel to a conversion.
Attrition Rates – Why the Sales Funnel is shaped like a funnel and not a rectangle
Not everyone makes it from the beginning of your funnel to the end. It’s a sad reality of having a sales funnel. If everyone made it through, you’d have a sales rectangle instead of a funnel!
The attrition rate is the amount of people who stall in a particular part of your funnel divided by the total number of people in that stage of the funnel. In other words, it’s a measure of how many people didn’t make progress through your funnel.
Your attrition rate will never be 0%, that would be a leak proof sales funnel where everyone entering your funnel eventually makes a purchase. However, you should be trying to get your attrition rate as close to 0% as possible.
Attrition rates are also a good way to gauge the success of your sales funnel. If you have something that is deterring people from progressing through your funnel, you’ll see a sharp drop-off that clearly indicates at which stage your customers are having trouble and giving up.
Stage 1 of Your Ecommerce Sales Funnel – Prospects, Traffic, and Awareness
This initial stage is all about getting eyes on your store. This could be through any number of marketing channels, including social media marketing, paid search ads, email marketing, co-marketing with other brands, and PR outlets. Basically, anything that can help you reach your target audience is fair game here!
This is also the widest part of your funnel because it should have the highest attrition rate. That’s why it’s also the part of the funnel that you need to feed the most. You’ll need to put more energy into “prospecting,” or finding new audience members to reach with your message, than the later part of your funnel, which technically fall into the category of re-marketing.
At this stage of the funnel, you’re just trying to get potential customers to see your products and become somewhat familiar with your brand. The best ways to do this are through consistent outbound marketing efforts.
Outbound marketing methods:
- Facebook and Instagram advertising
- YouTube Ads
- Google AdWords
- Organic Traffic (earn organic traffic by optimizing your searchability, also known as SEO)
- Co-marketing with another brand’s email list or social media following
- Snap Ads
- Cold calls and emails
To get to the next step in the funnel, you’ll also want to make sure that your store is set up with lead captures. Some ideas for lead captures include:
- Email signups
- Popups offering a discount code in exchange for an email signup
- Asking them to like you on social media
- Allowing them to make a wishlist of products
The goal of these lead captures is to get enough information from them that you can continue your marketing efforts and help them make progress down the funnel to a sale.
Stage 2 of Your Ecommerce Sales Funnel – Leads, Interest, and Nurturing
The goal of each stage of the sales funnel is to guide people closer and closer to making a purchase. You should be timing your content and marketing to each stage of the funnel so that the potential customer has the right information at each stage of their buyer’s journey.
At this stage, your audience is already aware of your brand, but may not be ready to buy yet. This is where content comes into play. Here, you can make your website really shine and provide the information that potential customers need in order to convert.
Here’s a few areas to think about when offering your leads information to make a purchasing decision:
- Product Pages – These pages should be optimized to tell your potential customers exactly what they need to know about your products. There shouldn’t be any information that clutters the page or distracts from making a purchase. The buy button or add to cart button should be above the fold and easy to find.
- Collection Pages – Collections are often the first places people look when browsing. Sort your collection by best-sellers to show customers what the top-performing products in your store are. You should also make it easy to filter and search through multiple options so that potential customers can find the option that’s best for them.
- Landing Pages – for products that need more information, you may want to create a landing page that goes more in-depth than an ordinary product page. It can include helpful pieces of information like videos, testimonials, social proof, and additional product information.
At this stage, focus on the value of your products. You are trying to address any questions or concerns they have and convince them to make a purchase. Showing the clear value of your offerings will make it easier for prospective customers to decide on your products.
You can also nurture your leads further down the sales funnel by providing enticing content through your social media channels, email marketing, or blog posts. These are all opportunities for potential customers to get to know your brand better and familiarize themselves with your products.
This stage is fueled by re-marketing efforts. Your initial prospects may have already exited your website and won’t return unless you continue to target ads and other marketing efforts to them. The more you can get them to return to your site, the more likely you are to convert these prospective customers.
That’s why it’s so important to capture their information when they are on your site, either through forms or advertising pixels. Once their information is captured, you’ll be able to keep nurturing them down the funnel towards a sale.
Stage 3 of Your Ecommerce Sales Funnel – Conversions, Sales, and Customers
According to Foundr.com, “a well-optimized store and product page can convert as high as 10%.” If you’ve optimized each piece of your site to funnel people towards a sale, then you should start to notice sales coming through your sales funnel.
At this point, you should be focused on your checkout process. You may be able to increase your average order value and the lifetime value of the customer by adding up-sells or cross-sell offers so that the customer buys more with each purchase.
You should also work to make your checkout process as frictionless as possible. Friction is anything that prevents or makes it harder for the customer to succeed. Having additional payment options, or trimming the steps of your checkout process can all help reduce the friction when a customer is completing their purchase.
By continually re-marketing to your prospective customers, you’ll help them make a purchase. Now that they’ve made a purchase, they are considered customers. In this case, they go back to the qualified leads step of the funnel, where they are hit with re-marketing efforts in order to make them repeat customers.
The lifetime value of a customer is how much you’ll profit from a single customer over the course of their relationship with you. Re-marketing to the same customers so that they continue to purchase ensures that you get the full lifetime value from each.
Optimizing Your Sales Funnel with Carro
Carro is here to support your sales funnel and allow you to make the sales you need to grow. There are plenty of ways that you can use Carro to promote and optimize your sales funnel.
With Carro, you can sell products from other top-performing Shopify stores, leveraging new products to achieve your retail goals.
Leverage Co-Marketing to Grow Your Audience
Stage of Funnel: Prospecting
Partnering with a brand to promote each other can be a great way to reach new and complementary audiences. Listing their products in your store is the first step to start working with them. You can trade social posts, email blasts, and other promotional messaging with this brand in order to share each other’s audiences and continue to mutually benefit.
You can reach out to brands through Carro’s Directory to start building relationships and to begin strategizing how you could co-market together.
Improve Your Paid Ads Performance
Stage of Funnel: Prospecting & Nurturing
With paid ads slowly increasing in cost and complexity, you can continue to offer fresh ads by adding additional products to your store that can be incorporated into your ad carousels. By incorporating customer data and interests into your paid ads, you can then target them effectively with a myriad of products from your store to increase your conversions and improve your customer acquisition cost.
This approach works best when you’re also incorporating trend analysis and ecommerce data tools on your site, so that you can accurately target your customers with the products that they are already searching for elsewhere.
Add Related Products to Your Re-Marketing Campaigns
Stage of Funnel: Nurturing
Re-marketing campaigns should get customers back to your site so that they can continue their buyer’s journey. If you’re re-marketing with the same products and images that they’ve already seen, then you risk ad fatigue. Your customers won’t be interested in seeing the same things over and over again.
By adding related products to your campaigns, you can keep driving results for your brand. If you use Carro to add these new products, then you won’t have to worry about additional inventory costs or fulfillment costs. Instead, you can just add the products you need to continue driving sales.
Increase Your Average Order Value by Offering Up-Sells and Cross-Sells
Stage of Funnel: Conversions
Up-sells and cross-sells are easy to accomplish with cross-selling apps. Begin with Carro, adding new products that are reasonably priced and easy to impulsively add to customer’s carts. Next, you’ll use the cross-sell app to suggest these related products whenever someone adds something to their cart on your website.
These cross-sells will increase your average order value and are an easy way to optimize the lifetime value of each customer, maximizing the total value of each order.