By Devansh Khetrapal
Who doesn’t want their eCommerce website to be driving a massive amount of traffic on their website where people are constantly filling up their carts? Well, it either isn’t happening at all, or you aren’t satisfied with the results considering the efforts you put in.
Did you know that there are about 12 – 24 million eCommerce sites across the world? Well, if it’s any consolation for you, only less than 1 million of these sites are able to sell more than $1,000/year. That means that most entrepreneurs aren’t doing it right.
But when Global B2C eCommerce sales are expected to rise to $4.5 trillion by 2021, then it’s clear to me that a disparity, this huge, can only exist when there’s something that there’s something these many business owners aren’t getting right.
What is a Conversion Funnel in eCommerce?
When someone buys your product online, they take a route that led them to get aware of your brand and what you’re selling. Then they took their time to get convinced that this is the product they need to buy from you over your competitors.
The entire process is divided into phases – Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. It even includes after-sale phases such as customer retention, upselling, cross-selling, and subscription-based models which is a whole other ballgame.
Now, it plays out differently for different eCommerce products but the phases stated above remain the same. Depending on your product and target audience, your business might have a shorter sales funnel, or maybe your conversion rate is already high because your price is low.
Let’s understand all the ways in which you can increase your eCommerce sales by optimizing your conversion funnel.
4 Major Phases of Conversion Funnel
Either the consumers have an inconvenience and they stumble upon your product when they see an advertisement, or they actively search for something similar and find your brand. Either way, they get aware of your product.
What this phase demands from you is some educational content about your product. As long as you’re giving free information in the forms of blog posts, webinars, guides, reports, etc., you’re giving resources to your target audience to help them understand the utility of your product.
You can create awareness by advertising on Google, or on Social Media. Apart from advertising, you can build your relevant social media channels to constantly be relevant and organically grow your channel as well.
After consistently making efforts to grow your presence on the internet, you will spark interest in your target market. As soon as you have that, your goal will be to maintain it by being consistent in your advertisements and/or social media postings.
In an eCommerce business, the kind of product you’re selling decides the different ways you can induce interest in the minds of your target market. The elasticity of demand, the price of the product, and its utility will actually influence the what, why, and how of your digital marketing strategy.
For example, if you’re selling Software as a Service (SaaS), then your social media strategies should likely be centered around a professional audience, where your relevant social media handle could be LinkedIn, as opposed to someone who owns an online Gift shop, who will most likely capitalize on Facebook and Instagram for the same.
All these phases are interrelated. Hence, while the idea of sparking interest in your target audience talks about how you should post more often, the idea of inducing a desire in them is all about creating a need for them to buy your product.
The goal is to deliver so much value in your product that your target audience feels that they’re missing out if they aren’t buying it. You can do that by talking about the benefits of your product, how so many people are actually seeing great results, etc.
For example, if you’re selling a hair trimmer, you can talk about the sleek design, good quality blades (Titanium, steel, etc), has a long battery life, and is extremely safe. Do use social proof as a way to create desire as it builds trust.
It’s time for your potential consumers to act on their desires. In order for them to take action, the one thing you can get right is your Call-to-Action (CTA) button. If your CTA button should be something they can see prominently as many times as possible.
For that, its size, what it says, what it looks like, and how many times it has been used matters a lot. Knowing how to optimize your Call-to-Action button is a skill in itself.
Apart from CTA, you should thoroughly examine your checkout process. Try to decode why anyone would abandon the product in the shopping cart. It could be some unnecessary form fields, surprise shipping charges, or lack of alternative payment methods.
How to Increase Your eCommerce Sales
You need to optimize your conversion funnel so as to identify churn and thus, to increase eCommerce sales. Following are the steps you need to follow in order to accomplish that:-
Step 1 – Identify Your Consumer’s Journey
The goal is to understand where your website traffic is coming from, in terms of mindset. To figure out how much convincing they’re going to need, you need to understand their pain points. With the help of Google Analytics, you can track their behavior while they’re visiting your website.
You need to answer questions like:-
• How are they behaving when they first visit your homepage as opposed to when they visit one of your product pages?
• Where is most of your referral traffic coming from?
• How many touchpoints does an average consumer make before buying something?
So basically, you have to identify where your customers are coming from, what their interests are, why are they leaving, etc. In a funny way, identifying your customer’s journey to reduce the churn rate of your eCommerce business is not very different from the process you follow when your company has a high turnover rate.
Step 2 – Map Your Funnel Phases to Conversion Triggers
We discussed the 4 phases above – Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. In this step, you have to understand which phase your visitors lie in and retarget your advertisements accordingly. You have to list out every different type of content you’re going to target your visitors with, at each different phase.
For example, if a visitor came to your website, read your blog without availing of your services, it wouldn’t be practical to hard-sell them as soon as they visit some other website. They’re just in the “Interest” phase and you should target them with another blog that delivers tons of value for free, in order to create desire.
Step 3 – Create a Lead Magnet
The goal is to gather your visitor’s contact information, and the thing is, no one likes to give it away. Besides, we’re all used to finding the “x” symbol to close any pop-up that arises on our screen. What you can do instead, is create a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is any piece of content, could be an ebook, blog, or video series, that gives away a lot of valuable information, in exchange for their contact details. In the previous step, we talked about how we can retarget them with a blog to create desire. Well, use that blog to gather their contact information.
Step 4 – Segregate Your Leads
Just because some visitors signed up and gave their email information, doesn’t mean that they’re qualified. You will have to divide them into Qualified and Unqualified leads. You can find that out using the following 2 ways:-
• New Subscriber Survey – This can include all the basic questions relevant to your target customer, i.e. what did they like about your product, what product are they more interested in, etc. If they fill out the information, then they’re clearly interested. If not, then you can keep on following up with them until they’ll either submit or unsubscribe.
• Use Trigger Links – Send a welcome email with 2 or 3 links and when the subscriber clicks on one of those, they get tagged based on what they clicked. For example, if you send an email saying “What best describes you?” and give 2 or 3 options, and based on what they click on, they get tagged accordingly, so that you can send them relevant content from that moment on. You can use Drip to accomplish this.
Step 5 – Created Automated Nurture Sequence
As soon as you’ve qualified those leads and have segregated them into relevant categories, it’s time to nurture them. You have to accept the fact that leads convert instantly. Realistically, you have to treat them as if they don’t plan on buying for the next 6 – 12 months.
Take your time to plan how you can add value to these people’s lives during this period. What you should do is to create an automated nurture sequence and send them value-added material, which will develop trust over time. Next thing you know, they’ll already be sold.
Did you know that 92% of your website visitors aren’t ready to buy anything? With this step-by-step guide, you will not only be able to convert those eager 8% buyers but also those who aren’t ready to buy just yet. Over to you!