What is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is the stages that people take through a website and how they become a customer.
Let’s go through each stage to present more of an explanation:
- Stage 1: awareness – a person acknowledging and becoming aware of the shop. Imagine walking down the high street, and you see a particular shop that catches your attention, you then stop and look into the window, and then you decide to go into the store.
- Stage 2: interest – once the person is in the shop, their interests need to be met to keep them in the store and interested. Imagine you have walked into the store, see a sale rail with a color you have loved recently, and then pick out a top you love.
- Stage 3: decision – once the customer decides they want to purchase the item(s). Imagine you are now looking at the top, pick your size, and you decide you want to buy it, so you walk over to the till.
- Stage 4: action – this is the fourth and final step of the sales funnel, the action taken of purchasing. Imagine you are now at the till, the cashier is scanning your top, you then pay and walk out of the store. You have now purchased and secured that item and you are now a purchasing customer.
The same process works for every business, brick-and-mortar or online stores. Whenever you purchase an item, you have gone through a sales funnel.
Optimizing your sales funnel will secure you the customers, ensuring there are no ‘holes’ in your sales funnel is key. Closing the holes in your sales funnel is something that takes time and observation. To optimize your sales funnel, you must understand how it works.
How does a sales funnel work?
A sales funnel works by capturing your customer’s attention, this could be by promoting offers, good advertising, and new campaigns often to satisfy customers. Social Media marketing funnels are prominent in today’s marketing strategies.
If your business has a site created using web development services and is online, an excellent way to keep your customers coming back is by interesting them to sign up for your mailing list. By doing so, you are opening the door for more opportunities to bring them back to your website by sending new stock drops, new promotions, or catching their interest by emailing products to suit them.
How to create a sales funnel?
It takes time to build a sound and effective sales funnel; it won’t happen straight away. It will take time to see what works, what doesn’t, and how to improve to connect with more customers and grow.
The main thing is turning visitors into leads, so here you can find some of the best ways to create a sales funnel for you. But keep in mind that a sales funnel is the ideal scenario, a lot of the time customers leave the store empty-handed, same goes with online, a certain percentage of customers won’t make purchases and will end up leaving the site.
- Step 1 – plan your ideal buying process; obviously, the most important thing for most businesses is the purchasing stage of the funnel. But you need to consider that not all visitors will make a purchase. So, it is essential to come up with a couple of different purchase paths; different people come across your page through various sources. You also need to remember that all customers are different, some are browsers, some are ‘save later’ to buy, and some are straight to the checkout, so each customer will require different needs in your website.
- Step 2 – understand and monitor your analytics, it is super important to monitor your analytics, most importantly, conversion. By monitoring, you can see what’s working and what’s not, meaning you can improve on things that aren’t working as well or ‘holes’ in your funnel, resulting in visitors leaving without purchases. There are different settings and different analytics you will need to observe to maximize your website.
- Step 3 – ensuring your website is interesting and will captivate your audience, this is one of the most essential steps to keeping the visitors on the site and ensuring they make a purchase. This could be by advertising up to date styles, having a promotion, and uploading new stock or/photos for returning customers. You need to keep the visitor interested to get them to want to make a purchase.
- Step 4 – identifying leaks in your sales funnel, once your website is going and you have had customers and visitors, you can see what’s helping to make purchases and where people are leaving your site. Once you know what’s causing them not to make a purchase, you can work on that to create a better, more effective sales funnel.
- Step 5 – optimizing the visitors and turning them into customers, you can do this by advertising other offers throughout the sales funnel, and throughout the website experience. By doing this, you will convince visitors that were on the edge of purchasing or leaving into making that purchase. Whether it’s by advertising ‘limited stock,’ free delivery, or merely showing cheaper items.
- Step 6 – emailing lists are super important in the sales funnel process; this is because if the visitor decides to come back later to buy something, they might forget or decide against it. Whereas if you have their email, you can contact them, reminding them, and encouraging them to make that purchase, and future purchases. This is a crucial step in optimizing sales as you have opportunities to call customers back when you have a sale or new products. Chances are if a customer has bought from you once, they will come back to buy more, so it’s essential to keep your website in their mind and encourage them to return. It is vital to have more than one path for the customers to reach the final purchasing stage, emailing lists are one of the best ways of getting customers to return to your site and are more likely to make a purchase.
There are lots of other ways to optimize your sales funnel, but these six steps are the most effective and important steps to secure purchases and maximize customers returning to your site.
By creating the best, most effective, and varied sales funnel, incorporating conversion rate optimization strategies, you are giving your website the best chance to optimize sales. Not every visitor reaches the checkout in the same path, so it’s essential to create a sales funnel that will work with all aspects of shoppers, to maximize your sales.
You need to learn your audience to build your website to the best it can be and ensure you have the best sales funnel for your website.