3 eCommerce Conversion Funnels: Practical Guide

aarrrConversion funnels are one of these concepts that everyone knows about and uses, but doesn’t explore in detail. Every online store has a conversion funnel in place and yet we rarely break it down to the core.

Why should we? Because that’s probably the most important mechanism you use for getting sales – advertising, on-site-experience, engagement and remarketing are all parts of this process.

In this article, we break down examples of eCommerce conversion funnels and show you what to look for at each stage. This process should be a major part of the eCommerce performance analysis and reporting you do.  This way, you’ll not just detect when something breaks but catch the particular part of the funnel that’s underperforming.

Plus, we’ll talk about the types of funnels fit for various purposes.

The conversion funnel in eCommerce

People won’t simply land on your website and purchase something, right? There is a sequence of steps that they go through before finalizing the order. We’ll look at that process of leading visitors to the desired outcome – purchase – and hopefully, you’ll have your conversion funnel(s) ready or improved by the end of this article.

Conversion Funnel Step 1: Acquisition

Obviously, without traffic to your store, you can’t be selling. How you acquire customers should be aligned with their habits, preferred channels and response to different stimuli.

Reddit is an awesome channel but not for every product. Also, Facebook is the go-to channel, but some target groups are not very active there and don’t respond to promotions there.

If you feel that it is time for some inspiration, check out our case study with Yumi where we talk a lot about acquisition.

Conversion Funnel Step 2: Activation

Visitors don’t convert right away. They need to browse around, engage with your site, get to know you before they’re ready to give you any money.

To lead them through the process towards the end goal, you need to design a flow that asks small actions to be completed at a time. Visitors won’t feel overwhelmed and pushed to buy right away, while getting to know your site.

This is activation. You lead them to take an action such as reading your blog, subscribing for email offers or browsing through your lookbooks. All that matters is that they’re spending time on your site.

Conversion Funnel Step 3: Desire

96% of the people who land on your site are not ready to buy yet. A big portion of them won’t even have the desire to purchase your products.

People need to reach the point of desire independently. As one of the most popular sayings in marketing goes, “Nobody likes being sold to. They like to buy, but not being sold to.”

That’s why your sales funnel should go gently and create that feeling naturally. For example, inbound marketing focuses on supplying valuable/ entertaining resources for the target audience to enjoy, which transfers into positive feelings for the brand and products as well.

Conversion Funnel Step 4: Purchase

The Holy Grail. The end goal. What we’re all in it for.

However, getting people to that goal depends on everything up until now. The steps are interlinked and each one should build on the previous, using what you’re learning along the way: people respond well to email marketing so you should not move them away from their comfort zone, for instance.

So now, how should you build your sales funnels to work through all 4 stages? We have prepared 3 ready ecommerce sales funnels as examples so you see how flows can go all towards the same goal – orders.


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