Funnel Vision: 4 Ways To Improve Sales in 2020
The first quarter of any year is filled with plans, projections and no small degree of urgency. There’s a lot of new stuff to get up and moving, so sometimes the existing stuff doesn’t get the tune-up that it needs to continue running smoothly. Don’t let this happen to your e-commerce sales machine. It’s time to throw up the hood and do a little 2020 tinkering on your funnel to make sure it’s ready to convert the masses. Here are four areas to consider for improving your sales funnel this year.
Pick a Framework to Organize
Now is a great time to look back at the whys and wherefores that led to the successes and failures experienced last year, and use that information to feed your 2020 funnel vision. Keep in mind that the goal is to end up with a clear visualization of the unique customer journey stages you’ve tailored for your customer and not to simply fill in a paint-by-numbers funnel. In fact, you can even stray from the concept of the familiar funnel and try your hand at another way of seeing the route to conversions.
One idea is the ring method where prospects are encouraged along a more circuitous route starting with an outer ring and moving inwards. The idea is based on the customer’s growing familiarity with your business and moving smoothly through a seamless series of small conversions. The fundamentals of the ring method are the same as the funnel. Customers start by finding you online and wind up becoming loyal customers. However you slice it; by rings, layers or stages, you have to include the basics.
Identifying your customer journey and then creating stages that anticipate their randomness is key. You need to understand the interaction that turns your casual visitor into a solid lead. Regardless of the maturity of your current conversion trajectory, a timely reflection on how your e-commerce sales funnel could be better is now due. With some helpful pointers, you’ll soon be on your way to spinning up the best e-commerce sales funnel yet.
Use Your Data Strategically
You’ve got data, so use it. Internal historic data and outside platforms like Google Analytics and other research tools can help you gain insight into what actions people take when they land on each of your web pages. Do different pages yield different responses? How many touchpoints does your average customer use before they buy? How are outside domains working to drive traffic? The better you understand how your customer gets to know you, the more you can work to deepen the attraction, engagement, education, and commitment they need to become loyal customers.
What are they still looking for and how do you provide it? Don’t get hung up on boilerplate labels for each stage because the specifics of how users navigate your business is what you need to focus on. What touchpoints have the most impact on conversions? Keep in mind that it may not be a linear engagement process and every consumer has the potential to hit your funnel at any level. Leave no stage behind when evaluating how the journey becomes more meaningful and how you can make the customer connection stronger.
Organize Efforts Based on Customer Readiness
Every stage has a spotlight on the content you want to serve as well as some behind-the-curtain tactics like A/B testing in the works. This means breaking down each level discretely to determine what is going on and what improvements should be made before linking the stages together to see how they work as a whole. Starting with basic awareness is top-of-funnel or the outermost ring. How do you attract the target community?
People can’t purchase from you if they don’t know you exist. Once you’re on their radar, you still have to build trust. This is where your brand personality can show your buyer what you’re all about. The platforms to telegraph why you are credible and trustworthy are everywhere. A robust blog gives you an ideal forum for education and useful information. A myriad of social networks has all the tools you need to engage and entertain. Investigating influencer options with a mind to retain the right personality to promote your products is another consideration.
You can also boost your ability to be found through paid search campaigns and traditional advertising like print, TV, direct mail and various public relations plays like event marketing and press releases. Make the lasso fit the funnel and remember that the actual number of prospects in your funnel will naturally continue to decrease as you get closer to the sale. Tighten up your efforts with each stage and try not to bleed too many of your leads by having weak containment and control over the journey.
Have Enough Content & Messaging to Prevent Fatigue
Once you’ve attracted some new prospects you’ve got to keep them from getting bored with you. Maintaining interest after the hook is played out means continuing to entertain and educate in ways that anticipate the content that resonates with your audience. You can share and/or repost brand-centered content on social media. Research shows that social media, specifically Facebook, is a conversion-driver so it makes sense for most businesses to pour on the charm and encourage web visitors to follow you on Facebook. Don’t forget the reciprocal nature of websites and social and place a prominent CTA for Facebook as a way to continue to draw consumers into your community.
Being more strategic in the creation of your CTAs is also critical to your funnel redux. Instead of just introducing your standard offer, try a strong illustration of how your customers will benefit from purchasing or create an offer that can’t be passed up like limited-time promotions and contests with a sizable prize.
In the ring and headed for the core or sitting low in the final stage of the funnel, there is still work to do. At some point along the journey, this visitor should now be a bonafide lead by handing over some contact information like an email address. You’ve achieved that critical opt-in action, and how the lead is poised to become a customer.
In order to ensure this next step, you can undertake any number of lead nurturing strategies that will work to funnel the consumer closer to the conversion. Landing pages, calls-to-action via SMS, URL, app downloads and toll-free numbers are just a few ways to keep consumers inside the funnel. Those who have opted in have handed you the perfect opportunity to deliver new content inside any of the funnel stages, and it’s a mistake to waste it.
With all of this effort, 2020 can mark the start of the most successful e-commerce funnel ever. Remember that the average e-commerce site convinces only about 3% of visitors to purchase, but you can work to make your statistics better by examining your checkout process from start to end and look for possible causes of cart abandonment and other final-stage issues.
Resist the temptation to convert a lead into a sale right away by cutting out critical layers that the customer needs to inform their commitment to buy. Every stage in your e-commerce funnel can be optimized as one stage in a series of small conversions. In this way, your funnel becomes a powerful whirlwind that gains momentum as sales spin up for the new year ahead.
If you are looking to build a great e-commerce sales funnel for your business, contact us here.