Many visitors troop into your site in hopes of finding something valuable and the number decreases as they navigate, forming a narrow end.
According to a study by Ofcom, people spend 24 hours a week online. With such long hours, one would think that consumers have so much time to spare. Surprisingly, the attention span of the average online user is just about eight seconds.
There is so much happening online, and consumers are bent on getting a piece of all the action. Research by Statista shows that 75.6% of online retail orders are abandoned halfway. If they are not motivated to stay on your site, they jump out the window.
From the above data, it suffices to say that ecommerce sites are either not using sales funnel or not doing it right. Let us take a look at ways you can create an effective sales funnel on your ecommerce site.
1. Generate targeted traffic
Traffic is the breath of ecommerce sites. New visitors do not drop onto your site from the sky. Majority of them find your business somewhere before coming through.
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How you get your visitors affects their actions or the absence of it on your site. There has to be a correlation between what brings them in and what you are offering. Clickbait is harmful to your sales funnel.
If your ad says you sell the best organic beauty products, and the products on your site are different, visitors will not get past the wide part of the funnel.
Traffic sources differ for businesses. Pay close attention to where your traffic is coming from, and channel your resources in that area.
Some of the ways to generate targeted traffic include:
i. Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a content-oriented marketing strategy. It helps you pander to the needs of consumers by providing useful content to them.
Combining various techniques such as content marketing, SEO, and blogging amongst others, you can use inbound marketing to generate leads in your sales funnel.
ii. Paid traffic
Paid traffic is the use of paid third-party services to put your products and/or services in the eyes of targeted prospects to generate leads for your business.
To get the best results, identify your ideal customers and choose the right paid traffic medium to reach them.
iii. Social Media presence
2. Offer support
Creating a great site and filling it up with assorted products are not enough for customers to make purchases.
Econsultancy’s Connecting with Consumers report reveals that 83% of online shoppers need support to successfully make a purchase.
Imagine walking to a physical store, and not knowing where to find a particular product you are looking for.
After searching for a while and there is no one in sight to help you out, what do you do? You will most likely walk away, and check elsewhere. Same scenario plays out online, the only difference is the environment.
Customers with unresolved concerns with regard to their purchase on your site will abandon their cart if they do not get help right away.
No matter how simplified your site seem to you, people will always need clarification from simple questions about colors to more serious ones about safety measures to get through.
Some ways to provide customer support include:
i. Live chat:
Live chat puts you right there to attend to visitors in real time. In a report by Vtldesign, 38% of online users state that they completed their purchase due to the support they got via live chat. This makes a lot of success as live chat gives visitors your full attention.
Online users are tech-savvy more than ever. It is okay to want to run to their rescue, but sometimes, visitors will rather sort themselves out.
Make provision for a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page and searchable knowledge base for visitors to get support right away.
3. Create a flow
In real life, people do not disclose very personal information to strangers. They take some time to get to know them before engaging on a personal level. The same dynamic plays out in online buying.
Online users hardly jump onto a site for the very first time and start typing their credit card details right away.
They want to engage with your site and develop some familiarity before parting with their money.
Do not be eager to snatch money from visitors. Obviously, that is your end goal, but you need to warm your way up to it, otherwise, you lose them completely.
Create a flow that takes visitors from one phase to another in order to get them comfortable.
Some of the ways to create a flow include:
i. Use a detailed landing page
Do not just tell visitors to “Buy Now,” provide information about what you want them to buy and why they should buy it.
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Unless you have a gun to their head, no one will “Buy Now” when they have no clue about the product.
ii. Create seamless navigation
Being stuck on a website is a turn off to visitors. Make website navigation very seamless.
Create visible tags for specific information, so visitors can click right away and get the information they need.
4. Showcase value in lead conversions
A visitor qualifies as a lead when they provide their contact. “Nobody likes being sold to. They like to buy, but not being sold to.” That is a rule in Marketing 101.
Basically, people want to buy things, but they do not want you to sell it to them. You really cannot blame anyone. Competition is so fierce this day, marketing is like a tug of war.
Only the strongest brands survive. When two elephants fight, the ground suffers. The consumer suffers the antics of dogged marketing, and is putting up resistance to save thyself.
How do you break the circle?
Offer value. No one resists the benefits of value provided. Rather than see visitors as cows you want to milk dry, see them as people with needs that have to be met.
Some of the ways to showcase value in lead conversions include:
i. Use social proof
Showing evidences of valued offered is a good way to convince visitors of your competence in meeting their need.
What are people saying about your products? Display testimonials of real people who have used your products.
ii. Use reviews
Reviews are unbiased, and contain all the details of products. They serve as a guide to people who might want to try them out.
If your products are good, they will get good reviews. Put them up to further convince visitors about the value you offer.
iii. Use lead magnets
Since you already know that majority of first-time visitors will not buy from you, collecting their contact for further correspondence is a good idea.
Gone are the days when people were excited about filling email opt-in forms. When you create an irresistible lead magnet, they will be more than willing to drop their emails.
5. Nurture Leads
Kudos for getting your visitor’s contact, but that is not the end of your sales funnel. Bringing them in to make purchases ticks off your sales goal.
Lead nurturing is basically about building a relationship with visitors to your site. As revealed in a report by Salesforce Pardot, nurtured leads have more potential than non-nurtured ones.
Communication creates familiarity. Visitors are more likely to pay attention to what you are saying when they hear from you over a period of time.
Some of the ways to nurture leads include:
i. Email reminder
Did a visitor abandon their cart halfway? Email reminder is a good way to remind them about their pending purchase.
Draft a great sales copy to highlight the uses of the product(s) in question, and how beneficial it is to them.
ii. Retargeting Ads
Retargeting is another tool for nurturing leads. There are several reasons why visitors do not make purchases upon their visit to a site. Perhaps the timing was not right or the need was not pressing at the time.
Using third party services to showcase ads of products they have viewed, on their social media, triggers them to go back to your site and complete their orders.
Visitors to your site are potential customers, sales funnel prevents them from falling short of that. Think of them as travellers. Even after embarking on a journey, they may choose to get to the final destination or make a U-turn.
If the journey is worthwhile, not only will they stay put, they will be eager to relieve the experience.
Sawaram Suthar is CMO at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.