Digital marketing is a tedious process. Businesses need to find customers and consistently convince them to consider and buy their digital products, goods, or services. But did you know that there is an overarching strategy used to guide customers through their buying journey?

The ecommerce marketing funnel is used to turn the general public into potential customers and, finally, into actual buyers. It involves several stages in which digital marketers need to perform specific campaigns to push customers to the next stage of the funnel.

A successful ecommerce marketing funnel can not only bring in potential customers but can also create loyal and repeat buyers. To give you a better idea, here’s a comprehensive guide on the ecommerce funnel and how it works. 


What Is The Ecommerce Funnel?

The ecommerce funnel is a term used to represent the customers’ journey throughout the buying cycle. It includes different stages of attention and interest a customer places on a brand as they consider their purchase.

Picture that you’re transferring some water to a bottle using a funnel. You take the funnel and use the broad opening to direct the water down with little to no spills. The same concept works with the ecommerce funnel. 

Basically, the ecommerce funnel takes the general audience and directs them down the funnel into different stages until they successfully become customers. 

Ecommerce businesses use the funnel to categorize customers based on their position in the buying cycle. From there, they conduct suitable marketing tactics and techniques to push customers to the next level and direct them to a complete online sale. 

Each level or stage of the ecommerce funnel as it brings potential customers closer to a desired action. Thus, digital marketers must pay close attention to each stage and apply the necessary effort to lead customers further down the funnel.

But how does the ecommerce funnel actually work? 


The 4 Stages of The Ecommerce Funnel

There are four main stages involved in the ecommerce funnel describing the position a customer is at in the buying process. 


Awareness Stage

Also referred to as the upper funnel, this level in the ecommerce funnel consists of people who are simply aware of your brand or business. Maybe they’ve seen your ads or browsed your ecommerce website. But, they haven’t taken any actions toward committing to a transaction or an online sale.

The awareness stage also includes customers who have shown interest in your brand, business, or niche. They could’ve done a simple Google search or seen a similar product on social media. Their digital footprint marks them as someone with possible interest in what you have to offer and thus places them at the top of your ecommerce funnel. 

The awareness stage commonly involves marketing tactics such as search engine optimization and content marketing to offer audiences something relevant and of value. It also utilizes keyword research to see what exactly potential buyers are looking for that could be related to your digital goods, products, or services.

At this point, digital marketers aim to place their brand in front of people’s faces. This means putting out as much content and advertisements that could draw the attention of the general public. 


Consideration Stage

Once the initial stage of the ecommerce funnel successfully draws an audience, the next step revolves around the consideration or interest stage. At this level, you have an audience that has shown more than just awareness. 

Instead, you have people actively considering your brand by taking certain actions. This includes the likes of signing up for your brand’s email newsletter and following your social media accounts. They are wondering if they really need your product, if it can be the solution to their pain point, and if your brand is the right match. 

At this stage, the goal of digital marketers is to make it easy for potential customers to learn more about the brand or product they offer. The primary objective is to provide more content that would push people to consider and take further action, such as viewing and reading through product descriptions and adding items to their shopping cart.

Businesses should look at people at this stage of the marketing funnel more than just audiences but more as potential and valuable customers. The consideration stage of the funnel should show customers why your brand is relevant to their situation.  


Purchase Stage

The next level after the consideration stage is the purchase stage. This involves website visitors and audiences who have not only checked out your products but have already added items to their online shopping carts or wishlist. However, they have not completed the transaction yet for various reasons.

They are maybe having second thoughts and thinking if they really need your product or service right now or can actually afford your prices. They could also compare your product to other brands and gauge which offers the most features, benefits, and the best prices. 

Customers at the purchase stage are extremely close to completing a transaction. You can imagine them with their credit cards on hand, but they have some internal struggles. At this point, businesses need to push customers by offering time-sensitive promos such as limited free shipping vouchers, seasonal discounts, and the like.

The goal is to stop them from thinking. You can do this by eliminating factors such as shipping costs. Generating a sense of urgency is also effective, as people often fear missing out on something rare.


Retention Stage

Unlike common misconceptions, the ecommerce marketing funnel does not stop once a customer purchases from your online store. Instead, it includes a final stage referred to as the retention or repeat stage.

The retention stage aims to encourage customer loyalty by fostering valuable relationships post-purchase. The goal is to keep engaging with successful buyers by providing quality customer service and continuously offering relevant and valuable content. 

Ecommerce businesses can leverage the retention stage by fostering loyal customers. They can use tactics such as a customer loyalty program that rewards return customers for succeeding purchases. From then, these customers can serve as means for an effective referral marketing campaign. 


Tips For Running An Ecommerce Funnel Campaign

Before we end this guide on the ecommerce funnel, here are some helpful tips to improve your strategy and efforts.

  • Ensure good ecommerce website UI and UX design. A poorly designed ecommerce website can quickly turn visitors away even before they get a chance to browse through your products or services.
  • Utilize customer testimonials. Reviews and feedback from previous customers are some of the most effective ways to convince potential buyers. Highlight positive customer testimonials on your website and make them easily visible to visitors.
  • Automize your funnel campaigns. Marketing funnel campaigns need to align with the customer’s current funnel stage. Automating much of your marketing efforts helps ensure that customers receive the right message at the right time.
  • Use social media ads to attract customers. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube have some of the largest and most diverse user bases in the digital world. Publishing sponsored advertisements on these platforms provide businesses with a vast demographic to attract and engage with.
  • Take advantage of various media forms. The online world can be easily distracting. To better catch the attention of potential customers, use a mix of media formats such as still images, videos, and even audio. 
  • Optimize content for better visibility. Google, a search engine, is the most visited website. Considering this, it is important for ecommerce businesses to boost their search engine ranking to increase visibility. Optimize your content through in-depth keyword research as well as on-site and off-site SEO strategies. 

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