Generating awareness via SEO, social media, paid advertising, etc. check.
Building interest with ad copy, headlines, and images that catch the eye and demonstrate value to your customers: check.
Guiding decisions with content that engages and informs consumers about the problem-solving/life-enriching potentials of your products: check.
Now there's just one step left in your ecommerce sales funnel: getting your prospects to take action.
That action might be a simple email opt-in to start. It might be signing up for a free or steeply discounted trial offer. Eventually, of course, you want that action to be a product purchase or even a subscription. Whatever it is, there are ways to make sure more of your prospects take the action you're driving them towards.
Increasing Customer Action
If your ecommerce venture is focused on selling a wide array of commodity-type products—items that are identical to or interchangeable with other products available elsewhere—convincing customers to take action is largely a matter of offering a competitive price (and easy affordable shipping options). A well-designed web-store and easy checkout process are also important, so your ecommerce customers can find the products they want and take action (i.e. purchase) with ease.
If, on the other hand, your ecommerce site is devoted to differentiated products with unique value—whether it's a private label product you've differentiated through careful marketing or a truly one-of-a-kind offering—the best way to convince prospects to take an action is through a landing page.
Long-form landing pages used to be in style, especially for information sales businesses. Certain ecommerce verticals, like health and beauty products, also saw strong results from landing pages with lots of copy, user testimonials, multiple calls to action, etc.
This has started to change significantly, though, and for many ecommerce businesses short and sweet has always been the best landing page approach. Today's audience has grown weary of endlessly scrolling through sales pitches. Unless you're selling a complex product or product suite to a set of highly-informed buyers—business software, devices for medical professionals, etc.—you're probably better off with a shorter landing page.
You might also be directing traffic to a grid of multiple items, each with its own product page. Make sure the layout of both is clear, clean, and uncluttered, like a short-form landing page. The principle is the same: make the action you want them to take clear, make the pitch concise, and make it easy for them to follow through.
A Recap of Your Ecommerce Sales Funnel
Now that you've read your way through our guide to building an ecommerce sales funnel, let's take a quick look at the audience experience from top to bottom. Make sure you understand your customers' perspective at each stage of your funnel, and your marketing will be far more effective:
- Awareness. People first learn about your products/brand when your site or other content surfaces in organic search results, as a paid search ad, on a blog they already read, in their social media feed, etc.
- Interest. Their attention is caught by your headlines, your images, your one-sentence irresistible promise, or other tease of your products and/or your content
- Decision. As they learn more and more about you and your products through the information you provide, they get closer and closer to making that initial purchase decision. They might visit your site prior to making a purchase, making them that much more qualified and a key visitor for retargeting.
- Action. They arrive on your landing or product page all but ready to buy, and your simple, easy, clear and concise offer convinces them to click through and purchase.
Follow this funnel guide and you'll have a solid system in place for generating qualified traffic that leads to consistent revenue. Use that revenue to build out your traffic-capturing mechanisms even more, and soon that white sandy beach may be a reality!