Converting website hits into sales is one of the central tenets to any e-commerce business. The ability to do this will almost certainly be the difference between success and failure, so it is no wonder that a considerable amount of time and research has been dedicated to finding a way of perfecting what has come to be known as a ‘sales funnel’.
In this post, we will give a brief explanation of sales funnels, how they work and what you can do to improve the sales funnel of your business.
Sales Funnel: What Is It?
Essentially, a sales funnel is a marketing concept that consists of a number of sequential steps designed to lead a visitor to a site to purchase a product. The concept uses the analogy of a funnel because it describes the process whereby only a fraction of visitors to a site will end up buying a product.
Sales funnels rely on a series of stages that a visitor to a site will pass through. Each stage is designed to foment an increasingly profound level of interest and commitment in the product until the sale is finally achieved.
The Stages of a Sales Funnel
There are four basic stages to a sales funnel:
Awareness – This is the stage in which the target customer becomes aware of your product or service and the problem that it is designed to solve. Awareness will typically be reached when the subject learns about a company from an ad, Google search, a social media post or another traffic source.
Interest – At this stage, the subject is aware of your company’s offering and considering making a purchase from you. They may still be weighing up your products and services against those of a rival company, but the content that you have provided on your social media channel or product ads has definitely caught their interest.
Decision – Here, the subject has heightened their interest in what you are offering and is now considering the different packages or pricing plans of your services and products. At this stage, a company might decide to take action in the form of a sales call or a webinar to seal the deal.
Action – This is the final stage where the subject signs the contract or clicks the purchase button.
Improving a Sales Funnel
There are numerous ways that you can improve how effective a sales funnel is. Among these are blogging, social networking and publishing, pay per click campaigns and good old-fashioned public relations campaigns. Once you have generated the interest, you can then design your website so that it is able to convince people to buy your products. You may also decide to use targeted email campaigns as well.
Understanding sales funnels is key to running a successful e-commerce business. As always, marketing is a mixture of smart psychology and understanding your customer base. This article has given a brief outline of how to boost sales that you can apply to your business today.