According to invespcro.com recent studies and research made in 2020 indicates that the average ecommerce site conversion rate has reached 2.86 percent.
‘Average Conversion Rates of E-commerce Websites as of Q2 – 2019:’
- ‘The average ecommerce conversion globally is at 2.58%.’
- ‘The average ecommerce conversion in the US is at 2.57%.’
- ‘The average ecommerce conversion globally is at 3.81%.’
From this data we can clearly see that the average conversion rate has risen since last year, and the coronavirus pandemic could have something to do with this conversion rate increase as more consumers are stuck at home under strict lockdown measures aimed at curbing the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
With 2.86 percent being the average conversion rate, that means that 97.37 percent of users are basically window shoppers, albeit they are quality leads, but they don’t take that extra step to purchase or subscribe to your business offering. Furthermore, given the expenses involved in gathering traffic nowadays, that is a disappointing statistic.
Gaining a better understanding of the buyer’s journey can help you improve and optimize your online marketing campaigns and boost your all-important conversion rate. Most companies think of the ecommerce sales funnel as a simple A to B funnel, often neglecting other key stages in the sales funnel.
In this blog post, Ben Givon will show you why understanding the typical buyer’s journey will help you optimize your ecommerce sales funnel and conversion rates.
Without further or do, let’s jump straight in, starting with the basics.
Defining ecommerce sales funnels
What is an ecommerce sales funnel? Essentially an ecommerce sales funnel shows the buyer’s journey that a potential consumer goes through before becoming an existing customer.
A consumer can pass through the sales funnel in the speed of light, he or she realizes that they need to acquire something, they locate it and purchase it. On the other hand, there are consumers who can take months or years to decide whether or not they will buy the product or service.
Let’s take a look at a simple ecommerce sales funnel example:
- At the top of the funnel is the awareness stage
- In the middle of the funnel is the consideration stage.
- At the bottom of the funnel is the conversion stage.
- And finally, underneath that is the retention stage, where remarketing strategies play a huge role in maintaining a connection between the brand and the existing customer.
The important thing to note here is that if you want to optimize your online marketing strategies and campaigns you need to understand and map the consumer’s journey towards making the decision to buy your business offering.
The ecommerce sales funnel can be broken down into five key stages
- Consumers in the awareness stage are just becoming aware of your brand. They are getting to know your brand via paid traffic, organic search, referrals, social media, and other popular marketing strategies.
- Consumers in the second stage, otherwise known as the consideration stage, have displayed a clear interest in your business offering. However, whatever it was that enticed the potential customer in the awareness stage no longer works in the consideration stage. You have grabbed their attention and know that they are interested in your brand, now you have to maintain that level of consumer interest through social proofing, customer reviews, product descriptions and so on.
- The third stage is known as the decision stage, and consumers found in this stage of the sales funnel are weighing up all their choices. This is the perfect opportunity for you to showcase your customer service abilities and offer special discounts and promotions to create a sense of urgency to help guide your client towards picking your business offering and brand.
- The penultimate stage is commonly referred to as the purchase stage where you will find consumers who have chosen your brand and will either purchase your business offering or not. if they have decided to buy you will need to ensure that the checkout experience is user-friendly and simple, or on the other hand if the consumer has decided not to go through with the purchase it is your responsibility as a business to concentrate on remarketing efforts to draw the customer back into your sales funnel once more.
- The final stage is the retention stage; these are customers who have already purchase your business offering meaning that you should focus on retargeting ads and remarketing techniques to retain these existing consumers who have shown an interest in your brand. When it comes to customers in the retention stage it is important to focus on gathering customer feedback so that you can optimize and improve any weak areas of your sales funnel and website experience.
So, now that we have a clear grasp of what the five stages of the ecommerce sales funnel is, let’s take a look at Ben Givon’s top tips and advice for optimizing all five stages of the ecommerce sales funnel.
How do I optimize the awareness stage of my ecommerce sales funnel?
Possibly the most important stage of the sales funnel is the awareness stage because it is the make or break stage that entices a potential customer to your brand and triggers the following stages in the funnel.
The main aim of the awareness stage is to reach as wide an audience as possible without neglecting your target audience.
Here are Ben Givon’s most effective ways of optimizing the awareness stage of your ecommerce sales funnel.
Create lookalike targeting groups for social media ad campaigns by using existing client data
Social media lookalike audiences can help you to locate and reach prospective clients that are very similar to your existing customer pool.
How to build a lookalike audience strategy that helps you reach quality leads without losing sight of your target audience and business goals.
- Use existing customer email lists who have previously subscribed and showed an interest in your business offering and brand and use the email lists to build a tailored target audience list.
- Use data from customers who have just recently converted and create a lookalike audience from the data of your existing customers, attributes such as geographic locations, what they searched for, what they purchased, their keyword search terms, and so on.
- Remarket to leads who have already shown an interest in your brand.
Using a lookalike audience list is one of the most effective methods of gathering and reaching quality leads who are most likely to move on to the next stage in your ecommerce sales funnel.
Boost your Google Shopping Feed with negative keywords and product groups
Aligning your products and services to customer keyword search terms is the main objective behind optimizing your Google Shopping Feed.
When you launch a Google Shopping campaign, all the products in your product data feed are clustered together. If you leave the default settings as they are then you will be missing out on return on ad spend due to the fact that you are putting all your products under a one-size-fits-all bid.
Not all products are created equal; some goods have a higher profit margin whereas others come with higher conversion rates.
Ben Givon suggests that you group your products into relevant groups based on profit margin, price and conversion rate metrics.
Negative keywords and Google Shopping campaigns go hand in hand when it comes to optimization. Negative keywords let Google’s algorithms know exactly what you do not want your products to show up for when a potential consumer searches for something.
The Google Shopping Feed essentially tries to match user keyword search terms with the most relevant products. By including negative keywords you help Google to make this process more precise and accurate so that your products only reach quality leads, your target audience, and quality leads who are most likely to move all the way through your ecommerce sale funnel.
Referrals are the way to go
Referrals help boost your brand awareness and target the right audience at the right time. This is why referral programs are an effective and key tool to optimize the awareness stage of your ecommerce sales funnel. Consumers will only refer products to friends and family if they believe it will benefit them in the same way as it benefitted them.
According to referralcandy.com the referral program used by Dropbox was extremely successful. Here’s how: ‘With referrals, Dropbox went from 100,000 to 4,000,000 users in 15 months.’
‘According to founder/CEO Drew Houston, referrals increased signups by SIXTY percent, PERMANENTLY.’
‘That’s a 40x increase, or a doubling of users every 3 months. In April 2010, Dropbox users sent 2.8 million direct referral invites!’
Referral programs work so well because it draws in more quality leads and it increases your brand awareness.