How to optimize your ecommerce sales funnel

e-commerce customer journey examples

Whether or not you like to use the official jargon of the e-commerce world in your day-to-day life, your potential new customers experience a “customer journey” as they transition between becoming aware of your store, considering making a purchase, and following through to becoming a customer.

Not all customer journeys are the same and some are not very elaborate. Some people see an ad or do a search for a product, want the product they see and complete the transaction. But quick and direct customer journeys represent a small percentage of the people who could potentially convert into paying customers.

If your store is able to successfully demonstrate its value while visitors are in the consideration phase of their journey, you have the potential to dramatically increase your sales.

To be successful, you need to create engaging experiences that focus on the right people, at the right time. These efforts can then work as a funnel, encouraging prospective customers to progress in their customer journey, towards conversion. 

Which is why it’s important to perform “sales funnel triage”. I.e. identify at which stage potential customers stop their journey so you can work on relieving the bottleneck that will result in the biggest increase in sales.

We created a free tool that works with the Facebook pixel to visually map out your store’s conversion funnel and identify the bottlenecks by analyzing your store’s visitor data.  

Let’s do a quick activity to help you identify where your website visitors are getting stuck. Start by making a basic outline of your e-commerce sales funnel.

  • Awareness: At the top of some scratch paper, write a list of the different ways customers currently become aware of your store (social media, ads, promoted content, etc.)
  • Consideration: Now under the list you’ve just made, write down the pages customers visit on your website where they learn about your products and consider making a purchase (pages that give product details, content, etc.)
  • Conversion: At the bottom of everything add your final conversion page(s)

This info should be familiar to you, but we are laying it out in this way to sets us up for the next step. Check out an example of a possible sales funnel outline below.

Sales funnel outline (example):

Although a small percentage of traffic will move directly from becoming aware of your store to considering and making a purchase, a larger percentage of people will stall somewhere in the funnel. They may get distracted or simply need more time to understand and consider the value of your store’s products.

Which is why the second part of this exercise is so important. Now take your list from before.

  • Write down all the current marketing and advertising activities you use to engage with potential customers after they become aware of your store.
  • Now write down the marketing and advertising activities you use to engage with people who are in the consideration phase.
  • And finally, write down the actions you take to get people to your check out page and repurchase.

You should now have a list similar to the below example.

At first glance, the example “journey” may look way too long and overcomplicated. But it is important to remember that not every customer will need to take every step.

These marketing and advertising actions are only to increase engagement and build relationships with the store viewers who get distracted or need more convincing before making their purchase.

Now that you have your marketing efforts listed, use our free funnel analysis tool or gather your store’s website traffic and sales data manually. Then add these estimates to each stage of your conversion funnel.

Below is an example e-commerce funnel and an idea of where to look in order to collect the data you need to analyze your store’s performance manually.

E-commerce funnel example data:

e-commerce marketing funnel

Now compare your marketing and advertising activities map with the conversion funnel data you have collected and cross analyze. If at any stage you see a large number of potential customers stopping their conversion journey, it may be time to experiment with different marketing actions to re-engage them.  

Here’s one last helpful list of possible actions to take if you identify bottlenecks at any stage of your e-commerce funnel.

Lots of bait in the water but no bites? Try: 

  • Improving the look and feel of your ads. 
  • Reassessing your value proposition and make sure you are effectively communicating it.
  • Improving your audience targeting.
  • Sharing a compelling brand story before directly showing products.
  • Sending retargeting ads to people who interact with your ads but stop their customer journey.

Lots of folks aware  but they don’t care? Try: 

  • ImprovIng product descriptions and/or images. 
  • Looking into content marketing or improve your current content strategy. 
  • Creating a newsletter to engage with visitors after they leave your site. 
  • Sending retargeting ads to website visitors who view products but don’t make a purchase.

Lots of abandoned carts or single purchases? Try:

  • Improving your payment process.
  • Making your shipping and return policy easy to find and understand.
  • Sending retargeting ads that remind cart abandoners of what they left behind. 
  • Sending thank you messages after purchases and stay connected with past customers. 

This is just a short list of ideas on how to improve your conversion funnel and your prospective customers’ journeys. As you know, there are many ways to help your customers smoothly transition from awareness to purchase.

Hopefully, armed with your e-commerce store’s funnel analysis, you’ll now have a better idea of which part of the funnel to focus your attention on. And be better equipped to eliminate your bottlenecks and increase sales. 

If you haven’t checked it out yet, connect your store to our free traffic analysis tool and get a clear picture of your e-commerce funnel. 

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