Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Online Sales Funnel-Understanding the concept

The concept of the online sales funnel

We should start to explain the very nature of the online sales funnels with the basic idea staying behind online marketing. Online marketing has one primarily purpose-to create an impact on web visitors and consumers and make them take actions like buying a product, filling some fields with required information in order to register at your website or incorporate the services your company provides.
When consumers take actions such as these mentioned above, they simply engage in this process and we as marketers are supposed to recognize the buying signals that consumers pass through while looking at an e-commerce website. Based on the buying signals left by consumers when they go though their process of taking a decision to purchase, we become able to discern and measure them and their importance. The buying signals your web visitors or customers show when passing through the content of your site, in general, create a “path” consisting of buying steps or said in other words, they build a “funnel” which is called “online sales funnel”.

Online sales funnels
The online sales funnel does almost the same which the traditional sales funnel does. The people visiting your website are being collected, qualified, tracked and after that, in the best possible situation, converted into customers. Your online sales funnel shows the steps and actions they take on your site by giving you precious information about what actually is happening there.
We all should keep in mind that the more we understand how the funnel works, the more effectively we will be able to test it and optimize it.
The online sales funnel shows a summarized “road” of the buying process. If you remember the last time when you purchased a product from an e-commerce website, probably you were in an online sales funnel. Lets say that you saw a Facebook add, got yourself interested in it and did some research about the company and the company products,  then you decided to visit the website and went through looking different pages of it, educating yourself with information about the products provided there, and finally you took a purchasing decision. This is just one example situation but obviously, we all sometimes find ourselves participating in an online sales funnel.

In Details
The Top of The Funnel 
The largest part of the online sales funnel, is the top of the funnel. This is where all the web traffic is being collected from various sources like:
  • Organic search
  • PPC ads
  • Banner ads
  • Social media platforms like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.
  • Email marketing
  • Online PR
  • and others

The engaging process
The traffic has to be qualified which is happening at the next step of the funnel. When qualifying, we should keep in mind that a considerable part of the traffic who was on the top of the funnel will drop off and only one small part of it will continue to browse. The main goal here is to make as many visitors as possible go to the next stage of the funnel and avoid losing them (bounce rate).
Proactive live chat, automated chat triggers and even lead scoring are useful tools and strategies to engage better with your visitors and effectively encourage them to continue with their visit.

The last step of the funnel is where the traffic left from the other levels of the funnel is being engaged, convinced and at last converted into new customers. Strategies like email marketing automation, banner remarketing are developed and designed with the idea to automatically convince and convert traffic. Which is also highly related to the term  ‘online sales funnel’ and what stays behind it.

Understanding your online sales funnel will help you understand how to use tools such as conversion rate optimization, email automation, live chat triggers, email marketing and social media marketing and how to optimize them and in some cases will open your eyes about new effective marketing trends.  Knowing the concept behind an online sales funnel will help you strategically use online marketing tools to strengthen your funnel and therefore achieve and exceed your digital business goals. 


Unknown said...

Well done job! The article I personally consider it as useful and a lit bit educational. Maybe it is not fully relevant to business owners with years of experience but I am sure newbies in e-commerce will appreciate it ;)

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