Have you ever heard the term “e-commerce sales funnels”? It is an e-commerce term that successful dropshipping entrepreneurs are familiar with.
But before we dive into the details of e-commerce sales funnels and how to use them to boost sales, it is important to understand what an e-commerce sales funnel is.
What is an e-commerce sales funnel?
Well, it is literally a visual representation of your customer journey. That’s to say, it is an illustration of a customer’s path from the moment they visit your dropshipping site to the point where they make a purchase.
Long story short, it is one of the most fundamental concepts in marketing and sales.
Different dropshipping businesses have different sales funnels for dropshipping. But, in essence, the main stages of e-commerce sales funnels are the same, regardless of the industry.
What are the main stages of e-commerce sales funnels?
There are four main stages of sales funnels. And they are as follows:
1. Awareness Stage
This is the first stage where a potential customer becomes aware of your business, brand, and offerings (your dropshipping products).
The potential customer might not even know that they have a problem that you could solve. In other words, they might not be aware that the benefits of your product can match their needs.
2. Interest/Consideration Stage
In this stage, your potential customer is interested in your brand’s story or the pain point you are able to solve. Moreover, they show interest in your product.
But this does not mean that they are willing to buy that product. They just want to learn more about it. As a result, they become part of your target audience.
3. Decision/Conversion Stage
Now, your potential customer knows who you are and what you sell. They know everything about your product.
And they start thinking about buying it. In this stage, they add the product to their shopping cart, enter their payment details, and eventually click the “Buy Now” button.
4. Retention Stage
Your dropshipping sales funnel does not end with your customer’s first purchase. At this stage of your sales funnel, you begin to focus on customer retention.
What does this mean? This means that you want to turn your customer into a loyal one.
The importance of improving the efficiency of e-commerce sales funnels
As you can see, as a dropshipping store owner, your goal is to find customers and lead them all the way through the four sales funnel stages.
Let us make a direct comparison between traditional retail and e-commerce sales funnels. We just want to help you see the importance of improving the efficiency of sales funnels when running a dropshipping business.
Imagine that you are running a traditional brick-and-mortar retail store, let’s say, a boutique. And a woman sees your ads on TV and decides to visit your store. (This is the awareness stage.)
She sees your stylish, well-designed storefront and window display and walks into your store. (This is the interest/consideration stage.)
Then, a floral dress catches her attention and she decides to try it on. You persuade her to buy the dress by saying something like, “What a lovely dress! It is every girl’s favorite piece for summer. Plus, you can wear it everywhere because it is so comfortable.” And, of course, she decides to buy it. (This is the decision stage.)
Next, you inform her about your ongoing promotions. (And this is the final, i.e., the retention stage.)
What’s interesting is that you need to do “the same” when running a dropshipping store.
Luckily, in this modern, technologically advanced age, there are many ways to help your customers get familiar with your online business and understand your product benefits and features; persuade them to buy, and keep them coming back.
And if you know how to do that the right way, your success is guaranteed!
So, it seems pretty obvious that you need to learn how to improve the efficiency of your dropshipping sales funnels to turn cold prospects into hot leads.
Just read on…
How to optimize e-commerce sales funnels to drive more sales
Now, we will focus on how to optimize each stage of the sales funnel separately to increase your conversion rates and boost sales.
Stage 1: Awareness – Tactics to use
In this stage, prospects need to become familiar with your brand and what you offer.
They need to understand what your dropshipping business is all about.
Simply put, you must get your products in front of the right customers. So what tactics should you use to increase brand awareness?
• Post on social media
Social media platforms are an effective way to find new leads.
Sure, keeping up with all of the social media sites may be almost impossible for you.
Thus, it is important to find your potential customers and focus on the places where they spend the most time. Focus on one to three sites to make sure that they are manageable.
Namely, social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter offer two major marketing tools such as profiles or pages and paid ads. It is a good idea to use both tools to increase brand awareness.
• Create engaging content
Chances are you have heard about content marketing so far. And optimizing the e-commerce sales funnels to drive more sales can be done with a good content marketing strategy.
Creating a blog is one of the most effective content marketing tactics for your dropshipping business. If you do not have a blog, it is time to change your priorities.
Publishing relevant, engaging content on your blog will not only improve your SEO (we will cover this topic in the next section), but it will also address potential customers directly and individually.
Also, it will educate the prospects. In short, it will help you drive more traffic to your site and create better relationships with your customers.
• Use Search Engine Optimization or SEO
As stated above, blog marketing can improve your SEO. However, increasing awareness of your brand isn’t just about content.
Namely, if your dropshipping site has a higher ranking on Google, Internet users who make a related web search query will notice it more quickly.
For example, when someone is searching for an item on Google, they will type a few keywords on Google. So, what should you do to improve your site’s ranking on Google? Focus on SEO. It is that simple. Learn more about SEO for dropshipping stores.
Stage 2: Interest/Consideration – Tactics to use
Dropshipping sales funnels cannot be optimized without optimized product pages and social proof. At this point, you need to convince your visitors of the value of your products.
Here is how to do that:
• Optimize your product pages
Product pages are the heart and soul of your dropshipping site. And everything you do is actually to make your visitors land on your product pages and hopefully make a purchase.
In essence, optimized product pages can be found via search engines easily.
They can also help convert browsers into actual customers.
So, here is how to optimize your product pages for better search results:
- Use high-quality product images; (And do not add only one product image.)
- Incorporate relevant keywords in your product page’s title tags and product descriptions;
- Ensure your product descriptions include the most important features and benefits of your product; (Your product descriptions should be relevant, useful, and easy to understand for your visitors.)
- Utilize video product descriptions;
- Make sure your product pages are well-branded.
Use social proof
When you spot a busy restaurant, you want to visit it, don’t you? You believe that it must be good because so many people visit it.
And it does work the same way when people see an item online with good reviews. In short, adding social proof can add credibility and boost your conversion rates.
On-site testimonials, social media comments, and Google reviews are all types of social proof. They are an excellent way to build consumer trust and encourage your visitors to buy from your store.
Stage 3: Decision/Conversion – Tactics to use
At this stage of the e-commerce sales funnels, your aim is to encourage your visitors to click the “Buy” button. To do so, you need to follow these steps:
• Streamline the checkout process
For those who do not know, a checkout page refers to a page on an e-commerce site where the transaction is concluded and the visitor makes a payment for their purchase.
During the checkout process, your visitor makes the final choices about the item they are about to buy, selects any add-ons, provides their shipping details, and pays for the item.
Therefore, we can freely say that your checkout page is the last thing standing between you and your potential customers.
And you should streamline the checkout process to turn your potential customers into actual ones.
There is no reason to have a three-page checkout process when you can really fit it onto one page. So, only ask for essential information and remove as many form fields as you can. Plus, offer various payment options.
When a visitor does not complete the checkout, it is recommended to send them an abandoned cart e-mail enhanced with coupon codes.
Stage 4: Retention – Tactics to use
You put enough effort into acquiring new customers. So, now is the time to try to keep them.
This is the last stage of the e-commerce sales funnels where you need to make your customers continue buying from your store.
Developing a customer retention strategy is an integral part of increasing your online sales. And there are a few simple ways to develop a solid customer retention strategy:
• Implement upselling and cross-selling tactics
Upselling and cross-selling are effective sales tactics to boost sales and keep customers coming back. In addition to using your homepage, product page, Facebook, and Instagram, you can also use e-mail marketing for upselling and cross-selling when dropshipping.
• Build a loyalty program
With a good loyalty program, you will reward your repeat customers and encourage them to continue buying from your dropshipping store.
The good news is that many loyalty apps and integrations are available to help you enhance your brand loyalty. Depending on your e-commerce platform, you can find the best app for this purpose. Check The Best Shopify Dropshipping Apps.
To sum up, e-commerce sales funnels include four main stages customers go through when buying a product. Here’s our $0 Budget Masterclass: Learn how to advertise your dropshipping store for free!
And it is crucial to optimize each stage of your sales funnel to drive more sales and increase your revenue. Simply use the tactics listed above and you will see the result of your work in no time.
If you want to hire a marketing agency for your dropshipping business, check out this article about working with marketing agencies as e-commerce store owners.