The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Sales Funnel

The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Sales Funnel

When people visit your eCommerce store, you want them to fill up their carts and spend lots of money. But if they don’t do? To solve the issue eCommerce sales funnel is very important.

Building an eCommerce sales funnel for your eCommerce store helps you to map the buyer’s journey and identify what you need to do at each stage. In this article we will discuss the ultimate guide to build eCommerce sales funnels.

eCommerce Sales Funnel

What is a Marketing Sales Funnel in eCommerce?

A sales funnel in eCommerce illustrates the route your customers take from first becoming aware of your brand to making a purchase. It includes customer retention, up-selling, cross-selling, and subscription-based models.

eCommerce sales funnel examples

Every business has a different eCommerce sales funnel depending on the specifics of how users navigate their businesses. The stages are the same, as we’ll describe below, but the specifics depend on your product and audience.

For instance, some businesses have shorter sales funnels. When you sell a low-cost product, you can convert your visitors faster because price becomes less of an obstacle.

Importance of Building a eCommerce Sales Funnel

If you don’t know what your eCommerce sales funnel looks like, you can’t optimize each stage for maximum sales. You have to know which touch points have the most impact on sales so you know where to focus your efforts and up your game.

For instance, your research might indicate that social media — specifically Facebook — plays a tremendous role in sales. Your large group of followers pays attention to your posts about offers and promotions.

When you have that data, you can take action on it by boosting your  Facebook activity and encouraging your store visitors to follow you on Facebook. By placing a prominent CTA for Facebook, you take advantage of existing store and draw people into your social sphere.

Average Conversion Rate for eCommerce

Since we’re talking specifically about the eCommerce sales funnel, we are thankful to Smart Insights, for the visual representation of the average conversion rate that a business might expect.

eCommerce Sales Funnel

According to the above picture, out of the total sessions, nearly 50 percent will look at a product page, yet less than 15 percent will add a product to their carts. In the last section of the funnel  — where just over 3 percent will actually complete the transaction.

Based on typical conversion funnel marketing, companies can significantly improve their product pages to convince people to add products to their carts.

eCommerce Sales Funnel Stages

eCommerce Sales Funnel stages

A typical eCommerce sales funnel has four stages:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Desire
  4. Action

During each stage, the consumer makes decisions based on his or her perception of your brand and product.

If you optimize for each stage of the marketing funnel, you’ll generate more revenue.

Stage 1: Awareness

During the awareness stage, consumers become aware of your product brand. They recognize their need to solve a problem or reach a goal, so they look for solutions.

For example: any user has a problem in mind and looks for a solution. Maybe they just discovered that the problem they’re facing has a name. Then, they became aware that your eCommerce store is one of the potential solutions for them.

You should persuade them that you are the best possible solution for their requirements.

As the name suggests, the awareness stages are aware of their problem and your brand, either through social media, a referral, a Google search, or simply by chance.

Your first and foremost goal, is to draw as many visitors into this stage as possible.

But not any or all visitors would do. You have to find out the visitors who are interested in your products so that you can easily move them to the next stage.

That’s why you need to attract targeted traffic to your eCommerce store to convince them later. And there are two effective ways to get more targeted traffic to your online store:

  1. Paid and
  2. Organic

1. Paid: Use Facebook ads to get targeted traffic

Facebook can be the perfect platform to create awareness around your brand. According to Statista, there are more than 2.7 billion monthly active users in Facebook.

Using Facebook ads, you can get the word out for your brand quickly and attract highly targeted visitors to your eCommerce store.

The best part is that there are no limits how you can use the platform.

Here are some of the best tactics for top-of-funnel Facebook ads:

Value Proposition with facebook ads

Value proposition Facebook ads helps users quickly understand what your business is about and what value you can offer them.

With a clear value proposition ads, you give visitors a reason to consider buying from you. You explain how your products are the best solution for them, and how you’re different from others.

Let’ have a look of value proposition ads.

Value Proposition Facebook Ads

ArtSnack’s goal in this ad is to make more people aware of their online store. And they do it successfully by telling their customers what’s in it for them: “Discover your new favorite art supplies.”

They combine their value proposition with strong social proof through the use of five stars.

Lastly, they re-direct visitors to their site with a “Learn More” button.

To learn more how to boost your eCommerce sales with Facebook ads, click here.

2. Organic: Create Content to Attract customers for Free

Facebook is an effective tool to promote your online business to a specific audience.

But you can still get highly relevant traffic to your eCommerce store even if you don’t have an advertising budget.

Content is a great term and it may scare many eCommerce marketers. But you don’t have to write long blog posts or host webinars to attract visitors to your site.

Whether it’s a quick how-to video on YouTube or free tutorial on your eCommerce store, you can create content for visitors in this stage without a big advertising budget or a marketing team.

If you don’t know where to start, you can check out Quora or Reddit to find out the pain points of your customers. Read the questions they ask, gather the terms they use, and answer their questions in your content.

For best results, combine content marketing with paid ads and boost targeted traffic to your eCommerce store.

Stage 2: Interest

Once you’ve attracted visitors to your online store, the real work begins. You have to grow interest in your products. How?

Continue to provide relevant content, attractive visuals, and special offers so they remain interested in your products.

Consumers at this stage are now interesting to buy from you. Your goal is to move them down the funnel and help them to take the next action, such as adding a product to the cart or a wish-list.

At this stage, you should remove any doubts your users have and make things easy for them.

Start promoting your content and products subtly by sharing brand-centered memes on social media, creating more useful content for your blog, engaging your audience through email marketing, and posting videos on YouTube.

Use Social proof

Social proof, is a great tactic for many marketers. It is a great tool to convince site visitors about the quality and credibility of your online store.

Useful Content for Blog

By posting useful content in your blog about your products, you win the hearts of your prospects at the consideration stage.

You have to assure visitors that your products are the best solution and provoke them to add products to their cart.

In your blog, you should align your product page copy with customer’s common questions and remove any doubts.

Start with keyword research to understand what your buyer is looking for. Then, use those keywords across your blog, and position your products as an answer to those concerns.

Email Marketing

Instead of hard-selling, promote your products in a more effective way through email marketing.

Curated emails are a smart way to do product promotion. It help you get to know your subscriber’s interests, so you can segment your email list better and send highly targeted campaigns.

Posting Videos on Youtube

Getting the visuals effect is one of the most important parts to optimize the online shopping experience. Without being able to touch and feel a physical product, customers usually want to be able to get an in-depth look at what they’re buying to make sure it meets their needs and requirements. It will helps to boost your sales and traffic.

Post youtube video on your product like how it’s look like, operation procedure and tutorial. This video will grow more interest to your visitors.

Stage 3: Desire

When you have attracted your audience’s interest, create desire. The idea is to create a relevant environment that will help pull your prospect further and further along the product sales funnel.

You have to save prospects at the decision stage from possible interruptions and give them a gentle nudge to complete the purchase.

On-site messages and emails will be your great tools at this stage.

On-site message

Your all visitors will not be same. Some will complete a transaction during their first session and many others will go through the whole funnel and finally buy from you.

That’s why you have to distinguish the first-time visitors, subscribers, and returning visitors, and create special campaigns to target them better.

You should engage them with on-site messages and nudge them gently if they want to leave your site.

Build your own CTAs strategically. Instead of focusing on what you offer, tell the reader how he or she will be benefited.

Here are two example of CTAs:

  1. Grab your own Backpack and enjoy extra pockets and thicker shoulder straps
  2. Grab an Backpack for extra storage for your belongings and ergonomic straps that reduce back pain.

The second one creates more desire because the reader can feel the benefits.

Behavioral Emails

When anybody subscribe to your site, you have tons of valuable information about your subscribers.

The information you gathered through cookies, you can personalize visitors shopping experience and achieve higher conversion rates.

Fortunately, eCommerce email marketing is not any different.

You can create highly targeted email campaigns based on your visitors behavior and move them to take the last step.

One of the common examples of behavioral emails is abandoned cart emails.

Some visitors will always leave your online store with empty-hand. And it’ll cost you a lot of potential revenue—unless you do something special about it.

You can offer them discount on the products they added to cart through mail.

Encourage visitors to use your wish-list feature and remind them about these items with behavior-based, automated emails. 

Stage 4: Action

This is the heart of the matter and crucial step of your sales funnel. By this step, your visitors have passed through the eCommerce purchase funnel and have begun engaging your brand.

Now, your goal is to convince your aim to convert by purchasing something or completing another desired action. You’ll have to keep your payment pages clean and simple, only displaying relevant, convincing information that will help turn your prospects into clients.

eCommerce Sales Funnel Example

Hope you understand the full eCommerce sales funnel, let’s look at an sales funnel examples of a site who uses this entire funnel in their marketing strategy:

The Honest Company.

Starting at the awareness stage, they have a very strong blog that informs their readers about health and lifestyle topics. For example, one of their posts is about why they don’t use fragrance in their products.

eCommerce Sales Funnel example

To drive interest, they offer free trials of their products in the sidebar of their blog content, and on their homepage like:

eCommerce Sales Funnel example interest

They also created a powerful about page for people going through their funnel who are interested in learning more about. The about page shares their story, puts faces behind the company, and excite readers about their mission.

eCommerce Sales Funnel example blog

At purchase stage, they have excellent product bundles that allow people to save money, great product catalog, and free shipping on all orders over $50. They also use their guarantees and company mission like “honest products with no harmful chemicals” to prove they’re better than the competition.

eCommerce Sales Funnel example free shipping

Finally, to achieve repeat sales and customer loyality, they have:

  • Monthly bundle subscriptions for their subscribed customers.
  • A referral program where you will get $20 any time you get someone new to Honest to make their first purchase.
  • Volunteer campaign and donations to get their customers to feel like they’re helping a good cause by buying Honest products.

Why is a sales funnel useful?

A sales funnel is a very powerful tool that’s easy to put in place that allows you to understand what problems your visitors face against the buyer journey, and how to fix them.

Let’s have a look at this:

Why Sales Funnel is Useful

On this flower delivery site, half of the products shown on the right have a display issue: it’s impossible to see and click on the CTA ‘buy’ – which isn’t good!

The idea behind using a sales funnel is to better understand the all steps that a visitor to your website has to go through:

  • What pages you have problems?
  • What is the conversion rates of each step?
  • How many visitors leave the site after one, two or three steps?
  • Which steps or pages has high drop off?

By analyzing these issues, you can quickly get a better idea of the strong and weak points of your website.

Even better: you know what step(s) you have to work hard in your sales funnel to get more orders.

By taking a look at your sales funnel, you’ll see that only a very small percentage of your visitors will actually go to the last step. That’s why even small changes at each stage of the sales funnel can greatly increase the conversions number.

How can you measure and improve the performance of your sales funnel?

Hope you’ve understood the importance of the sales funnel in eCommerce.

The goal behind analyzing the sales funnel is to improve the sales on your site, all the while analyzing visitor behavior to limit drop off at each stage of the sales funnel.

Depending on the kind of site you want to analyze, you can establish sales funnels of varying size.

There are many best practices that can help you make your eCommerce sales funnel smoother and increase sales.

Clear and simplify navigation

A complicated or unclear navigation is the barrier of conversions. Your visitors should be able to find what they’re looking for, and be guided through the sales process. This means highlighting useful links and sections of your website and deleting useless sections.

Avoid information overload

Don’t give the overload information. Try to order the information by importance to your visitors. Concentrate on essential information at the beginning of a visitor’s navigation, and let them grow the curiosity to dig for more info deeper in the site.

Offer help

Most of the visitors like to ask a few questions before finalizing their purchase. Larger number of visitors don’t finalize their purchase because they couldn’t get help at the right time. Keeping a live chat option or a help desk type chat can help increase conversions while satisfying your visitors.

Social proof

‘Social proof’ is a great and powerful tool for conversion funnel marketing. Writing client testimonials, client ratings or reviews can reassure visitors as to the legitimacy of the site that they’re visiting, which can have a big impact on increasing sales rates.


No matter what you’re selling on your store, your potential customers will go through these four stages in their buyer’s journey.

Some will jump through stages quickly while others will take months or more to convince.

The key point here is to know how your prospects are moving through your eCommerce marketing funnel and use that information to optimize each stage for higher conversions.

Hope the sales funnel explained above will help you a lot and you’ll start implementing some of these strategies from today and see the increase in your eCommerce conversions right away.


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