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Let’s Get Technical: Analyzing 3 Ecommerce Sales Funnels to See Killer Strategies that Work

November 30, 2022

What’s the strategy of your marketing model right now? How optimized are your customer journeys and all related touch points? Are your re-engagement paths robust enough?



Big questions, we know. So let’s park the jargon and talk about making peanut butter first.



To make the nutty spread, you’ll need a lot of peanuts, a high-speed blender, and a pinch of salt. You start by roasting the peanuts in an oven and removing the skin before blending them by batch and adding salt. Then, you blitz them until they’re the consistency you like, transfer them to sealable jars, and refrigerate them until they’re a good form.



You’re probably thinking, “I didn’t read this article to make peanut butter.”



And we hear you.



But we started with that because it paints the perfect picture of how you can get from step one to the finished product—the funnel. Your business is the jar, and your consumers are the peanut butter. So you need a sales funnel to bring them in and through the steps that’ll lead to the result.



But with so many “recipes” out there, how can you know which sales funnel strategy will work best?



Well, stick around because that’s what we’ll discuss below.



What is an Ecommerce Sales Funnel?


An eCommerce sales funnel is the process companies use to turn visitors into paying customers. It’s characterized by distinct stages that buyers go through on their way to becoming loyal, lifelong fans of your brand. The model starts with awareness and moves down through consideration and purchase, eventually leading to advocacy and loyalty.



There are 4 main stages of an eCommerce sales funnel:


  1. Awareness: The first stage is when a potential customer becomes aware of your brand. They’re exposed to your brand through an ad or maybe a blog post. They don’t yet know that they need or want your product, but they’re open to learning more.
  2. Interest: Here, prospects become more familiar with your brand and offer. They might visit your website, follow you on social media, read more blogs, or do a bit of research on their own. At this point, they know that they need or want your product, but aren’t quite ready to buy just yet.
  3. Consideration: They’re actively considering your product as a solution to their problem. They might compare you to other brands, read online reviews, or request more information. They’re getting close to making a purchase—but they need someone to help them pull the trigger.
  4. Purchase: Finally, in the purchase stage, prospects become customers and buy your product. Once they’ve made a purchase, they enter the loyalty stage, which may be retention (with repurchase) or brand advocacy (promoting your brand to others).


The idea behind a sales funnel is that not everyone who comes to your site will be ready to buy. Moreover, not everyone will move through each stage of the funnel at the same pace. 



In fact, most people won’t even make it to the end. 



But if you can get them into your funnel and guide them through each stage, you’ll eventually get them to convert. This massive task requires you to focus on creating a funnel that suits your business—which may mean mimicking one of the examples below.



3 Best eCommerce Conversion Funnel Templates


Now that we’ve gone over the basics, it’s time to look at 3 common strategies companies use to turn prospects into customers, increasing your eCommerce funnel conversion rate for higher revenue. 



1. The Standard Sales Funnel


The standard funnel is the most common type of sales funnel. In this strategy, you focus on getting as many people as possible into the top of the funnel (awareness or discovery) and then moving them down through the stages until they make a purchase.



We can pull up many brands that use the standard funnel. It’s called standard for a reason, after all.



Two of them are Asana and Help Scout. They start by gaining ample traffic (e.g., via blogs, resources, and referrals from newsletters) before leading people to visit their homepage, which immediately highlights what they can do for specific customers.



Here’s Asana’s homepage:






If you look closely, they both immediately emphasize what they can do for the customers. While Asana focused on hitting pain points and Help Scout added social proof, both brands tried to convince the visitor to move through the funnel and click through their two CTAs, “Try for free” or get a free demo.



The standard sales funnel is simple and effective. Use this, and you’ll only need a knowledgeable website designer and developer to ensure that the site reflects the sales funnel’s last three stages.



2. The Long-Term Sales Funnel


The long-term funnel is similar to the standard funnel but with one key difference. Instead of focusing on getting people to buy your product right away, you’re more concerned with building a relationship with them that will eventually lead to a sale.



Netflix is one example that has a long-term funnel. 



For example, Netflix’s Twitter account actively engages with potential and existing customers. If you haven’t seen their tweets, here are a couple of them that have been promoting Netflix’s latest shows for the past few days:




The brand continuously posts entertaining tweets and retweets other accounts (who may or may not be its subscribers) to nurture a relationship with its audience. As a result, they’re inspiring current and future subscribers to be loyal to their platform.



And when you do visit Netflix’s website, you’ll see a homepage that clearly states one thing: unlimited shows that you can cancel anytime. That’s it; no fluff. In fact, they’ll never see this homepage again after signing up—they’ll type “Netflix” in a browser and be directed to their streaming account instantly.



More importantly, Netflix emphasizes risk aversion (offering free trials and cancel-anytime plans) because its service is a recurring charge (or subscription). They know that the biggest hesitation people have to subscribe is the lack of control over their commitment, so Netflix addresses the barrier head-on:





Netflix’s sales funnel works because it focuses on the end consumer. The platform took the time to create a relationship with its potential customers, simply by answering their top concerns directly and engaging with its target market on social media.



And not only does Netflix rely on its popularity, but scroll through its website and you’ll notice how it offers multiple payment options to assure new subscribers and shares its phone number (something rare for web-based companies to do) to build more trust with people.



3. The Reverse Sales Funnel


The reverse funnel is less common than the other two, but can be effective in certain situations. In this strategy, you start by targeting only those prospects who are ready to buy (consideration and purchase) and then work your way back up the funnel.



Businesses that use the reverse funnel are often those that have a unique or complex product that requires more education on the part of the buyer.



One such company is HubSpot, which is a CRM software with marketing, sales, and service hubs. Visit its website and you’ll see a CTA to “Start free or get a demo”. From there, you’d be asked to enter your contact information, and a member of its sales team will reach out and walk you through the platform.





This works for HubSpot because its target market (brand marketers) is already familiar with the concept of marketing, sales, content management, and customer service. Hubspot’s just going to show them the magic of having it all work together. Marketers are likely considering Hubspot for their business already, which means they’re further down the funnel than most people. 



HubSpot knows this, and so it designed its website to target these types of buyers.



If you can find a way to market to those who are already familiar with what you’re selling, then you can use the reverse funnel strategy to close more deals.



Use the eCommerce Sales Funnel Template That’s Right For You


There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to sales funnels—it all depends on your unique business and goals. However, we always recommend starting with the standard funnel first. Once you’ve mastered that, you can experiment with the other two strategies to see if they work better for you. 



You might even come up with your version of the sales funnel, having a custom eCommerce sales funnel that works perfectly and seamlessly just for your particular business.



Need more help in identifying the best sales funnel or creating one from scratch? 



Our team at ScaleUpSales can hold your hand and take you through the journey. We know what it’s like to be completely lost, so we’ve made it our mission to provide expert knowledge for your business to harness its full growth potential.