Thanks to big-name brands like Amazon, using eCommerce websites has become an everyday part of your life.
But if you’re running an eCommerce business, you know how hard it can be to attract buyers and turn them from “just browsing” into “take my money.”
And that’s where an eCommerce sales funnel comes in.
An eCommerce sales funnel helps you automate your prospect qualification.
And with the right funnel, you can attract, nurture, and sell to leads without having to lift a finger.
And by automating your leads with your eCommerce funnel, you’ll have the extra time you’ve always needed to grow your business.
Today, I’ll tell you:
- Why your business needs an eCommerce sales funnel and what 3 core components are required for it to work.
- 4 ways an eCommerce sales funnel differs from other funnels.
- Plus 2 free eCommerce sales funnel templates proven to convert that we use at AutoGrow for our clients.
Alright, let’s see if you know the answer to this question…
What Is an eCommerce Sales Funnel?
By now, we’ve all heard of a sales funnel, right?
Well, if for some reason you still haven’t, a sales funnel is a simple concept. And it can really revolutionize the way you bring new prospects into your online store.
Here’s a technical definition of a sales funnel that we tend to go at AutoGrow:
“A sales funnel is a series of steps designed to guide visitors towards a buying decision. The steps are composed of marketing assets that do the work of selling, like landing pages and emails.”
Here’s how it works.
Each stage of a sales funnel is meant to push a visitor one step closer to buying.
It does so by boosting trust, educating prospects about their problem, and showing them that your product is the solution they’ve been looking for.
Each element of a sales funnel is also optimized to keep prospects moving towards the end goal of becoming a customer.
And if they drop out of your funnel (i.e., stop visiting your pages), there are funnel elements designed to bring them back in.
The biggest benefit of a sales funnel is that it can automatically qualify leads and sell your products.
But this is especially true within eCommerce industries because these types of products usually require less human interaction to close a sale.
As a result, eCommerce businesses that build tight and high-converting sales funnels can dramatically increase their efficiency.
Makes sense, right?
So, the next question is…
Do You Need an Ecommerce Sales Funnel?
Heck yeah, you do.
As I always put it:
If you’re in business, you’re in marketing. And if you’re in marketing, you need a sales funnel.
Today more than ever, it’s essential that businesses create a sales funnel to nurture leads, build rapport, close the sale as touch-free as possible, and improve client retention.
Because business owners are busier than ever.
The small business loan company Kabbage found in a recent survey that nearly 1 in 3 business owners work more than 50 hours per week.
And nearly 9 out of 10 work on the weekends.
As a result, a lot of small to medium-sized businesses don’t spend enough time or money on selling their products.
In fact, almost half of small businesses spend less than 2 hours per week on marketing efforts.
And just 1 in 5 use any form of digital marketing to spread awareness about their products.
Digital marketing takes time. It takes research. And it takes a keen eye and a creative mind to do well.
And unfortunately, a lot of business owners just don’t have that kind of free time.
But with a sales funnel for your eCommerce business, though, you can practically automate your marketing efforts—no extra time needed.
As a result, a sales funnel lets you bring in and qualify leads while all you have to do is keep on managing your business.
So again, do you need an eCommerce sales funnel?
Now, let’s get into how to build one for your business.
3 Core Components of Every eCommerce Sales Funnel
Despite just how different products can be within eCommerce (think PhD level textbooks vs. mini whale humidifiers and pomeranian winter coats), every sales funnel is going to have the same 3 core components: Fuel, Foundation, and Follow-Up.
For instance, let’s take a look at one of our eCommerce sales funnel templates that we’ve created for one of our former clients.
Looks pretty complex, huh? Well, once we break it down, it’ll start making more sense.
Now, as you can see, each element of the funnel falls into being one of the 3 core components.
And each of these components has its own special role to play too.
Let’s take a closer look at what those roles are.
1. Fuel: As the name suggests, fuel is where your sales funnel leads come from. For most funnels, the major traffic sources of fuel are an existing email address list, content marketing, and paid advertisements. At AutoGrow, we tend to use paid advertising and existing email lists the most. But for eCommerce sales funnels, in particular, paid advertising is the primary funnel source because it lets you target the right prospects—a crucial piece of marketing your eCommerce business (more on that later).
- Funnel Elements
- Paid Advertisements
- Existing Email List
- Content Marketing
- Paid Advertisements
- Funnel Elements
- GOAL: To bring a high number of prospects to your page that are a part of your target demographic and are pre-qualified to buy your product.
2. Foundation: The foundation is where the magic happens. Once you’ve brought the right audience in, the foundation section of your eCommerce sales funnel does the work of nurturing your leads and pushing them to buy. Typically, the foundation of a funnel is going to consist of a few core pages: the lead magnet, the lead magnet landing page, the congrats + thank you page, the sales page, and the checkout page.
- Funnel Elements
- Lead Magnet
- Lead Magnet Landing Page
- Congratulations Page
- Sales Page
- Checkout Page
- Thank You Page
- Funnel Elements
- GOAL: To keep prospects moving from one page to another while at the same time educating your leads and weeding out low-quality ones.
3. Follow-Up: The follow-up “pages” (they’re usually emails or retargeting ads) serve as a way to redirect lost leads back into your funnel. They do so by reminding your prospects of the value of your product, offering a new deal, or simply keeping up their awareness of your product so that when they are ready to buy, you’re the first brand they think of.
- Funnel Elements
- Email Nurturing Sequence
- Retargeting Advertisements
- Funnel Elements
- GOAL: Keep your brand at top of mind and redirect prospects back into your funnel so they will become a customer.
Here’s How to Start Building Your eCommerce Sales Funnel w/ Our Templates
Alright, with the basic structure of your eCommerce sales funnel defined, it’s time to start building out your funnel using our 2 eCommerce sales funnel templates.
Of course, you can try to plan out your own sales funnel diagram.
But, with these templates, all you have to do is fill in the pieces.
No questioning, no extra research, no tweaking, changing, and revamping your funnel for optimal conversions.
We’ve done all the hard work for you!
Just click below to choose the right template for your eCommerce business.
It’s worth mentioning that both of these funnels will work great for pretty much any industry.
The “Supplement” and “Painting” industries are just ones that we’ve had especially great success with in the past.
Free eCommerce Sales Funnel Template #1: The Knowledge-Based Funnel
The main characteristic that sets this sales funnel apart is the fact that its traffic fuel is segmented by knowledge about the health value of the product.
For instance, individuals who don’t know about the benefits of taking daily zinc, for instance, are directed to the downloadable lead magnet opt-in page for the white paper.
This lead magnet then educates the prospect on these health benefits so when they reach the sales page, they’re already primed to buy.
If the individuals are already knowledgeable, they’re directed to an opt-in page where they agree to learn even more about the product.
This funnel also has a dedicated page for upselling.
If, for instance, you’re selling a supplement, then you could add a page that convinces your prospects to subscribe to recurring monthly shipments.
Free eCommerce Sales Funnel Template #2: The Pre-Sale Landing Page Funnel
What really separates this funnel from the previous one is the fact that it includes 2 unique routes into your eCommerce shop.
There’s the lead magnet route to the left (HD digital downloads of this client’s top 10 paintings) and then there’s the “Learn More Opt-in” coupled with a coupon incentive.
Both the HD digital downloads and the coupon are great ways to bring new prospects into your funnel.
And being able to add a bit of variety to your lead collection methods is a solid strategy, especially if you’re uncertain about the effectiveness of your lead magnet.
That being said, it’s important to note the “Pre-Sale” landing page that comes after the coupon.
Because eCommerce leads need a bit of nurturing before buying.
Offering a coupon and then directly sending them to the shop is not going to create the kinds of conversions you’re looking for.
Instead, incorporating a pre-sale landing page lets you communicate the value of the product, point to social proof, and convince prospects to buy.
4 Qualities That Make eCommerce Sales Funnels Unique
Now that we’ve pointed out all the ways that eCommerce sales funnels are the same as other funnels, let’s look at the 4 biggest reasons why they’re different.
- They require better targeting
- They need more social proof
- They have to deal with cart abandonment
- They’re perfect for upselling
Let’s take a look at these 4 qualities in greater detail.
Unique Quality #1: eCommerce Sales Funnels Require Better Targeting
For most eCommerce products, the items being sold are not high-ticket items. Some may be, sure.
But for the vast majority of businesses, single-item purchases will usually be far under the $1000 mark.
As such, you need to be highly strategic with your ad spend.
And that involves finding the right platform.
Now, there are 3 main paid advertising sources that we use at AutoGrow every day: Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
And for eCommerce in particular, we recommend 100% going with (drumroll)… Facebook!
1. It’s Affordable: Believe it or not, advertising on Facebook is actually affordable—more so than LinkedIn, and even Google in many cases.In fact, Oberlo points out that the average CPC of Facebook advertising is just $1.72. That’s right around Google’s too.But compared to LinkedIn, it’s way lower. For instance, themedian CPC for Facebook industries was $0.63. For LinkedIn, on the other hand, it was $3.99.So you need to be spending a minimum of 5K per month on LinkedIn to get good results.And in general, advertising on LinkedIn is going to run you 2-3X more than on Facebook.That being said, cost-per-click varies between Google and Facebook by industry.Check out the following charts from Wordstream to see the difference between the two.
2. It Has Spectacular Targeting: Then there’s the targeting. Oh, the targeting… See, Facebook’s entire business model is based on building out highly detailed profiles of its users. What are they interested in? Where do they work and live? What kinds of brands do they buy from? And what kinds of products are they looking for now?With Facebook, you can target who sees your advertisement based on these qualities. And since you need to beespecially economical with your advertisement targeting with an eCommerce sales funnel, it’s best if you use the platform that gives you the most targeting power, which is indisputably Facebook.
3. Its Algorithm Will Save You Time: Last but certainly not least, Facebook has a powerful algorithm that’ll undoubtedly save you loads of time. See, it’s all based on the vast swaths of data it collects on its users (as I just mentioned).All of this data allows users to be categorized in a certain way. And when Facebook sees that your ads are getting an especially high click rate from one group, it then automatically expands your audience to include other groups that may have similar interests.Thus, you reach more people that you never thought to target on your own. In fact, we owe the 86% conversion rate of one of our lead magnets largely to this awesome algorithm!
Unique Quality #2: eCommerce Sales Funnels Need More Social Proof
No one wants to get on the phone with a salesperson for a $25 Baby Shark tee-shirt.
Am I right?
But if they’re paying $1,000, they’ll probably want to talk to someone one in person to make sure they’re making the right choice.
The higher the perceived risk of the purchase, the more likely they are to need some extra salesmanship.
Now, that means that your eCommerce business likely won’t need to employ a sales team. But it will require a lot more social proof to get your audience buying.
Social proof is just what it sounds like: pieces of content designed to show that other people trust and love your product.
Trust badges like those below are a great way to convince your audience that their checkout is 100% safe and secure.
What’s more, you’ll always want to include reviews for products on your site too.
Again, this is a simple funnel optimization tweak that leads to big boosts in conversions.
Another example from our Proven Sales Conversion Pack shows that even adding a small review section in the corner of your page can boost conversions by as much as 8%.
The takeaway here is that by implementing these relatively small changes on your pages, you can see conversion boosts of as high as 40% in no time at all!
Last but not least, always, always, always include testimonials.
Simple star reviews are great, sure.
But an actual sentence or two (or even a paragraph) of real live words coming from a real live person can be powerful.
See how we have them on our website?
And when you make the wise decision to include a human face with the testimonial, you can see conversions boosts upwards of 105%!
In the end, though, put a lot of extra effort into making the social proof surrounding your products to be extra visible.
Because especially when it comes to eCommerce, knowing others trust your business can go a long way.
Unique Quality #3: eCommerce Sales Funnels Deal With Cart Abandonment
Cart abandonment: the phrase alone sends shivers up many eCommerce business owners spines.
And it’s easy to see why.
Cart abandonment is a huge problem for the industry.
People spend minutes, even hours searching through your catalog, they add the item to their cart, and they’re practically set to make the purchase.
But for whatever reason, they end up clicking off the page without putting the order through.
It’s disappointing. It’s frustrating. And it’s costly.
In fact, cart abandonment rates are at about 76% according to OptinMonster.
To put that another way, about 76 of the 100 people that put an item in their cart will end up clicking off the page.
On top of that, cart abandonment rate changes based on which platform is used.
Mobile shopping has the highest abandonment and desktop has the lowest.
Check out this graph from Barilliance for a better idea of the difference.
So the question is, what can you do to reduce cart abandonment?
Well, here are a few tips to keep in mind to minimize your cart abandonment as much as possible.
- Boost trust at the end of your checkout process with testimonials and trust badges.
- Give your customers an idea of the final price before checkout to reduce price shock.
- Streamline checkout with guest checkout options.
- Use cart abandonment email follow-ups to remind would-be customers to complete their order.
- Include exit pop-ups on your page and consider offering a limited-time coupon if they buy now.
Unique Quality #4: eCommerce Sales Funnels Are Perfect for Upselling
Finally, eCommerce sales funnels are great for upselling.
One reason, in particular, is that the price points for these items are usually so low.
And that makes it easier to tack on even more items to up the value of the purchase.
It’s like opening the floodgates. Once your prospects have made the decision to buy, it removes the biggest barrier to purchasing.
That’s why upselling can lead to such a huge boon for average cart prices.
As marketing mastermind Neil Patel put it, 70% of your revenue should come from customer acquisition while 30% should come from upselling.
There are a few different types of upsells you can incorporate into your sales funnel too.
You can simply add another similar product. Or you can pitch a higher tiered package plan that includes extra services.
There are plenty of tips for upselling and we’ve written pretty extensively about it already.
But for now, I’ll just share 7 of the best upselling techniques for getting the most out of your upselling efforts.
- Always add value by keeping your upsells relevant to the product they’re purchasing.
- Never throw in unrelated products because doing so risks the trust you’ve already built.
- Always add upsells during checkout to capitalize on impulse buys.
- Never make your upsell prices disproportionate to the original product.
- Always follow up with past customers with upselling emails.
- Never resort to sneaky tactics that reek of desperation like hiding “No Thanks” buttons.
- Always try to bundle your upsells into packages rather than offering each individually.
There you have it!
Hopefully, you’ve already downloaded the 2 free eCommerce sales funnel templates that we use right here at AutoGrow.
And hopefully, you’ve learned how to build an eCommerce sales funnel of your own.
Just a few parting points to remember what makes eCommerce sales funnels a bit different than other types.
- They require better targeting (so get your funnel fuel source right)
- They need more social proof (so always include testimonials, trust badges, and reviews)
- They have to deal with cart abandonment (so use the 5 tips we talked about to help eliminate it from your sales funnel)
- They’re perfect for upselling (so capitalize on the opportunity by using the 7 best upselling techniques today)
Now go out and start creating your eCommerce sales funnel.
Because with the templates and techniques I’ve shown you in this article, you’ve got everything you need to automate your eCommerce business!
And if you ever need help tweaking or optimizing your sales funnels, AutoGrow can help you with all your digital marketing tasks.
You can delegate the work to us and you can just sit back and watch while we do the work for you.
Sound good? Let me know in the comments below what you need the most help with your sales funnel.
Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.