The metaphor of the sales funnel is already old known to marketers, but what few e-commerce managers know is that it is also very important to help keep your conversion rate up there.

The sales funnel is a way of describing the buying journey that every consumer goes through before purchasing a product.

It was developed with the goal of making the sales process predictable and scalable, thereby helping managers make better decisions about how to drive the customer to the bottom of the funnel, ie until the business closes.

Already in e-commerce the steps can be more detailed. Using tools like Google Analytics, we have an accurate view of visitors' navigation and conversions at each step.

During this article we will explore each of the four steps of the funnel and how to identify by browsing the customer in your e-commerce so that you can implement strategies to increase conversion. Come on!

#How does the sales funnel work in e-commerce?


The traditional sales funnel is divided into four phases:

Visitors -> Leads -> Opportunity -> Clients
This metaphor considers that the amount of visitors that your e-commerce receives is greater than the amount of customers it generates, so the format of a funnel.

In Brazil, the average conversion rate is 1.65% according to Sebrae data. That is, every 10,000 visitors to an e-commerce, on average 165 will make a purchase. But remember, this is the average market, so it's normal to find beginners with 0.5%! Every 10,000, only 50 will buy.

The problem of low conversion of an e-commerce is closely related to its profitability. If you want to understand a little more about conversion and its impact, read our article that explains in detail the importance of conversion.

But why do not visitors become customers? There are lots of reasons for this, and designing the funnel is important just to be able to understand what can be done at each stage of the funnel, which will help to make fewer visitors "escape" the buying process.

#How does the e-commerce navigation funnel work?


Knowing the four steps that we mentioned above and that we will detail more throughout this article, now comes the moment to understand the behavior of the customer within e-commerce, considering only its navigation.

From the arrival of a visitor until his conversion into a sale, there are at least 6 steps. Are they:

Navigation pages -> Product wallet -> Checkout: Registration -> Checkout: Delivery information -> Checkout: Payment -> Checkout
This analysis is very important because we have precision to evaluate which is the stage that the majority of the visitors arrives and which step more we lose sales. It is worth mentioning that each e-commerce system can present different stages, especially in the checkout process.

If an e-commerce has a low conversion rate from the payment stage to the completion of the purchase, you probably do not have all the forms of payment that your customer would like or the amount of parcels is not attractive.

Now if the cart conversion rate for registration is low, the problem may be related to prices that may be higher than what the customer can afford.

It is worth remembering that along the navigation funnel it is fundamental that e-commerce has an excellent usability for navigation to be simple and intuitive. Always be aware of best practices to increase your conversion by offering a better shopping experience.

Now that we know the concept of the sales funnel and the navigation funnel, let's unite the two concepts by showing who the people are and what you can do at any moment so they can move on to their ultimate goal : Increase your conversion and sales!

#What are the steps of an e-commerce sales funnel?

#First phase: visitors and navigation pages


Who they are: The first step of the funnel contemplates those people who have come to your virtual store through various channels, be it paid media, social networks, Google search or other traffic source.

At that moment, this user is only a number and his interest is very varied: he may be a person who already knows what he needs and is determined to buy, as it may be only some curious who has fallen in his e-commerce but not yet You need some of your products.

One way to identify if visitors are walking in the funnel within the visitors step is to check the percentage of visitors who access the product pages, since it is normal in an e-commerce navigation flow to be:

Home (home) or Categories / Search Results -> Product Page
What to do if the conversion rate for the e-commerce product page is low or decreasing: here are 3 possibilities:

  1. Your product mix is different from what the visitor wants, so when searching and not finding what you need, the visitor leaves the e-commerce;

  2. The stock availability of the products is low, so even if the visitor finds the item they want, it is not available for purchase;

  3. The usability of the categories and search results are bad, making it difficult to navigate the visitor in e-commerce.

What to do if the conversion rate of the product pages to the cart is low or decreasing: here are 4 possibilities:

  1. The price of the product is above the expectation of the customer's expenses, therefore he does not add the product to the cart;

  2. When inserting the CEP the deadline for delivery is very high. At this stage, this problem is less likely to happen because in general, the delivery time is determined in the cart or at the checkout delivery stage;

  3. When verifying the forms of payment, there is not available the desired one or the installment payment is low. At this stage, this problem is less likely to happen because in general, payment and installment forms are seen in the last step of the checkout;

  4. The usability of the page does not favor navigation.

Investing in content marketing and know how to optimize your virtual store with SEO are essential at that time. In addition, good usability helps hold the user's attention and make him or her more interested in your store. The better the usability of your e-commerce, the better your conversion, so be very careful and follow good market practices.

#Second phase: leads


Who they are: Leads are those visitors who are no longer a number and have gained a name. They are a form of qualified contact and represent those people who have shown some interest in one of their products.

What to do: There are a few ways to make a visitor a lead, such as offering a discount or a free shipping through the user's email. In this strategy, e-commerce offers something in exchange for customer registration. This can be a great way to increase your email base.

With lead data, you can target marketing campaigns and e-commerce windows to present a product mix that matches the profile of each audience. It is also worth remembering that every user who completes the registration of his store is also a lead and must enter for his base.

#Third phase: opportunities


Who they are: the opportunities are the visitors who have already passed through the initial stages of navigation where it was not possible to identify their interest. This step, considering the customer's shipping funnel, is mainly determined by browsing from the shopping cart.

From that moment we are already sure that there is interest, even if low. Therefore, we split into opportunities in the initial phase, that is, they are only in the shopping cart, and opportunities at an advanced stage because in fact have already started shopping.

What to do: here is the strategy of segmenting the funnel for e-commerce according to the customer's navigation. When we look at the pages that visitors are browsing, we can accurately identify the moment it is.


1) Shopping cart: If the customer does not pass this step, you may have the following problems:
A) Total price of products is above what the customer can pay;

B) When inserting the CEP, the deadline was more than expected;

C) When entering the zip code, the delivery price was higher than expected.

It is worth remembering that the last two items, as well as the product page, are still not sure whether they are the cause of the store leak. These problems will be highlighted in other stages of the funnel.


2) Checkout - Login and password or Initial Registration: At this time, there are two most common problems:
A) Its platform requires the creation of a login and password, generating one more step in the process;

B) The system asks for unnecessary information such as RG, date of birth, sex among other information that is not important for billing.


Remember: in the shopping process, you want the customer to buy. Any data that is not fundamental to the billing, asking the customer, can reduce the conversion by up to 2% per additional field according to market research.


3) Checkout - Delivery details: now we are sure that there are 2 possibilities:
A) The deadline was more than expected;

B) The delivery price was higher than expected.


4) Checkout - Payment: Now we are sure of the 2 possibilities:
A) The store does not present the means of payment most used by customers;

B) The installment payment is not in accordance with what was expected by the customer.

In addition to the factors mentioned above, it is very important to take into account that, from item 2, that is, from the phase of advanced opportunities, usability is one of the crucial factors of conversion loss.

Tracing a parallel would be for a customer to go to a physical store, pick up the goods, go to the checkout pay and at that point, give up and leave. He has already done the whole process, so it is to be expected that something went wrong at that time. In e-commerce bad usability at this stage greatly impacts the conversion.

#Last Phase: Customers


Who are they: After going through the previous phases and closing a purchase, your visitor has finally become a customer of your e-commerce! But it's worth remembering that work does not stop here. In our article talking about ROI and repurchase, it becomes clear the importance of working the customer in post sales to increase the profitability of e-commerce.

An important point of this step is that not every order made is a paid order and not every order paid is a billed order. Therefore, it is important to review each of the 3 payment steps to increase conversion.

What to do, for each of the steps:


1) Order placed but not paid:
A) If the request was made on the credit card, your platform should be smart enough to inform you, at the exact moment the order was finalized, that there was an error. Some e-commerce tools first capture the request and only then try to approve the payment. In case of denial, an email is sent to the customer to redo the purchase. This can reduce the conversion of this step by up to 10%.

B) If the order was made on the ticket, let the customer know that the payment term will expire. If the deadline has already run out, automatically resubmit a new ticket, perhaps with a discount to incetiva it to pay this time.


2) Request paid but not overdue:
A) Probably you may have some problem in the logistics of your e-commerce. Structure your inventory and optimize integrations to make sure your ERP information is consistent with that of the platform.

Now that the visitor is your customer, it can serve as a great channel to capture a new clientele and you need to invest in great service and a quality after-sale to charm you and make you go back to new purchases and recommend the Shop for other people.

Word-of-mouth marketing is an excellent medium- and long-term strategy with low cost, so excellence in service should be seen as a marketing investment and not a cost.

The effort to bring your client up here has been great and you can not afford to miss out on that opportunity. Use remarketing strategies to impact you again at a lower cost and with greater effectiveness.

If your e-commerce has a good repurchase rate due to the type of products, make recurring campaigns to offer complementary or supplementary products to your customers. If you have sold a perfume, probably in 3 or 4 months the customer will buy another one and you should get ahead of this moment in order not to lose the sale.

You should keep in mind that the competition increases every day. If before, to buy any product, a consumer had few options of stores, mainly virtual, nowadays he is faced with a range of different e-commerces, which sell the same product.

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