Our Five Key Points:

  1. The e-commerce purchase funnel is a visual representation of the buyer's journey.
  2. The top of the funnel represents many leads or opportunities.
  3. The bottom of the funnel is the e-commerce goal: converted sales.
  4. The entire funnel provides a high volume of valuable business insights that help drive your marketing strategy.
  5. Integrate.io can help collate all your e-commerce business data to hone your content marketing strategies and fine-tune your sales funnel model.

If you're an online retailer, you've probably heard of the e-commerce purchase funnel. Some sales experts call it the conversion funnel or simply the sales funnel. It's a way of explaining your potential customer's journey, from their initial impulse to research a product to finally clicking the "buy" button. Understanding the e-commerce purchase funnel means you can tailor the entire journey to help make it easier for your customers, boosting conversion rates and promoting your business's growth.

The e-commerce purchase funnel structure can be perplexing. This article will help you quickly identify the different stages your customers go through when making a purchase.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is the E-Commerce Purchase Funnel?
  2. Creating Your Own E-Commerce Purchase Funnel Model
  3. The Importance of the E-Commerce Purchase Funnel
  4. Boost Your Sales Funnel With Integrate.io

What Is the E-Commerce Purchase Funnel?

Imagine a funnel. It's wider at the top and very narrow at the bottom. Lots of stuff can go in the top, but only a little comes out the bottom of the funnel at a time. This visual represents your potential volume of customers. Plenty of consumers shop around for products or services like yours. They're at the top of the funnel, filling it up with general inquiries, search engine queries, phone calls, and conversations with friends or colleagues. If you can intervene and connect with some of these customers at the very start of their sales journey, you can manipulate the funnel so that it ultimately leads to a purchase on your website.

The levels of the e-commerce purchase funnel usually include:

  • Leads — your initial opportunity
  • Sales communications — connecting with leads
  • Follow up — using timing and sales knowledge to optimize engagement
  • Dealing with obstacles — overcoming objections
  • Sale or purchase

Each stage of the funnel might have more or less importance for you, depending on your business model. There are fewer customers at each progressive stage of the funnel, but this gives you more opportunities to provide a bespoke or personalized service. Case studies from companies like Envelopes.com show that sending a single follow-up email to customers who had abandoned their carts drove a conversion rate of 27.66%. Honing in on the stage of the funnel that needs your attention can dramatically boost business growth.

Creating Your Own E-Commerce Purchase Funnel Model

Understanding your audience and the way they engage with your customers or clients means you can create your own e-commerce purchase funnel that helps drive conversions. If your customers generally interact with you via social media, then this is the "Leads" section of your funnel. If that's the case, it's absolutely vital that you can connect to all your social media apps and accounts to extract the data about user engagement. An ETL platform like Integrate.io allows you to collate data from a variety of sources, ready to be analyzed by your business intelligence tools. This can help you see which social media campaigns have been the most successful, allowing you to replicate those and boost the number of sales opportunities.

Integrate.io supports numerous e-commerce integrations making it ideal for gathering data to help build your ultimate e-commerce purchase funnel. 

Likewise, if your main point of communication with existing or potential customers is via email marketing, ensure that you have follow-up emails for customers who look at particular products or services online or who place items in their shopping cart but don't complete the checkout page. Sometimes, someone simply gets distracted. A follow-up email could convert that sale almost immediately. If your business is in the early stages, gathering info on interested stakeholders could be the way forward. Sous vide machine creators Mellow used PR techniques, including contacting over 100 reporters with their crowdfunding exercise. They raised $64,000 worth of preorders in just three days. Persistence and research pay off.

From the moment your site visitors click onto the landing page of your online store, you have opportunities to guide them to a complete sale. Your marketing funnel might include blog posts, popups on the homepage, or digital coupons. You might create deals for new customers, SEO enhanced product descriptions, and existing customer testimonials; anything that helps leads turn into buying customers becomes a part of your e-commerce purchase funnel.

The Importance of the E-Commerce Purchase Funnel

It's pretty clear that the main reason you want to use your own business metrics to create a bespoke marketing funnel is to generate conversions. Every completed sale is a chance for your business to grow. However, managing and understanding your customers' journey has a few additional benefits, including:

  • Reducing cart abandonment rate
  • Helping refine your checkout process
  • Honing your marketing efforts
  • Assessing the effectiveness of any loyalty program you have set up
  • Discovering customer pain points
  • Improving the overall user experience
  • Providing opportunities for cross-selling
  • Analyze the impact of social media campaigns
  • Building retargeting strategies to draw customers back to your site and increase customer retention by creating bespoke deals for loyal customers

It's important to note that the funnel structure is only useful in these ways if you gather and store all the relevant data, from all the funnel stages. Gathering information about what makes repeat customers buy again is great but doesn't help increase the number of initial leads. Likewise, gathering and posting social proof, or snippets from social media that show how happy customers are with your products or services, is excellent and increases brand awareness. However, it doesn't provide insight into how your paid ads are performing or if your upselling strategies are working. You need a full data integration solution in order to maximize the effectiveness of the e-commerce purchase funnel to ensure you gain every possible insight into improving the customer experience for your target audience and increasing your conversion rate.

Boost Your Sales Funnel With Integrate.io

Integrate.io is the new ETL data integration platform designed to make online retailers' lives easier. Integrate.io helps unite all your business data, from social media and your in-house databases to customer engagements on your online store. Watch your data flow into your data warehouse or data lake, ready for analysis which then allows you to carefully hone your e-commerce purchase funnel model.

Pre-built connectors include data pipelines to e-commerce platforms like Wix, Shopify, and BigCommerce, allowing for fast and smart customer data capture (CDC). Find out more about the many innovative features of Integrate.io here, or schedule a demo today to find out more about the integration platform built for e-commerce.