What is a Shopify Sales Funnel?

A Shopify sales funnel simply defines a customer’s user journey from initial awareness of your brand to the succeeding stages until they become a customer. Having a sales funnel in place is important because it allows you to guide your users’ experience and increase the probability of acquiring new customers or retaining old ones.

Think of it this way: When you shop at a physical store for the first time, you have a pleasant experience when you can find things easily and have a great experience with staff in case you need assistance, right?

They ideally can answer your questions thoroughly and let you know about product offers which you may be interested in or will allow you to save money. It’s the same thing with having a well-constructed sales funnel in place on your Shopify store.

For example, when a potential customer visits your homepage, a sales funnel would:

  • Drive the potential customer to click on a product or service
  • Define how a person adds a product to their shopping cart, and what else they might add
  • Assist the client when they get to checkout

A sales funnel has specific stages:

  1. Awareness stage
  2. Interest stage
  3. Conversion stage

We’ll take you through a more in-depth look at these stages later to make sure you’re acquainted with each one. But essentially, a sales funnel is what drives clients through the hows, whys, and whats of their purchasing journey in your store.

It’s called a sales ‘funnel’ because as funnels do, the number of customers gets smaller through each stage.

A visitor can click away seconds after landing on your homepage or browsing a few products. Some may even reach the checkout stage and change their mind at the last minute due to a number of reasons. These things happen, but the goal is to reduce the number of potential customers who exit at each stage and increase conversions.

That’s what a seamless and well-done sales funnel can ultimately do for your store. Ideally, it can allow you to acquire new customers, gain loyal shoppers, and sell more products with each checkout.

Shopify Sales Funnel Stages

1. Awareness Stage

Awareness is the first stage of the conversion funnel. Naturally, this stage is where you have the most people in your funnel. It’s when people have their first encounter with your brand via ads, blog posts, search engine results, or social media campaigns. Your goal in this stage is to attract the right people: the ones who’ll likely be your customers.

There are a couple of ways to generate leads and start building trust with potential clients:

Improve your SEO

People usually do a quick Google search when they’re looking for something, so it’s very important to make sure that your store is optimized for Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).

This way, you can attract them right away once they encounter your page on Google search. You can do this by researching and optimizing for the right keywords, improving your site speed, and optimizing your site for mobile.

Maximize Facebook and Google ads

Make use of Facebook and Google ads to increase your online presence and reach more people from your target demographic. On top of your SEO strategy, running ads on Facebook and Google can give you a great idea regarding what works and what doesn’t in terms of copy, messaging, and keywords.

2. Interest Stage

This is where your potential clients will start to show interest in your store. This stage is where a person starts thinking about buying from you, and where they will also compare your brand or products against your competitors’. In this stage, it’s important to clearly highlight your products’ features, prices, and top reviews to help them decide that your brand is the best option for them.

Here are a few tips to help you gain your customer’s interest:

Use great images

Refrain from featuring one-dimensional, boring shots of your products. Get creative and display how they can be used in daily life or set them up nicely against an interesting background. Images are important because 67% of online shoppers value high-quality images and consider them an important deciding factor when purchasing something.

Remember to optimize your images for Shopify by resizing and compressing them accordingly, too. This is very important because even if your images are high-quality, potential clients might bounce away from your site if it doesn’t load fast enough.

Write amazing product descriptions

Never dismiss the power of the written word! Skillfully written product descriptions can spell the difference between a client purchasing your product or skipping it. It’s very important to highlight your product's important features and functionalities to help your clients make informed decisions.

It helps to create or highlight a need or gap that your product can address or fill. Try to speak your target market’s language and appeal to their emotions or sense of humor as well.

Highlight top customer reviews

Most of the time, great customer reviews can do the talking for you. Your existing clients can even help you identify needs that you might not even know your brand could address! This is why it’s crucial to pay attention to customer reviews and highlight the most helpful, positive ones, that can also help potential customers realize that your brand might be a great fit for them, too.

Make sure to embed these reviews on your homepage or product pages, or use them in social media posts and ads.

3. Conversion Stage

‘Conversion’ means that your site visitor is buying from you. They’ve successfully been converted from a potential customer into someone who’s decided to make a purchase, and that’s great! This stage is where sales happen, and hopefully where you’ve retained most of your visitors from the first two stages.

This is also where your sales funnel will be tested. Statistics show that the average conversion rate for a Shopify store is at 1.6%, but a well-optimized store can raise this conversion rate well above 5%, and sometimes even as high as 10%.

That’s great news, but how do we make sure we’re doing our best to raise this number?

Write clear and engaging CTAs

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are important because they lead your customers towards the next (and very important) step in their customer journey. Make sure to place clear, engaging CTAs in prominent places within your product pages.

Don’t make them scroll too much or search for small CTAs buried with tiny fonts or complicated designs. It’s frustrating to want to buy a product without having a readily visible or accessible way to take you to the next step.

Have a great customer support system in place

Make sure you’re there for your customers as much as you possibly can. Even if you’re not a physical store, you can still provide the same level of attention and care to your customers by providing informative resources and having venues to entertain their queries and concerns such as a live chat and a quick-response team that can address emails within a day or less.

Choose a fast, good-looking theme

Having a fast Shopify theme is a great way to optimize your site and improve customer experience. It’s also important to choose a beautiful theme that complements your brand’s overall aesthetic.

Make it your goal to have a site that not only looks good but is also easy to navigate, and you’ll likely delight your customers with a seamless, hassle-free shopping experience.

Make it easier for them to checkout

Seal the deal by making sure you’re providing the best possible experience for your customer up to their checkout point. Have a predictive entry feature in place to auto-populate fields, helping them fill out their information faster. Accept multiple modes of payment to ensure that you’re accommodating whichever payment option is most convenient for them.

Lastly, build trust with your customers by emphasizing your site’s security features so they’re confident that their payment information will be highly confidential and secured.

Why every Shopify store needs a marketing sales funnel

Any successful business needs a good sales funnel. This is especially key for ecommerce stores such as a Shopify store because they depend on transforming site visitors into loyal customers. A healthy sales funnel is a great way to acquire new customers and keep loyal customers interested, so they keep coming back to your store.

Among the benefits of having a marketing sales funnel are:

More leads, more conversions

Optimizing your Shopify sales funnel will lead you to revisit and maximize your marketing strategies such as your social media campaigns, online ads, emailers, and the like. A well-thought-out funnel will ideally increase your sales leads, which is a good thing because the more leads you have, the more conversions you’ll likely have.

Establishing customer loyalty

A lot of experienced businesses know how important it is to keep existing customers satisfied. From a marketing standpoint, it's much easier to retain loyal customers than to keep acquiring new ones.

Studies show that an existing customer is 60-70% more likely to repurchase from a store they’ve already visited. A sales funnel can help you re-engage your previous customers and encourage them to purchase again.

Retargeting non-conversions

According to Shopify, only 2% of customers typically convert on their first visit. However, a sales funnel can help you retarget the 98% (who are already aware of your brand) and possibly gain them as loyal customers.

How do I make a funnel on Shopify?

Step 1: Focus on Product Demand
The first thing on your agenda should be ensuring that you have a product that consumers actually want. You can come up with a great marketing strategy and sales funnel but if your product is something that clients don’t actually want or need, you’re going to have a hard time with conversions.

You can conduct market research to ensure that your product is addressing a specific need or gap in the market, as well as a sizable target market that has expressed interest in purchasing what you’re about to offer.

Here are some questions you can reflect on:

  • Is my product addressing a specific need? Or is there a gap in the market that it can help address?
  • Are there any similar products from potential competitors? If so, what are their strengths and weaknesses based on consumer feedback that I can use to further improve my product?
  • Is there enough interest in it within my target market?
  • Am I planning to sell it at a price point that potential customers are willing to pay for?

Step 2: Build an Optimized Storefront and Product Pages
Building your storefront and product pages are a crucial part of creating a robust sales funnel because it’s how you’ll guide people from being casual browsers to possibly buying from your store.  Like we mentioned in the Interest Stage, a great storefront is characterized by:

  • Pages that are optimized for the right keywords
  • High-quality but optimized images
  • A beautiful, fast-loading theme

On top of that, don’t forget your product descriptions, CTAs, customer support, and security features. Remember that you should engage and assist your customer at every turn, almost as if you were actually assisting them inside a physical store.

Other things you can do to encourage conversion are:

  • Offer discounts and incentives: Make it your goal to drive customers to buy (or buy more) once they reach a product page. You can come up with incentives such as ‘Any four items for $50,’ ‘Free shipping for purchases above $100,’ or ‘$30 off purchases above $200,’ and so on. You can also take advantage of seasons and events such as Fall, Christmas, 4th of July and use these to promote special offers and deals on your page.
  • Take advantage of emails: Yes, emails! They’re a powerful marketing tool because they allow you to keep in touch with existing customers, remarket to customers who might have left items in their cart, or push special offers and incentives to customers who’ve just made a purchase recently.
  • Maximize upselling: Upselling is another powerful way to make the most out of every order on your site. Customers are likely to add a thing or two to their cart on impulse, so it’s helpful to upsell with things like ‘best goes with,’ ‘similar items,’ or ‘customers also bought.’ This way you can easily offer related products which the customer may also be interested in.

‍Step 3: Generate Site Traffic
Once you’ve built your storefront, you can now focus on increasing traffic to your site by way of ads, ranking on SERPs, social media campaigns, and other marketing efforts. Some great platforms and resources to tap are:

  • Facebook and Instagram Ads
  • Google Ads
  • YouTube Ads
  • Blogs
  • Ranking on Google SERPs

How to Analyze Your Sales Funnel

It’s important to analyze your Shopify store’s sales, products, customers, and marketing to better understand your funnel’s strengths and weaknesses. The goal is to use analytics to constantly improve your funnel, generate more traffic, and increase sales.

Shopify Analytics
You can use Shopify Analytics, which is Shopify’s built-in analytics dashboard. Its goal is to help you understand how your business is performing which areas you can improve. With it, you can find crucial information about your sales, your best-sellers, customers, and marketing channels that work best for you.

Shopify reports will also show you important data which can help you analyze and improve your sales funnel.

Among the analytics and reports you can access are:

  • Overview Dashboard (you can see your AOV, check sales performance, find sources of traffic, and monitor trends over time)
  • Finance reports, including taxes and payments
  • Product analytics
  • Acquisition reports
  • Inventory reports
  • Profit reports
  • Marketing reports

Read more about Shopify Analytics in their detailed guide here.

Google Analytics
Another tool you can use is Google Analytics, which can also help answer questions about your store’s performance. Google Analytics is free and allows you to track data such as:

  • Users
  • Pageviews
  • Sessions
  • Bounce Rate
  • Referral Sources
  • Average Time on Page
  • Average Pages per Session

You can also customize your reports by setting up goals and funnels, which you can read more about here.

A/B Testing
Another effective analytical tool is A/B Testing or split testing. Through this method, you can compare two digital assets to determine which one performs better. Split testing can help you maximize revenue from your current traffic. Shopify reports that by split testing headlines and email copy, ecommerce owners actually saw a 30% increase in revenue.

How does it work? For example, you show 50% of your visitors ‘Version A’ of your asset (ex. image or copy), and the other 50% sees ‘Version B’. The version that results in a higher conversion rate ‘wins.’ You can use it to see insights regarding marketing, products, and advertising - and test different styles to see what resonates well with an audience.

A/B testing helps you constantly improve your current efforts by allowing you to test versions side-by-side, thereby optimizing many facets of your site. It’s also great for testing new, experimental elements or unusual content.

Here is our quick guide on A/B Testing if you want further reading on it.

Want to try A/B Testing on your store? Give Neat A/B Testing a try 100% Free for 14-Days.

Summary: How to Optimize Your Shopify Sales Funnel

Optimizing your Shopify sales funnel will increase conversions and will eventually be great for your bottom line. The big idea in creating an optimized sales funnel is attracting and motivating customers at each stage and eliminating obstacles that might cause them to bounce from your site or not push through with their checkouts.

We’ve outlined helpful tips that can help you optimize your Shopify sales funnel in the sections above, but here are the main ideas to keep in mind:

  • Improve site SEO by optimizing for keywords and content, optimizing images, and improving site speed
  • Maximize marketing and advertising platforms
  • Highlight products by using great images, descriptions, and displaying top reviews
  • Eliminate checkout hesitancies by emphasizing site security and accepting more payment options
  • Incentivize customers and push more products by creating product offers and sales, and upselling
  • Have efforts in place to re-engage past clients, retargeting non-conversions, and rewarding new customers
  • Continuously Test and optimize using A/B Testing (Neat A/B Testing)
  • Constantly analyze your site with analytics tools and use insights to improve your sales funnel

Keep this up consistently, and you’re bound to discover your audience, engage deeply with them, and become an ecommerce success story!