3 Powerful Funnels to Guide Your Ecommerce Marketing

May 20, 2024
May 20, 2024 Guy Nitagai

3 Powerful Funnels to Guide Your Ecommerce Marketing

Forget just sales

Traditionally, marketing funnels focused on the path to purchase. But for today’s Ecommerce marketer, understanding the entire customer journey is key. In this article, we’ll explore three funnel types that go beyond the simple sale:

  • Purchase Funnels: The classic model, guiding users from awareness to becoming paying customers.
  • Influence Funnels: Focuses on building brand advocacy, turning happy customers into promoters.
  • Double Funnels: Combines purchase and influence for a holistic approach, driving sales while fostering loyalty.

We’ll also delve into how these funnels can be leveraged in your advertising strategies, giving you the tools to build a robust marketing plan for your Ecommerce brand.

Marketing Funnels 101

Before we dive into these specific funnels, let’s establish a strong foundation. A marketing funnel is a visualization of the customer journey, illustrating the steps users take from initial awareness to conversion (and potentially beyond). It helps marketers pinpoint areas for improvement and ensure their messaging aligns with each stage.

Here’s the key benefit: by understanding the funnel shape, you can see where potential customers drop off. This allows you to optimize your marketing efforts to plug the leaks and maximize conversions throughout the entire journey.

Visually, this process is often depicted in a funnel diagram. The horizontal axis represents the size of the user group, while the vertical axis represents the stages they progress through. As users move through the purchase journey, some inevitably drop off, resulting in the characteristic funnel shape.

Stages of the Marketing Funnel

The marketing funnel typically divides the user’s purchasing journey into four distinct stages:

  1. Awareness: At this stage, potential customers are either unaware of your product or service, or they know about it but haven’t shown interest.  Your marketing efforts here should focus on generating brand awareness through content and advertising campaigns that introduce your offerings.
  2. Interest:  As users encounter challenges or identify desires, they begin to actively research potential solutions.  This is where you need to provide informative content that educates them about your product’s benefits.  Enrich product pages and service introductions to capture their attention.
  3. Consideration:  Now, users are more engaged and actively comparing different options.  They’ll be evaluating your product against competitors, so providing comparison information and highlighting sales promotions becomes crucial. User-generated content like reviews on social media can also significantly influence their decision-making here.
  4. Purchase (CV: Conversion):  This is the ultimate goal, where users make the final buying decision.  For online businesses, understanding search ranking is vital.  If your website doesn’t appear prominently in relevant searches, consider using targeted keyword ads to increase visibility and capture these conversions.

By understanding these stages and tailoring your marketing efforts accordingly, you can effectively guide users through the purchase journey and maximize your Ecommerce success.

Three Powerful Marketing Funnels for Ecommerce Success

Marketing funnels can be categorized into three main types, each tailored to address specific stages in the customer journey:

1. Purchase Funnel: The Classic Conversion Path

This is the traditional funnel shape you encountered earlier. It’s a visual representation of the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) model, guiding users from initial awareness to becoming paying customers.

The purchase funnel can be broken down into four stages, though a three-stage approach is also common:

  • Top of Funnel (TOFU): This encompasses recognition, interest, and consideration. Marketing efforts here focus on brand awareness and generating interest in your products or services.
  • Middle of Funnel (MOFU): Users are now actively researching solutions. Your content should provide in-depth information and highlight product benefits to capture their attention.
  • Bottom of Funnel (BOFU): Users compare options and make purchase decisions. Providing clear comparisons, showcasing sales promotions, and leveraging user-generated content like reviews become crucial at this stage.
  • Purchase (Conversion): This is the ultimate goal, where users complete the purchase. For Ecommerce businesses, optimizing search ranking and using targeted ads are vital strategies to drive conversions.

2. Influence Funnel: Building Brand Advocacy

The influence funnel focuses on what happens after a purchase.  As the name suggests, it emphasizes expanding your brand’s influence through user reviews, social media engagement (sharing, following, retweets), and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Tracking post-purchase behavior allows you to tailor content marketing and social media strategies to nurture customer loyalty and encourage brand advocacy. Happy customers become your best marketing assets!

3. Double Funnel: A Holistic Approach

The double funnel combines the purchase and influence funnels, creating a comprehensive model that encompasses the entire customer journey, from initial awareness to purchase and beyond (advocacy).

By analyzing the double funnel, you can identify potential weaknesses in your marketing strategy.  Are you effectively nurturing brand loyalty?  Are there gaps in your content marketing that prevent users from fully understanding your product’s value?

This holistic approach helps you identify areas for improvement and implement the most appropriate marketing measures to optimize your Ecommerce success.

Putting Marketing Funnels into Action: Advertising Strategies

Now that we’ve explored different funnel types, let’s see how they can be leveraged in your advertising efforts.  The purchase funnel serves as a great example, as some aspects of the influence funnel might be less suited for traditional advertising.

By strategically placing ads at each stage of the purchase funnel, you can ensure you’re reaching users at the most relevant point in their journey:

  • Top of Funnel (TOFU):  Focus on broad awareness campaigns.  Social media advertising, display ads, and search engine marketing (SEM) with broad keywords can raise brand awareness and introduce your offerings to a wider audience.
  • Middle of Funnel (MOFU):  Target users who are actively researching solutions.  Employ retargeting ads, content marketing with targeted blog posts and articles, and search engine marketing (SEM) with more specific keywords to educate potential customers about your product’s benefits.
  • Bottom of Funnel (BOFU):  Target users ready to make purchase decisions.  Utilize comparison shopping engines (CSEs), product listing ads (PLAs), and targeted promotional offers to incentivize conversions.

By visualizing your advertising measures within the marketing funnel framework, you can assess whether your messaging aligns with each user stage.  Are you effectively capturing attention at the top?  Do you provide enough information during the consideration phase?  Are you offering compelling reasons to convert at the bottom?

This analysis helps you identify potential gaps and refine your advertising strategy to reach the right users with the right message at the right time.

  • Marketing funnels provide a framework for understanding the customer journey and developing targeted marketing strategies.  Three key types include purchase funnels, influence funnels, and double funnels.
  • By applying marketing tactics and messaging to each stage of the marketing funnel, you can gain valuable insights into your current marketing efforts and identify areas for improvement.

If you need help with your e-commerce marketing funnels, reach out to us for a proposal today.