What is a sales funnel?
Sales funnel is a series of stages for a customer to become aware of your brand till the time they make a purchase. For example, if you run a clothing brand, a customer will be inside the sales funnel as soon as they have become aware of your brand. Whenever the customer has successfully made a purchase, they will have reached the bottom of the sales funnel.
There are various means to optimize the sales funnel for your customers. There are various practices available that will help your customers make a purchase. Before we understand the optimizing of the sales funnel, let us look at the stages involved in a sales funnel.
- Awareness: is reached when a customer becomes aware of your brand.
- Engagement: is when a customer is curiously looking at your product/service on your website or social media handle/s.
- Commitment: is when a customer has determined your product/service is fit for their use.
- Purchase: is when a customer has considered all factors of your product/service which is attached to their purchase. This stage is achieved when your customer is comfortable with your variables along with your product/service, for eg: delivery times, offers and availability.
There are several ways in which your customer can be made aware of your brand and reach to it's final goal, i.e., the purchase stage. We will discuss with the help of examples which will help us pass through each of these stages to reach our goal.
Stage one : Awareness
How can you make your customers aware of your brand?
The key here is to attract the customer by appealing to their senses, which resonates with your brand the most. For eg: if you have a clothing brand, you can appease your customer by advertising on any social media, and determine for it to look appealing. This stage only deals with making your customers aware of your brand. The exercise of appeal might not entice your customer to make a purchase. Therefore, it is imperative to understand that it might be fruitless for any brand to determine their purchases only based on appeal. However, appeal is essential when you want to engage with your customer. For eg: a coffee shop can appeal to their customers to enter their shop by spreading a waft of coffee to the passer-by passing through the coffee shop. This is how a coffee shop can start to engage with their customers via a sense of smell and appealing them to come inside the shop for a cup of coffee.
Stage two: Engagement
How can you make your customers engage with your brand?
If your customer has become aware of your brand, one of the ways to engage with your audience is by providing value adding content on social media. There are many accounts on social media who have been famous for providing witty or informative or funny content to their customers, enticing them to keep visiting the brands to browse through their content. We live in an age where it is easy to quantify the engagement you have with your customers. You can determine the same by your followers on social media, visitors on your website, products on your existing customer's wishlist (if you have an e-commerce brand), etc. This is a very crucial stage. This is when your customer starts taking an interest in your products/ services and accessing whether they require the same or not. Also, this is the perfect stage to start building a base of your customers. Your potentials might still keep coming to your website or social media handle to enjoy your content while still refusing to pass through the engagement stage. Be patient. They will always think of you, once they have a need of your product/service.
Stage three: Commitment
Commitment means when a customer has decided that the product/service is acceptable and useful for them to use. A commitment usually means that they have determined the make, quality, and service of your product/ service. It is the last stage to convert your potential customers to customers. How can you make them commit to your brand? The best and the most traditional way to make your audience commit to you is via reviews and ratings. People are influenced by reviews being posted on social media or other platforms, and a good review or a rating about your product will go a long way. Another tactic that might be useful in tweaking your potential customers decision-making is by making their lives easier. For eg: if you have a salon business, your customer might appreciate it when you provide the service of booking appointments online. In this manner, your customers can schedule their appointments online through an appointment scheduling service, which also allows them to cancel or re-schedule them via a click of a button. Conveniences such as these might work in your favour. Applications like ShopCircle or Sidepanda can help provide integrations for scheduling appointments online.
Stage four: Purchase
This stage is usually not associated with your product/service. This stage is attained when all your other factors are aligned with your product/service. For eg: if you are selling a product/service on e-commerce, your delivery dates and shipping costs will be a variable that may make or break a purchase. You cannot possibly solve all your customer's problems. However, there are certain things that you may have to adhere to, in order to avoid losing a huge margin of orders due to these variables. Therefore, you will need to understand the delivery times or lead times that is an absolute for your customer. Another way to push a customer to make the purchase is by making their purchase interesting. You can offer membership to your customers which can provide various benefits like discounts, offers, early access to a limited edition collection, or birthday gifts. Since your customer is convinced of your product/service, these factors can weigh in while making a purchase.