Over the last few years, sales funnels have emerged as one of the fastest ways to boost the value of every purchase, profitably acquire new customers, and sell more goods to every visitor.
The process of creating sales funnels has come a long way, too. Building a sales funnel used to take weeks, require tons of custom coding, and a whole team of developers. These days, thanks to a number of sales funnel software tools, it’s now possible to create one in minutes.
And yet, there are still certain platforms that can be quite tricky to integrate with sales funnels.
Case in point is Shopify, which also happens to be the third-most-popular ecommerce platform in the world. Shopify is one of the leading online selling tools. And it’s a favorite solution among many ecommerce store owners because it has an easy-to-use interface, simple integration with payment and shipping gateways, and more.
A properly built sales funnel on Shopify can be a powerful foundation to build your business on. Unfortunately, the out-of-the box product doesn’t allow for many common sales funnel features, like one-click upsells, order bumps, and even custom sales pages. Making it work takes some finesse.
In this post we’re going to show you how to make Shopify and sales funnels work seamlessly together to boost customers and conversions for your ecommerce store. We’ll reveal the essential elements you need in place, share tips to make sure your store pages convert, and give you advanced strategies for driving traffic to your funnel.
What Exactly is a Sales Funnel?
Before we dive into the nitty gritty details of what your Shopify sales funnel should include, let’s get on the same page of exactly what a sales funnel is. In the simplest of terms, a sales funnel is a series of steps (often, a series of webpages) that guide a prospect toward making a purchase.
If you imagine a person visiting your store’s homepage, a sales funnel would be:
- What drives the person to click through to the product page
- How that person adds the product to their cart (and how much)
- And finally, what happens when they get to the checkout
A sales funnel is the how and what made that process occur.
It’s called a funnel because the number of people at each step gets smaller and smaller, resembling an actual funnel like this:
The goal is to walk potential customers through the entire buying process—from first finding out about your business or product to buying it—as seamlessly as possible.
And when done right, a sales funnel can boost the value of every purchase in your store, allow you to profitably acquire new customers, and sell more goods to every visitor.
Some people liken sales funnels to a digital salesperson who’s always present in your storefront. Someone who’s there to aid prospects in making decisions.
So if you imagine what it would feel like to come to a physical storefront and have no idea how to find something, that’s what it’s like to have no funnel in place. Compare that to arriving at a store and having an expert staff member show you exactly what you’re looking for, share deals and share complementary items with you, that’s the effect a well constructed sales funnel can have.
They can be involve one page or many pages. The key is that the ultimate goal is to take prospects on a journey toward making a sale.
Here’s how to build one for your Shopify store.
Step 1: Have a Product That People Actually Want
Making sure your product idea is rock solid is the most important part of a successful sales funnel. It’s the thing at the very bottom that gets people to pull out their wallet and buy.
The last thing you want is to introduce a bunch of leads into your business’s sales funnel, only to find out they don’t want the product you’re offering.
Many people don’t like to hear this tip. But the first and most critical element to a converting sales funnel is having a product that people actually want.
As the old saying goes “You can’t put lipstick on a pig.” It doesn’t matter how many tools, apps and sales tricks you use, if your products sucks, it won’t sell. And it definitely won’t allow you to build a sustainable business.
At Foundr, we’re staunch believers in product research. We consider it to be a key part of any sales funnel’s success.
And if you’ve had trouble selling your product in the past, it might be time for a hard look in the mirror to ask: Is my product idea actually good? Is this product something people actually want to buy?
Remember, starting over with a new product isn’t a failure. It’s often smart business to pivot. Pivots have led to breakthroughs for some of the most recognized companies today.
If you’re unsure that your product is good, here’s a simple test you can use to make sure your product has potential. It’s called The Golden Trifecta Test and allows you to make sure that your product is on the right track and scalable.
But once you have the go-ahead that what you’re doing is good, then you can move on to step two: Building a converting storefront.
Step 2: Build a Converting Storefront and Product Page
Once you have a product you know will sell, it’s time to build the core pieces of your sales funnel—your converting storefront and product pages. This is how you’ll push people from the top of the funnel down to actually buying the product.
Every person who purchases a product from your Shopify store will have to interact with your store and product pages. So they are incredibly valuable assets on your site.
If you get this right, your products can get in the hands of more customers, you’ll make more money on every sale, and you’ll have more profits as the store owner. If you get this wrong, you’ll be left scratching your head wondering, “Why won’t they buy?”
So how do you know where your sales funnel currently stacks up? According to Shopify, the average conversion rate for an ecommerce store is around 2%.
But get this: A well-optimized store and product page can convert as high as 10%.
That means five times as many buyers for the same traffic to your storefront. Said another way, that’s 400% more money to you from the same number of visitors.
That’s the power that a well crafted storefront and product page(s) can have on your sales funnel.
Here are six essential elements to incorporate into a high-converting storefront.
Showcase the Product
When it comes to selling products on Shopify, consumers should never have to guess what the product looks like or how it’s used.
From the second they arrive on your store, they should get a clear understanding of exactly how the product works and what it looks like.
For example, with Foundr CEO Nathan Chan’s site Healthish, notice how the first two things on the landing page are visuals of the water bottles and a video showing consumers using the product.
With your store, there should be no doubt in your visitors head what the product is and how it will benefit them.
Highlight Your Products’ Benefits
One of the fundamental truths of marketing is that people don’t buy features, they buy what those features will do for them (aka the benefits).
No matter what product you’re selling you should communicate them to your visitors. Even with something as simple as Healthish’s water bottle, where you might suspect people to recognize the benefits of drinking water, you need to put those benefits in front of customers from the second they arrive at your site.
Notice how Healthish does it with their tagline: “Staying Hydrated Is Easy With The Healthish Bottle”
Ideally, you should be able to summarize those benefits into a bite-sized taglines to entice customers to click through and add the item to their cart. But you can also demonstrate the benefits in product videos, similar to Healthish’s video.
Leverage User Generated Content (Social Proof)
One of the biggest marketing breakthroughs of the last century was understanding how much consumers are impacted by the actions of others.
Whenever we see other people doing something, like forming a line, liking a product, listening to a new song, we’re compelled to join in on the fun. This is called social proof and it can be a powerful element to work into your Shopify store pages.
According to a Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising report, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from peers and other users, above all other forms of advertising. Healthish does this by including photos of customers using the product right on their store homepage.
With Shopify, there are hundreds of tools and apps that make integrating user generated content right into your store pages easy.
Another way to do this is to put the reviews you have right on the product page using apps like Yotpo and Bolt. Just like Amazon, Healthish showcases their 298 five-star reviews right next to the “Buy Now” button on their product pages.
Each of those reviews acts as a tiny bit of proof that it’s a brand worth trusting and a product worth buying.
Leverage Trust and Support
One of the reasons Amazon is the biggest ecommerce platform in the world is because consumers trust that Amazon will protect their data. But when you are selling products on your own store, consumers might be a little less confident, especially if this is their first time visiting.
And if you’re going to improve your conversion rates (read: convince consumers to pull out their credit card), you need to build elements of trust into your store’s design.
In addition to adding trust seals and guarantees, you should make your support visible and clear. Notice Healthish’s use of these credibility seals:
They also clearly display FAQs and how to contact their customer support team in the header of the site.
These additional measures can go a long way toward building trust with potential buyers and work wonders for your Shopify store’s conversion rates. In fact, Blue Fountain Media discovered a 42% increase in conversion rates after using some trust seals. It’s that important.
Offer Incentives On Your Landing Pages
Once customers make it to the product page, you should continue offering incentives to drive them to buy. You can do things like offering discounts for buying more, adding a free shipping thresholds or advertising a deal can push conversion rates higher.
In Healthish’s case, you can see they leverage both free shipping thresholds and “buy more, save more” deals to drive additional revenue and purchases from visitors.
Another example: Sites like Purple (the mattress company) are great at constantly advertising offers for new visitors to the site. For example, they’re currently advertising their Black Friday Sale (even though it’s weeks away).
And they have seasonal promotions like this running on their site almost all year.
No matter when you visit, you’ll find discounts, deals based on holidays, and more. It’s all done in the name of pushing the consumer to take action today.
Deploy Apps and Tools to Boost Revenue
When you’re building your shopify sales funnel, you don’t want to overcomplicate things by signing up for dozens of apps and tools.
That makes it harder to track the impact of any single tool. It also means you’ll have to remember to keep all of them up-to-date and make sure they’re not causing bugs for users.
That said, there are some simple tools that every Shopify store should have in place.
Email, in particular, allows you to continue to market to customers who don’t buy, push them back to their carts, and offer sales to customers after they buy.
Keeon Yazdani, the founder of We R CBD, says:
One of the most effective sales funnels our company has used is email marketing.
Since our product has been distributed so well, we’ve been able to develop brand recognition. As a result, many individuals search for our company on Google and land on our website. Our goal is to not only have them convert, but have them opt into our email subscriber list. We do this by displaying an interactive spinning wheel email pop up as soon as the visitor lands on our website.
The pop up application we use is a Shopify application called Wheelio. Once Wheelio pops up on our website, it will ask the individual to enter their email address in exchange for a chance to spin the wheel and land on a 5% or 10% discount code. We’ve been able to grow our email list by 5,000 subscribers in only three months by using Wheelio.
We send email marketing campaigns a few times each month with either a 20% or 30% discount code. When we send email blasts, our conversion rate is around 13%.
In addition to email, upselling is a powerful way to maximize the value of every order on your site. For example, if you started your checkout with CBD oil from We R CBD Store, and added gummies and dog treats as you checked out, you’d more than triple the value of your order. That has implications for businesses. Imagine what you could do with 3x as much revenue from the same customers?
Of course there’s an infinite number of things you can add to your store to attempt to push your conversion rates higher. But these are some of the essential elements you need to have in place to maximize the conversions on your Shopify store.
And once you have them in place, you’re ready for the next phase of building your sales funnel: turning on a traffic source. This is where you load up as many prospects as possible in the top of your funnel and let the converting assets work their magic.
Step 3: Build Your Traffic Engine
Once you have the core pieces of a converting storefront and product page in place, it’s time to get people to actually see your products.
This would be the top portion of your sales funnel:
Not that we only touch traffic once we have the bottom of the funnel in place with a properly positioned/researched product and converting store pages to push people to buy.
The good news is by building a converting storefront first, you can confidently go out and buy traffic to your store. Some of the most effective traffic sources today include:
Even though ad costs are rising and it’s getting more competitive, Facebook is still one of the most effective channels for acquiring new customers. Pro tip: Don’t just turn to Facebook for buying cold traffic, use it for its remarketing capabilities.
As Calloway Cook, the founder of Illuminate Labs, says:
The combination of paid ads for cold traffic and remarketing efforts have been valuable for our brand. Our product pages are very well-optimized for conversions, so getting potential customers to view the page more than two times generates a sale significantly more frequently than most competitor sites.
In other words, one of Facebook’s most useful capabilities is bringing users back after they visit your site. It’s a simple sales funnel trick, but it works, and the goal of every sales funnel should be to get results without overcomplicating things.
At Foundr, we literally wrote the playbook on using Instagram to grow your brand (so you might say we’re bit biased) but it’s proving to be a powerful way for brands to get traffic to their stores. Recently, working with smaller accounts and micro-influencers for shoutouts in stories and posts has proved to be a great way to acquire new leads and customers for a lot of brands.
Here are some crazy facts: YouTube has 2 billion monthly active users. It was the most-downloaded iOS app in 2018. And 1 billion hours of YouTube content are viewed per day. The point is, it can be a powerful platform for any brand to get exposure and traffic to a store.
The great thing about YouTube is you can create content of your own and build a following. Or you can pay for ads and take a bit of a shortcut. Some brands have gotten great results out of the gate and it’s proving to be a lucrative top-of-funnel source of leads for brands.
Despite what many people in the media say, blogging still works. Need proof? You’re reading this right now. And for the right Shopify store, ranking on Google with content can be a powerful source of traffic and leads to your sales funnel. In fact, this is how Ramon Van Meer built a blog and got $9 million in cash, just from blogging. The only downside is that it can be slower and take longer to rank on Google. But once you get a content machine going, it’s a powerful moat for your business.
When you combine traffic, a converting page, and a product you know is top-notch, you have a sales funnel that can take your business as far as you can imagine.
What Funnels Have Worked For You?
Whether you’re just learning how to create a sales funnel or you came looking for tips to take your store to the next level, we’d love to hear from you.
What funnels have worked for your store? Any parts that you’ve struggled with? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll help out however we can.