Purchasing Funnel Table of Contents
Today there are many ongoing discussions and debates about the marketing funnel. Professionals from the marketing industry ask questions such as, 'Who owns the funnel - marketing or sales?' as well as, ' Is the marketing funnel relevant to the purchasing process of today’s consumer or not?'.
The marketing funnel visually represents the process of converting leads into paying customers from the point of view of marketing and sales.
The idea behind the marketing funnel is that marketing professionals start implementing leads collection from a broad approach (like a funnel) trying to collect as many leads as they can. Then marketers slowly move prospective customers through the funnel towards the decision to make a purchase, decreasing the number of customers and narrowing the funnel in the each stage as people fall away.
Ideally, a marketing funnel should be a marketing cylinder, as you would like to turn all of your leads into real customers. However, it is not a surprise that this cannot be a reality for most companies, so a part of a marketing professional’s job is to turn as many leads as possible into actual consumers, thus making the marketing funnel as close as it possibly can be to a cylinder.
There is not one single approach to the structure of the funnel and its stages. Some experts argue that there are funnels which have many stages, while others argue they only have a few. On top of that, different experts give diverse names to those stages and to the actions taken by the company’s marketing teams.
A typical purchasing funnel has the following stages:
This is the wide end of the marketing funnel. Prospective consumers appear in this stage as the result of marketing campaigns as well as consumer research and discovery.
Companies establish trust and thought leadership by organising events, using ads, trade shows, direct mail, and social media, etc. In this stage, lead generation takes place. Then, the marketing department collects and processes the information and leads are pulled into a lead management system in order to move on to the next steps and go further down the funnel.
Once you have generated leads, they pass along to the next stage, where there is more information about the company, its products and services, as well as insight on the different resources a company provides. In this stage, the company has the opportunity to establish a relationship with the potential customers available in their database and introduce its positioning.
Marketing specialists can use Emails, targeted content relevant to the specific industry, newsletters and other marketing tools to engage wth potential clients.
In this stage, captured leads have been turned into marketing qualified leads. Here the leads are considered to be prospective customers as they have shown interest in your products or services.
In the consideration stage, marketing professionals can send prospective customers more information about their products and offerings using automated and targeted Emails, free trials and so on.
Prospects then move into the intent stage, when they show explicitly that they have the intention of buying your product. This intention can be shown in a survey after conducting a demo or when your see that your user has placed a product in their shopping cart on your E-commerce site. In this stage, marketers have to put forward their best efforts to explain to the prospects why their offering is the best option for them to buy.
In this stage, buyers make a final decision to buy your products or services or cancel their intention. Here, marketing and sales departments will work in a close collaboration to move them down along the marketing funnel and persuade the buyer that their product fully meets their needs.
In the purchase stage, the prospect makes a decision to make the purchase and turns into a customer. Here the sales team has to work to create a positive feeling among customers, because positive buying experience is the major factor which will lead to referrals and fuel the top of the purchasing funnel for the next cycle.
After making a sale, your next task is to make your clients repeat customers. This process has the following steps:
You have to put in all your efforts into improving retention and making your customers implement further and bigger purchase transactions.
In this stage, customers have formed a clear preference for a brand. Here the key is engagement, and marketers can create personal relationships and ties to a brand through development of a community, engagement and outreach.
Loyal customers usually provide referrals and recommend your products to their personal network or community.
This is the final stage of a purchasing funnel. In this stage, your customers start actively writing product reviews, make posts on social media and thus help you collect new leads and start the marketing funnel from the beginning.
Marketing specialists can try to develop their proessional communities in order for them to better assisting advocates, ask them to take part in case studies and involve them in other related activities.
Scroll down to read our indepth Ecommerce Platforms guide. What you should know, Ecommerce Platforms features, price plans and support. Pros and Cons of Ecommerce Platforms as a ecommerce, everything is explained below.
Shopify is a software company that specialises in ecommerce software for small to enterprise level businesses.
Shopify is listed as the best ecommerce software related to Ecommerce Platforms. Shopify was founded in 2006 in Ottawa, Canada and currently has over 6,124 employees registered on Linkedin.