Understanding The E-Commerce Sales Funnel


The E-commerce sales funnel is a useful tool that illustrates the journey a consumer takes from becoming aware of your business to making a purchase. It contains several steps that can be optimized for better results and higher sales. Here’s a guide to understanding the E-commerce sales funnel.

The Funnel

The E-commerce sales funnel is an illustration of how the amount of leads you start with slowly dwindles down to the number of consumers who take action with your brand. This is important because one study shows that only 3.3% of people who become aware of your brand actually make a purchase. 

By identifying each section of this funnel, you can determine what you need to do better to increase that final percentage. A clear understanding of the E-commerce funnel will help you make more sales. Let’s look at each step. 


This is the stage in which consumers become aware of you and your brand. Perhaps they stumble across you on accident, or maybe you were recommended by a friend. Either way, it’s now your job to show them who you are and what you can do. 

In this stage, focus on educating the consumer on your brand. Offer free information such as blog posts, how-to guides, webinars, etc. This allows the consumer to gain more insight into you and your company. Raising awareness of your brand is the first step in the funnel as well as the first step that leads to making a sale. 


Once someone is aware of your brand, they will consider whether or not you are suited to meet their needs. It’s not enough for someone to know who you are, they should understand what you can do. 

Continue to grab their interest by offering content through an E-mail list, fresh content on social media, or free trials of your service. This builds consumer interest as they’re able to see first-hand what your company can offer. 


The next step in the E-commerce funnel is the decision stage. Once a consumer understands your company and has gained an interest in your services, they will make a decision whether or not to use you. During this stage, it’s important not only to remind them of what you offer but specifically how it will benefit them. 

Practically, speak to them in a way they’ll understand. If you offer computer software programs that increase speed, don’t talk about specs and other technical jargon. Mention key benefits such as:

  • Your site will load 3 seconds faster
  • Fewer crashes
  • Cheaper than competitors
  • Etc

Helping consumers understand why you’re the best solution to their problem is a great way to turn their initial interest into a completed sale. 


This leads us to the final step in the funnel. After a consumer has become aware, considered your company, and gained enough desire to decide on using your company, it’s time for them to take action. While this seems simple, percentage-wise it’s where people lose the most leads. 

One way to help the consumer take action is to look at your process. Is there something about taking action that scares people off? Are there too many fields to fill out? Do you offer enough various payment methods?

Look at your processes through the eyes of a consumer. This will help you identify which areas need to be addressed to help leads take that final step towards becoming a convert.

Although the E-commerce sales funnel might look slightly different depending on what your company does, the basic steps stay the same. Understanding the E-commerce sales funnel and addressing each step as needed is a great way to help generate more sales within your company. 

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