T: @DuaneBrown

What Should Our New Purchase Funnel Look Like?

Having moved back to Toronto two months ago and settled back into a rhythm. I’ve been meeting with a lot of brands, from online to retail and corporate, to chat about opportunities and how I felt my international experience can help grow a brand online.

One area that keeps coming up is the purchase funnel. If you spent your 90s in high school, like I did, than the picture below should be familiar to you. Pretty standard graph from your high school marketing or business class.


However, the purchase funnel hasn’t changed in over a decade and it needs too. More brick-and-mortar-focused retailers are stepping up their online game and increasing the percentage of their sales that come from online channels, and Web-only retailers have been growing at an impressive clip, too. It’s a dog eat dog where out there in retail and everyone is fair game. What’s helping shift are:

The Top 5 Consumer-Driven Trends in Retail

1. Mobile is eating the world as we know it

2. We’ve been through not one but two recessions

3. Showrooming is real in the US, but not Canada *.

4. Social media is apart of digital marketing, finally

5. Global ecommerces is expected to hit $2.357 trillion by 2017, up from $1.058 trillion in 2012. A large part is fueled by growth outside North America.

To help with the shift in retail and give brands a chance to stay one step ahead of the competition. Two areas that need to be included in the purchase funnel are: post-consideration and honeymoon phase.

This phase takes place after Awareness and Consideration. Today’s shoppers turn to hundreds of online friends and consumer ratings and reviews including Yelp, Twitter, Reddit, Amazon to make even the smallest purchases. The experience their friends have with a product/brand or category can make all the difference. This is about showing the social proof that a person’s network trusts your brand more than your competitor(s). This is where more brands are losing out on sales. Today’s consumer is more empowered than ever, and the consumer voice is louder and more far-reaching. 

Personally I’ve seen lost sales happening lately between Nest and Ecobee among other online brands. So How do you stop this from happening or slow down the rate of lost sales.

You can use remarketing to target people who haven’t bought from you but have visited +5 pages on your site (including your FAQ). You know these people are primed to buy. You show them an ad that leads to a landing page that shows positive comments from buyers on Twitter & Facebook or your latest customer testimonial video/vignettes. Or use FB’s social graphic to show their real friends who’ve bought your product. The latter being a challenge if you’re a new product or start up. However, you want to bake in that there is no reason they shouldn’t buy from you.

This phase takes places after someone has bough a product from you but before they become an advocate. It’s great to get someone to buy from your brand but that after care service is what seals the deal. Calling up a customer to find out how they liked your product or sending them an email can be the different between them liking your product and loving it. 7 years ago when I moved to TELUS for my cell phone, they called me a month in to just see how I was liking the service. They haven’t done that in years but I’ve not forgotten about it nor stopped telling people.

With MailChimp, or other similar platforms, you can set up drip campaigns that target people that have bought from you. If you’re a large organization. Maybe every CSR person has to make 3 customers calls a shift. You’ll learn more from these calls and how to improve your product than any advertising or surveys you could create. Making the honeymoon amazing leads to more people who will stand up for your band. This is especially true if you’re a startup where every customer counts.

Retailers and brands that embrace the consumer voice can realize higher conversions and larger transaction sizes. And they’ll get great shopping funnel insights and customer insights along the way.

* As a Canadian, I’d say we don’t enjoy benefits of showrooming as other countries because our ecommerce is still lagging behind the US and UK.

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