August 29, 2023

Building a High-Converting Sales Funnel for E-commerce

E-commerce businesses know: getting customers is hard. With a country of over 2.5 million e-commerce stores, it’s almost impossible to break through the noise. But there is a lot of room for opportunity. More than 56.6% of consumers prefer shopping online over in-store, and the number of online shoppers in the United States is projected to grow to 285 million by 2025. So, how can you bust through the proverbial e-commerce noise and capitalize on this growing number of shoppers? Enter the e-commerce sales funnel.

What Is an E-Commerce Sales Funnel?

An e-commerce sales funnel is not a tangible funnel; it’s figurative. In this figurative funnel, there are multiple sections that define the different stages of the customer journey. As customers move down the funnel they get closer to purchasing a product or taking post-purchase actions.

An e-commerce conversion funnel can also project the number of conversions you see. Generally, the average sales funnel conversion rate is 3% to 7%. So, if there are 1,000,000 people in the awareness stage of your sales funnel, with the right sales funnel conversion strategies you could (theoretically) see 30,000 to 70,000 conversions.

Thinking about your e-commerce sales funnel can also help you develop a more effective marketing strategy by helping you understand your customers better. Understanding their wants and needs and configuring a sales persona for your target audience can help you make more effective marketing materials that speak to the root of the issue they need to be solved.

Let’s take a look at some of the stages of the e-commerce sales funnel and the marketing tactics you can implement to maximize retention from one section to the next.

E-Commerce Sales Funnel Stages


The uppermost stage of the e-commerce sales funnel is the awareness stage. In this stage, the goal is to drive awareness among people who have not heard of your brand. Or, if they have heard, they haven’t done any further research. Most online marketing is awareness-based marketing, as it encompasses a larger number of consumers. There are several marketing strategies you can implement to drive consumers from the awareness stage to the next section of the e-commerce sales funnel.

Paid Media

Paid media is a very effective strategy for increasing brand awareness in the initial stage of the e-commerce sales funnel. Research has found that 28% of internet users find new products or services through paid ads. Plus, they have been shown to have a  positive effect on brand awareness. To maximize the effectiveness of awareness campaigns with paid media, e-commerce brands can use paid search ads, display ads, and social media ads to get their name out there as much as possible.


Along with paid media, building an organic search engine presence for your e-commerce business can help you gain awareness. Forty-four percent of people start their online shopping search by looking it up on a search engine, so it’s important to be on that first Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to ensure your brand and the products you are selling are seen. In addition, combining SEO and paid media strategies is extremely beneficial. From sharing keyword data to taking up real estate on the SERPs, melding your SEO and paid media strategies leads to more visibility and expanded keyword coverage across the web.

Social Media

While social media may not be dominating search engines, it’s still a great resource for reaching potential consumers, especially on the awareness side. In fact, 26% of social media users use social media to find products they can buy. In our six e-commerce growth strategies, we discussed how it’s important to strategize which platforms you should use. For e-commerce, utilizing image-focused social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest is better for showcasing your product and driving brand awareness.


The next stage in the e-commerce sales funnel is the consideration stage. This stage commences once a consumer has taken the first step in buying a product, such as clicking on an ad, liking a product photo on social media, etc.

In this stage, the buyer is still not close to purchasing your product, but they are further defining their needs. Often, they ask themselves what features they need, whether the brand reflects their values, and even if they need the product at all. What e-commerce brands need to accomplish in this stage is proving to consumers that their product solves their pain point, offers the right benefits to do so, and is different from the rest of their competitors.

This can be done in a few different ways, but some important ones include utilizing social proof to show your product's reliability and enhancing your product pages. Adding social proof or product reviews to your website can help increase sales conversions by 270%. And, optimizing your product pages to include high-quality photos and detailed product descriptions can convince more buyers to move to the next stage of the e-commerce sales funnel, boosting your organic traffic.


The conversion stage is part of the e-commerce sales funnel where consumers are no longer considering buying but are teetering on the edge of whether they want to buy or not. They could be weighing the pros and cons of buying this product now and may be deterred by factors like shipping costs and even the fear of the unknown.

In this stage, your marketing tactics should work like a conveyor belt. You should be blatantly pushing the buyer to convert to complete the sales process. This includes sending out cart abandonment emails, one-time promotions, exclusive deals, and anything else you can think of to get them to click purchase. 

What’s also important in this stage is emphasizing User Experience (UX) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)  strategies. Making the path of the user from the homepage to checkout should be obvious. This includes writing clear calls to action, developing pages with easy-to-use site navigation, and even surveying users about what convinced them to buy. 

Post Purchase or Retention

Even after the buyer has made their purchase, the e-commerce conversion funnel doesn’t end there. Why? Because retaining a customer can cost five to seven times less than acquiring a new customer. Thus, it’s important to do what you can to make customers who have already purchased feel valued. Using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to nurture these relationships, as well as adding them to loyalty programs, email lists, and more can help you maintain a relationship with your customers, even past their initial journey through the e-commerce sales funnel.

Optimizing Your E-Commerce Sales Funnel With Marketwake

If you’re tired of not standing out in the e-commerce market, it’s time for a change. The experts at Marketwake use data-driven e-commerce growth strategies to seamlessly guide buyers through the e-commerce sales funnel, driving awareness and conversions for e-commerce brands no matter their size.

To get started, contact us. We’ll set you up with one of our marketing experts who’ll work with you to build an e-commerce marketing strategy that drives immediate growth and ROI for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is an E-Commerce Sales Funnel?

An e-commerce sales funnel is a strategic process designed to guide potential customers through the buyer journey, starting from initial awareness of your product to post-purchase retention. The e-commerce sales funnel visualizes the stages a shopper goes through, helping businesses identify opportunities to engage and convert prospects into loyal customers.

What Are the Five Stages of the E-Commerce Funnel?

The five stages of the e-commerce sales funnel are Awareness, Interest, Decision, Action, and Retention. Each of these stages guides consumers seamlessly from the initial knowledge of the brand to becoming a loyal buyer.

What Are the Three Basic Funnels for an E-Commerce Social Campaign?

The three basic funnels for an e-commerce social campaign are Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. These stages use social media platforms to introduce consumers to a brand, nurture them with more detailed information, and drive purchases by showcasing the product and providing strong calls to action.

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