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There are 12 to 24 million eCommerce stores. But only about 650,000 of them make more than $1000 a year. Most eCommerce stores struggle because they usually only pay attention to getting 2 things right. One of them is creating a great product and the other is driving traffic.

Creating a great product and driving traffic will certainly help, but along with these 2, your eCommerce store requires another essential ingredient. This is a sales funnel or several funnels. This is because as shown by this chart from Digital Marketer, your website will receive 3 kinds of traffic.


traffic temperature


Hot, warm and cold. Hot traffic consists of people who are ready to buy immediately. Warm traffic consists of people who want to buy your products but are on the fence. Cold traffic consists of people who aren’t yet ready to buy but might do so in the future.

If you create a proper sales funnel you will not only convert more of the warm and cold traffic into buyers, but you will also get the hot traffic to buy more of your products.

This is why in this article I am going to show you how to build an eCommerce sales funnel that generates a positive ROI by getting more of your traffic to convert…


Set up a good eCommerce product page: 

One of the most important parts of your eCommerce funnel is the product page. This is the ideal place to send your traffic to. If you have a well set up product landing page you will convert more of your traffic into buyers.

An example of a well set up product page is this one for Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Special Shampoo.


An example of a well set up ecommerce product page


As you can see in the above screenshot it has a good picture of the product. There are several more pictures below it which you can click and checkout.

Adding several pictures is an extremely important step as people are buying your product online. They won’t have the opportunity to touch and feel it and see it from different angles like they do at the store.

You will also notice that the name of the product is clearly written next to the picture. They have also clearly described the product in the description. In it, they mention that the product won an award in 2017 to grab attention and boost social proof.

To add more social proof they added a logo of the award and display that it has a five-star rating (from 32 buyers).

There’s also an eye-catching popup that informs the reader that they are currently running a time-sensitive offer. This along with all the other elements mentioned above work together to convince the visitor to make the purchase.

If you scroll down on this page you will be able to see a better description of the product, adverts to related items sold on the Paul Mitchell website and detailed reviews from the people who bought the products.


ecommerce related products on product page


There are also social share buttons to encourage the sharing of the page. This will drive free traffic.

This is an example of a good eCommerce product page. Make sure you set up something similar to this. Another important element I would recommend you to add is advertising pixels. You should add the pixels from the top advertising platforms like Facebook, Google, Pinterest, etc. This will make it easy for you to retarget people who don’t purchase.

Creating a landing page like this one might seem complicated, but it should be easy to do. As there are builders like Shopify that come with templates and themes that simplify the process of creating a conversion-focused landing page.


use a builder like shopify


It also makes it easy to add the pixel.


Suggest more products to buy with upselling and cross-selling tactics: 

As soon as someone decides to buy something on your website, they will be inclined to purchase more. This is why before you send them to the cart, you should take them to a page (or display a popup) on which relevant and similar products are advertised. You should recommend the buyer to purchase these products.

This is known as upselling and cross-selling and it can have a huge impact on your store’s revenue. These two methods made up 35% of amazon’s revenue in 2006.

Next time you purchase a product on Amazon, pay close attention and you will see these techniques in action. Not only will they promote relevant products on the product page, but after you add items to your cart you will be directed to a new page where they will recommend you to check out several others.

Upselling and cross-selling on your eCommerce store should be easy to set up. As most eCommerce platforms like Shopify have apps such as Bold Upsell that will suggest relevant products to people who make purchases.


use a good upselling tool


If you sell only one or a few products and don’t have many products to upsell, I recommend that you spend some time brainstorming new product ideas for your business. You can upsell them once they are manufactured.

These new products can make a huge difference in the amount of revenue your store generates. If you don’t have the time to create new products to upsell, you can just drop ship some products other manufacturers have created. This can be implemented almost immediately as there are some easy to use apps on Shopify that allow you to dropship products.


Redirect them to a thank you page:

The thank you page is the page people are redirected to after the purchase is made. Here you assure the customer that the purchase went through and provide details like the order number, shipping address and a breakdown of the products they ordered. You should also let them know that they should expect an email/SMS confirmation shortly.

This is also a great place to upsell products. So, if you have some relevant products add them here. Thank you page visitors might have already made the purchase, but if your products are good enough and you sell them properly, they won’t mind going through the process again.

Here’s a good example of a thank you page from Shutterfly.


thank you page example


As you can see they thank people for making the purchase and then upsell them with a discount offer.

Another benefit of the thank you page is that you can use it to set up a goal on Google Analytics and track the conversion rate of the funnel (especially the product page).


Follow with a long email sequence: 

The email sequence is sent after someone purchases the product. You should create several sequences and set them to be automatically sent depending on the activity the visitor took.

For example, if some purchased the initial product, but didn’t purchase any of the upsells you should send a sequence that will nurture them and convince them to purchase the products you tried to upsell. While you should send a new sequence to someone who already purchased the upsell. You can convince them to purchase something else.

You should have another sequence that should be sent to people who abandoned the cart after providing their email address. You can nurture them with content and then promote the product they abandoned in their cart or try to sell them something cheaper. This will ensure that more people turn into buyers since the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 67.91%.


Use an exit-intent discount popup: 

The average conversion rate of a product/landing page is 6.05%.

This means that for every 100 visits you will get about 6 customers. This is a really low number, but you can seriously boost up your conversion rate with an exit-intent discount funnel. This is when a popup is displayed on your product page just when a visitor is about to abandon it. It asks people to sign up to your email list in exchange for a discount code.

For this to work properly, you should either set up an exit-intent popup or a popup that displays after a period of time. You can see an example of this popup on the Cape Clasp website. A popup appears asking you to sign up for a $10 discount.


use a discount popup


Some of the people who sign up will use the discount code and make a purchase right away. Some of them won’t, but as you have their email address now you can regularly email them with content, nurture them and get them to make a purchase. You can also retarget these people with ads as you have their email addresses.

If they don’t make a purchase after several attempts, you can suggest other products that might interest them. You can set up a popup like this one by using a tool like OptinMonster.


Drive traffic from multiple sources:

After you go through the above steps and set up the conversion elements of your funnel, you can begin focusing on the traffic. For this, I recommend that you use multiple techniques as you don’t want to rely on one source for too long. If you don’t diversify your traffic sources your eCommerce store will come tumbling down when the one you placed all your cards on changes their algorithm (especially if they are an organic source).

Here are the best traffic sources for eCommerce stores….

Ads: When you just launch your store the best place to focus on is ads. As you can drive traffic instantly with them. You can initially use this traffic to test out the conversion rate of your funnel and then optimize it till it is profitable.

After that, you can scale it. When you scale it you should make sure you use multiple ad platforms. As you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. This can become a problem if the platform changes its algorithm or suspends your account.

If you haven’t yet used ads and are nervous about creating your first one, you can use tools like MadgicX to simplify things.

Influencer marketing: Another tactic you can use to drive quick traffic is influencer marketing. There are many influencers out there who have already done the hard work of building an audience. So, find some influencers who have the audience you want to target and work with them.

For best results, place your focus on networks like Instagram and YouTube as they drive the most ROI.


instagram best roi


To find influencers you can use Shoutcart.


use shoutcart to find influencers


They offer a directory of influencers for networks like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. You can search for influencers by keywords, niche, social network, etc. and directly contact them via the platform.

Another influencer marketing tactic you can try is affiliate marketing. This is where you pay them by the number of sales they make. So, you don’t have to risk paying an advance.

Organic social media marketing: Ads and influencer marketing will get you some quick traffic, but they will cost you more in the long run. This is why along with them you should also focus on organic methods. These will take some time to implement, but will save you money in the long run.

So, hire a social media manager and get them to build a presence on top networks like Instagram, YouTube Facebook and Twitter.

Content Marketing: Another affordable method you should be using is content marketing. This is where you use techniques like well-written blog posts, lead magnets, newsletters, etc. to nurture your potential customers and build relationships with them.

Content marketing can take several months to get results. So, if you go down this route, make sure you stay patient.

SEO: SEO is another great method for growing organic traffic in the long run. Make sure you have two SEO strategies in place. One should be to increase the traffic to your product pages, while the other should be for your content.



These are the 6 components you should put together to build an eCommerce sales funnel. The funnel should start with a good product page that clearly describes your product. Next comes the upsell popup/page that gets people to buy more. After that you have the thank you page that assures buyers that the purchase went through and then you have the email sequence and the exit intent discount funnel.

Once you set this funnel up you can begin sending traffic. It will ensure you get the highest ROI.

What steps do you take before building an effective eCommerce sales funnel? Did I forget to include anything important? Please leave your comments below. 


About the author:

Mitt Ray is the founder of Social Marketing Writing. Here you can 22 Free Drag and Drop Social Media Visual Templates for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and more.

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How to Build an Effective eCommerce Sales Funnel

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