Consumer Psychology and Sales Funnels for Ecommerce


The word of the day and the word of the week and likely the word of the year is: Funnels.

Today I spent most of the day working on a new fully implemented sales funnel for one of my consumer packaged goods companies.

The word funnel is thrown around a lot these days and a lot of people are “Teaching” about funnels. They are very valuable… but very few are doing it right.

It’s not that building funnels are hard (even though they can be) but it’s more that people are just scratching the surface and/or throwing very little effort into them.

You have to dive into the consumer psychology of the purchase to create a funnel that really works. What does your customer experience every single step of the way.

The best way to see this is to create what is called a consumer blueprint.

A consumer blueprint is a step by step drawn out view of what your customers experience the exact second your business is in their mind.

Let’s use a restaurant for an example.

I did a blueprint once for my family’s restaurant chain. The blueprint started with the experience my customer has with our restaurant before they even decide to walk through the doors. It starts at home.

“What will we have for dinner?”

The blueprint outlines this questions and then maps out all of the different ways that we advertise or connect with a customer outside of the physical premises of the restaurant.

The blueprint then moves through the decision based off of advertisement copy to visit our establishment then the customer drives to our parking lot and parks.

What do they experience next?

When they walk through the door, what side is the hostess station on?

When they sit down how many SECONDS does it take to be greeted by the server?

How long after that do they receive their drink?

Does their drink have a straw? Do we use paper straws? Do they know the specials? Are there napkins on the table already or do they come when the meal comes? What about condiments?

This goes on for pages! Nearly 250 “steps” are mapped out in a customer blueprint for a restaurant and that could probably be extended to 1000 if you wanted to do it with full effort!

Think of your ecommerce store the same way as I did for our restaurant.

How are you advertising? What is your customer doing before they see your ad? What page do they land on when they click your ad? Does it match what your ad claims? Does it capture your customers information?

One of the biggest mistakes people commit when building a sales funnel for their ecommerce stores is that they go from advertisement to offer.

You don’t ask a POTENTIAL date to marry you the moment you see them walking down the street right?

Consumer psychology works the same way.

You need to date the customer before you marry them.

This is the architecture of your funnel.

From an advertisement to a squeeze page to a sample sale to a deep first purchase discount to a core offer purchase to an upsell… etc. etc.

In dating, often you spark some “small talk” with a person you may find attractive (advertisement). If the person seems interesting and/or interested in the conversation you ask them for their number (squeeze page). Then you ask them to meet you for coffee or a drink after work (sample sale). Next it’s dinner and a movie (deep first purchase discount). Followed by a series of dates (core offer) and if all goes well the big question (upsell)!

It is important that your statistics for EACH STEP of the funnel is tracked and monitored. If your ad is getting clicks but no one is signing up (giving you their “number”) something is broken with the squeeze page… get a better pick up line. If people are giving you their email but they are not biting on the sample sale (I really like the free+ shipping model… they get a product for “free” but you’ve also converted them into an actual customer because they gave you money), then you need to change something in this step.

Building. Testing. Tracking. Adjusting. Repeat.

This eventually will result in a fully functional and successful funnel that can completely alter your business.

Right now, I have three companies in the architecture stage of this funnel process. We have had successes in a handful of the dozen funnels we’ve built and are ready to pour gasoline on the fire.

I’ll share updates with some percentages that show you how powerful a good funnel can be.

Catch ya on the flip side!


p.s. Want to discuss funnels? Shoot me an email. I love talking these out with people. There is no charge (not guaranteeing you’ll get my undivided attention) unless you want me to actually implement it for you. I look at these conversations as “batting practice” and the more swings I get the better I’ll be when building my own and/or my clients funnels. Want me to just do this for you? For a little investment, you will get my undivided attention and effort.