In this blog post, I want to deep dive into the education phase of the eCommerce purchase journey funnel.
This funnel is the journey your customers take to go from not knowing you exist, to purchasing from you. They start at the top and end up at the bottom, and there are many steps in between.
The eComm Funnel looks like this:
People can’t skip a phase of the funnel. They have to progress through it step-by-step. If you have a product that is a more considered purchase, like a luxury item or a car, people will take longer to go through the funnel. If you have a product that’s an impulse buy people can progress through the funnel super quickly, and sometimes instantly. But they don’t skip steps.
Messaging throughout the funnel
The messaging people receive at each phase of the funnel is super duper important. The messaging for a shoe company throughout the funnel may look like this:
- Awareness – “we sell shoes”
- Interest – “we sell stylish shoes designed by a podiatrist”
- Education – “this particular shoe has a built-in air cushion, and has been designed to be able to wear to work all-day”
- Decision – “would you like to try it on?”
- Action – “would you like to buy it?”
It’s essential that you deliver the right message at the right time.
- You don’t ask someone who is in the awareness phase “would you like to buy?”
- You don’t tell someone who is in the action phase “hey, we sell shoes”
Once people become aware you exist and show interest in what you sell, they need more information in order to make a decision whether to purchase or not.
Providing information that will educate our customer is important because:
- You show your customer you care about them and their needs
- You help your customers to overcome any objections they may have about purchasing your product
- You highlight features, advantages and benefits they may not have even thought of yet.
Educating Your Customers in Physical Shop vs Online Shop
Think about this for a moment. When someone walks into a physical store they are usually greeted by a sales assistant. Let’s say her name is Susan. Susan knows the brand, knows the product and is trained to persuade us to purchase. This is a skill in itself and some are better than others! “Susan I know this dress looks hideous on me, stop telling me it looks great…!”
When you have an online store, you don’t have a Susan answering your customers’ questions, overcoming their objections or showing them features and benefits they may not have noticed themselves.
When you have an online store, Susan needs to replaced by the information you provide through the screen. You need to preempt questions and objections and address them by providing information and education.
What education your customers need:
- Why your product is better than the ocean of other choices they have
- Why they are going to love your product
- What your product is going to give them
- How your product is going to make them feel
- Your brand values and why they should buy from you rather than someone else
How to educate your customers:
Obviously your website. Your website needs to clearly convey exactly what your product is and the features, advantages and benefits it has. You need to optimise your website to include all the information a customer needs to make a decision to purchase your product.
You can also educate your customers using this very clever, and very underused, method to give your customers the information they need to move to make a decision to buy – or not. The method I’m talking about is advertising retargeting.
Remember, you want to be very intentional with the messaging you communicate to your customers – and when they see it.
If you were to tell someone who is in the education phase of the funnel “hey, we sell shoes”, it’d be like saying “hi, my name is Megan” to someone you’ve meet half a dozen times. Just weird.
And yet, that’s what most people who advertise on Facebook do. They setup their ads to target people based on their demographics, geographic and interests. But they don’t setup targeting based on actions people have taken on your website.
So here’s where the magic of clever retargeting comes into play. By using the Facebook Ads you can tell Facebook and Instagram exactly what message you want to go to people based on where they are in your funnel. You can also do this with your email communication.
For example, people who may need a little more education include:
- Anyone who has visited a product page two or more times
- Anyone who has added to cart, but hasn’t purchased yet
And people you don’t want to give educational messages to include:
- People who have never visited your website before
- Anyone who has purchased from you in the last x days
What kind of communication to give people in the education phase:
- Answer FAQ’s
- Overcome common objections
- Show them testimonials from other happy customers
- Let them know you’re here for them
This ad is a fantastic example of a Facebook ad being used to educate this audience.
See how this ad would make zero sense to someone who hadn’t visited the website before. However, it’s perfect for someone who has shown interest, but not yet purchased. If you’re still feeling stuck on what to write check out this blog on how to overcome writer block now.
Want to learn more?
- Join our free Facebook Group for lots of free trainings and more great info.
- Want to deep dive into learning how to set these kinds of ads up for yourself? Check out our education program eComm Ignitor.
- Or if you want someone to do it for you, get in touch. We provide a done-for-you service to our clients.
Written by Megan Winter
Megan is an award-winning marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.
Megan loves helping ethically-produced, heart-centred, soul-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact.