What is The Funnel (and 5 ways to open up cash flow)

Great brands that grow and make a difference must have a great business behind them. Business chat can be a bit boring, but you can skip the spreadsheets and get straight to the good stuff by looking at your store as a funnel. Funnel visualisation breaks down your online store into a few easy stages. In this blog we identify the key parts of the funnel and highlight the stats that matter. Track and improve these from time to time to grow sales and unlock the full potential of your brand.

Pic Ivana Cajina c/o Unsplash

If we talk about traffic, conversion rate, aov, ltv, or cpc – people glaze over pretty quickly. Visualising the flow of traffic and sales as a series of steps, or a funnel, helps understand how different metrics are connected and makes the business part of growing a brand easy and fun. A funnel is basically a journey that the customer has to travel on to get from “never heard of you” to “lifetime customer” and all the steps along the way are connected to a metric or stat. Here’s a simple funnel with some definitions great online businesses use to describe key parts of the funnel.

  • Reach. The number of people who you get in front of
  • CTR. The click through rate, or number of people that click your marketing visit your site
  • CR. The conversion rate of your store. 1 purchase in 100 visits means a 1%CR
  • AOV. The average order value or basket value, linked to what or how many items people buy.
  • Profit. The % of the sale that you keep after your costs and ad spend

A funnel can help identify which area of your business takes priority when you decide how to spend your time, and can add some structure and methodology to a plan for improvement.

A business is a funnel, and the funnel is about flow: The amount you get out of one end is proportional to the amount of people that go in the other. At each stage, you want to maximise the number of people who move on to the next stage.

That is sometimes called selling to the next step, and it’s why car salesmen offer you a test drive before they move on to close the deal.

One of the most interesting parts of the funnel is that you get compound returns. In the example above, if you increase reach by 10% you increase profit by 10%. But if you increase all of your kpis by 10% you more than double profit because of the way the percentages multiply. That’s why big businesses often make apparently crazy money. In reality, they just have a great funnel.

So to get started, you can draw out your own funnel by visualising each and every step that your customer must go through to become a customer for life. Then you can ask yourself what you can do to make each one possible, or easier. Then later you can look at each step at a time whilst trying different strategies. We’ve sketched out a basic funnel and listed some starter strategies below to demonstrate.

goal funnel visualisation

Increase reach by getting out there and telling the world about your designs. This might mean PR, vlogging or launching ad campaigns. When you visualise the funnel, you can see that for every 1000 visitors you will get on average a certain % of profit. So reach is really simple, get your stuff seen by as many people as possible in the time available.

Increasing click through rate is about great designs, great content and accurate targeting if you’ve started advertising. The photography and copy, or great stories about your product and brand, is what gets people to click through. Some people have click through rate down to an art form, like the way Buzzfeed used the listicle format that’s spread clickbait style post titles throughout the internet. You can try the same thing with your brand by using enticing newsletter titles or tantalising sneak previews of products to get people to click and find out more. Alternatively it might just mean increasing the overall quality of your stuff and using CTR as a gauge on whether or not the people you’re targeting are into your content.

Conversion rate is a reflection of the desirability of your products, the quality of your presentation and the fluidity of navigation. Work on a super easy to use menu, descriptive language in your products and categories and freshen up your photos. Great designs really help, but often the surrounding presentation is important, and written descriptions probably the most underrated conversion rate tweak.

You can work on increasing your basket value by using more of the products in Teemill. Hoodies, for example, get your order value and profit up – so adding your best designs on sweater styles can bump up baskets. You can also use clever merchandising, like building collections where products go together well, and take photos where models layer up so your customers can get the look.

These are just some basic funnel starting points. If you keep going, you might find that getting customers to come back time and again leads to new strategies at the end of the funnel to reactivate them, like newsletters or postcard mailshots. Or at the other end, you might launch remarketing follow-around ad campaigns to capture some of the people who abandoned their basket.

Once you’ve mapped it out, you’re in control – The path to more sales is through the funnel.

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