We started Second Funnel to solve a problem in eCommerce. This is the thinking we began with.
We started Second Funnel because we identified a problem in eCommerce.
We knew from our previous work (and confirmed by eCommerce reports) that social traffic was converting at a rate about 5X less than other sources of traffic.
By our estimation, this represented billions of dollars in lost sales for retail brands.
To understand why this was happening, we looked at the shift in user behavior online.
First, we saw that people were now spending over 50% of their time online on social media, consuming content.
Second, we could see that visual content (images and videos) was now the dominant type of content consumed online.
Finally, from our own experience and in conversations with friends, we sensed that people would mostly start browsing the web without a task or intention. We surmised that many people are often in a "mindless" state of discovery, not on a mission to seek-and-find something.
"Browsers" are people who spend their time on the internet discovering and consuming visual content, usually without a specific task or strong intent.
We could see that marketing was evolving inline with this shift in user behavior.
For a brand to exist and be relevant online, they needed great visual content and lots of it. Content marketing became the #1 focus for brand marketers.
To do this efficiently and authentically, many brands were bringing more and more content marketing functions in-house.
Internal teams now needed tools to execute. As a result, CMOs were spending more on technology than CTOs.
How does this relate to eCommerce conversion rates?
Because the ecommerce site wasn't designed to serve "browsers," it was alienating many of its visitors — the very same people that marketing was working so hard for.
eCommerce sites had not evolved with the shift in user behavior; they were still designed for shoppers — people who already have purchase intent and want to solve for a need.
It was (and still is) the eCommerce team's job to capture shopper intent.
But browsers don't have purchase intent, and they aren't looking to solve for an immediate need.
As a result, browsers bounce when confronted with an eCommerce site.
How could we contribute as a software company to solve this problem?
To find our opportunity, we looked at the existing purchase funnel.
Top of funnel:
Marketing focused their efforts at the top of the funnel to create awareness, grow their audience, and drive traffic to the eCommerce site.
Bottom of funnel:
The eCommerce team focused on the bottom of the funnel. They manage the site and optimize it for conversion.
Middle of funnel:
Who was managing the consideration phase of the purchase path?
Successful software companies existed to serve teams at both ends of the funnel. But we didn't see much happening in the middle of the funnel.