eCommerce Tips & Trends

How to Streamline Your Social Media Purchase Funnel

Peter Boyle

by Peter Boyle

On 2019 M07 31

by Peter Boyle

I stood in a corner checking out the MacBook Pro charge cables.

As I’m sorting through the boxes I hear a little “need any help?” from behind me.

It’s one of the Apple Store assistants.

The man walked me through which particular cable I need, pulls it off the shelf, and lets me take a look.

He explained everything I needed to know without pushing for a hard sell.

And then the best bit.

This guy pulls out his little machine and lets me buy the product right then and there.

No queues. No walking to the other side of the store. No hassle.

The Apple Store is consistently the easiest, most streamlined and pleasurable purchase experience I have.

And I’m willing to bet it’s one of the reasons why their retail stores are some of the most profitable in the world.

But here’s the thing.

Despite the obvious benefits of bringing the ale to the customer, very few other brands even attempt that level of service.

And what’s even crazier to me is how barely any brands adopt a similar approach online.

Most commerce stores, from the small mom and pop brands to the multinational behemoths, have a fragmented, confusing, and friction-filled purchase journey.

And when you look into the stats, you’ll realize that it causes huge amounts of lost revenue.

This is no more apparent than it is through social media promotions.

The Problem With Most Social Media Purchase Journeys...


...is that they require too much effort on behalf of the user.

Let’s break down a real-life purchase journey on social. After heading to facebook I’m served this wonderful ad from Peloton.

If I’m interested, I’ll click on learn more. That takes me through to a long-form landing page.

Now, Peloton bikes aren’t cheap. But let’s imagine for the moment I’m interested enough to convert off a cold Facebook ad.

After reading this long page I’ll click on the “Buy” button in the top right.

I then have to choose the package I want.

After finding the one I want, it’s time to add to cart.

Which is followed by a redirect back to the main product page with a sidebar confirmation.

And finally, there’s the checkout with all the information they need.

From add to checkout, I need to take six distinct, very different actions.

Six steps, each of which add friction and increase the chance that the user is going to become bored or frustrated and exit the purchase journey.

This is the common approach to selling products on social media. It’s filled with friction and makes it difficult for consumers to easily buy what they want.

Which is why the conversion rate for social media is so low, with Facebook ads achieving a terrible 0.9% CTR.

You see, the problem comes down to user intent. Most users are not on Facebook to shop.

They’re there to catch up with friends, look at funny cat videos, and the like.

Trying to shift the user’s desire from social connection and fun to filling out payment forms and personal details is a big ask.

It’s often too big of a change and the reason why so many people fail to convert through social.

However, there is a way to capitalize on the user’s social-minded browsing behavior - and it’s been generating incredible results for brands of all sizes.

The Secret Method Big Brands Use to Emulate Apple’s In-Store Purchase Journey


The problem with social media purchase journeys really comes down to two different elements.

  1. You’re asking the user to change their behavior (from social engagement to purchase behavior), and that’s hard
  2. You’re taking them away from the platform they’re engaged into one where you can process the transaction

It’s the exact opposite of the experience Apple offers in-store.

You aren’t fitting into the consumer’s current actions, but are trying to force your goals and processes on them.

Which of course isn’t going to work well.

The major issue is that this has been the only way of running an online product business until now.

Thankfully, the emergence of conversational platforms and some very smart developers have created a new way of engaging with your customers.

The new method is commonly known as social commerce, but it also falls under the umbrella term of conversational commerce.

Whatever you want to call it the concept is pretty much the same.

Instead of creating marketing materials and messages you hope the user will engage with, you enter into a dialogue with them.

You ask questions, pose solutions, and listen to their feedback in real-time to lead them to the most logical, relevant conclusion.

Of course, you don’t have to do this in real-time as automated chatbots can take much of the workload from your shoulders.

Conversational commerce moves away from the one-directional marketing channels we’re used to. It gives the customer a voice.

It involves them in the sales process and, as it’s most often administered through social channels, maintains an experience congruent with their expectations.

It’s one of the most effective methods of driving sales through social media marketing.

And it’s now available to everyone thanks to tools like Jumper.ai.

But let’s stop talking about the concept in ambiguous terms and instead look at a real life example from one of the world’s biggest brands.

How Conversational, Social Commerce Works in Real Life


A while back, the Jumper.ai team was asked to help out on a campaign for a modest film company you might have heard of: Marvel.

We were tasked with helping increase the ticket sales for two movies - Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp.

If you want to read how it was done you can check out this piece. Here I’m going to explain how it appears to users.

As you’d expect, Marvel has a huge social media following. And they obviously promote their movies in advance.

Here’s an example of the kind of thing they’d share on social.

[[AWAITING NEW ASSET FROM JUMPER]]

Notice how at the end it says “Link in Bio”. That means the user would see this post and, if they want a ticket, have to navigate to Marvel's main social page.

From there, they have to click on the link, then about six to seven more clicks just to outline everything they need.

Now, with social commerce, Marvel was able to change that CTA to a simple “comment with #AntManandtheWasp” as in the video below.

[[AWAITING NEW ASSET FROM JUMPER]]

That then kicked off an automated chatbot which asked them relevant questions like:

  • What cinema would you like to watch the movie at?
  • What show time?
  • What seats

All before asking for payment details.

Here’s how that chat looked to customers.

By containing the checkout process to the site and method they’re already engaged with, Marvel saw massive conversion gains.

In fact, they achieved a 68 percent conversion rate across the promotion for both movies, which is huge.

Why was their conversion rate so huge?

Well, it’s partly because Infinity War was one of the most anticipated movies of the last decade.

But more so, it comes down to how they streamlined the purchase journey.

The 5+ steps people were used to when buying tickets online were reduced to two steps.

  1. Engage with a post of something you like
  2. Complete the purchase through on-site chat

Simple, effective, profitable.

Streamlining the process ensures more people are going to act on their interest and not become frustrated with a fragmented purchase journey.

Every business, whether a brand new startup yet to make their first sale or a multinational who dominates the market can (and in many cases are) increasing conversions and sales through conversational commerce.

It’s never been this easy to truly connect with your users on a 1:1, highly streamlined basis. Below, I’m going to show you how you can achieve the same.

How You Can Implement a Social, Conversational Commerce Journey Today


There are a couple of tools out there which are good options for adding a conversational element to your marketing.

Intercom is known as one of the major players and is great for SaaS brands thanks to automated responses and in-app messaging.

Drift is a great tool for B2B as you can target specific messages to employees from specific companies.

ManyChat is one of the more well-known tools and has an incredible ability to converse with users through Messenger and create nurture funnels.

However, I’m going to focus on Jumper.ai in this section for two reasons:

  1. I work with Jumper and so have an in-depth knowledge of the platform
  2. It’s the only tool created specifically to make commerce sales through conversational commerce. It doesn’t aim to foster conversations, build nurture funnels or anything else. It’s about increasing your revenue.

So, let’s get into it.

You’ll first need to sign up for a Jumper account. Don’t worry, there’s a free forever plan so you can try the platform out.

To sign up, just click here.

Once you’ve signed up you’ll find yourself on the dashboard. There’ll be a number of steps to complete to get your business set up.

Follow the instructions and make sure you connect your Facebook and Messenger accounts as a minimum.  Also, make sure some form of payment solution is added.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of prompts and even in-app pop-ups that help on each page.

When everything’s set up, it’s time to add your product! Head to Products > Add new to get this done.

The below is an example of one of my products I imported from Printful. If I were you I’d make more of an effort on the description though. Make sure it pops.

Make sure all of the product variations (color, sizes etc) are filled in.

When you’ve completed the product info, go back to. The left-hand nav bar and look for Sales Channel > Facebook.

If all looks right, click share!

And that’s it.

That product will be shared to Facebook (or whatever other channel you shared to) with an automated checkout attached.

It should take around 10 minutes this first time and less than 5 for subsequent products.

Then it’s a case of rinse and repeat. Customize the posts to increase engagement and keep on testing to see what sort of numbers you can do.

You can also copy the JSON code over so you can add automated checkouts to you’re paid ad campaigns.

But if you follow that short process you could be running campaigns that are achieving an average 20 to 30 percent conversion rate through social media.

Not too bad for something that’s super easy to manage, right?

Social Conversations = High Conversions


Modern customers don’t want to feel like just another sale. The days of treating each potential customer as little more than a wallet to be opened are behind us.

Modern customers want a closer relationship to the brands they frequent.

They want to feel like there’s an actual connection there. Something that builds trust and shows them you believe they are more than just a number or a sale.

Conversational commerce is one of the first effective channels to build the 1:1 connections that increase that trust.

It’s the only current channel that offers real-time assistance and guidance to users.

Delivering it through the social channels where users spend most of their time is simply good business.

If you’ve not yet looked into a conversational strategy for your social channels, get on it now to avoid missing the massive benefits of being an early adopter with a free Jumper.ai account.

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Pete Boyle is the founder of Have-a-word and head of Content for jumper.ai, a sophisticated social commerce solution that works across all social media networks.