Sales Funnels vs. Product Shop: Which is Right For You?

When it comes time to sell your newest offer, there are a lot of ideas on how you should do it. A sales funnel, with a freebie, an upsell, a one-time offer, and email retargeting? Sure. A product shop that includes product images, reviews, offer details, and refund policies? That could work. A long-form sales page that includes all of the details and transformations that someone can expect? You can give that a try.

You’ve probably seen all three of these if you follow any marketing experts or talk to other business owners who’ve recently launched. Of course, just because you’ve heard of them doesn’t mean they’re right for your business. So which is right for your business: a sales funnel or a shop? Let’s dig in and find out.

What’s a sales funnel and what’s a shop?

Before we dive headlong into this “great debate,” let’s get a quick recap on sales funnels and product shops. A sales funnel is a guided path that leads your customers to buy your offer or product. Generally, a sales funnel kicks off with a free or low-cost offer, and then sends buyers into an email sequence or even a series of webpages that help them understand your other offers. There’s usually a time-sensitive element, such as an expiring discount. Once someone has made it through a sales funnel, the idea is that they have at least two of your offers (a freebie or low-cost offer and your main offer) and you have collected information from them, like their email address.

A product shop is a lot simpler. It’s simply an online shop with your latest offers right there for your customers to buy. A quick product or offer description, an easy way to click to buy, and away they go. A huge benefit of a product shop is that you can showcase multiple offers simultaneously, while a sales funnel works best for just one main offer. If you don’t target the right person for a sales funnel, they’ll bounce away instead of shopping for your other offers/products.

Which is better: Sales funnels

Most marketers love sales funnels because they can drive a lot of revenue and generate a lot of data if you get the right people in. As your prospects go through the funnel, you gather information on the demographics of your leads, you can build your email list, and you can increase the overall cart value of a customer’s purchase (through upsells and discounts). Sales funnels can be incredibly useful if you really know your ideal client and want to bring them into your brand’s ecosystem even more.

The downside of a sales funnel, however, is that it is a LOT more work. You’ve got to set up the path for your prospects to follow. That means more tech, more content creation, more email automations, more updates, and at least 2 offers (a freebie and a paid offer, for example). If you’ve got those assets already, or you can create them yourself, a sales funnel could be a great way to sell your offers. However...

Which is better: Product shops

Sales funnels are proven to work for some brands and some offers. But they don’t work for everyone. Why? Because not everyone wants everything you have to offer in a sales funnel — it can be overwhelming.

A product shop, on the other hand, works great if your customers already know what you have and how it can benefit them. They don’t need to be educated on your offers. They just need a quick way to buy so that they can get started using them. It’s also a great way to show new people what you have to offer, and let them go through the journey themselves. 

A product shop can also be a great way to showcase your freebie offers, leading to your bigger offers. That’s how I use my Launch Recipe Guide. It’s a free download that is a simple click to download, and then I can also let those people know about my paid offers, like my 1:1 strategy sessions and the Launch BFF membership.

The major downside to a product shop? You don’t get to collect people’s emails unless they buy or download. You can possibly retarget people who’ve visited your product shop pages with ads, but that’s increasingly difficult with iOS updates and Facebook’s privacy changes. If you really want to build your list and find ways to sell after someone shows interest in your offers, a sales funnel could be the way to go.

Which option is the winner? 

Both! I know, you’re probably groaning. But the truth is, there isn’t one clear winner. Instead, it’s what is best for your business. There may even be times where you can use both a sales funnel and a product shop — I have plenty of clients who do this!

The TL;DR version? A sales funnel is a great way to get new customers (and especially email subscribers), while a product shop can make buying easier for your existing followers or for people who are looking for a very quick solution. Sales funnels can work great when you’ve got a time-sensitive offer or a special discount, while product shops work great when you want to have individuals offers up all the time to drive in passive revenue.

Still not sure what kind of sales setup your offer needs?

If you can see the merits to both a sales funnel and a shop page for your new or existing offer, my best advice is to test it out and see what happens. If you’re not afraid of the tech side of sales funnels, I say go for it. If you’re not sure you want to invest that kind of time or money into your sales, try a simple shop page. If you’ve got the time and interest, try both!

The thing with launching and selling is that it’s always an experiment. That’s why it’s important to filter through new launch ideas and sales strategies with your goals in mind. Not everything will work for your business, and just because something didn’t work for someone else doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

Want to explore more ways to launch your offers and sell more? Check out my Launch Recipe Guide, where I walk you through a few unique launch recipes you can use to drive more sales. Best of all, I’ll show you how you can put your own special twist on these recipes to create a sales setup that’s all yours. 

Ready to cook up your best launch yet… and create something that really stands out from the crowd? Download your launch recipe cards today to make it happen.

Hey! Check this out.
The Sales Funnel Kit