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The Power Duo: Sales Funnels Vs. Shops (And Why You Really Need Both!)

Episode 66: The Power Duo: Sales Funnels Vs. Shops (And Why You Really Need Both!)

What is the difference between a sales funnel and a digital product shop?

In this episode of The Empowered Business Podcast, I’m diving into the difference between these two and why your business really needs both.

I’m also sharing the four problems you might be facing in your business and why a digital product shop may be just the solution you need. You’ll also learn some reasons why funnels and digital product shops work together so well.

In fact, this combination in my business has been absolute magic. It simplifies the shopping experience for my customers and makes it easier for them to upgrade to my full program if they want- and yes, that really happens! And it can happen for you too if you follow the tips I share in this episode.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • The difference between a shop and a sales funnel
  • How having a digital shop simplifies the shopping experience for your customers
  • The four biggest problems that led me to start a digital product shop
  • How a digital shop can lead to more sales of your bigger program
  • Why you need to stop offering things for free and create a digital shop instead
  • Whether you should put your shop in your funnel or not


One thing I know for sure is if you have been creating content for any amount of time in your business, you are likely a great candidate for digital product shops and they will make your life so much easier! 

If you want to work with me to create your own digital product shop, please join me the week of June 5th inside the Digital Shop Accelerator.  It’s a free week-long event that will help you begin to develop your own digital product shop. We hope you’ll join us! 

Head over to http://monicafroese.com/listen to listen to this episode and previous episodes on your favorite podcast platform!

Resources Mentioned:

You are listening to the Empowered Business podcast. I’m your host, Monica Froese, and if you’re like me, you want to grow a business you love that gives you financial freedom and fits your lifestyle. Every week you’ll get strategy and unfiltered opinions from me and other successful business owners that will inspire you to make big moves in your business. When we work together, we not only grow faster, we also amplify each other’s voices. Are you ready to build your business on your terms? Let’s jump in. Hey, hey, hey. Welcome back to another episode of the Empowered Business Podcast. Today I come to you as a very, very exhausted Monica. I just got back from a week in Connecticut with 60 amazing, amazing entrepreneurs who range in business sizes from multiple six figures all the way up to multiple, multiple seven figures. I was in the room with some of the most awesome and brilliant human beings I have ever met, and one of the things I got the chance to talk to many of these very smart people about was my love for digital product shops. And if you’ve been listening for basically any of the last, I don’t know, eight episodes of this podcast, you know, that I completely pivoted my business in 2022 to include a digital product shop as like the bedrock of my business. And we’re going to talk in this episode about why I did that, because I feel like it’s really important to talk about because my very awesome friends last week I noticed some confusion when I talked about a digital product shop.


They started thinking that, Oh great, this can like replace all of these sales funnels and sales pages that I have. And I’m like, yes and no. And so I thought, Oh, this is a great topic for the podcast because I think we need to do some defining here of what the difference is between a sales funnel and a shop and why you really need both in your business. And so I think to set the stage for this episode, the very first thing I want to do is define the difference between a shop and a sales funnel. A shop provides a familiar and cohesive shopping experience, and it’s great for a warm or existing audience, meaning people who already know, like and trust you and are on your email list. And it’s also perfect for organic search traffic because people who are searching for a solution to their problem already have intent. Think about when you go to Google and you type in a problem. If a product pops up for you to buy that solves your problem, you are more likely to take action. So the key to a shop is that it provides an easy checkout experience. Think about Amazon. You can add multiple things to your cart and check out all at once. Okay. You cannot do that in a sales funnel. Now, what’s the sales funnel? Well, a sales funnel. I’m so glad you asked.


By the way, a sales funnel is a hyper specific buying journey meant to attract a cold or new audience to you. So this is going to be great for traffic that comes from places like paid ads because it allows you to onboard new people into your world without overwhelming them with choices. Now, I’ve been talking a lot about the advantages of having a shop or storefront in your business, which you can go back to the last eight or so episodes where I talk all about this. But I want to be clear today and having you understand that you need to utilize both in your digital product business, you need sales funnels and you need a shop. So let’s talk about what a sales funnel purpose is in your business. Now, when I say sales funnel, I’m really just using a fancy word for the customer journey. When you talk about acquiring a new customer in your business, attracting someone new to you, it’s easiest to think of it in terms of a funnel. A funnel is an upside down triangle and each step of the funnel you lose people because not everyone is going to take the next step in the funnel process, which is why it’s super important to build an optimized customer journey for potential new customers. It generally looks something like this. This is how we’re pretty much taught what a sales funnel is in the online business industry. And this is just one version of a sales funnel, but it’s probably the one that most people can relate to.


And I just want to make sure we’re all on the same page. So let’s talk about the sales funnel that starts with the free opt in. And then if you opt in to this freebie. So we’ll often see it in terms of like a free e-book or a printable or it comes in a lot of different ways, but you get it what a free opt in freebie is. After that, it moves to a paid product on a tripwire or limited time offer, and that paid product or tripwire usually has something called an order bump. And sometimes after that there’s an upsell like a membership. And then from there you get followed up with value added emails and now you’re on that person’s email list. It’s a great way to introduce someone new to you while also giving them value and giving them a very specific buying journey. Because all along that journey you’re not giving them choices. You are essentially dictating the buying journey so that it creates an easy yes for them. Because if you overwhelm, especially in the beginning, you usually lose. If you give someone too many options, then they don’t know which option to take and then they don’t take action. So it makes a ton of sense to use a sales funnel when attracting new people to you. But what happens when you have spent a lot of time creating new solutions for your customers and now they want to see everything you have to offer instead of sending them to one place, you send them to ten different sales pages with ten different checkouts.


Does this sound efficient? Well, let me tell you, I found out the hard way that is not efficient. And when I was getting my master’s in business, it’s funny because one of the first things that they tell you in business school is that it is cheaper to sell to an existing customer than to acquire a new customer. And even though I knew this all along, and even though all of my friends that I was with last week, they knew this too. Why do we make it difficult for our audience as we grow our audience through these sales funnels and create more products for them? Why do we make it so difficult for them to see all of the products we have to offer? And this is where a shop comes in. So I spent time attracting a bunch of people to me on this hyper specific buying journey using a sales funnel. Now I have an audience and I have no way for them to see everything I have to offer in a shop experience. There is typically some sort of intent. So whether they search for a solution and your store popped up or they were sent an email that told them about an awesome flash sale that maybe you’re running. The end result is you are leading them to a paid product, but ultimately a paid product that also allows them to see all the other cool things you have to offer them.


I’ve talked about this before, but I want to cover the four biggest problems I was facing in my business that led me to create my digital product shop, which is the empowered shop. Because when I talk about the four biggest problems I was facing, I feel like it becomes really clear and how a digital product shop can help you in your business as well. Because often if you’ve been in any sort of digital creator, we’re all taught what a sales funnel is. Many of us actually have sales funnel set up in our business that lead, like I said, opt in to a paid product and then they’re on your email list. Or it could just be a big program or membership that you’re selling and it’s on a sales page. Most of us understand how to do that. But what happens is we work harder and not smarter. We keep creating more and more and more and we don’t leverage our hard work. So let’s go through the four biggest problems I was facing, and if you can relate to any of these, then you are probably very primed for a digital product shop in your business. Okay. The first thing, I was making it incredibly difficult for customers to buy multiple products from me. We would have to link to dozens of different sales pages if we wanted people to see everything we had to offer.


Not to mention some of our products only existed as order bumps or upsells on specific products. So unless somebody bought that specific product, they didn’t even know that I had those products for sale. That was a tough one. The second thing that I was facing, which I will say it’s a doozy. We would launch products once and then never talk about them again. All right. Follow me here. If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know that I’m obsessed with numbers and spreadsheets, so I love looking over my profit and loss statement. Yep. I am that person and I love trying to figure out what my low hanging fruit is. And to me, a low hanging fruit is a product that we’ve sold that made a decent amount of money with little effort. It’s the 80 over 20 rule, and as I poured over about three years of numbers, I would see dozens of products that we launched that did super well, but we never mentioned them again. Now why? Why would I do that? You’re probably thinking Monica. If something is selling, why wouldn’t you just sell more of it? Well, because we only had so much email bandwidth. And when you have multiple calls to action in an email, you lose people, which is what makes having a sales funnel so effective because you take them on a hyper specific journey.


But now once they’re in your world, I was making it nearly impossible to get those products back in front of my audience after we launched it the first time, and we ended up having dozens of products that were created that no one knew about and no easy way for anyone to buy them. Because if you were not on my email list at the time that I launched it and talked about it, you just really didn’t know it existed. And even if I sent you to a page that listed all of my offers, you would have to click through to each individual sales page and check out dozens of times. It was so ineffective. So what happened was I would just keep creating more and more and more and launch more and more and more to my audience. And then the new people coming in on these great sales funnels that we had didn’t know what I had to offer after that. It was really illogical, to be honest with you. The third thing I was facing was that some of our best content was hidden in other paid programs. So stick with me here because I found during my mastermind that this is what the majority of the six figure seven figure business owners were dealing with. Some of our best content was hidden in other programs. How much content have you created that lives behind a paid firewall that only the people in a specific course or program can access? Now, I know for us over the years we had years and years of trainings, workshops, templates, spreadsheets, audio recordings that would make amazing standalone products, but would take hours and hours of manpower to create individual sales pages for each thing.


And back to the last problem that I mentioned, it created way too many calls to action. So basically we were sitting on a gold mine of content that was gated for no reason. Now, I’m not talking about you don’t have to break down every single piece of your larger programs or your memberships and have them be standalone products in your shop. But I would argue, and I have found this to be very consistent, there are tons of different things inside of these programs that you could strip out that would actually make really great introductions to your program. And if you could get people success with going through one of the trainings that exists in these larger programs, those people would be more likely to then take action on your bigger program. So one of the biggest objections I get to this from people is, well, if I sell things that are in my membership or in my paid programs standalone, won’t I be cannibalizing my programs? Like, why would anyone want to pay me more money then? And I believe that that is a very misguided thought. And there are two main reasons why. The first is there are tons of people out there that do not want to have a recurring charge in a membership or do not want to pay for a $500,000, $2,000 paid program.


So there’s that, right? So you’re leaving all those people on the table when you get all of that content and people don’t want to be in those higher priced programs and or in memberships, you’re just losing them as buyers. And I would argue that’s probably at least 50% of people that will end up on your list. And so you’re just like, sorry, I don’t want to serve you. That doesn’t seem very logical to me personally. But the second thing that I see happen and this is really where I want you if you’re still on the fence and you’re like, I still think that stripping things out of my programs and offering them a standalone will cannibalize my program. Listen to this. When someone buys a training or a template that exists in these bigger programs that you offer and they see success with it. And you offered it at an affordable price point. You will have a decent amount of people who will then go on to buy that larger program or membership because you wowed them with that content that you were already creating anyways. That’s really the key. When you spend a lot of time creating this content for these paying customers, that’s great. But also you’re then getting it and not leveraging it. Effectively in your own business. And a great example of this in how I call a lot of things in my shop have simplified my business so much that I actually refer to it as magic, which is kind of funny.


And obviously nothing’s really magic in business, but having a digital product shop has truly simplified my entire business and thus my entire life. And here’s a great example of how I took something that was in a larger program and used it in a different way that we really don’t talk about a lot when we deal with sending people straight to a sales page or a sales funnel model in the empowered Business lab, that is our program on how to create and launch profitable digital products. It really takes you from A to Z, from not having a product all the way through developing product, developing the sales page and then getting it out into the world. Well, it essentially breaks down into three pillars. The first pillar is how to identify what type of digital product to create and then actually creating it. The second pillar is creating the sales mechanism, so creating the sales funnel to go out and sell it. And then the third pillar is all the tech behind it. So we took that first pillar. It’s called Digital products at scale and we made it a standalone product in our shop. Well, why? Because we’re meeting people where they’re at. If someone comes to our shop and they don’t have a digital product yet, they need to start with creating their digital product.


And so if I can get them into that first pillar of the lab, they are primed to then be upgraded into the larger program. And one of the things you can do in a digital product shop is say, hey, you know, if you’re going to buy this program here. So in this case, if you’re going to buy digital products at scale, what will pop up is it’s actually not set up like this right now, but it will be set up like this. And I have tested this out. But anyways, I digress. Just follow my example here. So you go to buy digital products at scale and then a pop up will come up and say, Hey, you know, if you’re going to buy the program to create the digital product, aren’t you going to need to know how to sell the digital product? And it’s going to be like, Yeah, well, why don’t you upgrade into our bigger program called the Empowered Business Lab? And we offer special deal for however amount of time in our shop. It’s a five minute countdown for these deals. And if you say, yes, I want to invest in the bigger program, obviously I’m going to need to know how to do both of these things. Then it swaps it out in your cart. And you might be thinking, Wait, do people actually do that? People actually do that. And actually, we have people come to our shop. We list all of our programs. We have programs in our shop up to $2,000.


And this was a big thing I heard from people at my mastermind. Do people actually just come to your shop and buy a $2,000 program, buy a $500 program? Yeah, they do. And so I guess basically what I’m trying to say is we’ve been trained to think that. If we’re selling higher priced programs, we need an elaborate sales funnel that goes with it and a huge long sales page that goes with it that has to go on for miles and days and days. And there are people that don’t need that that just will go to your shop, see all the things you have to offer and say, Wow, I need that program and add it to their cart and buy it. It happens and it really hits on the fact that we are all different and the amount of information we need to make decisions and the way we process information and buy things. And so why not leverage the best of both worlds? If you have a $2,000 program, have an individual sales page for it, but also listed in your shop and allow it to be an upsell for other smaller programs in your shop, other smaller trainings. It just all works hand in hand like magic. Okay, now let’s go on to number four. The fourth thing that I say that problems I was facing, but this one wasn’t a problem. I faced all that much. But I want to mention it because I have a lot of blogging people who follow me and holy cow, the amount of free content that I see being put out there by my blogging friends that should be paid is like I am the the head exploding emoji right now.


One of the biggest offenders I see of this are those free resource libraries where dozens, if not hundreds of printables and templates live for free. So the way people the way a lot of bloggers get people on their list is by saying, sign up for my free resource library. And then they put so much effort and content into these resource libraries for free. Those are just primed for a shop. And I actually in two episodes from now I’m going to have a digital shop experience student of mine on who took her free library and turned it into a successful shop. And you will see just the power of just stop offering everything for free. That’s really what I’m saying. So if you’ve been creating a lot of content for free over the years, you are likely primed for a shop. So now the next thing I run into after I convince people who have been creating content and programs and digital products and memberships for a lot of time and they got a lot of content that they can repurpose into shop listings and we have a whole episode on how you can repurpose your existing content. I’ll link to it in the show notes.


I believe it’s episode 61, but once I convince people and the light goes off and they’re like, Wow, I have been working so hard and then I don’t even make it easy for people to buy things from me. Inevitably, I get the next question, which is, Can I use my shop in my funnels? In other words. I’m going to just use the example for me. If you come through a sales funnel of mine, you are going to be checking out on a system called Thrive card. And what Thrive Card allows you to do is create a checkout for one product. And on that checkout, I’ll have an order bump that’s like an enhancement to that product. And then maybe after you buy that, you’ll be offered an upsell, right? That hyper specific buying journey. And so inevitably people are like, Great, I’ll create a digital product shop and then I will get rid of my sales funnel checkout system because I don’t need I don’t need it, then I can just once I convince them they still need a sales funnel, they think, well, I can just use the the direct link to check out in my shop for that product. Do not do that. That is a terrible idea for so many reasons. I’ll give you two. But basically I’m telling you, you’re not going to do this. You’re still going to need a funnel checkout and you’re going to have a shop checkout. And here’s why. They are designed to do two different things.


And there are a lot of challenges you will run into if you try to take the shop checkout logic and shove it into your sales funnels and your sales funnels will inevitably stop converting as well. So two reasons why. First of all, in a sales funnel model, the way it’s designed is that you can only buy the one product, the one order bump and the one potential upsell behind that so that you don’t get confused and that there are not multiple options. Well, if you’re going to send them to your shop suddenly on this hyper specific journey that they’ve been convinced to buy this product and now you’re like, well, you can buy this product, but now there’s all these other products you can buy. You’re introducing confusion. The second reason why is if you follow my methodology for running your digital product shop, then you’re often having different things on sale in your shop. And so if you’re lowering prices in your shop for like a specific flash sale, let’s say, and that product is also in a sales funnel and someone’s going through that sales funnel and you’re offering an additional discount in that sales funnel. Then you will bottom out your pricing. It becomes incredibly complicated to take the shop logic and put it into the funnel logic. They serve two different purposes in your business. So if you’re at the point where you have created all of this content and all of these programs and you have all of these things that you can repurpose into a digital product shop, you’re going to keep these separate.


Now, what it will allow you to do once you have a digital product shop is you will find that you can actually essentially archive a lot of the sales funnels and sales pages you have in your business. So when I went through this exercise of creating our digital product shop, we ended up redirecting about 100 pages in our business. Here’s the deal You really only need a handful of entry points into your business for sales funnels. So that’s you’re going to keep a handful if you’re a blogger. I usually say, How many categories do you have on your blog? Most people will say 4 to 5. I’m like, Great. Then you should have a solid sales funnel for each of those categories because you want to meet people where they’re at. That’s what a sales funnel allows you to do. It allows you to meet people where they’re at and attract them into your business. The other reason you’re going to keep sales pages in your business is when there’s a bigger buying decision to be made. So for the larger programs for membership offers, you’re going to want standalone sales pages because you’re going to have fact finders that are going to need that additional information or want that additional information also if you’re ever live launching. So if I’m live launching a course or program or membership and I’m doing a whole dedicated effort to get people into that one specific program, I’m going to send them to a sales page because why? I don’t want to confuse them with multiple options, which will happen if they’re presented with a shopping type experience.


So there is definitely a need to keep sales funnels in my business. However, I’m also going to be able to, and this is my hope for you, eliminate a lot of different funnels and sales pages that you’ve put up over the years and basically redirect them to your shop because we don’t need 40 sales pages. You just don’t. When someone comes to you and says, If this has ever happened to you because this happened to me a lot and this really should have been my clue that I needed to do something different, I would have people come to me who bought, let’s say, one of our spreadsheets and say, Hey, I’d love your spreadsheet. What other spreadsheets do you have to offer? And I’d be like, Oh, we have like six of them. Here are six different sales pages where you have to check out six different times. Does that sound logical? Absolutely not. So what happens now in this new model is we picked the one, the one spreadsheet that works at attracting new people to us. That new people, when they see it, are like, Wow, I love this offer. This is a. Amazing. I want this. That easy? Yes.


We kept that one spreadsheet as a sales page and then all the other spreadsheets. We retired their sales page and we redirected it to the shop listing because there was no need to tell our audience to go check out six times to experience all of the wonderfulness that we had. That is spreadsheets. Does that make sense? Hopefully it does. If your mind, if you are the head exploding emoji after listening to this episode and you realize how hard you’ve been making things for yourself. Send me a message, go to Instagram. I’m at Monica Froese and DM me because I absolutely love to hear the moment when it clicks that you’ve been making your life more difficult with only having sales funnels in your business. I just love it because it opens up our mind to all the possibilities that we really end up closing ourselves off to because we think, Wow, I have this great idea for this training or this program, but you know, now I have to create a whole sales funnel for it and a unique checkout for it. And then I have to create all the follow up emails that go with it. And then basically we end up talking yourself out of creating all these things that we could create because it’s really cumbersome to do it in a sales funnel type model. As you can see, I could go on about this topic forever and ever, but one thing I know is absolutely true. If you have been creating content for any amount of time in your business, you are likely a great candidate for digital product shops and they will make your life so much easier.


If you want to work with me on creating your own digital product shop, I would love for you to join me the week of June 5th inside of the Digital Shop Accelerator. This is a free week long event that we’re hosting and it’s a combination of short, impactful audio drops and an interactive live training. Plus, we decided to add on a pop up Facebook group so you can network with fellow creators and me and my team. It’s going to be so fun and so good. So you can sign up today at Digital Shop Experience. Dot com forward slash training will also link to this in the show notes of course. And if you would like to develop your digital product shop, I hope you’ll join us. And again, tune in next week for another episode, all about digital product shops, because I promise it will not disappoint. Until then. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of the Empowered Business podcast. I just launched a brand new subscribers only podcast called Monica Soapbox. It’s a nice supplement to what I share with you each week here. Monica Soapbox is more laid back where you’ll get unscripted behind the scenes updates on my business and the industry. Head on over to Empowered business.com/soapbox to sign up. See you here again next week.

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