It is a cherished concept in online marketing circles: the customer journey. If you want to be competitive as a web retailer, it is important to remain extremely sharp. Online shoppers are critical. They seek convenience, reliability and speed. If the 'journey' falters for even a second, the chance of a successful transaction is a passed station. If, on the other hand, you organize your trip optimally, by knowing your customers well and applying advanced techniques, you will increase your chances.
Speed, user-friendliness, relevant information and support and efficient routing through the range. The online consumer likes that. Before he arrives at your webshop and is close to the purchase decision, he has already traveled a long way. Consumers orient themselves on the internet, read reviews, look on social media and come across Ads when they search for a product or service via Google. All those contact moments, the so-called touchpoints, must be correct and support the way to the final destination - your webshop.
The customer is king, at every stage of the customer journey
The customer journey is the often winding road or journey that the consumer travels to find out about a product or service, the price, the delivery and warranty conditions and the speed of delivery. Until the ultimate moment: the purchase or the appointment. Whether it's a summer dress, a pair of slippers, a new energy contract or taking out insurance online, the customer wants to have the experience of being king at all stages of the journey. The customer journey applies to both B2B and B2C, but can differ greatly.
Your webshop, both the app and the browser application - is ultimately the environment in which it must be done. Just as you can (lead) the (potential) customer on the physical shop floor to a purchase, this can also be done in the online shopping environment. The most important condition is that you offer a logical, insightful environment that meets the image that your brand was already formed at previous touchpoints. At least as important is that the atmosphere of your online shopping environment matches your target group. A shop for summer slippers can be cheerful and frivolous, an environment in which you take out new car insurance must above all radiate know-how and reliability. Or perhaps even a separate look or domain for each category in your webshop.
Customer journey mapping literally maps customers
Knowing your customers and potential customers is a prerequisite for organizing the customer journey and optimizing the customer experience at every stage of the journey. A common technique is customer journey mapping. With this you literally map the customer journey, by visualizing and describing each stage: the different actions that the customer takes, the channels and devices he uses, the experiences and emotions, the possible bottlenecks and the most important moments of influence. You do this based on available data. Actively ask your customers if they want to share their experiences in your online shopping environment or conduct regular customer surveys. User tests are also suitable for collecting relevant information. Most ecommerce platforms have smart extensions available for that.
When mapping the customer journey and visualizing your target group, it is nice to be as concrete as possible. Marketers like to work with buyer personas. You describe and visualize an entire target group as one character. You attribute behavioral characteristics and goals to it. You take the role of bon vivants who like to go through life in flip-flops in the summer or of the motorist who wants to take out solid insurance for a real amount.
Do not miss an opportunity to optimize the customer journey
This knowledge allows you to stay permanently focused on the online customer journey. Speed and efficient search functions are central to this. The search function within standard Ecommerce solutions often leaves much to be desired. A good chat function is virtually indispensable in the customer journey today. Buyers are also looking for guidance. Keep this in mind by emphasizing confidence factors such as your return guarantee, your quality mark or your user-friendly payment method at the right time. If you know the most important influencing moments, you can respond to them in real time. On your website, but also with supporting online channels and tools.
There are smart techniques, such as Recommendation Engines, to show customers a personalized selection from your range based on their search. If you have many products, help In Site Search Engines in optimizing the findability of specific products. The possibilities are endless and continue to innovate, especially now that AI applications (artificial intelligence) are entering adulthood. Our advice: delve into the possibilities and do not miss an opportunity to make the customer journey unique and unforgettable for your customers and profitable for you.