Tuesday 28 February 2017

In a world where there is a plethora of choice for the same products, studying your customer journey is essential.

What is the customer journey?

The customer journey, a beautiful expression used to describe the user’s interactions with your site. It is defined by the number of steps between the moment a user access your site to the moment a person converts.

According to the definitions, the customer journey can include some outside steps. Here is a quick diagram of it including the 5 steps.

Customer Journey Diagram

1.      Discovery

The discovery step covers how the user found your website. Did he/she found it through organic search, PPC, social media or anything?

2.      Comparison

The comparison step corresponds to the analysis of your product and its competition by your customer.

Here are some questions this step answers:

  • Is your product well-priced?
  • What features distinguish your product from your competitors’?
  • Are you offering different prices across the web?

This step often happens offline or on other sites than yours.

That is why you should probably give a booster shot to your client by setting up a remarketing campaign to remind the customer-to-be about your product when he/she looks at your competitors’ products.

3.      Consideration

The consideration is the most important step of all, as it is all about the way of delivering information. If you provide the information on due time and in the right quantity, that is where your site can make the difference between a conversion or a bounce.

The consideration step should answer the following questions:

  • Do I have all the information I need?
  • Is my perception of the product clear?
  • Do I understand the T&Cs, shipping and other options?
  • Am I satisfied with the information I found?

4.     Commitment

The commitment step is linked to the purchasing process. It is defined by its simplicity, its speed and its convenience.

Here are some elements that should be considered:

  • How long is the process?
  • Can you checkout without creating an account?
  • Do you accept credit card? Paypal? Other payment methods?
  • Do you offer a money-back guarantee?

All these tiny elements make a major difference.

5.      Retention

In the case of a website, selling products may require an occasional renewal that is where retention becomes crucial.

What is retention about? Retention is about impressing your brand in the memory of your customer.

Here are some ideas on how to increase retention:

  • Run a referral programme
  • Run a loyalty programme
  • Run an email campaign

These five steps can make the perfect customer journey, but there is always room for improvement. Our next point will treat how to make a customer journey.

How to make a customer journey work for your business?

The customer journey depends on from one site to the other. It is important to understand your needs to get the most adapted one to your business.

Defining your business needs

Business Needs

The following questions will help you define a proper approach:

  • Is your business local, national or global?
  • Is your brand well-known or unknown?
  • Do you accept payments in various currencies?
  • Do you offer multiple shopping options?
  • Do you run marketing campaigns?
  • Do you operate a loyalty programme?

All these questions may seem useless but they may help you build a real customer journey leading to rises in profits as well as in a reduction in shopping cart abandonment, provided you place the customer at the centre of your reflection.

Finding the solution for your business model

Every business is different, every customer is as well. So, what makes it so different?

First of all, the typology of product or services that you sell. Do you sell consumer goods, services, professional goods? The type of goods you sell will define the expectations of your target market.

E.g.: Let us pretend site A is selling clothing to everyone and site B is selling uniforms to companies. Site A is expected to have a consumer-focused approach while site B, a business-focused approach.

Stats

What does it mean?

Meanwhile site A will sell products by the unit and will target individual customers, site B will have to consider VAT numbers within its checkout process.

Every solution will differ from site to site but we can split them across 3 main categories:

  • Customer-focused
  • Business-focused
  • Mixed-focus

Customer-focused sites

Private customers are probably the simplest but the most varied customers to target.

Despite the simplicity of the checkout you may have to consider:

  • Multiple payment technologies
  • Exit-intent offers
  • Loyalty programmes
  • Regular offers
  • Mailing lists
  • One-click checkouts

Business-focused sites

Business-focused sites will not convert massively, however, they should be able to handle massive orders.

Here are some elements to consider:

  • Returning business customer
  • VAT integration
  • Discounts on bulk orders
  • Direct-debit if needed

Mixed-focus sites

Mixed focus sites are probably the most complex to handle due to the variety of customers. In the end, for this type of site, you will probably end up having two sections within your site in order to cover the extreme diversity of the audience you target.

Capitalising on it

If you are ready to look at your clients in a non-biased way, you may be able to change your approach and develop your business.

The choice is yours, are you ready to capitalise on it?

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future” – John F. Kennedy

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