5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Customer Journey for E-commerce
With countless alternatives just a click away, guiding your potential customers down the sales funnel can feel like steering a ship in stormy seas.
Overcoming these challenges requires an unwavering focus on the digital customer journey.
This involves enhancing your online customer experience, making each interaction as seamless and pleasing as possible.
In this guide, we will explore five ways to improve your digital customer journeys, ensuring your e-commerce platform not only attracts but also retains each customer.
The 5 Stages of Your Customer's Journey
In the world of e-commerce, the digital customer journey is the series of interactions a customer has with your brand, from the initial point of contact through the purchase and beyond.
Understanding and optimizing these customer touchpoints can greatly enhance the customer experience and your business's success. The typical customer journey map comprises five stages:
The Awareness stage is where the customer first becomes aware of your brand or product through multiple channels, usually through marketing efforts or organic search. This is the stage where you attract the customer's attention through engaging content and impactful branding.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) for the awareness stage could be website traffic, page views, social media followers, or engagement rate.
Consideration is when the customer starts to evaluate your product against others in the market. They are likely to do research, read reviews, compare prices, and consider their options.
If you have a free trial or demo, they'll likely visit your website, interact with the chatbot, and sign up. Providing detailed product information, customer testimonials, and competitive pricing here can sway the customer's decision in your favor.
KPIs for the consideration stage could include conversion rate, site visits, or abandoned cart rate.
The Purchase stage is when the customer completes the transaction. Here, a smooth and simple checkout process, multiple payment options, and excellent customer support can enhance the customer's experience.
KPIs for the purchase stage could include the number of sales, shopping cart abandonment rate, average order value, and customer conversion rate.
Retention refers to keeping the customer engaged after the purchase. This can be achieved through excellent customer service, loyalty programs, and regular communication.
Sending out personalized marketing messages online through a software like Channel Talk or sending out a newsletter are great ways to encourage customers to return to your website.
KPIs for the retention stage could include repeat purchase rate, customer loyalty program enrollment, customer satisfaction scores (through surveys), and churn rate.
Lastly, the Loyalty stage is when the customer becomes a repeat buyer and advocates for your brand. Delivering consistent quality, rewarding loyalty, and resolving any issues promptly and efficiently can help you build a loyal customer base.
KPIs for the loyalty stage could include the number of repeat purchases, customer lifetime value, net promoter score (NPS), referral rates, and engagement metrics on your loyalty programs.
Loyal customers are not only repeat buyers; they are also brand advocates who can bring in new customers through referrals and positive reviews.
A Walkthrough of the Stages: A Skincare Product Purchase
Imagine a customer's journey in purchasing a skincare product. In the awareness stage, they realize they need a hydration cream.
During the consideration phase, they research and compare several creams, reading reviews, and checking prices.
The purchase phase includes choosing a product and completing the transaction.
The retention stage involves the customer using the product and the company following up with care instructions and additional product recommendations.
Finally, in the loyalty stage, the customer becomes a repeat buyer and recommends the product to others.
Real-Life Example: Improving the Digital Customer Journey with ASOS
ASOS, a popular online fashion retailer, demonstrates a compelling example of a well-optimized digital customer journey.
In the awareness stage, ASOS has a strong presence on social media platforms, especially Instagram and TikTok. They showcase diverse and inclusive content, featuring fashion trends, style inspirations, and user-generated content from their customers. The company runs innovative marketing campaigns, such as their #AySauceChallenge on TikTok, where users create creative videos wearing ASOS outfits.
As customers move into the consideration stage, ASOS offers a seamless and personalized shopping experience through its website and mobile app. They use AI-based algorithms to recommend products based on customers' browsing history and previous purchases. Additionally, their "Style Match" feature allows users to upload images of outfits they like, and ASOS suggests similar items from their inventory.
The purchase stage on ASOS is seamless, offering easy navigation, an intuitive interface, and a secure checkout process. They also offer a variety of payment options, including "Pay Later" services like Klarna, making it easier for customers to complete their purchases.
For retention, ASOS delivers personalized product recommendations to customers. By tailoring suggestions based on past purchases and browsing behavior, ASOS aims to keep customers engaged and returning for more.
The loyalty stage is where ASOS truly excels. The company continues to foster a sense of community through its "ASOS Insider" program. It's an invitation-only community where fashion enthusiasts and customers can engage with ASOS, provide feedback, and participate in exclusive events and campaigns. This strategy effectively turns loyal customers into brand ambassadors, creating a positive feedback loop to attract even more customers.
How To Improve Each Stage Of Your Digital Customer Journey
In our increasingly digitalized world, digital customer journey mapping and optimizing each stage of the journey has become more critical than ever.
With a myriad of online options at their fingertips, consumers demand seamless, personalized experiences that respond to their unique needs and preferences.
The five stages of the digital customer journey – Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, and Loyalty – represent integral touchpoints where brands can create meaningful interactions and build relationships.
By analyzing customer behavior and focusing on enhancing each of these stages, you can shape the customer's journey, making it a memorable experience that not only meets but also exceeds expectations.
1. Improving Awareness
For the awareness stage, ensure your SEO and marketing strategies target the customers who need your product.
You can improve this by taking a look at your customer personas and developing targeted content across your blog and social media. Also, ensure that your website is engaging and visually appealing with clear CTAs.
For instance, take the example of Starbucks. Their social media presence is strong, and they regularly share engaging content to keep their audience interested. The company also encourages user-generated content, which helps them connect with their target audience better.
2. Improving Consideration
In the consideration phase, provide ample product information and customer reviews to help consumers make informed decisions.
Offering incentives, such as discounts or free samples, can help this process. For instance, if someone was purchasing skincare products, they may be on the fence about the product's effectiveness. Offering free samples can help them try the product, leading to a higher tendency of buying in the future and a positive experience. The Ordinary, a popular skincare brand, offers discounts for first-time buyers.
Offering a seamless communication channel such as a live chat, can be extremely impactful in helping your customer move onto the next stage. Questions or concerns are factors that prevent a customer from purchasing, and by answering these efficiently, you can help them feel more secure in their purchase.
3. Improving Purchase
Streamline the purchase process to make it as frictionless as possible.
You can enhance this stage by creating an efficient checkout process, incorporating various payment options, displaying trust badges, highlighting customer reviews, and providing exceptional customer service. For example, Amazon's one-click checkout service has revolutionized the purchase process, making it easy and fast.
4. Improving Retention
For retention, engage with your customers after the sale, provide support, and ask for feedback (which could be in the form of a review or survey).
Retention entails focusing on customer satisfaction, addressing any concerns, and engaging them through social media interactions, contact emails, and after-sales support. Personalization is crucial in retention as it helps cultivate a long-lasting customer relationship. For instance, Netflix curates movie recommendations based on a user's watch history and preferences.
5. Improving Loyalty
Loyalty will follow when customers feel valued and satisfied with their overall shopping experience.
Your customers' loyalty is an indication of their satisfaction level with your brand. Evaluating and rewarding customers, especially those who have continually bought from your business is crucial. Creating long-term loyalty programs and exclusive sales can be significant incentives for customers. For example, H&M uses loyalty programs to reward its customers and offer them exclusive sales.
The Importance of Customer Experience
When implementing improvements in your digital customer journey, always keep customer experience top-of-mind.
Providing excellent customer service and an efficient customer journey ultimately creates a remarkable experience for your customers, leading to satisfaction and loyalty.
Optimizing the customer experience in their journey is integral to a successful e-commerce business.
By placing customer experience at the forefront of this journey, you can cultivate loyal customers and establish a business that thrives in the long run.