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Convenience, information, helpful support and post-purchase assistance, the ability to give direct feedback, non-intrusive and value-rich communication, ease of multichannel shopping, and meaningful offers are all parts of today’s online shopping experience.

The customer journey is the path, the sequence of experiences your customers get with your eCommerce business, from start to finish. You can leave things to chance and let the customer journey go its natural course. This doesn’t guarantee significant results.

You can also design the customer journey in such a way to go through all the experiences you want people to have with your brand and leading them to desired outcomes like multiple purchases and loyalty.

Designing this customer journey is the most comprehensive optimization you can do to increase conversions, revenue and profit from your online store.

The customer journey mapping includes:

The customer journey today

Buying online is not a straight line. People rarely just decide they need a new jacket or shoes, go online, click the first shop that shows up on their Google search, and buy the first item they see.

With huge choices and digital lives, the buying process is much more complicated.

First, most items are not bought out of necessity but desire. So people like to research, read reviews, compare prices and quality long before they take their pick.

Second, in the past, brands and customers used to interact only in the physical store and probably through a TV or print ad. Nowadays, communication happens everywhere, all the time.

The customer journey now has so many steps before and after the purchase, so many touch points that could span months or years.

Consumers expect customer service on Facebook, and make orders through Facebook, leave reviews on the site or on Google, and want video tutorials. The worst part is that people talk about negative experiences twice as much as positive ones.

How do you navigate all these experiences towards your goals?

You need to be everywhere they are, keep them engaged as they move from channel to channel, and answer their different needs at the various buying cycle stages.

The customer journey should be carefully managed – use the right channels for interaction at each stage, watch the frequency of communication, create meaningful touch points, control the outcome of each step so it leads to the next.

The customer journey stages

It’s useful to break down the customer journey into manageable stages that are easier to evaluate.

1. Awareness

This is when the potential customer learns about your brand for the first time. It can be either intentional as part of research they’re doing or unintentional thanks to your outbound efforts.

Examples of Points of interaction:

Your goals at this stage:

2. Consideration

Here, the customer has a need and your product can be a potential solution. They know about you and are weighing pros and cons against other offers.

Points of interaction:

Your goals at this stage:

3. Conversion

That’s when you get the first order from the customer. The ease of choice and transaction are most important here as well as the customer service and proper information about fees, delivery and returns.

Points of interaction:

Your goals at this stage:

4. Retention

At this stage of the customer journey, you either keep or lose the customer. It’s the time to nurture them, keep them close, stay on top of mind. That’s probably the stage where you can do the most.

Points of interaction:

Your goals at this stage:

5. Advocacy

You should be working to get to this stage, but not all brands succeed. For most, the customer journey ends after one or a few purchases because they fail at stage 4 – retention. If you do retention right, the most engaged customers will become brand ambassadors.

Points of interaction:

Your goals at this stage:

Each previous stage influences whether a person will move to the next or not depending on the positive or negative experience. They’re all interdependent.

Ecommerce customer journey map

To take back control, you should look at your current customer journey and identify ways to improve it.

The holistic way to do that is to map out every single touch point throughout the customer journey and how it contributes to the end goal of repeat sales.

If you would like to perform customer journey mapping for your business, contact us today.