Here’s a quick rundown of the eight main reasons how customer journey mapping is so important to your Ecommerce business:
1) Shows you how customers are interacting with your site:
There’s always a risk that E-tailers will view the customer journey from the perspective of the company, through an analytics dashboard, rather than in a felt, customer-facing way. Customer journey maps enable you to step straight into the shoes of your customers and potential customers and see how they’re interacting with your business from their perspective. Insights will arise from this process that you might not have expected.
2) Highlights what customers need and when they need it at different stages of the sales funnel/buyer lifecycle:
Customer journey maps show gaps in the user experience. This enables you to create content and touchpoints that are currently missing at certain stages of your buyer lifecycle. It might be that visitors need to speak to a customer service representative to solve a problem, for example, but this option isn’t available. Similarly, you might not be offering enough social media purchase channels in the decision stage.
3) Shows how your value proposition matches the reality of the customer experience:
Because your customer journey map incorporates information about the level of satisfaction associated with each of your touchpoints, it enables you to see how well your value proposition, the mix of benefits your store uniquely offers, matches up to the actual experiences of your customers. It might be, for example, that you offer free same-day shipping, but that most customers are frustrated because they do not receive their items when expected.
4) Clarifies needs and pain-points:
To create a customer journey map, you need to be absolutely crystal-clear about your customers’ needs and pain-points. The research phase of putting together a customer journey map involves building customer profiles which will uncover a range of needs and pain-points, across the whole customer experience, that you might not have considered. Because customer journey mapping is an ongoing process (maps should be updated on a quarterly or even monthly basis), you will become aware of new pain-points as they arise.
5) Helps you to identify high-level issues with the customer journey (i.e. are things happening in the right order):
Customer journey maps comprise both general and specific stages. Sometimes, there will be high-level errors with your customer journey. You may be forcing customers to jump from consideration to decision too quickly, for example, by showing decision-focused touchpoints at the consideration stage.
6) Highlights shortcomings in your current customer journey:
Very few businesses have perfect customer journeys. Customer journey maps show you exactly which touchpoints are missing, underdeveloped, and underperforming. Customer journey maps should include satisfaction ratings for each stage of your existing customer journey based on feedback and analytics data. Equally, viewing customer experiences in the context of business goals and KPIs will highlight any obvious areas that require further input and development.
7) Clarifies optimization and development priorities:
Along with highlighting problems, customer journey maps can also be used to set priorities. You can see which goals, KPIs, and stages are the most important and allocate resources to the associated touchpoints.
8) Enables you to target resources for maximum returns:
Once you’ve prioritized areas for development and optimization, you can see which touchpoints are most in need of improvement and, crucially, which are likely to have the most significant impact on your bottom line. This enables you to make tangible, revenue-driven decisions about which aspects of the customer journey to focus on as part of your broader optimization strategy.
Your customer journey map will inform virtually all of your customer-related processes as an online retailer, with the power to improve and streamline your whole customer experience.