A Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Personalized Ecommerce Customer Journey
The personalized eCommerce customer journey is critical to building a successful business. When you're able to engage customers at every stage of the trip, you've got a much better chance of turning them into loyalists willing to pay for your product or service.
This article will discuss an overview of customer journey mapping, then dive into how eCommerce companies can use it to improve their own customer experience.
What Is The Ecommerce Customer Journey?
Personalized eCommerce customer experiences are the way to build a loyal consumer base. It's no longer good enough to have a website, and hope people find it. You need to ensure that customers have a positive experience when they arrive at your site and feel they've made the right choice by buying from you.
The eCommerce customer journey is an interactive process that begins with an awareness of what your customers want. It continues through their purchase journey and ends with them becoming loyal advocates for your brand.
When a potential customer enters your website, you want them to find a product easily. One way is to make sure that your site is easy-to-use and intuitive. You should also provide clear instructions on how to use the site successfully, along with product information about each item listed on your site.
It is important to map your customer's journey to create personalized eCommerce experiences that get customers to buy more, stay longer, and become repeat customers.
Improving the eCommerce customer journey can help your businesses grow revenue quickly. It provides a seamless way for consumers to find what they want, engage with your brand, and make purchases.
The Importance Of A Personalized Ecommerce Customer Journey
The customer journey is an important part of the marketing process. It helps you understand:
- Who your customers are
- How they use your product or service and
- Where they might be getting stuck along the way.
It also helps you create a more personalized experience for each customer by using data-driven insights to understand what they really want and need from you.
Marketing is no longer about just selling products; it's also about building relationships with customers and prospects long after buying a product.
1- Create a Better Buyer persona
Understanding the Customer Journey will help you create a better buyer persona. This can be done by understanding what your ideal customers look like, where they are in their buying process and how they buy. This will help you design your marketing campaigns around specific customer segments and ensure that each marketing campaign engages with the right people.
2- Identify your Ideal Customers
Knowing the type of customer you want to attract and build a relationship with is important. You can use this information to improve your marketing efforts and target the right audience. It will also help you identify what they are looking for in their purchase journey, so you can provide them with the right products or services to meet their needs.
3- Improves Customer Service
The information and insight gained from customer journeys can help you improve customer service by identifying pain points and offering solutions to these areas. This will result in higher levels of customer satisfaction, which translates into a better customer experience, ultimately leading to higher conversion and retention rates.
4- Improves Conversion Rate
Customers' journey clarifies why someone took a specific action when visiting your website or buying from your online store. Understanding how customers move through the various stages in their journey will enable you to identify the best ways to market your products and services to them. Thereby increasing your conversion rate and decreasing its cost per acquisition (CPA).
5- Understand Customer's Pain Points
Through the customer journey, you have an opportunity to understand your customers' pain points. These points are the very things that cause them to make a purchase decision. If you can identify these pain points and solve them, you can increase conversion rates and generate more revenue from your existing customers.
6- Build loyalty among existing customers and attract new ones
You can identify from the journey map what motivates people to buy from you in the first place and what keeps them returning for more. This data can create a marketing funnel that keeps existing customers happy and brings new customers into your fold.
Stages Of The Ecommerce Customer Journey
The customer journey is made up of a series of steps that a customer takes before they make a purchase. This includes everything from researching products and services to deciding on a price point and making a purchase.
The Ecommerce Customer Journey has five distinct stages:
1- The Awareness Stage
The awareness stage is a pivotal point in the customer journey. Consumers first discover your brand and become aware of your business. They may be just starting to consider purchasing from you at this stage.
You need to show the customer how your product will benefit them and how it will improve their life or work. You also need to show them why they should choose you over other companies.
If you have an online presence, this is a good time to get your website up and running so you can start building trust with people who visit it.
This stage is also where you can use search engine optimization (SEO) to increase your website's visibility. Your web pages should be optimized for mobile devices and have a mobile-friendly shopping cart.
The touchpoint at the awareness stage should be personalized and engaging. You aim to get customers excited about your product or service and make them want more information about it.
You can create content that speaks directly to their needs. For instance, blog posts or videos show how you solve their problems or use case studies to show how others have been successful with your product. The overall goal of the awareness stage is to build trust and establish yourself as an authority in the industry so that they'll want more from you.
2- The Consideration Stage
The second stage of the eCommerce customer journey, the consideration stage, is where you start to see your customers' behavior change.
Your customers are starting to move from the buying mindset to the planning stage, which means they'll begin to consider what they want and need from your business.
This is an important step for any business that wants to grow and stay competitive in today's market. If you're not careful and don't take this step into consideration, you could lose customers to competitors who are willing to take more risks and offer more value than what you have at this point in time.
A potential customer may also be assessing how much they'll need to spend on an eCommerce product before they can afford to purchase it. Your goal at this stage is to build trust with your prospective client, so they'll feel comfortable giving you their money.
This means that you should be focusing on touchpoints like category filters and personalized recommendations. They help hasten customers' decision-making process and make them feel more at ease with buying from you.
For example, if you're selling clothes or accessories, consider adding category filters that allow users to select things like "color" or "shoes". With the sections, they can quickly see what's trending in color or style without having to scroll through endless items in other categories.
3- The Acquisition Stage
The third stage of the eCommerce customer journey is the acquisition stage. The acquisition stage of the eCommerce customer journey is when you can convert a prospect into a paying customer.
This is the most critical stage in the eCommerce funnel because if you don't capture those users at this stage, they may never return and convert into customers.
Here are some things you can do to ensure your acquisition stage has a great user experience:
- Use clear copy on product pages and checkout pages
- Make sure all required fields are filled out correctly (i.e., not left blank)
- Available shipping options should be clearly displayed in an organized way, so users know what they're getting
You can use the insight from this stage to test out different messaging and wording and messages that are more tailored to your customer's needs. You may also want to consider adding an incentive for making a purchase at this stage. It's a good idea to check in with your customer again after they've completed their purchase. Enquire if there are any questions or issues they might be having with the product.
4- The Service Stage
The service stage is one of the most important stages in the eCommerce customer journey. Customers expect their vendors to be responsive, helpful, and respectful. If your business isn't meeting those expectations, you'll have trouble retaining your clients in the long term.
Shoppers want to know that they have a good experience with their vendors. Or won't have to deal with any issues or get stuck on hold while they wait for an answer.
They also want to contact their vendor easily and quickly if they have questions or concerns about their order. This is why it's important to ensure that these things happen as smoothly as possible during this stage of the eCommerce customer journey.
You can help your customers through this stage: by providing FAQs page, live chat, phone support, email support, social media assistance, etc.
Here are some tips for how to make sure your customers have a positive experience:
- Be mindful of your language and tone
- Communicate as much as possible (even if it's just over email)
- Make sure to provide consistent responses, so customers aren't left wondering where they stand or what might be going wrong in the future.
- If there are any problems, fix them quickly
5- The Loyalty Stage
The loyalty stage is a major milestone in the eCommerce customer journey. At this stage, the customer has transitioned from being a one-time customer to a repeat customer. In fact, they may even be becoming an advocate for your store. They're already familiar with your business and products and know what you can do for them. So they'll likely be more willing to buy from you again and recommend your site to others.
But how do you get them to become loyal customers? The main ways to boost loyalty are offering discounts, product recommendations, and customer service.
- Discounts - Offer exclusive discounts and promotions only available to loyal customers. This makes them the first to know about new products and offers.
- Recommendations - Ask current customers what they think about your products, then use this information to create new products or improve existing ones. You can also offer free shipping if a customer purchases an item within a certain time frame.
- Customer Service - Provide great customer service throughout the entire transaction process, including after delivery. Make sure customers answer all their questions before deciding whether to buy from you again.
How To Create And Optimize Your Online Store's Customer Journey Maps
The purpose of a customer journey map is to create a visual representation of the path a customer takes through your company's digital channels. It shows where users begin their journey, in which stages they interact with your site or app, and where they ultimately end up.
The journey mapping exercise is a great way to help you understand how online shoppers interact with your brand. It can also help you identify opportunities for improvement and make more informed decisions about how to optimize your online store.
Here are five steps you can use to create your own CJMs:
Choose a method of mapping
There are many ways to create CJMs, from simple Excel spreadsheets to more sophisticated tools like Salesforce Engage or Google Analytics 360. The choice will depend on your eCommerce needs and resources, but some key principles apply across all methods.
Define customer segments
The first step in creating a customer journey map is identifying the touchpoints between your customers and your brand — including websites, social media profiles, email campaigns, search engine results pages (SERPs), mobile apps, etc.
Next, write down everything you know about each touchpoint in an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet. If possible, create an individual chart for each channel. If not possible because of limited information, write down only the major details (e.g., website URL) and use that as a starting point for further exploration into each channel's features and capabilities.
This data from this exercise helps you identify your target audience and how they wish to interact with your brand. For example, if you're selling shoes online, then there may be different types of shoe-lovers who have different needs and preferences in terms of style, comfort and fit (e.g., casual vs. dressier).
Create a customer journey map (CJM)
Once you have defined your customer segments, it is time to create the CJM for each. A CJM is a visual representation of all the steps a customer takes from entering your website to making a purchase and finally leaving your site.
You must include as much detail as possible in your CJM so that it becomes easy for your team members to understand what happens at each step in the process.
Note that it includes other touchpoints along the way, such as social media interactions and email addresses provided by customers when making purchase requests. All channels that can be used for marketing purposes should be included.
Test and measure journeys
Once you have created your CJM, it's time to test it and measure how well it works for each segment of customers that you have identified. You can use tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Ads Manager to track visitors on different pages on your website. They provide a good data representation of how customers convert.
Make sure you test all potential paths to gather enough data on what works best when it comes to encouraging conversions, reducing abandonment rates and improving sales metrics like average order value per customer or average cart value per customer.
If you want more data points on your website visits, then you can track user behavior using cookies which helps you track visitor activities on the website, such as purchases and downloads.
Use CJMs for reporting, analysis
The next step is to use the customer journey maps as a tool for reporting and analysis. You can track how customers interact with your online store and how they get from one step to another.
You can analyze the conversion rates of different marketing channels and see which ones are more effective. You can also compare those results with previous years' data to identify trends that work best for your business.
For example, suppose you're selling a service that requires booking in advance. In that case, you can use the journey map to determine which customer types will likely book ahead of time. This information can inform future product design and customer service strategies.
You can also use CJMs to analyze how customers interact with your brand before becoming loyal. For example, looking at what happens when someone tries out your product without registering as a member first.
How To Improve and Personalize ECommerce Customer Journey
Personalizing your customer journey can significantly affect how much you sell. Still, getting the right information at the right time is not always easy. Here are five ways to improve the personalized customer journey for eCommerce:
The second step is to build personas that help you understand who exactly your customer is. For example, suppose you're selling shoes online. In that case, you might want to create a persona for a woman between 30-40 years old who lives in New York City, works as an entrepreneur, and likes wearing high heels daily. These personas will become your anchor points when designing web pages and emails that are targeted at specific groups of people.
Customize pages with promotions
Once you have created your personas, it’s time to think about how to customize the content on each page according to each persona’s preferences and needs (i.e., customization). This can be done by adding promotions, discounts or other offers tailored to each persona’s interests and habits.
Enable product filtering and grouping options
Using filters and grouping options allows you to organize products by categories or subcategories, making it easy for users to find what they're looking for and compare products.
Use location-based targeting
By allowing customers to choose their location from a dropdown menu on your checkout page, you can provide them with a more personal experience while shopping on your website. This means that they can select their preferred language and currency based on where they live or plan on purchasing their products from.
Personalized Customer Success
Add "customer success" teams who focus on helping customers find solutions to online shipping problems. The team handles anything from shipping issues to problems with returns and exchanges or answering questions about products or services purchased through your business.
Bonus Point: Leverage Automation and Digital Tools
An ad is one of the first things customers will see when reaching out to a company. A good ad can set the tone for what they expect from your company while also helping them determine whether they want to continue the customer's journey with you.
Because these ads are such important parts of a business's marketing strategy, it's important to optimize and personalize them to provide your customers with the right message at the right time.
When you're just starting, it can be helpful to leverage AI tools like Converted.in to create personalized ads that meet your customers' needs.
Convertedin's AI-powered platform analyzes data to understand customers' behaviors and interests. It then distributes personalized ad campaigns across channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter even when they haven't visited your website. This will help you create a better ad than your competitors and get more loyal customers.
Register here to start getting insight to create a personalized ad experience for your customers now