How to Map the Ecommerce Customer Journey
Posted on May 28th 2021, 7:47:42 pm
Delighting your customers at every step of the customer journey is the best way to maintain the growth of your ecommerce business. Mapping out the ecommerce customer journey helps you identify and satisfy their needs at every milestone.
To map your customer journey, you need to step into your customers’ shoes and think of their needs, pain points, and relevant touchpoints.
This guide will discuss how to map the ecommerce customer journey and the actions your business should take at every stage.
1. Define General Stages
Customer journeys are divided into four phases – awareness, consideration, decision, and loyalty. The purpose of a customer journey is to turn prospects into loyal customers and brand advocates.
Your goal is to provide a stellar customer experience throughout the stages of the journey. As your customers progress down the , their needs will evolve. You must provide information and resources that’ll fit each stage of the journey.
2. Create Buyer Profiles
Gathering customer data and understanding their needs will play a huge part in the success of your marketing efforts. You can gather the data from two sources – analytics and direct feedback.
As a retailer, you should create multiple customer profiles to represent your customers. The buyer profiles should cut across both current and target customers. The example below is an excellent illustration of a buyer persona.
The buyer persona includes demographic information about potential customers, alongside their interests and pain points. When collecting data for your customer persona, you should try to understand:
- What marketing channels they use the most
- Their age, income, and other relevant demographic information
- What are their goals and pain points? How does your company solve these?
A comprehensive understanding of the needs and wants of your customers is essential. You’ll use the insights you gain from creating a customer to identify ways to improve the ecommerce customer journey.
3. Track the Touchpoints
Once you’ve defined your customer persona, you should review the effectiveness of your current marketing efforts. Track and monitor all touch-points between your customers and your brand.
Here are some touchpoints that you should monitor:
- Word-of-Mouth – monitor social media to see where people mention your brand.
- Affiliate Referrals – review the effectiveness of your (if you have one).
- Outbound Marketing – review online advertisements, offline advertising, and awareness campaigns.
- Social Media, App, and Website – examine how people engage with your owned marketing channels, or social channels.
- Email Marketing – examine how people on your email list engage with your content. This comprehensive guide has useful insights on .
- Customer Support – identify common customer support issues. For example, people might have feedback about your delivery and shipping practices.
Besides these key touchpoints, you should also try to track the customer journey.
Look at the actions that people take after clicking on an email link, for example. Utilize data analytics to discover the most common touchpoints. You can use a CRM to track everything.
If you use Google Analytics, set up and check the “Goal Flow” and “Behavior Flow” reports. The visualization report can also help you to assess customer behavior patterns. You can also try to track offline/off-site interactions, though this can be difficult.
You should also collect information from across your entire company regarding how your audience engages with your brand. As customer service, sales, and marketing teams have deep knowledge about customer behavior, interact with them to collect relevant information.
4. Review Customer Churn
The success of your ecommerce business depends on the number of customers you earn and retain. You need to review your success at acquiring customers and look at customer churn. Customer churn is the proportion of your customers who stop purchasing through your business.
A high customer churn rate can harm your business. If you’re having problems retaining customers, you need to review customer feedback. Look at what people are saying about your company online or the products or services you sell. You should do whatever you can to improve your service and increase customer retention.
You can use data from your CRM and other sales data to see how frequently people purchase products from your store. Then, add this data to your customer journey map.
5. Competitor Analysis
Ecommerce is a fiercely competitive business. No matter how or service, chances are you’ll have multiple competitors. You should review the strategies that your competitors are utilizing to acquire and retain customers.
Your competition analysis should cover the following:
- Review their USP (Unique Selling Proposition): How do they define their USP and try to stand out from the competition?
- Research their primary marketing channels: What marketing channels are they utilizing for customer acquisition?
- Analyze their pricing strategy: How do your competitors price similar products? Price plays an important role in consumer purchase decisions.
Compare your customer journey to that of your competitors. The insights you gain from the competitor analysis will help inform your sales and marketing strategies.
6. Improve Your Funnel
All of the preliminary research conducted should provide you with plenty of ideas and inspiration for your future marketing efforts. You now need to synthesize this information and create a marketing plan to improve your ecommerce customer journey.
It’s important when creating a plan to be realistic about your capabilities. We recommend you classify the tasks you identify and rate them based on the order of importance.
You can use a table like the one below to rank the tasks.
A system like this will help you create your “to do” list. You can then assign tasks to complete based on the impact that they’ll have and how easy they’ll be to complete.
We recommend creating a for no more than three months. Your marketing plan will provide you with a framework for what your team should accomplish in the next quarter.
You should also set clear goals. Utilize the . SMART goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound.
7. Review Your Approach
You now have a business plan for your ecommerce store. Hopefully, the plan you devised will help improve the ecommerce customer journey. Of course, the only way to know if it’s had a positive impact is to review the results of your work.
While you should be doing an ongoing analysis of your marketing efforts, we recommend a quarterly review.
Some of the initiatives that you devised to improve the ecommerce customer journey will be effective. Other initiatives will under-perform. The quarterly review is a chance to check your progress and identify opportunities for improvement.
It takes time, effort, and research to build a practical ecommerce customer journey map. Take the right steps to create this crucial document, as it helps keep your brand in sync with your customer. Initiate customer-centric processes that offer an excellent overall user experience.
Start by gathering relevant data. You should review or update your customer personas. Alongside this, review how people are engaging with the marketing material your business produces. Finally, conduct a competitor analysis to assess the marketing strategies of other companies in your industry.
Once you’ve gathered the relevant information, you need to devise your marketing plan. Create a list of tasks, and prioritize those tasks based on the ease of implementation and the impact. Set relevant KPIs to track your progress. You can then conduct a quarterly review to assess and improve your approach.
About the Author – Matt Diggity is a search engine optimization expert and the founder and CEO of , The Search Initiative, Authority Builders, and LeadSpring LLC. He is also the host of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference.