The magnitude of the e-commerce industry is growing each day. Sales through digital marketplaces are expected to almost treble by 2023, reaching $6.5 trillion worldwide, as per Statista. Moreover, in the aftermath of the COVID epidemic, its percentage of overall retail sales has also increased.
The industry is quite large, but how complex is it, exactly? Indeed, all that is left to do is track down the item you want, make a purchase, and wait for delivery. Is the extent of the e-commerce consumer experience, or does it encompass much more? From shipping delays to support, many aspects go into what makes an online store successful (or not). The key to success in any modern business, especially in online trade, is knowing how to locate and use the most effective methods. This includes anything from high-quality CRM management tools to live video conferencing platforms.
Smaller companies require low-cost options for the same tools that larger companies have at their disposal. Thankfully, they have a wide selection of excellent, cost-free business applications from which to decide. In addition, the capacity to pivot quickly and adjust to new circumstances can significantly benefit a company. To optimize the customer experience at every level and touchpoint, you need to understand the customer journey from beginning to end.
What is the eCommerce Customer Journey?
These days, consumers are not simply purchasing a product but investing in the brand’s personality, ideals, and more. They invest in you because of how well you take care of your customers after the sale (and before it, if that is how it works) and how well you enlighten and educate potential buyers. To sum up, they evaluate the whole of your service.
Creating a process map is something that every company routinely does, so it only makes sense to do the same for the customer experience. You need to be well-versed in the inner workings of your company, from the logistics of keeping consumers satisfied to the sales process itself. The purpose of business aids like templates is to streamline your operations. So, you could locate one that works for you quickly and cheaply. Customers care about the total package, not just the price tag: how they access your site or app (and how simple it is to use), how you connect with them (including how well you utilize services like Slack), and how quickly you reply to their questions all factor in. So, you want to cater to the wants of your e-commerce clients by creating a map of their experience with your company.
Whether you run a one-person operation or a multinational conglomerate, it is vital that you concentrate on your client’s experiences and the bonds you build with them. Investing in customer relationship management (CRM) software is essential when running a multichannel or omnichannel company.
Understanding eCommerce Customer Journey Analytics
Developing consumer-resonating experiences starts with customer data. Next, it is the practice of analyzing consumer information to draw conclusions that may be used to enhance the shopping experience. Typically, consumer analytics are used in one of three ways:
Churn and Customer Retention Reduction
Predicting which customers are likely to leave, developing measures to keep them as clients, and minimizing revenue loss with analytics.
Client segmentation is the process of dividing a company’s customer base into smaller, more manageable subgroups for the purpose of improving marketing strategies and the company’s ability to retain and acquire new customers. Also, this facilitates up-selling and cross-selling to customers.
Enhancing the Quality of Life for Customers
Actionable insights are gained through the systematic collection and analysis of customer data; for example, companies are employing customer satisfaction research to learn whether they are meeting customers’ expectations and social media analytics to obtain insight into consumers’ attitudes and opinions. Brands may use the insights from this study to raise their customers’ satisfaction levels.
In the last two years, this word has come to be universally understood to refer to data collected from online stores. To solve an issue using scientific, statistical methods, one must sift through vast volumes of data (hundreds of gigabytes worth, to be precise). As a field, it is rapidly expanding and showing great promise. There are several ways in which big data may prove helpful to eCommerce store owners:
This is still the deciding element between success and failure for your online store. With the aid of Big Data, you may learn more about your clientele, including their preferred items, the reasons they abandon their shopping carts, the busiest days of the week, and the busiest months of the year. This will serve as a useful reference point for your future advertising efforts – The goal of behavioral targeting, often called behavioral marketing, is to increase the number of customers who make a purchase. Some common practices include alerting consumers to seasonal sales and specials via pop-up windows and emailing discounts to customers on their birthdays. The use of big data and behavioral targeting techniques is growing in popularity and can turn out to be effective for your eCommerce store.
Consumers like any kind of discount or product suggestion and are especially fond of a personalized experience. However, without information on their shopping habits, such as the average amount they spend per transaction, the frequency with which they visit eCommerce sites, the frequency with which they leave their carts, and so on, it is hard to tailor products and services to individual customers.
Almost two-thirds of people who visit a website do not stick around if they do not receive satisfactory customer service. If available, emails, phone conversations, and even live chat may all be synchronized and coordinated with one another and other channels using Big Data. To identify and promptly address systemic problems, Big Data is crucial.
Customers’ buying habits and their actions when visiting your site may be analyzed with proper data. Then, with customer profiles in hand, you can experiment with different pricing points to get people back to your site after they have abandoned it. Having sufficient data before implementing dynamic discounts is important yet doing so may be quite effective. We can safely say that this is one of the most successful methods for keeping customers coming back.
Big Data may help you analyze consumer behavior, stock levels, shipping times, inventory turnover, and revenue. This high-level overview is crucial for making important business decisions like planning for future cash flows, Gross Merchandise Volumes, customer acquisition rates, and other metrics fundamental to the success of online stores.
Stages of eCommerce Customer Journey
As a result, we understand that there is much more to the customer experience than just the sale. We also understand the need to learn how to create a customer-friendly e-commerce fulfillment plan. The success of your trip mapping and optimization efforts depends on your familiarity with its key phases.
Even more so when dealing with an omnichannel or multichannel firm, where the customer’s experience may vary dramatically based on the channel they initially engaged with.
The first step on any trip is to become aware of it; in the e-commerce industry, this is awareness. The consumer is in the discovery phase when learning about your product or service for the first time. It is also where you learn how they tracked you down to begin with. Is it possible that your search engine optimization efforts paid off, and they stumbled upon you that way? Where did they first encounter your advertisement—online or in print?
Once they have ‘arrived,’ you may observe not just their origins but also the actions they are taking. For example, do they visit certain landing pages that reveal what kinds of things they are interested in? This can be treated as the initial interaction, or the first impression of the user being acquainted with your company. It also includes you getting acquainted with their requirements.
At this point, the consumer goes beyond casual window shopping and demonstrates serious interest in a small subset of available goods or services. So, for instance, if you are doing business with a cosmetic brand like Bliss World, they could look at the vegan skincare collection first, indicating a clear area of interest.
This conduct phase is useful for determining the successes and failures of your business. In addition, you may use the data from those analytics to find ways to make your site more engaging to the customer so that they do not immediately leave.
One of the most important phrases in online business, yet it does not always mean a deal has been made. For example, customers who have put an item in their shopping cart (or wish list) but have not checked it out yet may fall into this category. However, we consider this to be the point at which a potential consumer converts into a paying one and boosts your conversion rate.
Delivering on the promises made to the consumer up to this point is the next logical step. Ensuring your marketing, sales, customer support, etc., operations are all coordinated and providing the same level of service and message is an important part of this delivery.
That is right, we have used another one of the magic phrases. It is great when a consumer makes a purchase, but it is even better when they keep returning for more. Having reached this point, they are satisfied with the journey and experience thus far in every way. From then on, customers may show brand loyalty and choose your site over all others.
Offering a memorable experience once is simple; doing it again is far more difficult, and that is something that companies should be aware of right now.
While arriving at this point is the goal of customer service, it is unrealistic to expect to get there with every single customer. Most businesses fail by stage four, but the survivors hope their surviving customers will become high-value advocates and brand ambassadors. Your most valuable clients are now not only buyers but also highly engaged participants.
They will engage with you in several ways, including your website, weblogs, social media, and more. What is more (from a promotional standpoint), they will promote your products and services and aggressively share the material you provide on their channels. Reviews and recommendations from satisfied customers might count as well.
How Do You Build eCommerce Customer Journey Maps?
There are numerous advantages to mapping the customer’s journey, but where do you even begin if you have never done it before? Is there anything you need to think about before getting started?
You must first remember that your map needs to be built from the consumer’s perspective. Take a step back from your official capacity and approach the situation as if you were a regular client. You may learn more about your ideal consumer from this perspective as well.
Select a service or item that your firm provides. Test out different combinations of search phrases to see what turns up. Look into any reviews, articles, or weblogs that could be relevant. Then, after you are ready to check out the goods, head to your main website. Write down your impressions of the site’s flow and the different touchpoints with visitors.
Gather a sample of your ideal customers to serve as a focus group’s panelists. They do not know what corporation or brand is behind this collective. Choose one of your offerings, have the focus group look for it and make a purchase of that item online. Note the steps they take, the directions they try, and the results they get.
Once the focus group has concluded their activity, take the results, and compare them with your experience from part one. You may find out if you are thinking style aligns with your consumers and get a more comprehensive picture of your interactions with them by comparing the results of the two tasks.
You can now see how customers engage with your company and the effectiveness of the numerous touchpoints. Your next step is to learn what each of these steps means for your overall engagement strategy. Are there any touchpoints that you can think of that failed miserably? The next step is revealed upon examining the data obtained.
Your goal should be to have your e-commerce site functioning flawlessly across all touchpoints you (and your customers) have identified. These may include anything from a user’s direct experience on your website to their interaction with your social media profiles or search engine results. In addition, they might consist of third-party platforms like rating and review sites.
Goals and Pain
The groundwork for your customer journey map is beginning to take shape. There is more to it than just cataloging the interactions you have seen. The customers’ needs and desires, as well as their problems, must be considered. Providing a list of the conclusions you have drawn from your research can be quite useful.
Goals. When working with a client, it is important first to determine their end goal(s). So, what exactly are their goals?
The reaction is based on feeling. What steps in the procedure most reliably result in satisfied clients? Alternatively: what causes them distress or irritation? Pain points. What problems do customers face, and what would they like to see fixed?
As a result, you should now have sufficient (often a lot of) knowledge to understand the customer’s perspective. The problem is that this is much information, so you must condense it into an approachable visual. The best way to structure it is going to be determined by the nature of your firm. You may find it useful to produce multiple visuals in a larger organization with several departments and teams. If, for instance, your company has a specialized social media staff, you may opt to draw out a path map focused solely on the many touchpoints, pain points, experiences, etc., that customers have with your company via social media.
Benefits of eCommerce Customer Journey Analytics
The following are some of the many advantages of using a powerful CJA solution that should make Customer Journey Analytics an integral part of any business’s operations if it aspires to provide premium customer experiences.
Client Attrition and Disengagement Rates Decrease
Consumer happiness and turnover may be predicted, and predicted times can be determined by analyzing and understanding customer activity patterns. Through customer journey audits, businesses can track their churn rate and adjust their products and services to maintain a steady stream of happy, engaged consumers.
Experiential (CX) Optimization
Customer Journey Analytics is the systematic collection and analysis of data collected at each point of contact between a company and its customers. Using information gathered from several channels, you may construct a detailed profile of a typical client who buys from you. Each time a consumer interacts with your company, automatic analytic systems pull records to personalize the encounter to their tastes. If you want to improve your return on investment (ROI) and enhance the customer experience in real-time without adding staff, CJA can help you do just that.
Prospective Client Isolation
Every company’s goal is to turn as many prospective consumers as possible into actual ones, and analytics is the key to identifying such areas. Your company’s efforts will be more efficiently targeted once the target audience has been determined and their purchasing propensity has been established. You may also benefit from CJA’s knowledge of your current client base by learning which of them might be persuaded to buy complementary items to what they now buy from your brand.
Cross-selling, promotion of discounts, and the development of brand loyalty among new and existing consumers are all aided by CJA when, for example, a client buying a mobile phone is shown with various phone covers they might require.
Improving the Efficiency of Company Processes
With the aid of Customer Journey Analytics, you may determine if a certain path is feasible for consumers. Then, based on the inefficiencies highlighted by the analytics solution, you may improve your company operations to best meet your customers’ demands and see their happiness when engaging with your brand. Bottlenecks can be eliminated, processes can be streamlined, efficiency can be optimized, and customer service (CX) can be provided without a hitch when analytics is used to get insights into the micro and macro interactions. With CJA’s assistance, your company can anticipate customers’ wants and requirements, adjust internal processes to meet those demands, and create memorable in-store encounters.
Customer relationship management is one of the most critical elements for eCommerce organizations to consider, and it is worth investing in effective CRM software to aid with this. However, even if you have a firm grasp of the customer’s journey, it is no small feat to keep it under control consistently. Aim to be consistent and to guarantee you give the same great client experience throughout every journey. Your internet business should be as accessible and helpful as any physical store. And that goes for every way your consumers connect with you online or offline.
Companies operating in the e-commerce sector range in size from global conglomerates to one-person operations. There is a wide variety of clients, from those who buy cheap novelty products sometimes to those who routinely shell out hundreds of dollars for premium services. People of all backgrounds and identities should strive for equality to make the most of every adventure and encounter.