The customer journey map is one of the most valuable business tools available to online retailers. You may lose out on sales if you are not focused on creating a customer journey map that truly converts. Customer journey optimization, based on mapping, results in more conversions, revenue, and long-term loyalty. In this article, we’re going to learn more about customer journey mapping in eCommerce and how it contributes to boosting the conversion of online stores.
What is Customer Journey?
Before learning more about the customer journey map, let’s first understand what the customer journey actually is.
The buyer lifecycle is similar to a sales funnel. It’s your way of knowing the general customer stages, since it is created with an understanding of the actions you want customers to take, and it helps you make better sales decisions.
A typical buyer lifecycle sees customers move through stages like the prospect, customer, repeat customer, and evangelist. Here’s a quick overview of the different stages of a standard online store buyer lifecycle:
- Impressions – The first stage of the buyer life cycle begins when a customer comes across your brand. They might receive a referral from a friend, click on a Google shopping ad, or see an ad in their social media feed
- Acquisition – In the second stage, potential customers are actively interacting with your online store. They might visit a service/product page or save an item for later, for example
- Conversion – A customer enters a conversion stage when they make a purchase. This stage is included when mapping for first-time purchases, but it is also related to inactive or returning customers
- Loyalty – The loyalty stage is relevant for existing customers that are actively making repeat purchases
- Advocacy – A customer enters the stage of advocacy, they become an “evangelist” for your brand
Customer Journey Map
A customer journey map is a visual representation of customer experience with your online store. It includes detailed journey sequences in which these experiences occur. An e-commerce customer journey may consist of start-to-finish experiences, or they might include one-off interactions with your brand that don’t go any further. The important thing to keep in mind is that a customer journey map holds the detail of all possible types of experiences, big and small, from the perspective of the customer.
It is an important piece of insight in your eCommerce toolkit because it helps you improve your customer experience, and ultimately boost conversion rate and sales. A customer journey map allows you to see through the eyes of your customers and customize content and optimize the way it’s delivered.
Please keep in mind that individual customer journeys can be hugely diverse. There are many checkpoints or touchpoints, all the way from impression to purchase, through which customers can communicate with your store and brand. And because customer journey maps need to include all of these checkpoints, they can be very complex documents.
Customer journey mapping is all about businesses stepping into their customers’ shoes and noting down all the possible experiences they might have. The first step in creating a customer journey map is to build detailed profiles, accounting for customers’ pain-points, goals, and objections. Once you are through with this, you can map out all of your brand’s checkpoints and connect them to different stages of the overall customer journey.
Benefits of a Customer Journey Map – How Does It Contribute To Boost Conversions?
Here’s why customer journey mapping is important for your business:
- Highlights what customers need and when they need it
A customer journey map highlights what is required by your customer and when is it required at different stages of the sales funnel/buyer lifecycle. The map shows the gaps in the user experience. This allows you to design content and touchpoints that are missing at particular stages of your buyer lifecycle. For example, visitors might need to speak to a customer service representative to solve an issue, but this option isn’t available on your website currently. This needs to be resolved for a better customer experience journey.
- Shows how your value proposition matches the customer experience
Since your customer journey map includes information about the level of satisfaction associated with each of your touchpoints, it shows you how well your value proposition matches up to the actual experiences of your customers. For example, you’ve mentioned on your website that you offer free same-day shipping, but most customers are frustrated because they do not receive their items when expected.
- Clarifies customer needs
To design a great customer journey map, you need to be absolutely crystal-clear about your customers’ needs and issues. The research phase includes building detailed customer profiles that will unveil a range of needs and issues, across the whole customer experience, that you might not have come across or considered. Since customer journey mapping is an ongoing process as maps should be updated on a quarterly or even monthly basis, you will become aware of new issues as they arise.
- Highlights limitations in your customer journey
Very few businesses are able to achieve a perfect customer journey, and that’s normal. The customer journey map shows you exactly which touchpoints are missing or underperforming. Your map should consist of satisfaction ratings for each stage of your existing customer journey depending on feedback and analytics data.
- Clarifies optimization and development
Along with highlighting customer needs and issues, customer journey maps can also be used to set business priorities. You can clarify which goals, KPIs, and stages are the most important and allocate resources to the accompanying touchpoints.
- Enables you to target resources for maximum returns
After prioritizing areas for development and optimization, identify which touchpoints are most in need of improvement and which are likely to have the most significant impact on your business overall. This enables you to make revenue-driven decisions and gain maximum returns.
The User Experience Journey in a Nutshell
We hope this guide has offered a starting point in helping optimize the user experience journey for your customers. Try creating a simple customer journey map that helps you visualize the process, and increases your conversion rate. To build a successful customer journey map, you can make use of the many customer journey mapping tools available online like Microsoft Visio, Gliffy, and UXPressia.
Most importantly, to integrate this plan into your bigger picture marketing efforts, and learn more about how you can increase website conversion, get in touch with our friendly, professional team for a free business quote. Our specialized performance-based advertising and marketing services can help you achieve the best results for your business.