Let’s look at the facts for a moment. Consumers love to share everything, from pictures of their food posted to the social media sites, to showing off their latest online purchase. Do you know what this trend has shown the marketing community? No, it is not that we’re obsessed with social media (even though we kind of are). It’s shown us that the experience is just as important, if not more so than the actual product itself.
That is why in 2016, roughly 80 to 90% of companies built plans to focus more on the customer experience than anything else. Even after these plans were made, the vast majority of businesses didn’t follow through with these plans the way they wanted to. Why? Money. It’s easier and cheaper to retain current customers than it is to devote time and resources to learn something they do not fully understand which may or may not work out positively for them. Approximately only 40% of companies know what the customer journey is, and adapt accordingly.
What Does the Typical Customer Journey Look Like
The typical customer journey has four key micro-moments that you will need to consider. These moments then lead them on the path to learning more about a product and the brand, or it leads them to purchase that product or obtain services from that source.
- I Want to Know More. Most customers quickly turn to their smartphones to research a product after viewing or listening to a commercial or ad of some sort. They are looking for information about the product and ideas of various ways the product can be used. The more information you can have published providing these answers, the better.
- I Want to Go See It. A lot of customers will begin looking for information on the product but then go to a physical location to examine the product for themselves. They want to see it, touch it, and compare it. In most cases, even if the product is a little bit more expensive, they will make the purchase because they want instant gratification. This is partially why “near me” or “XYZ in <zip code>” searches have nearly doubled in the past year alone.
- I Want or Need to Do It. People are going to need help, but rather than calling customer service centers or reading manuals, they turn to websites like YouTube. They are looking for instructional videos on how to use the product(s) they’ve recently bought or how to update them to make them better. These “how to” searches have increased at an average rate of about 70 to 75% annually.
- I Want to Buy. These are the moments we’re all looking for. However, 82% of customers who are looking to make a purchase will do comparison searches on their smartphone prior to making a purchase. This means you want to offer additional information on what sets your product apart from the competition.
How to Enhance the Journey
The process of improving the customer journey is not realistic for every product, right away. However, you can follow a couple of simple steps to make the process easier for the customer, thereby enhancing the journey.
- Generate Interest. Use whatever you can, and whatever is trending, to produce interest in specific products in your eCommerce store. The goal right now is to attract people to your site.
- Create A Need. Whether it is through a blog or some sort of social media outlet, put out content that touches on common problems people face. You can even go as far as to touch on sensitive topics if needed, but do so carefully. By creating or reminding someone of a potential need, they will be more prone to following through and read everything you have to say, including following any links you may supply.
- Interaction. Even if the person doesn’t follow through immediately, they might leave a comment. The iron is now hot, so to speak. Take the time to answer their questions, address their concerns and, if possible, paint a picture for them about the different ways your particular product could make things better. The key here, however, is not to be pushy.
- Continue to Engage. Follow up and see if they respond within a day or two. If they don’t, ask if anyone else who has commented is going through something similar. Show them that you can be trusted and that you genuinely care.
- Provide Information. Make sure that the key products on your eCommerce website have as much information as you can on them. If you have any videos about the product or videos on different ways to use the product, embed those videos on the product page.
Need Some Guidance With Your eCommerce Strategy?
The path each customer takes will be different, and while most will share some similarities, you have to understand that you must make each experience unique. Don’t be afraid to follow up and ask your customers how they like the product they received and offer them some type of promotion for completing a survey to see how you’re doing. This lets you further tailor the eCommerce experience to increase overall satisfaction.
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