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Ecommerce is not just buying things online anymore, it is so much more. It has become the new way of doing things online – interacting with goods and brands, and having an immersive experience in doing so. People do not just purchase items now; they buy experiences. Accessibility, facts, helpful support and post-purchase support, the facility to provide direct feedback, value-rich communication, the comfort of multichannel shopping, important offers — all these forms an integral part of a seamless customer experience.
The buyer’s journey is the stage of purchasing a product/service a customer typically goes through. You can design the buyer’s journey in such a way that they go through all the familiarity you want these buyers to have with your brand, leading them to preferred outcomes like various purchases and trustworthiness.
What Is a Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map is a pictorial representation of all possible experiences customers may have with your brand/store/product. It may comprise experiences from the first stage of awareness, possibly concluding in product purchase, or just establishing one-off communications with your product or even advocating for your brand.
Customer Journey Stages
There may be several touchpoints you may consider when creating a buyer’s journey for your eCommerce business. However, all these phases and touchpoints can be classified into four broad stages:
When a customer has a need and stumbles across your brand in some form, this is considered the awareness stage. The buyer gets to know who you are and what you offer. Awareness occurs when a customer first comes in touch with your brand through one of the following:
» Word-of-mouth references
» Media coverage
» Social media platforms
» Search engines
» Website or app
» Blogs, etc.
• Evaluate and Compare
A person enters this stage when they are vigorously evaluating what you offer. The customer has identified your offering as one of the alternative solutions for their need but is exploring and comparing other options. Individuals at this phase are usually expected to do their own research through:
» Online reviews on third-party portals
» Buyer’s guides on the website
» Retargeting advertisements
» Promotional emails
» Information on your product page
» Your delivery, guarantee and returns policies
At this stage, a customer has finalized your offering as the preferred solution. They feel they have gained a sufficient understanding of your solution to make a particular decision. In practical eCommerce language, a buyer that is in this stage will:
» Add items to a basket
» Discover and use coupon or discount code
» Look at a third-party payment offered
» Look for EMI or buy-now-pay-later option
»Look at delivery details
Once the purchase is made, the customer moves on to the next phase called advocate or support. This stage includes:
» Customer service and support
» Comment and reviews providing
» Returns and repayments or cashback process
Chief Components of Customer Journey
• Buyer persona: The buyer persona is a detailed description of a typical customer you expect to buy from you. This is usually a fictional person who has the characteristics of your ideal customer. Creating them might seem pointless, but it is really what will prove crucial on a long-term basis. While creating them, remember to classify them based on the following scopes.
» Demographic dimension – This clarifies who the purchaser is based on place, gender, age, or even marital status.
» Psychographic dimension – This part clarifies why the persona desires to buy from you. It mainly covers the expenses, requirements, typical buying behavior and habits, and social media presence.
These dimensions help you create a buyer persona that embraces information about your current and new customers.
• Expectations: This highlights the outlook of a buyer’s persona when they browse your website. It addresses the following questions:
What are they searching for?
How do they think the website looks like?
How do they expect it to respond?
• Journey stages: These cover all the steps a user passes through when interacting with your website. In your eCommerce business environment, these stages might contain finding, navigation, exploration, purchasing, support, and return.
• Approach and emotions: What the guest does and feels when interacting with your website needs to be studied too. It is necessary to know how a customer’s actual journey feels like while going through your eCommerce platform.
• Customer experience: It covers the questions such as:
What opinion do buyers have about your brand?
Are they disappointed, eager, or irritated with the experience?
• Opportunities: The perceptions that you collect from the point of the previous step towards the changes you create to make things better. It is more about how you plan to move ahead with all the fresh information at hand.
A customer journey map offers you so many new insights about your customers and your eCommerce business. Now it is time to plan and apply the knowledge you have just gained. The customer’s requirements keep growing, and hence, you need to keep appraising your customer journey map to stay adjacent to your clients and serve them better.