Improving your customer’s online shopping journey

The ‘shopper journey’ refers to the steps a customer takes before, during, and after a purchase. While in-store shoppers simply can walk into a shop, browse, and buy then and there, the online journey is usually much longer.

As an e-Commerce business, you need to make the shopper journey as easy and as smooth as possible for the customer to guarantee a sale.

It starts with a need

When a customer needs something in the online world, they typically use a search engine rather than heading to a specific website. On a search engine, your store is fighting against hundreds to be visible, and even when your website is clicked, that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed the sale.

Unlike in the offline world, shoppers are free to open several tabs, browse stores, and compare prices with the click of the button. And this is why getting your shopper journey right is vital for survival in the online setting.

How to improve your shopper journey

There are five stages within the shopper journey, and each stage is just as important as the one before and after it. Similar to hurdles, your store needs to succeed at the first stage before reaching the next and to win the sale, you need to reach the third stage. All five stages help to create top quality, repeat customers for your business.

Five stages of the shopper journey

Awareness

Here, you need to make your brand known – even before the customer knows they need your product. That way, you’ll be the first choice when they do need you, and they might head directly to your site rather than visiting a search engine first.

 To boost your brand awareness, you can use search ads, social media marketing, and press releases.

Advocacy

This stage is less hands-on and dependent on how well you succeeded at the previous stages. By providing your customers with a great experience, you will soon gain advocates for your brand. Advocacy is all about getting customers to send new customers in your direction. This can be achieved organically or through the use of influencer marketing, referral, or loyalty schemes.

To find out more about the customer journey, and improving your chances of conversion through SEO, social media marketing, and Shopify apps, visit theecommguys.com for expert advice for all things E-Commerce.

Consideration

Even once a customer has clicked onto your site, there’s more work to be done to gain a sale. To be considered by the average online shopper, you will need to have a great reputation. Shoppers are very focused on following advice and recommendations from their friends or people they respect in the online world. 

Although it can be hard for new business owners to gain a good reputation, there are certain ways to you boost your chances. Everything from online reviewing sites, retargeting ads, influencer marketing, and guest blogging are all ways to get your name out there for consideration.

Conversion

The conversion is one of the most exciting parts of the journey. Creating a seamless and easy-to-visit website and simplifying the path-to-purchase can avoid any hurdles that might stop the customer from placing an order.

Typically, a good path-to-purchase for an online shopper should be around 4-6 clicks. So, to ensure you get the conversion, it’s important to keep clicks to a minimum.

There are simple ways to reduce the number of clicks required for purchase. For example, allowing customers to check out without creating an account can boost sales. Similarly, connecting your store to your social media channels will allow you to tag products in images and create an in-thread shop, so customers don’t even need to leave their Instagram to purchase. This is known as headless E-Commerce and can be achieved with popular E-Commerce platforms like Shopify, Woo-Commerce, and Wix.

Another way to put your store in the running for consideration is fast delivery. While you’re not expected to match the likes of Amazon and offer customers immediate delivery, your site should offer options for next day, tracked, and standard shipping.

Retention

Once the order is complete, there’s so much more that can be done for the customer to keep them coming back for more. Going back to the hurdles analogy, just because you won the race this time doesn’t mean you’ll automatically win the race next time. Therefore, you need to leave a good impression on the customer and stay in their mind. Repeat customers are much more loyal to your brand and more cost-efficient than new lead generation.

So how do you retain a customer? Using retargeting ads and email marketing are two easy ways. Another way is to ask for feedback and actually implement it.  Then, let them know you’ve listened – this is a great way to boost brand loyalty.

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