The digital customer journey has evolved more than ever before; customers are more connected and more impatient than ever before. In the year 2000, only 22% of the U.S. citizens had made any purchase online but this Pew Research Centre Survey of US adults revealed that 8 in every 10 U.S. adults are now online shoppers. This makes for a precise 79% of online U.S. shoppers overall. Furthermore, the modern customer is greatly empowered with information that during 50-70% of their digital journey they actively research before making a purchase. There is therefore a strong need for websites to match the digital customer journey expectations if they want to maintain a competitive edge.
63% of marketers are already making plans to transform their digital customer journey, also referred to as “journey mapping”. Winning marketers make deliberate efforts to research on the following aspects when it comes to optimizing their website:
The digital customer journey is the set of different stages that a customer goes through with respect to your website before they finally make a purchase. This is otherwise called a “sales funnel”. This could start with maybe a prospective customer carrying out a basic search on google, then first-time look at your website, to subscription for your content through the email list. They then read your content with more interest (think blog posts, e-books, etc.), reach out and maybe even talk to your sales rep, and finally, they figure out whether to buy your solution/product.
Successful mapping of your customer’s digital purchasing requires an in-depth research into the various segments of your target market. It means looking at your individual subpages, to optimize the menu for first time visitors and to resist the temptation to combine various segments in a bid to reach many people.
Customer touch points are points at which the customer interacts with your brand/product/service. This is very specific to every buyer persona, because not everyone subscribes to your newsletter or shares your blog posts. The customer contact with your brand could be a look at your billboard, social media pages, ads, influencers, landing pages, calls to action, or any other platform. CRM and point-of-sale (POS) could also help with customer touch points since they hold great data for analysis.
Customers now expect the same kind of service that is provided by digital natives such as Amazon and Google with research showing that 25 percent of customers will defect after just one bad experience. The emphasis here is to try to see the world through the customer’s eyes if you are to maintain a competitive edge over your competition.
Key performance indicators are means of measuring your performance in the digital customer journeys. Leading companies start at the top, with a metric to measure the customer experience, and then cascade downward into their key customer journeys and performance indicators. Ask yourself these questions:
Ensure to capture customer perceptions in the digital customer journey maps. Some common sources where to find customer feedback and perceptions include customer reviews, CRM, POS, surveys, forums, and social media platforms among others. Data captured in these sources should be accurately analysed for results. These internal sources of information should be benchmarked with external sources to determine whether there are any particular patterns that emerge from the two. It should then be used to assess improvements of your website leading to a higher conversion rate.
Employ both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Use ethnographic research, customer journey maps, and contextual inquiries among others.
There is a critical need to optimize your website for the digital customer journey through knowing your customer and their particular needs, evaluating your website using KPIs to see whether it meets your customer’s needs, restructuring your website to be customer-friendly, and lastly ensure you supply fresh, authoritative, interesting, and relevant content for each step of the customer’s digital journey.
Mastering the concept and execution of an excellent digital customer journey strategy is downright daunting, but an essential one in today’s rapidly changing business environment. Companies that provide the customer with the best experience from start to finish along the journey can expect to enhance customer satisfaction and improve sales and customer retention rates.