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How To Effectively Build An Ecommerce Customer Journey Map

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As an online business owner, you have probably seen potential customers visit, view, and buy from you, or else they have left, leaving you to wonder why.

The classic client journey is no longer linear due to the quick acceleration of ecommerce. Customers must make a number of small choices between interacting with your brand for the first time and becoming repeat customers. It's your duty to provide them with tailored product recommendations and marketing messages.

We will go over every detail of the ecommerce customer journey in this article. We'll examine developing a highly effective process that makes it simple for buyers to find what they need and finish their purchase.

What is the Ecommerce Customer Journey?

Ecommerce Customer Journey

Source: Question Pro

The entire customer journey in ecommerce, from the first contact with a brand's online store to the last purchase, is known as the ecommerce customer journey. This covers browsing, choosing a product, checking out, and customer service after a purchase. Conversions and engagement can be increased by businesses by comprehending and optimizing the ecommerce customer journey.

A customer's journey through an online store encompasses all the actions they take from realizing they need a product to making their purchase.

Every stage they pass through is known as a customer touchpoint, and you can use them to give potential customers an enjoyable experience.

A typical ecommerce customer's journey may involve several channels and take several days.

The Importance of Shopify Customer Journey

Considering the complete customer journey can assist you in addressing important concerns such as:

  • Why did that customer abandon their shopping cart?
  • Did this person not find what they were looking for?
  • How can I learn from these customers’ actions on my site?
  • What changes do I need to make to my ecommerce store to increase conversions?

Here's an ecommerce customer journey mapping example with buyer stage, awareness, conversion, and loyalty columns

Shopify Customer Journey

Source: Shopify

A Shopify customer journey map assists in gaining knowledge of your target market's needs and wants as well as how to improve their experience.

Additionally, you can see what your customers are thinking and feeling when they interact with your product by modeling the ecommerce user journey. This helps you learn their needs, goals, and preferences on a deeper level.

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5 Stages of the Ecommerce Customer Journey

Although the term "customer journey" is frequently used in marketing, it's possible that your website's users aren't aware of their actions as "stages" in a journey or aren't considering them to be. They are going through each step instead of thinking about it.

5 Stages of the Ecommerce Customer Journey

Source: Shopify

Read more: [Getting Started] Ecommerce Meaning And How To Begin In 2024

Awareness

The first step in any ecommerce customer journey is awareness. It begins when a customer's curiosity is aroused or when they are actively seeking a good or service to address an issue they are now facing. At this point, word-of-mouth recommendations from existing customers or social media advertising are typical customer touchpoints.

Every journey begins with awareness and in the ecommerce businesses which is awareness. The customer learns about your brand and product/service at this point.

The ecommerce store should also monitor the prospective customer behavior. Do they have a preference for a specific product over others? If so, do other prospects exhibit the same behavior with comparable characteristics?

The touchpoints at this stage include ads, blogs, banners, newsletters, etc.

Search result of lipstick on google search

 Types of content:

  • Articles and blogs are very effective during the awareness stage.
  • Make instructional and how-to videos. Videos that discuss your brand are also effective.
  • Create infographics with important concepts, arguments, data, etc.
  • Make use of social media to grow a horde of devoted followers.

Actions needed:

  • Provide your target audience with information that will help them understand your brand and the values that you stand for.
  • Share the benefits of using your brand’s products and services.
  • Make sure the content you create in this stage is educational and informative.

Consideration

When a person moves through the customer journey's consideration stage, their dedication to finding a solution grows. They consider their options at this point and visit your online store in addition to any rival brands that might be able to better meet their needs.

Your customer is now genuinely interested in your products or services. They are also considering other options that are on the market. Sadly, most businesses lose clients at this point if they are unable to locate what they are looking for.

Category filters, store pages, landing pages, etc., are touchpoints in this stage.

ecommerce site

Source: Kylie Cosmetics

Types of content:

  • Develop cost calculators that the target audience can use to see how much they are saving by buying your products.
  • Develop original reports and research that will show you as an industry leader.
  • Hold the buyer’s attention with the help of podcasts and webinars.
  • Create videos that tell a story.

Actions needed:

  • Get an idea of who your prospective buyers are.
  • Identify potential questions they might have and create content around them.
  • Create informative content that solves the buyer’s problem.
  • Constantly track the activity of your site.

Acquisition

Once a customer decides on a purchase, they enter the acquisition stage. This can occur through a social media storefront, a marketplace, your ecommerce store, or a physical store.

The touchpoints during the acquisition stage include the shopping cart, payment service provider, checkout page, thank you page, order confirmation, tracking details, etc.

Kylie Cosmetics product page

Source: Kylie Cosmetics

Types of content:

  • Offer trial sessions or demos to make customers experience your product.
  • Share customer reviews and testimonials to build trust.
  • Write how-to articles and guides that let potential customers eliminate any doubt that they might have.
  • Offer a free consultation call.

Actions needed:

Kylie Cosmetics shipping and contact form

Source: Kylie Cosmetics

  • Organize exclusive sales to increase the appeal of making a purchase from you.
  • Verify that the checkout procedure is easy to understand
  • Utilize shopping cart abandonment software to reach out to prospective customers who were on the verge of making a purchase.
  • Use high-quality images, descriptions, and videos on the product pages.

Service

Once a consumer makes their first purchase, their ecommerce customer journey is far from over. Some customers will inevitably require assistance with their order. Maybe they want to know how to use the product, start a return, or find out if they can get a deal on their next purchase. We can categorize this as the service stage of the customer journey.

The touchpoints during this stage include your FAQs, terms and conditions, customer service representatives, packaging, return confirmation, etc.

Quick read: Top 5 Benefits of Custom eCommerce Development

Loyalty

Leaving a review or referring a friend to the product are two customer touchpoints that often occur at the loyalty stage, aside from starting another purchase and going back to an earlier point in the journey.

Getting customers to purchase your products makes you happy. However, it is preferable to force them to return time and time again. Hence, the ecommerce store has an obligation to maintain the satisfaction of their existing customers.

Actually, the customer experience process starts with a sale. Maximizing your return on investment from the customer should be the goal.

By increasing customer retention just by 5%, you can boost profits by more than 100%, according to a study by Harvard Business Review.

This statistic makes a clear point about how important it is to have loyal customers. In the end, loyal customers are the ones who will support and advertise your company.

Types of content:

  • Create a separate channel for existing customers to get in touch for any queries or complaints.
  • Leverage in-app messages.
  • Build onboarding emails.
  • Create a knowledge base to help customers to use the product better.

Actions needed:

  • Provide strong customer service, no matter which channels they use to get in touch.
  • Incentivize your customers for staying loyal to you.
  • Run upselling and cross-selling campaigns with special offers for existing customers.

All of the earlier phases of the customer's ecommerce journey come together at the customer loyalty stage.

The majority of online stores don't succeed in giving customers a satisfying experience in the initial phases. They cannot benefit from a high lifetime value from their clients if they are unable to do this. Additionally, it prevents them from turning past customers into unofficial brand ambassadors, whose steadfast brand loyalty can reduce costs associated with ecommerce marketing.

A customer may rate the goods and services they received, get a follow-up newsletter, and use their refund or credit voucher toward another purchase during this phase.

In this case, the product page, landing page, online form, and newsletter or follow-up email serve as the primary touchpoints.

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How to Create an Ecommerce Customer Journey Map?

An ecommerce customer journey map is a flowchart that shows how customers interact with your business through different channels such as online, in-store, and customer support team. They provide information about the origins of users, the number of days or visits needed to transition between stages, the user's objective at each one and the behavior of each segment.

How to Create an Ecommerce Customer Journey Map?

Source: Shopify

Step 1: Define your ideal customer(s)

In order to create ecommerce customer journey maps that are as clear and practical as possible, you must have a thorough understanding of your customers' needs and desires. Consider the following questions as you define your ideal the customer:

  • Who are your customers right now?
  • Which channels do they use?
  • What kind of benefit do they get from your product?
  • What are their goals, pain points, motivations, purchasing triggers, etc.?
  • Why would they prefer your brand over that of your competitors?

A typical business can have three to seven different personas. Make an ecommerce customer journey map for every persona once you've created the necessary personas.

Customer journeys are complex, as we have seen. Creating a map of every potential ecommerce customer journey would be extremely time-consuming and costly.

Make sure your customer persona is unique. To create a very thorough customer profile, invest more time in ecommerce customer journey mapping.

For example, an ecommerce store selling cosmetics might have the following ideal customer:

Samantha is a 30-year-old female professional in New York City and is passionate about fashion and beauty. She values quality and always looks for new trends, but doesn’t want to spend too much. She tends to do her research and looks for reviews from other customers before making a purchase.

Step 2: Collect data

Finding out why your customers initially come to you is the next step. What do they want from your online store? Approximately how often do they visit? Do they return to make additional purchases? What results do they hope to achieve from their interactions with you?

You must gather information on the acts and habits of your customers in order to respond to these queries.

Ways to collect info:

  • Market research. Websites like Nielsen and Pew Research Center could help
  • Social media listening
  • Surveys and interviews
  • Google Analytics data. Look at the data from your store’s traffic to see how long customers stay on one page, which pages they visit most often, and what their purchase path looks like.

Step 3: Identify Objectives and Shortcomings

You now have some of the foundations of your customer journey map in place. You also need to understand the goals of the customer and the pain points they experience. Enumerating a few of the conclusions drawn from your data collection and observation can be very beneficial.

  • Goals. What is the customer’s ultimate goal? What is it they want to achieve?
  • Emotional response. What parts of the process make the customer happy? Or what elements make them unhappy or frustrated?
  • Pain points. What things cause issues for the customer and would they like to see improved?

Step 4: Create a Simplified Visualization

Customer journey map

Source: Concept Board

You might choose to produce multiple visuals, particularly if your business is larger and you have teams working on various projects. If your organization has a specialized social media team, for instance, you might choose to develop a journey map that specifically addresses social media touchpoints, experiences, pain points, etc.

For instance, you can make a personalized journey map that addresses search engine and social media touchpoints, pain points, experiences, etc. if you have a dedicated SEO marketing team.

Customer Journey Example

An illustration map of a customer journey example from an online grocery store. Take note of the degree of specificity and the ways in which the stages align with KPIs commonly linked to the buyer lifecycle or sales funnel.

Customer Journey Example

Source: Growcode

How to Improve Your Ecommerce Customer Journey

Optimize responsive design

customer's experience mobile mode view

Source: Kylie Cosmetics

Not everyone uses a laptop to shop online.

You risk losing customers if your website is not optimized for mobile and tablet users.

It is crucial that you concentrate on giving customers a seamless, uninterrupted experience across all platforms. Here's how to carry it out:

  • Test your website to ensure that it works properly.
  • Ensure that your website loads quickly and is responsive across devices.
  • Try developing an app for mobile devices and tablets.
  • Ensure that important buttons such as add to cart, add to wishlist, checkout, etc. are clearly distinguishable and visible.

Personalize touch points

Consumers want more customization, and your customer experience probably needs some improvement in this area.

Better data collection at every touch point will provide you more information and chances to further customize interactions. To that end, here are a few methods:

  • Add a contact’s name to communications with them, such as texts or emails.
  • Tailor your offerings based on a customer’s location, purchase, or browsing history.
  • Deploy exit pop-ups designed for each prospect’s stage of the buyer’s journey.
  • Create special offers that match a prospect’s desires.

Create FOMO

You can use FOMO as a strong motivator to increase engagement and enhance the customer journey. You'll acquire more customers at every stage if you can convince them that they will lose out if they don't proceed.

Here are a few doable strategies to positively impact FOMO throughout your ecommerce customer journey:

  • List how many items of a product can still be purchased.
  • Include a timer on a shopping page showing how much time remains in a sale.
  • Show how many customers viewed a product over the last hour or day.
  • Emphasize that supplies are limited.
  • Highlight an essential date for an event and create countdown email sequences.

Improve customer delight.

It's that easy: customers will proceed farther on their customer journey if they find interacting with you enjoyable.

Enhancing customer satisfaction can increase conversions and foster deeper, more meaningful interactions with customers, forging deeper, more meaningful connections.

Here's how boosting customer satisfaction actually looks in action:

  • Offer unique rewards for birthdays or special occasions
  • Create special events
  • Offer swag
  • Create a community around your brand or product
  • Offer surprises, like flash sales or special discounts through loyalty programs
  • Interact individually with customers on social media

Conclusion

You can get a comprehensive picture of the experience you provide to your customers by creating an ecommerce customer journey map. You can give customers a better experience by identifying problem areas. Additionally, it will raise your conversion rates.

Additionally, you can enhance the customer experience at each touchpoint of interaction if you continue to refine the customer journey map on a regular basis.

Get in contact with us if you want to learn more about how to map the customer journey using customer data or if you want to enhance the customer experience.

Explore more, check out: Omnichannel Retailing Strategy: The Key to Success for Retailers

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