A customer experience is defined by every touchpoint or interaction your customer does with your brand. From customers discovering your brand for the first time to visiting your online e-commerce store to make their first purchase, every factor defines what your customers think about your company and how likely they will purchase from you again. The internet is full of online e-commerce stores for customers to choose from. Hence you need to understand the importance of e-commerce customer service to offer the best of your brand to your potential customers. This definitive article covers all aspects of a customer’s journey for e-commerce, telling you how to improve your customer’s online experience to enhance customer journey in e-commerce development.
What is an E-commerce customer journey?
A customer journey for e-commerce is simply defined as the phases that customers go through while interacting with your e-commerce business to make a purchase. Like making sales is essential, your customers’ overall experience is equally important. Many factors determine a successful or an unsuccessful conversion. For example, the time your online store takes to load, how user-friendly is your interface, and how convenient is the whole process of making a purchase. It also comprises e-commerce development services like advertising, customer support, and how well the communication goes with a specific customer. Therefore, all of these factors determine the customer’s experience with your brand and how your overall e-commerce journey has been.
The phases of the customer journey for e-commerce
So we now know that the e-commerce journey for customers is not only making a purchase from your online store. To develop a successful e-commerce business plan, we also know that understanding the five phases of the b2b e-commerce customer journey is essential. We need to make sure this customer journey map is planned carefully and optimized as much as possible. Let us look at those five stages of a customer journey for e-commerce.
Like every journey, the starting point of an e-commerce business is raising awareness. This is simply a phase where your customers discover your brand for the first time. This is also the stage where you get to know where your customer actually found your online store. Was it via social media, search engines, or any other traditional medium? All these questions might lead you to find out what products or services your customers are interested in. This first phase is the learning phase, where you learn about your customer, and your customer learns about your brand simultaneously.
The second phase comprises your customer’s genuine interest in a specific product or service. From your perspective, this is the stage at which you can analyze what works for your e-commerce development and what does not. Based on these analytics, you can conveniently reduce bounce rates on the e-commerce website and encourage further searches by your customer.
These magic words determine the fundamental importance of the e-commerce customer journey. However, this stage still does not mean a guaranteed sale, but this might mean that your customer has added a product in the cart or to their wishlist for buying later. From a business owner’s perspective, you must deliver any promise you made to get your customer to reach this point. These deliveries include all the e-commerce management services, such as marketing, sales, customer support, etc.
Making one sale is always good, but retaining that same customer is excellent. This clearly indicates that your customers are delighted with your services and would shop again, whenever needed. From a business perspective, you should work hard to enhance the customer journey in e-commerce by providing the best service possible.
When a customer is delighted with your product or service, he becomes the best brand advocate. If you pass the fourth stage successfully, you will gain a lifetime brand ambassador who will promote your brand by interacting actively. They will do that through every touchpoint of your e-commerce business like blogs, homepage, social media and recommend you by posting reviews on your website or on their own social platforms.
How to build a map for customer journey for e-commerce?
A map for e-commerce customer journey is basically a visualization of all experiences that your customers have with your e-commerce organization. Building a map will allow you to understand the importance of the e-commerce customer journey, identify your strengths and weaknesses of e-commerce development services, and improve them if needed. Here is how you can start mapping your customer journey for e-commerce.
You need to think like your customer by visiting your own website and building a review based on your experience when you saw your own website. Take notes on customer touchpoints.
Research your brand deeply by putting together a focus group that would buy from your brand and gives honest reviews about your services and their overall experience with your website. This way, you can enhance your e-commerce development services by having a more comprehensive view of your customers’ interactions and touchpoints.
Now that you better understand how your customers would most likely feel when navigating through your e-commerce website, your primary aim should be to have your website optimized at every touchpoint your customers have identified. For example, your social media, search engines, or other review websites.
You cannot keep all this information just in your mind. Thus, a visual that is easy to look at and understand is essential. Once you visualize your map, it would become convenient for you to enhance the customer journey in e-commerce.
The importance of e-commerce customer journey
Your customers are more likely to retain if they had an excellent customer experience from your brand. This is why owners have modified their e-commerce business plan and shifted their focus to provide a pleasant e-commerce customer journey to attract new customers while retaining the existing ones. Here are a few reasons why a good customer journey for e-commerce is essential to add to your e-commerce business plan.
- Effectiveness: You need to ask yourself if the required e-commerce journey map makes any sense to your customers. Thus, creating a practical e-commerce customer journey map is essential, as we all do things differently, from searching for products to navigating a site.
- Efficiency: The customer journey for e-commerce can help streamline your customer’s overall experience and identify various touchpoints from start to finish.
- Understanding: The importance of the e-commerce customer journey also lies in learning and knowing your customers’ requirements, their likes, dislikes, and how they actually think. This is the point where most e-commerce businesses fail, as they create an e-commerce journey for themselves rather than focusing on ways to enhance customer journey in e-commerce.
- Setting goals: An exceptionally planned map for customer journey for e-commerce can also help identify and set better goals for your e-commerce business plan. It is also important because it gives you a better idea about what would make your business thrive and expand.
- Planning: Having a good e-commerce customer journey map is essential, as it allows you to focus on future events of e-commerce management, e-commerce development services, and growing your B2B e-commerce customer journey.
How to maintain a positive customer experience throughout an e-commerce business plan?
We understand how daunting it can be for companies new to e-commerce customer journey mapping as they identify various gaps and flaws in their e-commerce development services. Therefore, we have compiled a few points to understand how you can improve customers’ online experience.
Create touchpoints wherever possible
Any platform where your customer interacts with you is a touchpoint. For example, seeing your advertisement, visiting your website, reading product reviews, contacting your customer support, and finally purchasing your product. Therefore, you should make sure every touchpoint works appropriately and fit perfectly in its respective stage.
Optimize your online store for every smart device
Always remember that half of an e-commerce business runs via smartphones. Hence, a poor mobile site will navigate all the potential traffic somewhere else, making you lose your customer base. Therefore, creating a responsive e-commerce website design is essential to improve your customer’s online experience.
Offer proactive customer service
Offering excellent customer service in e-commerce management includes identifying and resolving errors and issues before they are even complained about. This can be done by adding an FAQ section on your website and providing practical answers to general customer queries.
Personalization works every time
Everybody likes a personal touch in online shopping. This means that you can add a little more personal touch to your website along with your customer’s username. For example, identify their interests and buying habits by collecting as much data as possible based on your customer’s age, location, gender, etc. Content marketing is the perfect example of using a personalization tactic to attract customers to your e-commerce website.
The importance of the e-commerce customer journey has skyrocketed since business owners have learned that providing exceptional customer support can convert searches into sales in real-time and retain existing and new customers forever. Therefore, the key is to remain consistent in offering the best customer experiences throughout your e-commerce journey so that your online store feels no less accessible and helpful than a physical store can be.