Retail went through a complete makeover thanks to eCommerce and mobile commerce. The digitization of in-store retail experience also made retail smarter. Now retailers have more control over the way customers interact with the store online and offline thanks to these new tools and interfaces. eCommerce marketers are particularly focused on customer journey mapping better to boost sales.
What is the customer journey? How can the roadmap of the customer journey be optimized? To what extent this can boost business conversion? We would like to answer all these questions and different ways of customer journey optimization through this post.
“How well you can incorporate personalized customer experience into your overall store experience matters a lot. But personalization of customer experience needs the push of customer data, analytics and customer insights.”
Understanding The Scope Of Customer Journey Optimization
Let’s start with the basics. When customer journey optimization is prescribed by any eCommerce development service provider, it cannot be done without advising them to have some introspection on the fundamentals of the eCommerce business. The aspects that are often referred to as 4P’s of marketing such as product, placement, price, and promotion need to addressed by relating them to the target audience and customers. These 4 aspects should be designed and delivered as per the audience and customer base of the eCommerce business in question.
Everything that the business is meant to deliver should be properly aligned and presented so that the customer feels at ease and find the reasons to come back to the store again and again. Even when you are struggling to perfect the UX elements in your store, you should prevent anything leading to the bad customer experience.
Let us mention below some of the key elements of bad customer experience that you should avoid at any cost.
- A non-optimised product page making product browsing, search and viewing difficult. A product page with a very limited number of filter options.
- Non-optimized Call-to-Action buttons that make buying, adding to Wishlist or adding to Cart or moving from one step to the other in buying process difficult. Lack of CTA options or open-ended CTA with no additional option apart from making the purchase is equally a negative aspect of customer experience.
- Forceful registration without any option for quicker social login or instantly accessible guest account is another attribute of bad customer experience.
- Limited payment methods, too many steps in the payment process and absence of a proper UI to ensure effortless payment are some of the opt common aspects of bad customer experience.
- The absence of up-selling and cross-selling suggestions based on individual purchases and browsing history is another negative aspect of bad customer experience leading to less business conversion.
- Finally, the absence of prominent contact details displayed above the fold and absence of proper display of reviews and ratings alongside every product can hurt the credibility of a store tremendously.
Apart from all the ground principles that make a good customer experience differ from the bad one, it is the personalization of shopping experience that rules most successful eCommerce stores. How well you can incorporate personalized customer experience into your overall store experience matters a lot. But personalization of customer experience needs the push of customer data, analytics and customer insights.
There are several most credible and widely embraced analytics tools for customer experience analysis. These tools clearly will show the experience of each page or step in the overall customer journey and rate the experience. When the analytics furnishes insights into the role and importance of each page in the customer journey, you know the pulling factors that should be addressed at each stage.
Addressing The Challenge Of Omnichannel Presence
If you think eCommerce and in-store retail are two separate entities that never can deliver an accumulative customer experience, you missed one of the biggest trends in the retail sector now. The digital experience of the eCommerce stores is also extended across the in-store retail experience. Combining the retail presence across multiple channels, a brand is now more focused on omnichannel or multifaceted presence across channels rather than focusing on each channel in a sternly individual manner.
A customer journey is basically constituted with the shopping experience across multiple channels. So, the in-store retail marketer needs to be versed in the intricacies of eCommerce store retail and the vice versa. When the brand marketers of every channel will be able to streamline the respective customer experience with common brand elements and accommodate customer involvement across channels with the common branding elements, there will be a consistent roadmap of customer journey consisting omnichannel elements.
“In a customer journey, the behavior of a visitor for the first time and on repeated occasions is likely to differ irrespective of the person. Marketers need to take these changes into account for customer journey optimization.”
Understanding The Voluminous And Multi-Layered Data For Customer Journey Mapping
Customer journey cannot be visualized right without an in-depth understanding of the customer data. For an eCommerce marketer, customer data is the gold-mine of credible and most opportune insights that can help business conversion.
Some of the key categories of customer data that help marketers understand the customer journey include customer behavior, personal, demographic and contact data, purchase information and post-purchase experience and feedback. The insights derived from all these categories of customer data should be taken into account in understanding the overall customer journey and for improving it.
Apart from making customer journey better by addressing the pain points and the shortcomings, the marketers also should try to understand the things that customers are trying to achieve and accordingly should try to make things easier for them. While trying to do so, the customer data is their biggest accomplice.
Monitoring Customer Behavior Flow Chart
Every eCommerce marketer primary focuses on making informed decisions to boost customer engagement, interactions, and sales. One source of credible customer insights is the customer behavior flowchart. Such reports furnished by active analytics tools can show the details of customer reactions in every page or following every interaction. This would also reveal the effects of promotional offers on customers of the store.
Apart from directly applying such insights when deciding on various elements in the UI/UX or promotions, the behavioral changes observed in a customer over time or across stages can also tell the marketers about the pain points and the areas that need to be addressed. In a customer journey, the behavior of a visitor for the first time and on repeated occasions is likely to differ irrespective of the person. Marketers need to take these changes into account for customer journey optimization.
eCommerce will continue to grow and is destined to become the main face of retail in the years to come. Already, online stores account for a large portion of sales for many retail brands. Naturally, mapping the customer journey will be crucial to stay competitive and to boost sales. Customer journey optimization will hold more importance for retailers and eCommerce marketers than ever before.