We’ve talked a lot about the customer journey – how it affects sales, service, and marketers.
One segment that feels a little different is the e-commerce customer journey. The customer journey differs from service-based companies because it can be much faster (buy from Amazon or an Instagram ad).
However, when working in an e-commerce company, understanding the customer journey is important: all of the touchpoints and stages.
In the following you will learn how to map the customer journey of your e-commerce company. You can also download some templates to get you started.
E-Commerce Customer Journey
The e-commerce customer journey is like any customer journey. It describes the entire experience a customer has in order to buy a product from a company online. From the moment they know about your product to the moment they complete the purchase and contact customer support.
The touchpoints can include when someone sees a social media ad, when a friend tags it on an online post, when they come across your website, when they read one of your blogs, when your product shows up on Google, and when he searches on Amazon, etc.
The journey from first contacting you to purchasing your product to returning it is included in the ecommerce customer journey.
As you write down these touchpoints, you may find that the journey on your website is not ideal. In this case, you can look for solutions that will help you such as: B. WooCommerce (a WordPress plug-in).
Now let’s explore the different stages of the ecommerce journey.
E-commerce stages of the customer journey
The first phase of the e-commerce customer journey is awareness. During this phase, a prospect has a problem and does research to understand their problem.
In this phase, customers investigate the problem, see if there are solutions, overcome misunderstandings, and prioritize solutions.
In the deliberation phase, potential customers look for products and methods to solve their problem.
For example, let’s say I want to start a morning routine. I do some research on google and see some ads on social media. I realize that I want a routine morning journal.
Now that I know what to buy and how to fix my problem, it’s time to start looking for solutions. I go to Google and Amazon and see which routine magazines are available in the morning and which have the best reviews.
At this stage, prospects limit their list to just the top products they want to buy.
This is when they learn what sets your product apart from the competition and why your product is what they need. At this stage it is important to understand the different touch points so that you can communicate what makes your product unique.
For e-commerce, I decided to add another stage to the customer journey. This phase is retention. After a customer buys your product, their experience and purchase decision from you depends entirely on the quality of your product and customer service.
Suppose the package was missing, it was delivered to the wrong address, or you want to return the product. If this experience doesn’t go well, they won’t buy from you again. If things go well, they’ll likely consider giving a positive review.
Also, during the retention period, you can consider realigning marketing and social media ads so that more of your products are shown to them online.
Once you’ve got your customers excited, they’ll see you popping up online and want to get in touch with you. They keep buying from you.
For more information on ecommerce marketing, check out the HubSpot Academy’s free ecommerce marketing course.
After we understand the e-commerce customer journey, we can visualize it with a customer journey map.
E-Commerce Customer Journey Map
An e-commerce customer journey map is a visual representation of the various points of contact on a customer journey. This map shows the stage of the buyer’s journey the customer is in, lists the destinations and channels through which customers can come across that touchpoint. The more points of contact you have, the more necessary a customer journey map becomes.
This map is essentially a visualization of the customer journey from start to finish. Creating this map is not just about understanding the customer journey, but also planning how you can improve the customer experience at each touch point.
For example, the HubSpot customer CODE41 was able to optimize its e-commerce customer journey via the HubSpot Marketing Hub, the Sales Hub and the Service Hub.
With Marketing Hub, CODE41 sends millions of emails (yes, millions) to their lists. With Sales Hub, the customer support team can automate reminders to minimize customer support errors: don’t follow up customer inquiries, don’t forget your payment status, etc.
Finally, the company uses Service Hub to report how many tickets have been returned, complaints, repairs, etc. This helps them improve customer experience and loyalty.
If you want to start with your own ecommerce customer journey map, you can use HubSpot’s customer journey map template, where you can worry about what the customer is thinking or feeling, what they are doing, what he explores and how he can go from deliberation to decision.
For more information, see this post on Customer Journey Thinking. You can find out more in the following video:
Now you might be wondering, “How do I create an ecommerce customer journey map?”
Well, first you create your Buyer Personalities and then imagine what your ideal customer will go through when they are looking for your product.
Once you’ve done that, take the HubSpot ecommerce marketing course and download our templates. Then you can just fill out the template and brainstorm to improve the journey at each touch point.
Ecommerce customer journey mapping is an essential part of understanding your target audience and improving the customer experience. When you focus on delivering the best possible customer experience, you can retain customers and generate more leads and sales.