11 tips to improve your site’s customer journey  

E-commerce
Puck, 28 September 2022

11 tips to improve your site’s customer journey  

The customer journey is a hot topic that is becoming increasingly important as competition on the Internet increases. In today’s extremely competitive commercial landscape, the customer journey is in constant development and everything is done to motivate the customer to engage. 

In another blog, we talked about the importance of a satisfying user experience of a (Magento) webshop. It showed that a good working search functionality plays a major role in the customer experience. Which in turn contributes to the customer journey of your site. 

In this blog, we dive deeper into the world of the customer journey and share tips on how to get started right away. 

What is the customer journey? 

The customer journey is the entire end-to-end experience a customer has with your brand. This includes every interaction, large or small, from their first encounter with a marketing expression to sales and aftercare.  

As part of this experience, the journey should be a simple and enjoyable one where the customer feels familiar with your brand. Focus on clear information, simple processes and top-notch service. A well thought-out customer journey is the key to loyalty.  

Improving the customer journey 

How logical the customer journey is for you, it does not have to be for your customers. You know exactly where to find every button, product and contact option on your site. But do visitors see it that way? By mapping the contact points that customers touch during their journey, you can find out why a customer does or does not go through the entire customer journey. You can then respond to this by aligning the contact points better with the needs of your customer. But now we are getting ahead of ourselves. Before you can make improvements, you need to know who your customer is and what drives them. Therefore, first draw up one or more personas. 

Optimizing the customer journey can be done in several ways. The model that is often used for this is the AIDA model. This model divides the customer journey into four phases. These stages are as follows: 

Attention 

The potential customer has a need and is aware of it. There may be various reasons for this. For example, the need may arise from a problem they are experiencing and are looking for a solution to. It can also arise from a desire for a product, something the customer already knows and wants to try for himself. It is therefore possible that the customer does not yet know your company at this stage. Attracting attention by responding to this need is therefore very important.  

Interest 

In this phase of the journey, you have captured the attention of the potential customer. The customer only needs to consider your product or service. The customer needs to become interested in what your company has to offer. It is therefore important that the customer comes into contact with information that is convincing enough to choose your company instead of the competition. What makes your company unique? For example, draw up USPs – Unique Selling Points – and communicate them.  

Desire 

Okay, the potential customer is interested and you have his attention. And now what? The visitor is looking for confirmation in this phase. Confirmation that the product or service is needed, and that you are the right candidate. The interest is converted into a desire. The only thing that can make the purchase not go through is an uncertain feeling. “Do I really need it?”, “Will it be delivered on time?”, “What if it’s not as good as expected?”.  

This is the stage to show the customer that not only your product is worth it, but also, for example, the service around it. A potential customer must get the feeling that your company is the best choice. Removing any remaining uncertainties is therefore very important in this phase. You can do this by sharing customer success stories, for example, or other benefits that set you apart. 

Action 

The last phase in the AIDA model is Action. In this phase, the customer decides whether to proceed to purchase. This process can be accelerated by a final action. Think of a discount or gift for a first purchase. Make this phase as easy and fun as possible for the customer. What do we mean by this? A customer has chosen to buy your product or service. You now want the customer to take action.  

If the customer first has to create an account, or go through other steps to get to the final step, this can cause irritation. You want to take away that irritation. A “quick check-out” is a solution for this, the customer can continue without creating an account. Another example is to create a personal thank-you page for the customer after purchase.  

Aftercare 

Although these are all phases of the AIDA model, we consider the phase that comes after the first four to be just as important: Aftercare. If we modernize the model, it is actually the AIDAA model.  

This phase is sometimes forgotten but is at least as important. Loyal customers are forged in this phase. Thank a customer for the purchase and keep him informed of the delivery status, for example. After all, your customer contact does not stop after the purchase. With the ultimate goal of creating loyal customers and encouraging repeat purchases. Research shows that it not only converts better but also spends more.

11 tips for improving the customer journey 

We just covered the customer journey, the importance of the customer journey and mapping your customer using a persona.  

Below, as promised, 11 tips to improve your site’s customer journey. We’ve categorized these tips per phase of the customer journey. Using these tips, you can make improvements in each step of the journey. 

Attention 

1: The first phase is awareness and the first point of contact with your organisation. This is about creating content that attracts attention and converts into leads. A well known saying is ‘you only get one chance for a good first impression’, make sure it matters.  

Start by setting up channels on the social media where your target audience is. Create content your target group cares about and consider asking questions within your posts to start a conversation. Socials are also excellent channels for advertising to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your site.  

2: Create a portfolio page. This is a page where you showcase reviews, projects or other successes of your business to give new customers an idea of what they can expect from you. You can post about it or advertise it on your social media and use it as a landing page for customers who are not yet familiar with your product or service.  

3: Try to catch the attention with a Google Ads campaign. Research shows that 63% of people click on a Google Ad while surfing the internet. Show relevant ads to users who search for your products or services on Google. It is important to do extensive keyword research first so you can target your audience, which hopefully results in a positive ROAS. 

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Interest 

4: As many as 96% of the visitors to your websites are not (yet) ready to buy something. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t do anything. Therefore, it’s time to generate more interest. Provide a clear picture of your offer; what do you offer, what does it do and what are the pros and cons. You can communicate this in different ways. By simply putting it with the product and attracting attention with nice visuals and colors. Or with a buying guide, for example, so that the customer knows what to look out for. Coolblue is a good example of this. They offer their customers a choice-help quiz when searching for a suitable laptop, for example. 

5: Have a clear prices page. Especially if you sell services, this is a must. Be transparent and clearly indicate what the customer gets per price category. This way, the customer can determine whether your offer fits within his budget. On this page you can also show who has preceded them. Think of reviews or refer to customer cases.  

6: In terms of closing a sale, your ‘About Us’ page is perhaps one of the most important pages on your website. This will be slightly less relevant for B2C than B2B, but certainly not negligible. Can the target group identify with your company? Think about the origins, mission, vision, core values but also who works there. Is sustainability important to you? Then let this be clearly expressed as well. Don’t miss out on the potential of an ‘About us’ page. 

Desire 

7: Be transparent. This is the basis for trust between company and customer. Transparency in communication, information about product or service and promotional conditions. How is the landing after the sale, is there for example aftercare?  

Also make it clear what kind of service the customer can expect. Think of fast delivery, money-back guarantee, free delivery, etc. These are aspects that a customer likes to see and can convince to convert. 

8: Share experiences of previous customers. Social media is an excellent marketing channel for this. Is your company tagged in posts? That is perfect! Share these stories. Leave a short comment and share the message, if relevant. A customer who expresses his satisfaction about your company is definitely the best promotion. Of course, you can also highlight your portfolio page here. Show what you can do, how you do it and what the results are.  

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Action 

9: Make the process easy. Make sure the check-out works well and that there are enough payment and delivery options. In this process, it is good to make it clear once again to the customer what they are buying. This is great for the customer because they can make changes where necessary, and for you because you prevent any returns here.  

Another conversion booster is not making it necessary to create an account in order to buy from your webshop. Especially when someone wants to buy a product once. The chance that your customer will come back (again) is greater if the customer journey and the payment process run smoothly. Of course, you can approach them afterwards to ask whether the experience was to their satisfaction and point out the advantages of an account, such as loyalty points or a discount on their next purchase. 

10: Make the process fun. Payment often remains a sore point for many. By offering a discount for new customers, for example, or by linking fun promotions to newsletter subscriptions, you can make the payment process a little less painful. Also thank the customer after purchase with a personalized thank-you page and/or an e-mail.  

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Aftercare 

11: The final step in the customer journey before the customer experiences the journey again. The best performing e-commerce companies initially generate their revenue from new customers. Over time, this principle shifts, with them generating revenue from repeat customers. As mentioned at the beginning, the customer journey is the key to loyalty. Loyalty means returning customers, customers you do not need to win over. Therefore, aftercare plays an important role in earning loyalty. 

Make customers feel connected to your webshop and they will return more quickly. There are countless ways of doing this, such as: asking if everything is to their satisfaction, clear return policy, easy to reach customer service with sufficient contact opportunities, or attractive discount offers for regular customers. This is indirectly an opportunity for you to up-sell and cross-sell ;).  

To conclude 

Hopefully you now have a better idea of the importance of a good customer journey and how you can optimize it. We would love to hear if you are successful with these tips and if you have any additions that we and other readers can learn from. 

Would you like to know more about improving the customer experience? Keep an eye on our blogs and socials for more on this and other developments that contribute to optimizing the customer journey. 

Puck Lamée

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