When managing an e-commerce it is essential to know the process that the consumer goes through, from becoming aware of the need for a product to their potential loyalty to the brand.
This process, known as the consumer journey, can vary from a few minutes to whole months, but it has necessary steps which are common to all user experiences. Each of these steps corresponds to different tools to be used in the best and most consistent way to make the user experience go smoothly and effectively.
The consumer journey, what is it and how does it work?
The consumer journey is a seemingly one-way dynamic that connects a producer with its consumer. If you sell physical products on your e-commerce, this process represents everything that happens up until the final stage that, as we will see, is not the purchase of the product but the consumer's loyalty to the brand.
This process takes shape in several stages that are based on different channels called touchpoints, actual physical or digital points of contact between the brand and the consumer.
The first stage is when the consumer becomes aware of their need. If you have an e-commerce, it's your job to stimulate this awareness. The tools you have at your disposal at this stage are Search Engine Optimisation, paid advertising, newsletter activities, public relations, press and social channels.
The next stage of the consumer journey is when the customer becomes familiar with the product you offer and with the brand. The best tools to operate at this stage are those based on community and counselling systems, particularly social media and blogs. Consistent blog posts, a well-constructed landing page and marketing ambassador activities are just some of the tools you have at your disposal in this important and delicate phase of the journey towards winning customer trust.
The client's decision to purchase is undoubtedly one of the most satisfying stages but it's certainly not the end point of the consumer journey. This is the phase in which the actual first purchase of the product or products on your e-commerce by a target client takes place. Essential tools of this phase are the sales department, a well structured and personalised e-commerce and the User Experience Design. The act or purchasing should be seamless and positive so that the consumer wishes to repeat the experience as soon as possible.
If the act of purchasing the product represents a turning point, the retention phase is just as important. The customer has purchased the product you wanted to sell on your e-commerce, don't forget about them after the purchase has been made, but rather take advantage of this moment to create and strengthen a contact. Through the email service confirm the purchase to your customer, give them more useful information and be present but not intrusive. The ideal tools to strengthen your relationship with the customer who has just made a purchase are customer service via phone, online and on social media. Show maximum availability and professionalism while the customer waits for the purchased product to be delivered.
This phase is the second focus of the customer journey ellipsis. A sort of arrival point that marks a continuation of the relationship between your brand and the consumer. Tools such as new offers, newsletters, social channels, customisation of the e-commerce experience or promotions are ideal at this stage to win the trust of your customer and strengthen the brand-user link.
The same stages and destination but via different routes
We have listed what are generally the main stages of the journey that lead the user to create a healthy relationship with the brand. Obviously, each case has its own variants and depending on the different needs, the different tones of voice and the different brands in general the paths to take will be different.
There are tools that are suitable for some brands but not recommended for others. What is recommended for all brands to achieve secure success in this mission is to stick to these milestones. The phases through which the customer becomes aware of their need, then becomes familiar with the brand, makes the purchase, feels fully supported in the immediate post-purchase phase and eventually trusts the brand thus creating the bond that will lead them to buy again.
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