Your phone buzzes. You’ve got mail! Quick check. It’s an email alert telling you about a new order in your online store. Nice!
This is your first interaction with a new customer. But for the customer, so much has happened already. They’ve been through a whole journey before placing their order. Understanding this customer journey will give you insight into the buying behavior of consumers so you can improve your marketing strategy.
In this article, we explain the customer journey and how your website can guide visitors along the way.
What is the customer journey in marketing?
The customer journey starts when a customer notices that they need something and ends when they use their new purchase for the first time. During this time, they’re focused on what they want and where to get it.
What are the stages of a customer journey?
The definition of a customer journey can vary, depending on who you ask. But they all boil down to these four phases:
The customer becomes aware of a want or need. They think about different options and solutions.
The customer considers what they want and what their preferences are. Then, they compare different products and companies that meet their needs.
The customer buys a product or orders a service.
The customer uses the product or service. They might have questions or need support during this phase. Then, they’re ready to recommend the product or company to others.
Customer journey example
- Awareness: I’m hungry. I can see lots of restaurants nearby.
- Consideration: I want something healthy and I don’t want to walk too far. I’ll grab an avocado salad from that salad bar across the square.
- Purchase: “Hi, I’ll have the avocado salad, please.”
- After-sales: “That was delicious, thanks! Is this always on the menu? I’ll have to tell my sister, she’d love your fresh salads.”
How to improve your customer journey
Most of the time, you won’t meet a customer until they hit the “Purchase” phase. But they’ll meet you much sooner! When comparing options, they’ll use different pages on your website to help them make a decision. Here’s a rundown of the key pages you can optimize for each phase:
Pages for the awareness phase:
- Portfolio. Your portfolio is there to impress clients with an overall flavor of what you can do. They can consider specific options in more detail later on.
- Social media profiles. Social media is a great way to send customers to your website, whether they follow you already or see your Facebook ads in their feed.
Pages for the consideration phase:
- Buying guide. In this phase, most customers don’t fully understand their options and might feel overwhelmed. Create a clear buying guide to summarize what’s important.
- Pricing page. A clear pricing page will help customers decide if they can afford your products. You can also include customer reviews and testimonials to back-up your value.
- About page. Emotions play a part in every buying decision. So telling your story or featuring your friendly team on your About page can help you win customers over.
Pages for the purchase phase:
- Checkout. This is a crucial link in the chain. It’s where you seal the deal and secure the money that your business depends on.
- Shop fine print. Don’t lose customers with unclear terms or doubts over shipping costs. Make sure all their questions are answered.
Pages for the after-sales phase:
- FAQ. Help customers get the most out of your product by explaining its settings, maintenance requirements, and answering other common questions.
- Contact. Reassure your customers by making it easy to contact you. This is your chance to build a great reputation with customer care that’s worth talking about!
Be there every step of the way
A good website answers questions for customers. Give your visitors the information they need at every stage of their customer journey, and closing sales will be much easier!