Mapping your customer purchase journey lets you make strategic campaign decisions about the timing and content of your marketing offers.
Knowing where the customer fits in the buyer’s journey helps you serve relevant content. As you collect more data during the early stages, you begin to build a more accurate picture of your prospects to provide personalised content that fits their needs at the right time.
You’ll give them pre-buying category information when they need it; detailed evaluation content during the purchase process; and useful information about getting the most out of their purchase after they’ve hit Buy.
If you can follow these best practise principles, you’re more likely to attract people into your sales funnel, guide them through the buying, and then keep them in the fold once they’ve bought so they think of you when they need something else.
1. Pre-purchase (Awareness, Research, Consideration)
In this stage consumers want to evaluate reliable and objective information about the purchases they are considering. Online shopping is a rational process of collecting information on price and features, along with fact-based recommendations and believable user experiences.
For these consumers, traditional ads and promotions heavily influence the likelihood of conversion. Print, point-of-purchase and TV advertising, when linked to online ads, sites or other information generated will all play a role.
Buyers also often need to ‘touch and feel’ before buying, therefore a store experience has added benefit as part of an omnichannel marketing strategy. The information collected at this stage will be important to help influence future customer behaviours.
We suggest using Google advertising to spur curiosity, which leads to searches for product reviews and visits to your website or physical stores, before culminating in a local or online purchase.
Some other ideas to drive traffic to your web channels and in-store are:
Offer Click-and-Collect Services
Click-and-collect offers the convenience of online shopping without the hassle of missed deliveries. While it’s common to use email or SMS to update your customer when their item is ready to collect, you could go one step further and use geofencing to trigger an alert when your customer is in, or near, their chosen collection point.
Say one of your users has repeatedly looked at a top-of-the-range 60” TV, but still isn’t ready to buy. A great omnichannel retailer would email a short survey asking why the customer is hesitating and offer an incentive in exchange for providing the answers. This nurtures the sale and gathers useful information to encourage sales of the product in the future. Again, you should be able to set up, send and collect responses from hesitant shoppers using a survey builder such as that available in our Traction Digital Platform.
Reach Out to Nearby Customers
You could also send the customer a text or push notification when they walk by your store, letting them know the model is in stock. Getting customers into your brick-and-mortar stores is a good idea since your in-store salespeople are on-hand to nurture the sale.
2. Store/e-Commerce (Trial Purchase)
Once you drive new online shoppers into a physical store or web channel, it would be wise to pay attention to some key pain points that can affect and influence the purchases.
Research has shown that customers feel delighted and appreciate the access to online information, especially expert’s reviews. Instore customers place high value on knowledgeable salespeople, plus the opportunity to touch and feel a product.
The first time a customer makes a purchase through any of your stores, it’s essential that you capture their email address. This ensures you can activate your buyer’s journey email program, as well as a remarketing campaign.
Importantly, you need a CRM to collate all of this information for one complete view of each customer, their past purchases and their contact details.
Many customers show interest in your products but, for some reason or another, don’t complete their purchases. When this happens, remarketing is essential to drive customers to stores and close the sale. Almost 70 percent of all online shopping carts are abandoned before they reach checkout. That’s a lot of lost sales that could be encouraged by remarketing to those indecisive customers.
3. Post-purchase (Share, Converse, Loyalty, Advocacy)
Once you have attracted customers who are long-time fans of your brand, keep them happy with a highly personalised experience.
Email remains the best way to personalise your customers’ experience. An advanced automated marketing platform such as TractionNext allows you to pull in dynamic content from your website to make this process easier.
Here are some examples of powerful email tactics that can be automated:
Take The Work Out Of Email
Just set which group of contacts you want to send an email or workflow to, when you want to send it and what actions will trigger further workflows. Your email automation platform will personalise and send each email for you.
Set Up A “My Account” Function
Via a series of automated email campaigns, drive new customers to register and create a unique account with your brand. Add some key preferences that will help gain the necessary customer information to help shape the future of their engagement.
NFC – Near Field Communications
When your users are viewing your web properties on their mobile devices, you risk losing them if you introduce any friction.
Near Field Communications (NFC) help drive activation and registration – by adding mobile-friendly registration points in-store or even activation from other devices, e.g. my TV might make it easier to register my phone – simply tap the phone to the TV to trigger the mobile-friendly registration process.
An expectation of experience and control is fast becoming the norm.
Help your customers get the most out of their new purchase by providing hints and tips. This can be part of a content program that uses staged progressions as their proficiency grows (if it’s a complex product) or just some cool ideas around general usage they might not have considered.
A great content series will find a way to show how the recently purchased product also interacts with other products or services within your brand.
Send Unique Vouchers To Customer Phones
A good email automation platform can integrate with your customer data platforms and let you send voucher codes that are unique to each individual contact. This ensures the vouchers cannot be duplicated or re-used and helps you track their success with different demographics.
Invitation-Only Sales And VIP Shows
Show your most valuable customers how important they are with an exclusive sale invitation either online or instore.
Optimise your retail experience by asking customers what they think.
Gamification triggers, which offer concrete rewards in exchange for taking certain actions, encourage customers to participate by showing that you value their opinion enough that you’re willing to pay for it. No matter what stage of the customer journey, personalised emails help to connect the dots between your different storefronts and keeps the conversation with your customer relevant, personal and consistent.
Know your Timing
Understanding how the send and open times influence customer engagement and purchase decisions are critical to capturing sales. For example, evening opens are often on the couch. Crafting messages that account for this and scheduling send times backed by data can dramatically change sales results.
Perform an audit of time of day vs device type interactions. This provides a map of the specific devices used by your customers at certain times of the day/night.
This powerful data can then be used to create specific mobile campaigns, or deliberately targeted at different times to capitalise on desktop interaction.
Optimise and help drive mobile interactions (position, social channels, app installs), and bring a feeling of hyper-relevance from automated marketing with an omnichannel approach.
One of the biggest benefits of an omnichannel strategy is that it won’t just improve traffic to your online stores; it will join your online store to your physical store and as a result drive new traffic to both.
Be mobile friendly
Mobile campaigns are most effective when data is captured to inform the marketing strategy before activating the campaign.
Create the right frameworks to ensure that all emails, forms, landing pages are delivered in a mobile-friendly format via either responsive, adaptive or alternate design approaches.
Have a strategy for acquiring customer permissions across a range of different channels. This means having the ability to capture and store information about the user’s device and browse habits. Armed with this data and having it accessible will inform your sales and marketing campaign to ensure Samsung remains agile and relevant for its target markets.
Tips for covering the customer journey
Once you’ve mapped the consumer purchase journey you can plan and adjust activities accordingly:
- Start by working closely with your digital agency to ensure your online keyword selection is relevant for the all-important window-shopping and research phase.
- Support cross-device presence and experience to ensure that shoppers get anywhere/anytime access.
- Use Digital Advertising, Social Media, Search Engines and Emails to deliver more relevant information, and support shoppers during the product evaluation process.
- Take advantage of remarketing to target shoppers based on their Journey stage. This ensures you get the right message across at the right time.
The main objective is to give your customers a pain-free experience with the right information and functionality.
Giving customers the best possible experience as they move through their decision-making journey makes the initial purchase easy, and helps breed trust and loyalty for a long-term relationship with your brand.
About Traction Digital
Traction Digital are experts in acquisition and engagement, streamlining the execution of cross-channel marketing campaigns, including lifecycle email, abandoned cart, promotions and ROI tracking.