This one is for anyone managing an e-commerce website or running their own online shop. Have you ever given much thought to your customer journey? Is it as simple as the image below? If you've never given it much thought then you might think so. Unfortunately I'm here to tell you that it most likely doesn't look like this.
Why doesn't it look like this? Because customer journeys aren't linear. They involve a lot of browsing, filtering, reading, comparison, deliberation and distraction. You're lucky if a user gets to the Order Confirmation stage. Data from IRP Commerce suggests the average e-commerce conversion rate is just 1.81% meaning on average only 18 out of 1000 visitors to your site will complete a purchase.
So the likelihood is that your customer journey probably looks much more like the chaos in the below image. Depending on the strength of the customers purchase intention they may have a slightly more linear journey but one thing I can say with certainty is that very few customers will progress through your purchase funnel without stalling or moving backwards in their journey.
Understanding more about your customers journey is really important because it gives you the power to help shape your customers journey. If you can understand more about how your user behaves and what your user wants then you can streamline your journey to provide this and cut out some of the distraction (although you can't influence the distracting urge for a cup of tea!).
So how can you optimise you website to assist the customer journey? Here are some of my top tips . . .
Filters - Utilise useful, accurate filters so that your user can find what they're looking for. Make filtering an easy, useful tool for your users product discovery. Where possible track clicks so you can begin to understand the most popular filters.
Price - Don't stop your user from being able to sort or filter by price. Most users have a budget in mind so facilitate this within their journey.
Detail - Detail is key in all areas of the user journey but most definitely on the product page. Bring your product to life, what is it, how big is it, how does it fit, how does it feel, what problem does it solve, what does it look like from all angles, how would you use it, where is it made, what is it made from, what makes it different from something else similar. Leave the user with no doubt about your product and whether it's what they want/need.
Social Proof - You'll hear me talk about this over and over for any business. Social proof is your best friend. A user is far more likely to take the word of another user that your product/service is great than they are yours. Collect reviews, display reviews, share those reviews.
Basket - So much to say here and I will do more posts on this but top tip, persist the basket. Keep the users item in the basket for as long as you can. Users get distracted, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days. Make it easy for them to pick up where they left off.
I hope you've found this article useful and have got some ideas flowing about how you can optimise your website to assist your customers journeys. Leave a comment and let me know!