How to create and analyze your eCommerce customer journey map

Now you’ve got a clearer idea of the customer journey stages, how do you go about mapping your own? (And if you don’t understand the steps take a look at our previous blog). Every eCommerce store has its own unique map – covering every touchpoint your potential buyers walk through. From seeing an ad to deciding to buy, moving through the checkout stage to becoming a loyal customer. Having a clear picture of what this looks like not only gives you a great foundation to build from but a tool to track, analyze and optimise with too. In this article, we’ll take you through the process of mapping your customer journey and analyzing it with precision once it’s in full flow.

Making moves with your customer journey map 

The first stage of any customer journey mapping process is to take a step back. Look at the bigger picture from the perspective of your customer. You can use the different stages of the sales journey (awareness, consideration, acquisition, service, loyalty) as a foundation. For each stage think about:

  • The channels that are involved in this stage. It might be social media awareness, a phone call during the service stage or email in loyalty, checkout platform at acquisition. 
  • The types of content or platform they’ll be using. Will they be seeing an ad, receive a sales call or an email newsletter? 
  • Key messages. What are the key messages you’re trying to put across in each respective stage?

You might have multiple potential touchpoints for each stage or some stages might not actually apply to your eCommerce store. Remember this an exercise to really step into your customer’s shoes – drawing out every potential influence on their decision to purchase or repurchase from you.

What about tracking? 

A customer journey isn’t something to be completed and left to run. Rather, it’s a base to find out more about your customers and optimise the journey for optimal efficiency. So how can you dig into the data to find some customer journey gold? 

Information can give you a unique insight into: 

  • Customer behaviour and motivations to purchase 
  • Aspects of your customer journey and business as a whole, that satisfy customers’ needs and those that need more attention 
  • Key drop-offs in terms of touch points. Which parts of the journey aren’t successful in pushing the customer to the next stage? 
  • Where to focus your attention when optimising your customer journey. Do you need to fix your ads, product page or checkout experience? 

Tracking your customer journey 

OK so now you know WHY to track it, let’s dig more into HOW to track it. These options include a mix of digging into data, direct feedback and live tracking too. 

Google Analytics 

You can use your current data of your eCommerce using Google Analytics, you can see where your traffic is coming from to your eCommerce store. If you thought that a lot of your traffic would be coming from social media but is coming from branded search instead, explore why that may be. 

Google Analytics can also give you insight into how a customer is moving through your website with a flow report. You can see how first-time or return buyers come to your site, the key pages they visit and how long they’re spending on each page. This data can paint a clear picture of useful and dormant pages, as well as any pages which cause the customer to ‘bounce’ offsite. 

Focus group 

You can go one step further, by bringing together a focus group of your target demographic who have never used your eCommerce store before. Ask them to walk through the process to purchase, noting each step, and the things they liked and didn’t like about the process. If they completed the purchase in the way you expected, you can use this to bolster your assumptions of how the journey should work. If they didn’t or have lots of feedback, use this to inform the next optimisations. 

Direct feedback tools 

Thanks to some clever tech you ask for feedback from your customers or see where they’re drawn to onsite. Here are some options to test: 

  • Heat mapping: this will record movements on the page by your customers. Where are their eye and mouse drawn to and how can you better optimise this natural pattern to purchase? 
  • On-site, on-page or post-purchase surveys: simply asking your customer is a great way to ascertain their experience of the customer journey. You might want to incentivize them with a discount or other offer to supply feedback. Be sure to ask open questions that give the customer some space to expand on their thoughts. 
Omnichannel tracking 

As your customer journey is a multichannel beast, you have to take the same approach with tracking. It’s vital to know when, how and why your customers use different platforms before purchasing. For example, do they browse your Instagram, look at a product, read reviews, leave your product page but then receive an email that encourages them to the point of purchase? All of this info is super-useful to better understand the journey your customer takes.   

Key metrics 

So now we’ve got the places and tools you can use to track your customers, let’s explore what metrics really matter. Here are a few – but remember it’s important to choose those that are relevant to your eCommerce store and your business’s bottom line. 

  • Conversion rates: record this at every stage. With the number of customers, what % made it through to the next stage? This one is key to understanding where the big drop-offs are.
  • Customer acquisition cost: look at the total spend each customer takes to bring on board. This should take into account ad spend, discount rates etc. Driving this down is a great goal for all eCommerce stores. 
  • Refund & return rates: how many of your converted customers are asking for refunds and returns? Despite great sales, this can have a big impact on your bottom line and gives you an indication that more attention needs to be on customer service or product. 
  • Abandoned cart rate: how many people are almost at the point of purchase but back out? Use this data to put measures such as an abandoned cart email in place or dig into why someone might not follow through with their purchase. 
  • Average order value: you might have high numbers of customers but each with a low order value. You can use this data to strategize on how to boost average order values or optimise your strategy for volume. 
  • Customer retention rate: you’ve won a customer over but do they want to stick around? Here you can see if your post-purchase stages need work or if other aspects of your customer loyalty programme need more attention. 

We hope this article has given you some food for thought when it comes to tracking and recording your customer journey. The next article in this series will cover how to implement this feedback and optimise for low customer acquisition costs and sky-high conversion rates. Need some support with your eCommerce store? We’re always happy to help – get in touch to chat.

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