From window shopper to loyal customer – analysing the buying journey

To increase sales, you must first understand your consumers. By analysing past campaigns from a design and content perspective together with effective data analysis you will be able to produce bespoke tailored campaigns based on a strong understanding of where your customers are in their buying journey.

In this blog, we’ll be looking at consumer behaviours during the purchasing lifecycle and simple steps to understanding the buying journey.

Data, data, data

No, we don’t say it so often just because we like the word. Data is everything when it comes to understanding your customers and creating targeted campaigns. We will, however, caveat this by saying that if you cannot turn this data into insights, you’ll struggle to implement successful changes and improvements.

A top-notch CRM system will help turn this data into meaningful information that you can utilise to improve your single customer view and make the journey from shop-to-sale a seamless experience for your customers.

Map it out

Have you ever sat down and written out a map of your customers’ journey?

From initial investigations to in-store purchase, it can be really helpful to write out the steps your customer will take and pinpoint elements along the way where you could make contact with them and gently guide them towards the “buy now” CTA.

A basic start to mapping out a customer journey would be:

• Discovering: Customers find you on Facebook or you pop up on Google.

• Evaluating: They read around your brand, they might try before they buy, or watch a product demonstration.

• Buying: This is where the customer relationship is truly formed. If they’ve purchased with you, have you offered them a loyalty reward? This is the stage where you can begin to segment your database based on buying behaviours.

• Advocating: We come full circle back to social media and brand advocacy, where customers may comment on your products, enter content and share content with their own friends and family.

• Bonding: Foster that relationship, support and reward your loyal customers and send them targeted, relevant campaigns and information.

Once you have mapped it out, assess the customer journey for areas where your performance may not be of the standard you’d like. Perhaps your social media isn’t up-to-scratch? Are you missing an opportunity to capture an email address from a shopper? It’s a lot easier to identify these elements once you have a plan in place.

Customer key behaviours

What are the steps that lead your customer to purchasing with you?

Whilst you can have access to data from websites that you own, a customer may have researched products on other websites or devices, or through their private social media account. So how can we create a single customer view when we have limited data?

There is a way, and it’s called ‘purchase intent data’, heralded as “the most exciting revolution in consumer understanding of the 21st century”. Purchase intent data describes the behaviours of shoppers across all devices and channels which can shed light on the 90% of the consumer journey that we don’t have access to. Understanding the purchase intent of your customers is critical in filling in that enormous blind spot in the customer journey.

Expectations

Customers who have never shopped with you will have different expectations to those who have your sales department on speed dial.

Surprisingly, one of the biggest mistakes that retailers can make is not identifying the type of customer in front of them and going in too heavy-handed with a window-shopper, which can turn them off and leave them frustrated. This might seem counterintuitive to leave the newbies alone, but consider how you’d feel if you were browsing in a shop and a sales-hungry assistant barraged you with offers and information. Not fun, right? Managing expectations and catering to those is key in a smooth buying journey.

Destination: Success

So from arrival to departure, shopping bags in hand, you now know the key components that make up the customer journey.

By analysing and understanding these, you can help cater to your customers in a very specific manner which in turn will foster brand loyalty and build a positive relationship between you and your loyal shoppers. We don’t need to tell you the benefits of that!

The insights you have into your customers will also affect your email marketing strategy, so ensure that you use this data to inform and improve your campaigns for better CTR’s and sign ups.

Find out more from one of our latest webinars, looking at how Customer Intelligence can transform your digital marketing results by putting customer and behaviour data at the heart of your marketing.

Becky Hesilrige
Becky Hesilrige
Becky is the Content Marketing Manager at Pure360. She studied Sociology and conducted her dissertation on online communication and relationships. Follow Becky on Twitter @beckyhesilrige
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