With so many online retailers to choose from, it is essential to offer optimized e-commerce customer journeys to stay relevant and meet the expectations of today's consumers.
The audience's perception of your brand is ultimately defined by the quality of interactions at each touchpoint with your brand, and digital touchpoints have never been more important.
In this article, we explore how to optimize the e-commerce customer journey so that you can improve your conversion rate and preserve your brand image.
What is the e-commerce customer journey?
The "e-commerce customer journey" includes the stages of a customer's experience with an online company, from the moment they first learn about its products to the moment they make a purchase.
Technically, there are 5 stages in a customer journey:
- Awareness: The consumer is discovering your brand for the first time.
- Acquisition: The prospect is convinced.
- Conversion: The prospect becomes a customer and makes their first purchase.
- Retention: Personalized after-sales service and exclusive benefits (promotions, etc.).
- Loyalty: The customer makes additional purchases and tells others about them.
This concept of "customer journey" is very common in marketing contexts, but your customers themselves do not consider their actions on your website as "steps".
They live it, and it's the details that make the whole thing.
The clearer and smoother the steps, the better the experience for site visitors, which has a positive impact on online sales and customer loyalty.
Some elements that influence the overall experience of an e-commerce customer journey:
- The speed at which the website loads
- Price clarity
- Placement of CTAs (call to action)
- Easy to navigate
- Customer support availability
- Mobile optimization
- Payment process
Optimizing the customer journey - best practices
Adopt the mindset of a customer and visualize the journey from A-Z
Optimizing the e-commerce customer journey starts with understanding the customer experience, and a customer journey map helps you visualize what is happening along the journey and clarifies what needs to be improved.
Such a representation provides valuable information on how you can better meet your customers' needs.
How to create a map?
- Start with the home page and list everything that is going on by identifying the items that appear, such as cookie notices, promotional banners, or email signup requests.
- Access a product page and mimic the actions of a customer. How many clicks does it take to get to a product page? Is it difficult to find the product you are looking for?
- Take notes and annotate the experience step by step. How many clicks did it take to reach each product page? Were the pop-ups and other promotions annoying or helpful? How easy was it to find relevant product information? Include screenshots and other visuals that support your experience. To help you create a visualization, there are online tools such as Lucidchart or Microsoft Visio.
- Repeat the process with different site features. Walk through the entire shopping experience, from the first visit to your brand's website to the purchase attempt. Is the shopping cart easy to manage? Are the prices clear? How many steps does it take to go from adding an item to the cart to completing the purchase?
Make sure your e-commerce analytics are sufficient
In an e-commerce context, clickstream data is necessary to understand how users interact with your site.
By analyzing click stream data, you can see where people clicked on your site, which pages they visited, and how long they spent on each page.
However, while click stream data provides insight into customer actions, it doesn't tell the whole story. For that, you need a visualization tool, such as a :
- Heatmap, which highlights where you get the most engagement.
- Session recording, which provides a video playback of the user's time spent on your site.
- Digital experience intelligence platforms like FullStory, which provides comprehensive real-time data on every user interaction.
These tools can help you find where there is friction in the customer journey to create more intuitive purchase flows.
Work towards a more human customer experience
A major challenge in e-commerce is to humanize an entirely digital experience.
Some ways to better meet your customers' needs:
- Use a multi-channel messaging platform (such as Crisp) that allows you to communicate with your customers in a personalized way.
- Make sure your e-commerce site provides a personalized online shopping experience for maximum conversions (with Front-Commerce, for example).
- Broadcast pop-ups to capture visitors' attention and enhance their customer experience with a tool like Wisepops.
- Maintain constant availability and support with online chatbots to ensure your customer service is active even after hours.
- Make the return and refund process as simple as possible.
Improve your conversion rate with an e-commerce focused testing strategy
Thanks to their simplicity, A/B tests are particularly useful for optimizing e-commerce customer paths.
For example, you can use A/B testing to determine effectiveness:
- A CTA button
- From a design change
- Also something small like removing the breadcrumb trail in your checkout page.
With the AB Tasty platform, it is possible to conduct A/B tests to easily determine which page versions or elements work best with users.
Performance tests allow you to determine the fluidity of your website or mobile application in order to control response times and not frustrate your potential customers.
Data Layer Tests
Data layer tests reinforce the monitoring of your tagging plan by testing your datalayers, analytics tags and marketing tags to ensure that your data is reliable and accurate 24 hours a day.
Accessibility testing ensures that your website or e-commerce application is accessible to everyone.
Cross-browser testing is a type of functional testing that allows you to verify that your website performs as expected when viewed through different browser-OS combinations, devices or accessibility tools.
Mr Suricate - Automated tests for e-commerce sites and applications
To improve your conversion rate, it is essential to ensure that every aspect of your customer journey is working perfectly.
The no-code SaaS solution Mr Suricate solution covers a wide range of automated tests in order to control your testing and provide your users with the best possible experience.
Take control of your applications and detect bugs in real time on your websites, mobile apps and APIs by reproducing your user paths at regular intervals.