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Nicholas Woodward
Nicholas Woodward April 4, 2023

Multiple products. Multiple channels. Multiple marketing campaigns. And one customer. 

The eCommerce buying experience can be a complex one!

But it more or less revolves around consolidating a buying journey across these parameters. 

Every buying stage has an impact on the customer experience. 

Naturally, improving the journey at each stage becomes imperative to watch it unfold the way you want to. 

So if you haven’t already, you need to pay heed to each step to optimize the journey in your eCommerce business. 

How?

You’re about to find out. 

1. Create touchpoints at every stage of the buying process

The eCommerce customer journey in 2023 is usually broken down into five stages: 

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Conversion
  4. Retention
  5. Advocacy

As a starting point for optimizing the buying journey, you must create touchpoints at every stage mentioned above. For example, at the awareness stage, a touchpoint can be an ad on social media and other channels or other campaigns. Similarly, at the consideration stage, it can mean checking out your site and reading your testimonials, etc. 

Each stage serves a purpose in moving the customer toward purchasing a product. With the right amount of touchpoints, every step can fulfill its purpose and prompt the customer to move further. Just ensure that your touchpoints are attributed to the buyer persona. Consider what the preferred channels are, their preferred interactive medium, and how they behave on the site. 

Also Read: Customer Lifecycle Management 101

2. Optimize page loading time

A slow loading time can be detrimental to your sales in a highly competitive arena like eCommerce and prove to be detrimental to the eCommerce customer journey in 2023. Research suggests that an eCommerce website that loads in 1 second has a conversion rate that is 2.5x higher than a site that loads in 5 seconds. A slow page speed also impacts your SEO as Google considers page speed for its rankings and will divert your customers elsewhere. 

Page optimization is important in eCommerce customer journey in 2023

To gauge the speed, you can utilize tools like Google PageSpeed Insights. If the speed is low, you can try compressing the images, reducing redirects, and optimizing your site code. You can also try disabling autoplay for multimedia elements and including white space in your web design. 

3. Make your site easily discoverable

The brand awareness stage is a crucial one. You need to garner the necessary online traffic and check how the audience is finding your website. Look for pages that have more traffic and conversions. You can find the necessary information through Google Analytics and Google Search Console. 

Gathering insights into bounce rate, number of sessions, and behavior reports helps you understand how to design your SEO strategy. You can further use tools like Ahrefs to find the long-tail keywords that fit the user intent. 

Create rich, value-based content to attract a genuine audience who’d want to check your websites and be interested in your brand. Organic efforts toward making your site discoverable can take time, but it will ultimately optimize the customer journey in an authentic way. 

4. Track customer activity

Customer tracking activities are a gold mine for marketing campaigns and a vital step in enhancing the eCommerce customer journey in 2023. They give you insights into where the prospect is taking the time to convert or halting in the sales funnel. Some metrics that you should track are:

Devices: Exactly how many of your target customers are surfing through mobile, and how many are using a desktop? It will help you optimize the customer experience on different devices accordingly. 

Average order value: What is the cost and value per order? This figure will help you align your strategies and measure KPIs. 

User engagement: How many customers are making repeat purchases? If the rate is too low, you can focus on customer retention. 

Also Read: Key metrics to measure the health of your eCommerce business

5. Provide convenient shipping 

Shipping and delivery factors are primary reasons for cart abandonment in eCommerce. And all your marketing efforts go in vain if the customer ultimately reaches the checkout page but cancels their purchase due to shipping reasons. 

Regardless of where you are, your eCommerce must provide the cheapest international shipping rates and fast deliveries to ensure they go through with the purchase. It is the only way to ensure that shipping costs and delivery timings aren’t hindering the purchase process. 

Apart from the basics, shipping must also ensure the customers get a satisfying delivery experience. Choose a shipping provider that aligns with your delivery objectives, is experienced in making speedy deliveries, delivers the parcel in perfect condition, and provides tracking options to check the delivery status. 

6. Provide a personal touch

Online marketing is all about going the extra mile to provide a personal touch in the virtual space. Personalization is the key to standing out from the crowd and making the eCommerce customer journey pleasant at every stage in 2023. With dynamic marketing strategies, you can create customized campaigns according to customer demographics. 

Web personalization is vital in improving eCommerce customer journey in 2023

Some of the top ways you can personalize your buyer’s journey are:

  • Offer personalized recommendations based on customer’s browsing history
  • Send emails with personalized subject lines and offers based on purchase history
  • Use exit-intent pop-ups, discounts, and abandoned cart messages, based on customer behavior. 
  • Create customized content based on customer journeys and demographics. 

Also Read: Why personalization matters for ecommerce customer engagement

Fortunately, you have various tools at your disposal to make the online buying experience more personal. These are AI chatbots with product recommendation engines, personalized exit-intent popups, intelligent customer segmentation tools, etc. 

7. Optimize your website for every device

Mobile commerce sales are expected to account for 43.4% of the total online sales in 2023. So it’s simple. If your websites perform poorly on a mobile device, you are ignoring the needs of almost half your target audience who are looking to purchase from you but aren’t able to. In this case, you must manually assess your site on different devices. Check the loading time and preview the site on a small screen. 

Also, ensure that your web host offers the required speed and resources for a fast and responsive site and guarantees minimum downtime. If you know that many customers are ordering from a mobile, consider launching an app as it becomes convenient for the customers and increases your sales. 

8. Improve your checkout process

You don’t want the customer to return after getting them all the way to the checkout page. We did speak about ensuring convenient shipping and delivery. But you also need to check how smooth the checkout process is for the customer. 

Nothing is scarier for the customer than an inefficient checkout process. It is where the customers cross-check their orders before making the final payment. Some of the top reasons why customers leave the checkout page are:

  • Long and complicated checkout
  • Forced account creation
  • Slow page load
  • Unexpected changes 
  • Lack of payment options

Avoid having two-page checkouts and long forms. Be upfront about the costs, provide express checkout without account creation, and make it easy for customers to add coupons and discounts on the checkout page. Also, optimize the mobile checkout page and create a sense of urgency to finalize the purchase. Improving the checkout experience reduces the cart abandonment rate.

9. Create informative product pages

This is one of the most important parts of optimizing the eCommerce customer journey in 2023.

Product information is what seals the deal for most online customers. And rightfully so. It bridges the gap between online and brick-and-mortar shopping experiences as this is where they see, read, and cross-check the product information to their liking. 

The more accessible the information, the more likely the customer will develop authentic trust for the brand. They will be more confident to make the purchase if your store has

  • Product Description
  • Technical information like material, size, durability, etc. 
  • Product in-use or used
  • Customer testimonials
  • Recommendations for similar products

Ensure that your product pages have high-resolution images and a zoom-in facility for customers to check the details of the product. 

10. Gather necessary data

Optimizing the customer journey is an ongoing activity. Collect as much data throughout the buyer’s journey so you can interpret where exactly the touchpoints need effort. Collecting and analyzing this data gives you a detailed insight into how your ideal customer behaves online. It deciphers which marketing campaigns worked well and what platforms are working for you to generate leads and garner a high ROI. 

Once you find out why there are gaps in the journey, you can work towards improving this part of your store and create more targeted marketing campaigns in the future that lead to high conversion rates. 

11. Provide proactive customer service

Chances are the customer abandoned the cart because they couldn’t contact customer support. Or they decided to change their mind after they were not convinced about the product quality. If you want to stay ahead of the game, don’t wait for customers to contact you with their problems. Have proactive support mechanisms in place instead. 

You can automate this support through automated messages, emails, and website bots. Identify the most common queries and have an FAQ section where the customers can access self-help documents. When they get help at their time on their preferred channel, it can work wonders for retention and positive feedback. 

Feedback is vital for eCommerce customer journey

Closing Thoughts

While mapping out the customer journey and optimizing the different stages, it’s critical to step into the customer’s shoes in the truest sense and take a hard look at their pain points. Only then can you provide an exceptionally positive experience regardless of who the customer is, where they are, or when they make a purchase.

About the Author

Nicholas Woodward

The article was written by Nicholas Woodward, the Country Manager at PACK & SEND, a leading and respected brand in eCommerce, logistics, and freight delivery solutions, with over 15 years of experience in the logistics, eCommerce, retail, and franchise industries. Nicholas has thought leadership and expertise across strategic planning, leadership, eCommerce, B2C logistics, and organizational performance & growth. Connect with Nicholas on LinkedIn.

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