The Digital Customer Journey

digital customer journey

Measuring Success – easy, right?  Digital marketing is great from a measurement perspective. Tracking codes and cookies mean it’s simpler than ever to identify who made a purchase a result of your Google advert or email campaign. But what about the customers who did open that email but didn’t buy? Was the email ineffective to them?  The answer could be yes, but not necessarily. The growing number of devices a person has, all with the ability to browse online from any location, means that there is an increasingly complex digital customer journey from discovering your brand, to making a purchase.

Here’s just one example of how a person could become your customer…

Monday – perform a broad Google search for winter boots, and browse several sites looking for ideas.

Wednesday – see a Facebook advert for your shop, showcasing your new autumn-winter range. They browse your range, but don’t purchase.

Thursday – see a retargeting advert, with the picture of the boots they were looking at on your site the previous day. Decide to go ahead and buy them.

It would be easy to credit the remarketing advert for the sale, but actually, without Facebook advertising too, would that customer have ever found your site in the first place? It has never been more important to attribute your success fairly. More often than not, that means not assigning full credit to the first or last interaction.

The latest intelligence from Google suggests that 75% of adults start an activity on one device, but continue or finish it on another. If that Facebook ad was seen on mobile, perhaps they were out and about, and didn’t have time to go through the purchase process at that moment.

By combining Facebook with retargeting, you can remind such customers about the product they were interested in, and bring them back to your site at a time when they are more ready to purchase.

But how do you make sure customers do convert?

First and foremost, you need your online advertising to be targeted, and where possible, personalised. For example, showing a generic advert reminding people of your site is great, and will certainly attract some customers back to you. But why not take it one step further. By showing customers the exact product they were looking at, you’re far more likely to catch their eye.

Remember though, that sometimes less is more. Ever got annoyed by daily emails from a company you once made a small purchase from? It’s the same when it comes to online advertising. Seeing repeated banner adverts in a short space of time is annoying, and actually less likely to get the results you want. By capping the frequency of your adverts, you can limit the number of times your ads will be shown to the same person. It’s also possible to specify how long you wish to follow them. A little testing and you should soon be able to find the optimum frequency and duration for your campaigns.

Great, they’re back on my website!

It is great, but it’s also not over yet. Your digital advertising has done its job, but your site now needs to do the rest. There are three main areas to consider:

A relevant landing page

When a customer clicks on your banner, you want to get them straight to where they want to be. In short, not your homepage! If you can direct them to their product of choice then do, but if not, at least try to get them to a relevant product category.

The design of your page is so important, and in fact could be the subject of a whole article itself. But in the smallest of nutshells, you should be presenting your products clearly and simply – making it as easy as possible for customers to find the information they want.

An easy check-out process

How easy is it to make a purchase on your website? A slick process is proven to help conversion rates. Remember our example earlier, about someone not having time to purchase that moment? A simpler check-out could have converted them sooner.

A great mobile site

According to a recent report by IMRG Capgemini, over half of all visits to UK ecommerce sites come from mobile, with 36% of sales being made on a mobile or tablet. So if your mobile site is not as user-friendly as your desktop version, you could be missing out on a huge chunk of sales, not to mention seeing a lower return on any digital advertising campaigns.

The sheer number of devices we all use presents a lot of opportunities, as well as challenges for online and offline retailers. Digital advertising is a great way of reaching customers wherever they are, but ultimately it is your site that has to do the hard work and turn browsers into buyers. Every moment along the way adds up to the digital customer journey, and in a crowded market, it’s vital that yours is a smooth one.