Steve Conway explores how retail can optimize the customer journey from start-to-end in this guest post
How many advertisements and marketing campaigns have you seen so far today? You probably don’t even know because there are so many companies vying for your attention at all times. As a customer you understand what it’s like to be inundated with products and services. So as a business owner you have to find a way to cut through the noise to reach your customers.
From beginning to end, take a look at how you can optimise your customer journey.
Understand Your Target Audience
Before you start developing sales and marketing campaigns to attract new customers, you need to know who you’re targeting. Start by researching your target audience to understand their pain points, wants, needs and feelings surrounding your product. Determine how they found out about your product, what research they did before buying, what problem your product is solving for them, what competitors they looked at and what helped them make their final decision. If you can, Shopify recommends interviewing recent customers to answer these questions. However, you also can use your website analytics and sales data to understand your customers.
Once you find some common themes, develop customer personas that you can create sales and marketing campaigns around. In these personas you should include demographic information, common pain points your customers face and what they expect from your product.
Brainstorm Customer Challenges
Once you have created your personas you can use the information to lay out a customer journey map. Using your website analytics and customer data, map out your business touch points. See where customers are finding your business and their path to buying (or not buying) your product.
Pin point any barriers your customers may hit, such as price, not enough information or difficulty with your online shopping cart. As you encounter each barrier, brainstorm how to solve these problems and make it easier for customers to buy your product.
Know When to Act
Even though you’ve come up with some solutions to make the customer buying journey easier, you shouldn’t leave potential customers alone during the process. If it seems like they’re approaching a barrier or abandoning items in their cart, take steps to reach out to them.
With your omnichannel marketing campaigns, you can send them a helpful how-to article that shows them all the things they can do with your product. If they’re aimlessly clicking through your website, use a customer service chat program to see if they need any help. Or if customers look lost in your store, have your associates ask them if they need help and make suggestions to help them feel more confident in their purchase. It’s important to know when to step in and make your presence known and when to let your customers find their own way.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your job is over once you’ve made the sale. It’s much easier and more efficient to earn returning customers than to attract new ones. Keep the customer journey going by providing support and information to your existing customers.
Set up a virtual office where your customers can receive help or ask questions about your product. Create a blog where you provide customers with information about your industry and related topics. You even may want to start a forum where your customer success team and other customers can answer questions about your product and develop a community around your business.
The customer journey is all about understanding your target audience. The more you think about what they need and how you’re helping them, the more efficient your customer journey will be.
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Content by Steve Conway, a content marketing professional and inbound marketing expert. Previously, Steve worked as a marketing manager for a tech software start-up. He is passionate about discovering new software that will that will advance his already well-honed digital marketing techniques.