Using Touchpoints to Build an Effective Customer Journey for Ecommerce

Amanda Pofahl

Latin American Market Expert
April 6 2018 · 7 min read
   

Did you know that identifying the right customer touchpoints is critical for the success of your ecommerce store?

One of the biggest problems when it comes to customer journey mapping is that it’s done manually and isn’t an integral part of the core marketing program. In other words, it is not seen that seriously. The objective of this post is to change that perception.

There are so many reasons why you need to map your customer journey. There could be problems with customer service, ineffective marketing or even spaces within your marketing where competitors can take advantage.

That’s why its key to build out your customer journey as effectively as you can. Understanding how your customer interacts with your ecommerce business is the first step. You need to track each point in the journey before you can successfully design an effective strategy around them.

Customers could be looking for the trendiest electronics, while your attention may be on outdated tech. They could also be trying to find a preferred product and your search bar could be missing. Little problems like these can add up to a lot of issues that only become worse over time.

That’s why mapping your consumer journey from start to finish is one of the best ways of understanding their psychology. Visualizing a comprehensive plan that maps each step in their shopping process is a great way to get to know the customer on a deeper and more strategic level.

So how do you start building up your customer journey?

It’s easy. Customer journey touchpoints can be analyzed and studied for optimization.

Identifying all customer touchpoints

This is an important step when it comes to making sure that your customer touchpoint journey is rock solid. You want to find all the leaks that are in your plan, by taking it one step at a time.

Start by analyzing inbound customer acquisition funnels. Can you think of one of your acquisition funnels? Here is a common example: 

A customer reads a piece of content published as a guest post on your blog or on your social media profiles. They decide to visit your website to learn more, and either choose to continue or stop.

Let’s look at all the steps we’ve identified here.

Inbound marketing strategy

When a customer consumes the content that you put out there, be it video or text, they get a broad idea about your brand and your services. How can you develop that touch point that you just identified? You can enhance the value proposition of the content that you’ve shared or advertise your services underneath or as a part of that content.

When the customer moves on to your website, what kind of experience do they get? Does the landing page take too much time to load? Or are there issues with mobile access? This is a great way to start mapping out where your strategy may have holes in them, and work with your tech and marketing teams.

This is also extremely beneficial when you have inbound calls coming in. This is because you can draw up better call scripts, understand the technology that’s tracking user data, as well as design better acquisition channels.

By understanding the inbound journey of a consumer, you can design customer journey touchpoints to become that much more effective. Otherwise, you’re playing darts in the dark and hoping that you get an increase in leads or customers.

Outbound marketing strategy

To look at your outbound marketing strategy holistically you need to figure out the touch points first hand. To find that out, you need to understand all avenues of outbound marketing efforts.

Whether that’s email marketing, print or television ads, or social media efforts. When the goal is to get customers to visit your store, you need to optimize each touch point accordingly. This is done by mapping each format of outbound traffic.

E.g. if you review your digital advertising efforts and understand the journey of the customer there, you’ll uncover that the customer has multiple interpretations of your ad. Either they can get it or they can’t.

So, if you’re developing a new creative strategy, or designing a new campaign altogether, then looking at how the customer interacts with your ad makes sense. This is because you need to analyze the intent behind each ad and customer visit. If the intent is a match, then you’ve got a great customer acquisition strategy.

Looking at customer journey touchpoints strategically

Aside from reviewing each touchpoint individually to analyze the best approach for marketing, you can also view it strategically. From a strategic standpoint, you can easily get through to your customer by breaking down groups of touchpoints.

Such groups would include the following:

Customer feedback

Customer feedback relies on survey and questionnaire data procured from incoming consumers as well as existing ones. It’s important to get first-hand information from them so that you can derive insights from the information.

They can share new insights, like multiple payment options in a specific country or region. You can easily solve that by implementing EBANX payment solutions. You can check that point off your touchpoint optimization strategy.

You can also uncover the effectiveness of a marketing campaign that you’re having for your store. E.g. it could be a deals-oriented sale or a hero-product campaign. You’ll understand how that touch point has performed based on customer feedback. That’s why its important to review it strategically.

Customer feedback can also come in the form of inbound calls or emails for quality issues. How you address these issues, as well as how you formulate your responses can be that much more enhanced. E.g. if you receive a call from an irate customer who wants their money back, you can offer them much more than that if they’re a high spender.

You can uncover similar insights if you’ve studied your customer feedback state.

Marketing communication

Marketing communication involves any and all touch points that you may have delivered over the last year. These may include campaigns, press releases, and promotional videos that you’ve published. Analyzing your marketing communication over a period of time is key as it can help you analyze the customer’s perception of your brand.

Your customer can interact with your ecommerce store in many ways and choosing the right strategy can get difficult. That’s why an important point of acknowledgement is to understand the touch point’s efficiency.

E.g. if the customer doesn’t respond well to a certain ad and responds with high efficiency to another, then that’s an insight that is touch-point dependent.

Customer inquiries

Customer inquires come in many forms, include in-store searches and online keywords used. This is especially beneficial in understanding how a single touch point can impact a customer’s journey.

E.g. grouping together keyword recommendations can help retain quality customers. If they search for body lotion, you can recommend body washes and eye-cream to best optimize that singular touch point.

This focus on customer inquiries also extends to all inbound calls, emails and visits to the online chat feature. Data from across the board can be studied to reveal insights relevant to your store.

You can also implement strategic communication objectives when it comes to customer inquiries to optimize this further. E.g. upsell 20% of incoming customer inquiries that are spending in the 90th percentile.

This can help in increasing the traffic that you are receiving and optimizing your FAQ page to contain those touchpoints.

Don't go overboard

One of the biggest problems with touch point optimization is not having a holistic approach to the process. This is because we end up optimizing every single component in a silo and do not look at the bigger picture in question. We also end up creating brackets underneath our overall strategy and fail to see the bigger question.

A perfect example of having too many touch points would be an onboarding process that asks too many questions. Many major ecommerce companies are changing the way that they onboard customers by simplifying what they ask upfront. By not asking questions about the customers like their age, income level, address or phone number upfront, this instantly creates an easier process and experience.

Although it may seem like the company is losing data that could be critical in enhancing their touch point optimization strategy, it works counter-intuitively. The company could encourage its touch points to multiple or make customer communications that much more amplified. But that works against them as customers might get bombarded by communication.

Conclusion

Customer journey touchpoints are important to map and analyze from an organizational perspective. It’s critical to gauge the depth of an effective consumer program, as well as create new channels of effective acquisition.

Companies that don’t listen to their customers will fail in the end, and that’s more so true in the ecommerce space. With so much competition and customers flocking to multiple sites, your only way of boosting retention is through touch-point optimization.

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