By now most retailers realize they need to work towards achieving an omnichannel strategy for their customers. Over and over I hear people say the first step in doing so is to define your path to purchase. But how do you begin to do that?
A lot of retailers map their customer journey by making assumptions based on the way they, themselves, shop. And while there is some validity in trying to walk a mile in your customer’s shoes, we’re here to help you be a little more strategic on your road to profitability!
1. Build out your customer persona
Who’s in the driver seat? Look at your existing customer database and identify trends in who your profitable customers are. Get to know them by talking to your sales associates, sending out surveys, and speaking to your customers directly. Keep in mind that some people engaging with your brand may just be “tire-kickers” and cost you more money than they’re worth.
2. Understand your customer's stops from start to finish
Think of any time a shopper comes in contact with your brand before, during and after they purchase from you. Make a list of these contact points and the channels associated with them. Think about what problem your customers are looking to solve, how they are making their purchase decisions, and how they got there.
As you look at the contact points and channels, really understand what moments of delight or frustration your customers may be feeling along their journey. The goal should be to get an all-around sense of what your customers are thinking, feeling, seeing, hearing, saying and doing.
4. Track the journey
Use analytics and behavioral data to identify channel preferences in real time. Track how your customers are engaging with your brand online, through social media, and with in-store technologies. Understand how your baseline metrics play out and how you can build goals from them as you adjust to a more profitable customer journey.
5. Build the "road" map
Now it’s time to pull it all together! Map out the contact points, channels, and pain points your customers may feel. Understand where there are opportunities for repairs or to remove obstacles for your customers. As you implement changes, don’t forget to measure your success! Were you able to increase conversions and get your customers to their destination faster? Likely so.
Once you understand how your customers engage with your brand, it’s time to make a more personalized experience! Shoppers tend to want an experience where they feel understood, like it’s a valuable use of their time, and as though they were VIP.
Curious about how you can personalize every customer’s path to purchase? Check out our whitepaper for five ways to react and respond to consumer preferences in real time.