Customer Journey Evolution – Optimizing The Moments That Matter

How did the decision-making and the customer needs changed over time – the evolution of the consumer decision journey

The technological revolution and the digitization of everyday life has changed the way users interact with companies. The customer journey, the path that the customer makes during the relationship with a brand in different touch-points, both offline and online, has become the focus of business strategies. Understanding and mapping this path to understand the real needs of its users has become the holy grail of the digital economy.

However, the customer journey is evolving continuously, and compared to only a decade ago, it is becoming more complex and spread across numerous channels. The decision-making process is linked to numerous touch-points, where users finds the information and tools that facilitate the choice and the purchase, and allow them to express their opinion about the service or product. From the more traditional touch points, such as physical outlets, offline advertising and mass media, word of mouth and call center services, today there is a myriad of digital touch points that, if used in optimal way, can bring brands to the final goal: the purchase and the loyalty.

Users interact with different touch points, for example digital ones such as sites, blogs or forums, those managed by brands, such as advertising campaigns or landing pages, and spontaneous touch points such as blogs and relevant industry sites, managed by independent users. from companies, often with reviews – digital word of mouth, which often influences the purchasing process more decisively than official channels.

Hence, customer journey analysis and identifying the points of conflict in decision-making to create a targeted marketing strategy is essential to direct the purchase process, and ensure customer satisfaction.

Fragmented Customer Journey

Although it may seem that the user’s path from knowledge to purchase is linear, it is actually becoming more and more fragmented, thanks to the numerous online channels and devices in use.

The usual consumer path, click on the AD, the arrival on the landing page and the purchase, are almost extinct. In between there are social channels, influencer blogs and review sites that have a strong impact on the decision and purchase decision. These micro-moments are the decisive: when the user asks a question the brand must be there with the prompt answer, as confirmed by Google’s recent research: one in three smartphone users bought from a company or a brand different from what they originally intended, simply because that brand provided the right information when they needed it. [1]

The key to exploiting these micro-moments is the readiness to provide key information at the right time.

When customers are in “I-Want-to-Know” moment, they will be the most responsive to the information that provides an answer or solution rather than a sales page that encourages them to purchase. As confirmed by the aforementioned Google research, 87% of consumers do research before they even set foot in a store, which means that consumers need to be reached long before they get in touch with the sales department, just as the customers who are in the “I-Want-to-Go” moment, will be more responsive to local search results, maps and specific directions on where the site is located, rather than on product information. The “I-Want-to-Do” moment, means the users need useful ideas and information, such as suggestions or directions to complete a task, so recipes, detailed guides and demonstration videos or tutorials are some examples of content that could be very useful. Finally, the “I-Want-to-Buy” moment, requires clues as to what the best offer is and how to get it. This is the stage where a coupon, an offer, or an app that allows a quick purchase, or even an Amazon-style one-click feature, could have a greater impact. [2]

Therefore, an effective omnichannel marketing strategy is the perfect way to use different platforms and online media to deliver a message to a key point during the customer journey. The real challenge is no longer the quantity of content, but how and when it should be distributed and delivered to the customer. Only this way the brand will have the possibility to create the engagement and make sure the completion of the path, not only with the purchase but with the loyalty.

 

[1]  [2]  https://marketingland.com/evolution-customer-journey-2017-optimizing-moments-matter-202426