Websites 101: What does your customer’s journey look like?

The customer journey. Whether it’s online or in a physical store, your customer is making one. Making it as easy as possible for them will help you sell more products.

There are a few sales and marketing buzzwords we could throw around to describe the concept of the customer journey – the DMP (Decision Making Process), the sales funnel, service design, or UX (User Experience). 

Each of these terms is worth a Google if you want to improve your scope of knowledge, but let’s take a look at the basic concept in plain English. 

 

What is the customer journey?

The customer journey is a customer’s progression from first touch-point to purchase

Their first touch-point with your business might be an advert, a social media post, a Google result when searching for a term related to your business, or a word-of-mouth recommendation. 

The purchase is completing your online checkout process.

What happens in between is the difference between a sale and a missed opportunity. 

For the purposes of this article, we’re assuming your customer has already followed that first touch point, and landed on your website.

At this point, your customer is ‘warm’. You’ve caught their interest, and they’re ready to know more. It’s arguably the most crucial point for any business selling online, and it’s a point where vast amounts of custom are needlessly lost. 

 

How do websites lose customers?

Modern audiences are a tough crowd. Attention spans are critically short. The slightest obstacle can drive potential paying customers into the waiting arms of competitors. 

Here’s one buzzword that is worth exploring: ‘bounce rate’. This is the rate of website visitors who leave your website without ‘interacting’ with it, i.e. clicking on any other pages or links. A high bounce rate means your customers are not finding what they’re looking for quickly enough. 

There’s no cut and dry “good” bounce rate, as it’ll depend on your business, but generally speaking, anything higher than 55% is “bad”

Here are a few things that can send your bounce-rate shooting up. 

  • Slow loading sites. A spinning wheel of doom is kryptonite to a successful web-based business. After just 3 seconds, your bounce probability increases by 32%. After 5 seconds, it’s 90%. Things that can influence loading times include low quality hosting, large image or video files, having too many plugins, or issues with code or CSS.   
  • Confusing navigation. Love it or hate it, Amazon’s one-click purchasing system and PayPal’s fast checkout have spoiled us all. We’re highly impatient and expect immediate answers. People have a short tolerance for confusion. They don’t want to have to work hard to find their way around your site, especially if they’re in the mood for an impulse buy.  
  • Too many pop-ups. Data laws mean cookie warnings, annoying as they might be, are necessary. You can control how easy you make it for your customers to consent or not consent by considering the pop-up design and wording. Another ubiquitous pop-up is ‘sign up’ prompts. A single prompt can be great for garnering mailing list subscribers, especially if it comes with an offer or discount. But having it pop up every 5 seconds? Not so great. 

So, enough of the don’ts – let’s look at some do’s for creating an amazing and effective customer journey.

  • CTA buttons. Your CTA (Call To Action) is what you want your customers to do. It might be ‘sign up’ or ‘buy now’. Have these placed conveniently around your site, so when they decide to commit, your website is ready to funnel them through with ease.
  • Minimal text. Being faced with a wall of text can be intimidating for some. If you need to provide lots of information to your customers, it’s key to know when they’re ready. This is likely to be when they’re reached a product page, or when they’ve clicked on a ‘Learn More’ or ‘About Us’ button. On the landing page, it’s best to keep it to a couple of plain-English sentences max. 
  • Design through your customers eyes. As founders, product developers, and designers, things can be a little close to home. It’s easy to let emotion and bias influence your website design. Make sure you step back every now and again to look at it through a customer’s eyes. What do they want? What do they need to know? Getting feedback from neutral parties can also be a huge help. 

 

Remember: websites now have to deliver an equivalent experience to bricks-and-mortar stores. They have to elicit those same feelings of joy and excitement that you get from browsing products on shelves. 

If you’re looking for a little help in designing the perfect online journey for your customers, speak to us over at Slice of Pie

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