How the online customer journey affects your brand
When considering the importance of the customer journey in the online space, this means from the moment an individual encounters your brand to the point where they make a purchase. This about the path they take through your website to becoming a customer otherwise known as the buying journey. This blog will discuss some of the common issues and errors in the online space.
The disconnect between offline and online
Your customers are human, just because you can’t see them it doesn’t mean they aren’t a tangible flesh and blood individual. Online often businesses make assumptions about customer behaviour. It can be challenging compared to when someone is physically in front of you because face to face you can measure their behaviour. Online you can’t tell if they are ready to buy, what kind of questions they have in their heads and which of your products and services they need. In person you wouldn’t just shove a product in their face, you would take it slowly and understand their needs so the same approach needs to be taken online.
The “buy now culture
The “buy now” culture might argue that their in your face pop up will land with some people but that is a shortsighted journey. This is about building a foundation for your brand where before someone makes a purchase, they are fully prepped and totally informed about who you are. Visitors to your site should be in no doubt about why they’re there and what they are going to buy. Nobody wants their customers to wake up in the morning and think “oh crap what did I buy? Do I really need that? I really can’t afford that!” The buy now culture waters down the brand and does irreparable damage.
Misplaced calls to action
Your website needs visitors to take action in the right stage of the journey so let’s examine the impact of a misplaced call to action. Ok you’ve decided you need food so you head to the supermarket; you’ve got your list you know what you want to buy. Once you’ve gone through the checkout and paid you are confronted with the box for the food bank asking you to donate. Instantaneous guilt! Had signage on the way into the shop suggested this, then you might have picked up an extra packet of pasta or tin of food. The call to action once you’ve been through the till and got everything you need is completely misplaced. Think about the physical journey a customer makes through your site and when the call to action is right.
How do customers want to be spoken to?
When we enter a shop, we all like a few minutes to soak in the atmosphere, look around and decide if we want to buy there. You wouldn’t confront someone the minute they cross the threshold of the shop so why do it online? Create some brand awareness, build trust. Most of us want to be wooed when we’re buying, win your customers over deliberately but subtly. Your online conversation needs to be a carefully crafted piece of content. If your product is good and the service is customer centred the rest should flow. People buy people and how customers experience your website is directly related to how much they trust your brand.