With advancing technology, the buying journey has changed dramatically.
Empowered with multiple devices and tools (price comparison platforms, discount shopping platforms, shopping rewards platforms, product review aggregating platforms, etc.) the purchasing decisions have become more unpredictable and the buying journey has got scattered and spontaneous.
One can start a buying journey on Facebook by seeing an ad, go off to a mobile device to research the advertised product in Google, get distracted by reading Google review, find an alternative product that comes better recommended and complete a purchase he/she didn’t even intend to make from a retailer he/she had no idea about.
One buying journey can include several devices and multiple touchpoints.
In B2C there was a case study on one consumer overtaking more than 900 digital interactions researching, comparing, and asking about car models before making a final purchase.
In B2B purchasing journeys are getting more complicated too. The average purchasing journey includes 10 decision makers on average, four or five pieces of content and it is no longer linear or predictable.
With that in mind, businesses need to invest more time and effort in exploring their customers’ buying journeys to find ways to engage them better on each step.
How to Explore Your Customers’ Buying Journey
Here are a few tools to help:
Oribi turns your multiple analytics data points into actionable results. With Oribi you can watch each every journey through your site to better understand what engaged your visitors best:
You can pin every event in the journey. Pinned events represent your main conversions and other actions you’d like to keep a close eye on. With Oribi you don’t need any technical coding skills to set up your events: Just locate them in the list and click “Pin this event” button.
You can also create event groups to better organize them and create more insightful reports (make sure to use descriptive, easily identifiable group names).
2. Heatmap Tools
I have already done a detailed article on heatmaps and how they work. Since they are so useful in understanding how users interact with your page elements and sections, I highly recommend using heatmaps for analyzing your customers’ buying journeys as well.
A heatmap may come in different forms: a move map, a click map, and a scroll map. All of these record different types of on-page interactions (mouse moves, clicks and scrolling). All of these are important in understanding how people navigate your page, so run a few tests on your key landing pages.
Image source: UXmag.com.
3. TouchPoint Dashboard
Touchpoint Dashboard allows you to create customer journey maps throughout various touchpoints and evaluate customer experience at each given step. Each touchpoint has images, audio/video files, data attributes, and real-time feedback from customers.
The dashboard offers powerful collaborative features allowing the whole team to add touchpoints they are responsible for and make notes.
On top of all, you can gain even more insight by involving your current customers: Ask customers to rank the importance of touchpoints. The dashboard is very actionable prompting you to:
- Assess the touchpoints by cost and effort to identify low-hanging fruit opportunities and quick wins.
- Create campaigns, tasks, and set due dates on top of any touchpoints.
- Add tasks, deadlines and team members and filter for items coming due soon.
- Generate reports and strategic plans
How to Engage Your Customers Better on Each Step
There are lots of ways to engage your customers and there’s no way to give one single recipe to building a more engaged customer base. Your engagement tactics should be as diverse as your customer’s journey is scattered.
For the sake of providing some actionable tips in this article, here is a quick look at your basic sales funnel and some tool ideas for each section:
1. TOF: Create a More Engaging Copy
For organic visibility, a well-written copy is fundamental to success. A good copy helps your content ranks, can improve organic click-through and keeps visitors on your site. As such, your content handles a lot of tasks your Top of the Funnel strategy includes:
- Organic visibility
- Attracting clicks
- Time on the page (Keeping your page visitors long enough for them to be willing to proceed to the Middle of the Funnel
Text Optimizer is the tool that can help you create both a higher-ranking and a more engaging copy for your page. It uses semantic analysis to identify underlying concepts and entities for you to include into your content. The result: Your copy meets both Google’s and its users’ expectations:
[Text Optimizer drives your content research and optimization strategy by clustering your target query into related concepts and entities]
In-content calls-to-actions will further improve your copy performance, so think what your users are supposed to do next, once they land on your page
2. MOF: Use Smart Engagement Tools
To drive your site visitors further into the site, trying to sell them something right away is not always the best idea (especially if your visitor is at the research phase). So in many cases, engaging them with more content suggestions will deliver better results than trying to convert them with your primary CTA.
Artificial intelligence and chatbots offer quite a few smart solutions allowing you to empower your site visitors with solutions in real time. Using conversational forms is another easy, yet effective traffic engagement solution.
3. BOF: Exit Intent Solutions
When your site visitor has in fact reached your sales funnel bottom (your shopping cart), you need to handle them with special care: Avoid putting in any distractions. Yet, according to many studies, as many as 70% of your customers will leave the shopping cart without making a purchase, so something needs to be done here.
The safest route to take here is to implement some type of exit-intent technology which identifies when a user is about to leave and engages them immediately. Exit-intent software is often used to boost your email list. But it can also be successfully used to improve your sales funnel performance.
Using an exit intent bot seems like a good idea here as a smart chatbot is able to save the sale by holding your customer’s hand through the purchasing process.
DontGo is the smart bot technology which specializes in exit-intent technology, so this is something I’d look into:
You can see how it works by clicking through to some of their featured clients. You’ll see a popup up just when you are about to leave.
For WordPress users, there’s a variety of chatbot solutions that integrate through plugins to look into.
4. Post Funnel: Invest in Retargeting Ads
Whatever you do, you can’t convert all those visitors. This is where retargeting campaigns help you reach those site visitors around the web.
The power of remarketing is that those people already know your brand, so there’s a good chance they will complete the purchase.
Retargeting campaigns are offered By Facebook (and consequently Instagram) and Google. For maximum results I suggest using both of these powerful remarketing channels.
5. Everywhere in the Funnel: Work on Your Brand Awareness and Loyalty
Investing in your brand is the ultimate conversion optimization strategy any business should start working on right now. Strong brand recognition is the foundation that will help your business survive any economic or technological challenges.
Being known and trusted in the industry is the ultimate way to shorten the buying journey. If you are still planning to digitize your business, give it a thorough thought. Your company name may not be available as a .com domain but you can still register it using newer top-level domains like .tech and .store. Namify offers a great selection of company names if you are still looking.
If you already have a brand name and brand identity defined, it is time that you start investing in it: Build customer loyalty and turn your customers into brand ambassadors.
It is getting harder and harder to engage and convert your customers but it doesn’t mean that you should stop trying. I hope the above tools will give you some ideas on how to get more of your customers into your sales funnel.