The 5 phases of the Customer Journey
With customer journey we refer to all the phases through which a consumer passes during his purchase path: studying it thoroughly allows retailers to segment and concentrate efforts to have a better impact on customers in the middle of their purchase. This is information on consumer habits can help retailers organize new strategies to increase the sales of their store.
In this article, we will analyze the customer journey in its different phases and explain how to optimize sales.
What is the Customer Journey for?
A customer, during his personal purchasing process, goes through five distinct phases. Among them, very interesting issues arise and need to be analyzed, especially for the owners of a store, for example:
- What are the channels through which a customer has known and interacts with us?
- What makes a brand appealing to a client?
- Are clients loyal to the brand?
- How much and what did they buy?
- Have they come back to buy?
- How do we keep in touch with him?
Although these are just examples, asking ourselves these questions could help us learn about our clients’ journey: analyzing the different phases and developing a strategy based on them, it will be possible to increase the conversion rate of the company.
The 5 phases of the Customer Journey
Each phase is different, and has nothing to do with the time that passes or the effort made: they can last seconds or minutes, or even days.
The first three phases are those that lead the user to the purchase: awareness, consideration and purchase. The last two instead, take place after the sale: retention and advocacy.
This first stage is when a consumer discovers the product: it is a phase in which the customer is looking for information, and retailers have a duty to inform him that they own the product they are looking for.
At this stage, it is not necessary to segment the type of user, while social networks and the online channel are tools that can help communicate.
This is the time when the consumer wants to make a purchase and consider different options to execute it. Usually, it is at this stage that the user must be aware of the existence of the brand: for this reason, it is necessary to inform him about the characteristics of the product and its strengths.
In this case, it is useful to promote with direct messages to encourage it in the purchase.
The purchase phase is when the user has made the decision and execute it. In this case, it is important to have an online channel that does not slow down the process, as well as a qualified in-store staff so that the shopping experience in-store is good.
Taking consumer behavior into account is increasingly omni-channel, in fact users exercise webrooming and showrooming for the purchase. As a result, facilitating this process and integrating both channels will improve the purchasing transaction.
This is the first phase of the after-sales service, whose goal is to maintain high customer satisfaction. The “retention” phase is when the post-purchase process has been performed, our client has the product he wanted, and we want to keep in touch with him to encourage other purchases in the future.
The objective of this phase is to maintain the relationship with the customer, encourage him to repeat purchases and become loyal to the brand.
After a pleasant experience, customers will be able to help us improve the company’s brand image and influence previous steps for other users.
In this case, the use of social networks, personalized offers and word of mouth can be very important tools.
As already commented, consumers no longer separate the online and offline world in the purchasing process: retailers must use all the communication channels available to them to interact with them.