How Can Brands Manage the E-Commerce Customer Journey?

Nessa Garcia

Customer marketing @ fabric. Previously @ Staples, BORDERLINX, and Groupon.

June 16, 2021

Customer journey management is discovering and delivering the information customers need at each stage of the buying journey. It relies on two key components: the customer journey map and the technology that tracks users’ behavior.

A customer journey map is a visual story of each engagement customers have with your brand. It starts from the initial recognition of a need to retention and repeat purchases. Each stage pairs with the particular pain point the customer has at that moment.

By outlining the expected pathway, you can better understand your customers’ needs and how your content can guide them through your sales funnel. The more you understand your customers and their journey, the better experiences you can provide.

The Customer Journey with Data Analytics

Customer journey mapping is only as effective as your analytics. Thus, you must ensure you have accurate data about what customers are doing when they interact with your brand.

Unfortunately, brands today do not utilize data analytics well. A Gartner study reveals that nearly one-third of companies with an established customer journey map struggle to use them effectively.

The problem lies in the ability to gather and analyze the clickstream data needed to track customer behavior. If you don’t get the data to understand where customers go and what they do with your content, there's no way to know their pain points and make improvements.

Clickstream data is a detailed log of a user’s online behavior. With it, you can see how people clicked to your site, what pages they visit, and how long they spent on each page.

While it provides an overview of the customer’s actions, it does not explain the whole story. For that, you need a visualization tool. A heatmap, for example, shows where you get the most engagement; a session recording provides a video playback of the user’s time on your site.

The video recording shows you what they saw and did when interacting with your brand. With that knowledge, you can find where there is friction on the buying journey. For instance, you may notice many users clicking on your product images to view more details.

With these insights, you can articulate where your brand interactions are suffering. Then, you can build intuitive shopping flows, creating a seamless customer experience.

The Importance of D2C Channels

For optimal control over the customer journey, place greater emphasis on your D2C sales channels. Many brands, for example, begin by selling on Amazon and building their social presence. Doing so can be an effective way to extend your reach and generate early sales.

In the end, however, you have little to no control over the customer experience. Marketplaces and social channels do not provide the data to know what your customers are doing.

By focusing on your D2C site, you can grow and optimize the buying journey to solve your customers’ pain points. Take advantage of fabric’s set of highly configurable tools to express your brand however you want while creating a consistent experience across all your channels.

Nessa Garcia author Customer marketing @ fabric. Previously @ Staples, BORDERLINX, and Groupon.

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