User-centric design is the backbone of eCommerce success. Your customers come to you because they are looking for something specific, and it’s up to your site to provide the tools that enable them to find that product quickly and painlessly. The customer journey mapping will help your eCommerce be successful. A thorough understanding of how customers interact with your site will allow you to make informed decisions about design, content creation and more. To begin, let’s start with breaking down what customer journey mapping and user-centric design is.
What Is Customer Journey Mapping?
Customer journey mapping is a user experience design technique that helps you understand the customer’s journey, from awareness to purchase. It’s a strategic framework for user-centric design that helps designers and marketers evaluate their product or service in terms of what they are offering customers along their journey.
What is user centric design?
User-centric design is the cornerstone of eCommerce success. It’s about putting the user at the centre of your business and understanding their needs. “User-centric design” is often used interchangeably with “user experience,” but the two terms are not quite synonymous.
User experience refers to how a product or service feels for its users. Contrarily, user-centric design is about understanding those users and creating an intuitive product that will make them happy.
A good eCommerce site has a smooth UX flow that makes it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for within seconds, as opposed to wasting time blindly clicking around in hopes of stumbling upon something useful (or getting frustrated by dead ends).
Six Steps of the Customer Journey Mapping in eCommerce
Customer journey mapping is a visual representation of the customer’s path to purchase. It shows how customers interact with your brand at different stages in their buying journey. This tool enables you to understand how users move through the stages of awareness, consideration, and purchase, and then strategize accordingly for each stage.
The first step of a customer journey map is awareness. Awareness is when your customers recognize that they need or want something. This stage is important because it sets the scene for what comes next, whether that’s an immediate purchase or not.
In order to create an effective awareness section, you need to be mindful of these two things:
- What exactly are your customers aware of? Do they know about your brand and its products? Do they understand what sets you apart from other brands in the industry? Are there any gaps in their knowledge that could be addressed by education materials on your site (e.g., blog posts) or elsewhere (e.g., Google Ads)?
- How do people become aware of this information? Are there relatable products or brands that could serve as references points for helping them understand what makes yours so special—and why they should care about it enough to give it a chance over the competition? If so, think about how those connections might be made more easily accessible on your site. Therefore, new visitors can quickly get up-to-speed with knowledge gained elsewhere before deciding whether this particular product/service will meet their needs best regardless if someone else has already recommended them elsewhere online somewhere else too without realizing fully how similar these two offerings really are!
Once you’ve identified your core audience, it’s time to think about how they’d discover your site.
Discovery is everything that happens before a customer lands on your website and begins the process of converting. It includes search, digital channels, influencers and referrals from friends or family members who have already been customers.
Your objective here is to identify the most effective ways for potential customers to find out about your brand and product offering.
Let’s look at what consideration is. Consideration is the stage in the customer journey where a user decides whether or not they want to engage with your brand. They may be considering purchasing from you, but still haven’t made up their mind yet. Or maybe they hate your product and have decided against spending money on it, but could change their mind if you give them a better experience than their last purchase.
In order for users to move through this phase of the customer journey, they need to find out what options are available and which one best suits their needs—and that means they need information. This can include:
- Pricing information (e.g., “how much does it cost?”)
- Product reviews (e.g., “what do other people think about this?”)
- Customer service reviews (e.g., “what if I have questions after I make my purchase? Will someone help me?”).
It’s important that any messaging around these topics is clear and concise. Therefore, users don’t get lost or confused while trying to gather more details about what’s available at different price points before making their final decision on where/how much money to spend on products/services from various companies.”
Once you’ve put together the steps of your customer journey map, it’s time to consider what the key moments of intent are for your business.
It’s important to determine what your customers’ main goals or needs are while they interact with your brand. These are the moments when they are ready (or not) to make a purchase. This could be when they begin researching an item online, and then start comparing different products or prices before finally purchasing something. Or it could be at a point in their path where they’ve decided not to purchase anything from you—but may come back later and buy something else instead.
Once you’ve worked out your customer journey map, it’s time to put the plan into action and start improving your e-commerce site.
It’s a great way to make sure that you’re hitting all of the right notes with your customers.
A customer journey map will help you to understand what your customers want from your e-commerce site, as well as what they expect from it. It can also give you an idea of how effective your current site is at meeting these needs and expectations.
If a customer is happy with your product, they will want to come back and buy again. If you can create a positive experience for your customers that encourages them to return and purchase more often, you will see your revenue increase.
That’s not all: retention also works in the other direction. If you have loyal customers who regularly purchase from you, they are more likely to recommend your brand to others as well as share their experiences online on social media (which drives traffic). Both of these things lead to greater revenue for eCommerce businesses.
Customer loyalty is one of the holy grails of eCommerce business models because it means repeat custom. This delivers regular income and helps build trust within the community around an online store or marketplace platform.
How do you start a customer journey map?
Take the time to develop customer journey maps and make them a part of your user-centric design process.
You can create customer journey maps in a variety of ways, but we recommend starting with user interviews. You’ll want to talk to users who represent a cross-section of your target market and get them talking about their experiences with the product or service you’re designing. Once they’ve shared their thoughts on what’s working well (and what isn’t), ask them to draw out their own versions of the map.
In addition to helping you gain insight into how your customers interact with the product, this approach helps facilitate communication between designers and other members of the team so that everyone is on the same page about how best to improve UX. It also gives everyone an idea of where there may be gaps or opportunities for improvement in terms of functionality or content strategy—and allows you as a designer to explore potential solutions while keeping them grounded in data from real people who are actually using your product!
User centric design is the bedrock of eCommerce success.
Customer journey mapping is not a linear process. It’s an iterative one with lots of data collection and analysis, thoughtful ideation, and a healthy dose of creativity. The best part? You don’t need to be an expert in user-centered design (UCD) or UX to get started.
Using your customer journey map as a guide for user experience improvements will help you deliver on what matters most: building products that delight customers from discovery all the way through conversion. In other words, if you want to increase sales and build loyalty while reducing churn, user experience should be top of mind for every decision you make—from product development through customer support.
This is not a linear process
While the customer journey is often depicted as a single-step process, it’s actually a multi-step experience. Each stage of the journey requires careful consideration of its user: what problem does this stage solve for them? How can we guide them through this stage?
It’s important to realise that there are many ways to move between stages during your customer’s journey. Customers might enter at different points depending on their needs, or they may move backwards in order to fill in gaps from missed information from earlier stages.
Customer journey mapping process
Customer journey mapping is a useful tool even outside of user centric and UX design considerations, as it allows them to understand the needs and desires of their users. This can help them create a better user experience that meets those needs. The customer journey mapping process consists of four steps:
- Understand your users’ perspective on the current situation
- Refine this understanding by looking at what they want to achieve in the future and why they want it
- Brainstorm solutions that will allow you to meet those goals and identify potential barriers or challenges along the way
- Map out all possible alternative scenarios
The importance of eCommerce UX and customer journey mapping cannot be overstated. The quality of your eCommerce UX directly impacts the success or failure of your business. If customers feel lost or confused in their experience, they are going to leave you and find a company that provides them with a better user experience. Don’t forget to make sure that your site is mobile-friendly and loads quickly. There are tools like PageSpeed Insights that measure how fast your website is.
Customer journey mapping is one tool that can help you create an effective eCommerce UX. By identifying the key points in your customer’s journey—from initial contact until the sale is complete—you can make sure that your website is easy to navigate and contains all the information needed for customers to make informed decisions about whether or not they want to buy from you.
In conclusion: it is imperative that you make sure your eCommerce website has an excellent user experience and customer journey mapping is an important part of achieving this goal!