Customer Journey: The Process of Ecommerce

Why is it important?
I have noticed many online businesses (even those that are really super successful), start with hiring people before they 1) truly understand the work they require them to do, 2) the metrics they should own and 3) the results they want them to achieve. I have seen this ultimately lead to chaos, confusion and rising costs.

However, sometimes for many years the chaos is kept below the surface because a business might initially generate a rapid sales growth. Business owners, then question the importance of spending time understand the processes, the work and the data, when they see sales and profits increase year after year.

But over time, competitors enter the market and growth rates flatten because it becomes survival of the fittest. Over a 10-day period, Quayside Digital have helped many businesses of all sizes, embed core processes to produce a low cost, effective and efficient foundation from which to grow.

Every journey has a beginning and an end
The core process of marketing and ecommerce is called the Customer Journey. It is called this because the entity is a customer (B2C) or business (B2B). The customer goes on a journey and starts by having an interest in a product or a service. And the goal of the process, ends with the customer making a purchase and receiving the delivery. This article explains about the customer ourney in an easy to follow way and therefore does cover the breadth of states, work steps, KRIs, KPIS, people and processes.

Figure 1 – Customer Journey Overview

The customer journey’s entity starts out as a prospect and once he or she has made a conversion, then becomes a customer. Figure 2, shows the customer states, starting by being interested in a particular market and ending with making a purchase and becoming a customer. A customer state is fixed in a moment of time and requires work to change a state.

Figure 2 – States and Work Steps

Work Steps
In the customer journey, work is shown as a work step, in that work is required to step change the customers’ state. People don’t become aware of a product purely by chance, there are all kinds of signals and messages delivered that is generated by work. Figure 2, shows that to make a prospect aware of your company, you need to create an interest in your company, whether through online display or Youtube advertising, plus many more things. To get someone to land on your website, you have to set up traffic streams, this can be using Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Paid Social, Affiliate Marketing, plus many more sources.

Figure 3 – KRIs and KPIs

Metrics – KRIs and KPIs
To measure the progress of the customer journey you have two groups of metrics. You have KRIs – Key Result Indicators and KPIs – Key Performance Indicators. In a car, the KRI would be the distance travelled. Whereas, the KPI will be miles per hour. The important point here is that by doing the work of pressing the acceleration pedal you then increase the KPI of miles per hour and therefore you will travel further over a given time. In the ecommerce world, if you reduce the cost per impression KPI, you will make more people aware of your company within a given budget – a key result. If you reduce the cost per click KPI, your website will receive more sessions – another key result. And so forth, throughout the journey as demonstrated in figure 3.

People and Systems
Once you know the work steps, the KRIs and KPIs, you then need to recruit people or systems to do the work. You also clearly know what work needs doing, what result you want to achieve and the metric you need to increase or reduce to hit your goals. In terms of ecommerce, figure 4 illustrates that you need someone to work on brand awareness, someone to generate traffic – paid search and someone to be the website product owner and to improve the conversion rate – CRO (conversion rate optimiser).

Figure 4 – People

I am a firm believer, that business owners should spend time understanding and mapping out their core processes to embed effective and efficient teams and systems. In turn, this will create happy, motivated, successful teams, with everyone understand their role, working together and understand the value they are all driving.

If you need help introducing and expanding the Customer Journey to tailor it for your business, then please contact us at Quayside Digital.

How can we help you?

Contact Quayside Digital to find out how we can grow your business online.