According to research by McKinsey, optimizing the customer journey can deliver improved profits and reduced costs for your enterprise. But optimizing the journey is a complicated process and not something that every ecommerce platform supports.
Thankfully, Magento 2 comes with features that support the optimization of the buyer’s journey.
In this article, we will discuss how to optimize the customer journey using Magento 2 and improve sales of your ecommerce store.
Four Customer Journey Building Blocks in Magento
A Magento powered ecommerce store is based on four building blocks that together form the customer’s store experience. These include:
To enhance the customer journey, all those involved in the ecommerce store development and marketing must work together. Magento is a prominent platform, it has a wealth of features, which can be used to create experiences tailored to any mix of customer characteristics.
Further, it comes with interesting capabilities that support data and inventory management. Larger businesses, especially those with multiple warehouses and large SKU ranges, will need either to invest in store customization or integrate extensions that are available in the store.
Five Stages of the Customer Journey
For optimizing the customer journey in Magento, it is important to understand the five stages that a customer passes through.
The five stages include:
Here is how Magento optimizes the customer journey.
Awareness, Interest and Desire Stages
With Magento, you have a comprehensive set of SEO tools at your disposal. When combined with the customer profiling and segmentation of Magento 2, these tools ensure not only that your online store is found, but also that it’s found by those who are most likely to engage with your brand and become customers.
Once you have the customers’ attention, an optimized solution makes it simple and desirable for them to investigate and assess the value of your products or services, in the context of their personal preferences and paradigms. This is where it is essential to apply the most important engagement features of Magento 2:
- Email-a-friend (which makes it easy for customers to share links to your products)
- Wish lists
- Gift-related features (which help customers to shop for gifts in your Magento store)
- Product comparisons and reviews
Purchase Decision Stage
If you provide customers with an engaging experience, they would stick around long enough to reach a purchase decision. However, the likelihood increases when the customer journey includes a streamlined purchase process.
Magento 2 has a wealth of helpful features, both for shoppers to serve themselves, and to support assisted purchases where appropriate.
- Support for multiple shipping and payment options
- Fully customized order processing workflow
- Manage Shopping Cart tool that lets customer-service staff change orders, apply discounts, accept payment, and perform other tasks on behalf of the customer.
While every first purchase is a considerable achievement for your enterprise, the goal should be to turn each visitor into a loyal customer and an advocate of your brand. With Magento, you get a handful of personalization features to achieve this.
For example, you can:
- Segment your customer base into categories in order to develop targeted promotions.
- Create coupon and discount codes to send personalized offers to your customers.
- Develop reward programs to encourage customer loyalty.
- Create store credits to issue as refunds, discouraging shoppers from defecting to competitors after issues arise and are resolved.
- Compile opt-in lists, develop newsletters, and send them to your customers.
Of course, the wish list, email-a-friend and other customer engagement features mentioned earlier are also important during this stage in the journey. Brand advocates like to share their enthusiasm and these tools make it easy for them to do so.
Achieve Finer Results with Magento 2 Extensions
The more your team understands Magento and its features, the more you can fine-tune the customer journey. But there is still a limit to what you can do with the vanilla software alone.
Because, thorough optimizations require help from third-party extensions, of which there are many high-quality examples thanks to Magento’s open source architecture and a large community of enthusiastic developers.
If you are not familiar with the types of extensions available for Magento 2, some of them are available below.
Inventory and Warehouse Management (IM)
If your company handles high order volumes, you will need to improve upon Magento’s out-of-the-box inventory management functionality, either by engaging a developer to upgrade the IM capabilities of your solution, or by adding an IM extension. This is especially true if your business:
- Operates an omnichannel supply chain
- Sells products originating from multiple warehouses
- Holds a wide range of SKUs
A good inventory management extension will allow you to automate some of your inventory management processes, develop forecasts for sales and demand, and receive inventory status notifications to keep you on top of the stock situation. These capabilities will help you avoid inventory shortages that draw customer frustration.
It is important to remember that your customers’ ideas about optimal site design may not correspond with yours, or those of your teams’. The only way to know for sure is to ask your customers directly.
That’s where a customer survey extension comes in. It allows you to capture feedback about all aspects of your store, its services, and the experiences you provide to your customers. These extensions allow you to create questionnaires that the customers can fill while on your site, or perhaps later, after they have made a purchase.
A host of Magento extensions are available to enhance your marketing efforts. Many of these extensions automate the marketing process so to attract and convert site visitors. Examples include:
- Sales notifications that pop-up in the corner of your Magento store, highlighting recent sales.
- Inventory and price countdown tools to create a sense of urgency and stimulate purchases.
- Automated email marketing tools, to send regular personalized emails and newsletters to customers.
- Cross-sell and upsell pop-ups triggered when customers view or add items to the shopping cart.
To achieve an optimized customer journey, your team must bring together the best of Magento and its extensions. This will help you manage data, content, inventory, and customer personalization effectively, and will ultimately lead to performance-based rewards for your ecommerce enterprise.
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