The Importance of Understanding Your Customer’s Journey on Your Ecommerce Site

As an e-commerce retailer, do you know what your customers are doing when they visit your site? Do you know where your site is losing visitors or do you understand at what point in the sales funnel leads arrive on your landing pages? If you answered no to any of these questions, chances are you need to take some time to understand your customer’s journey through your e-commerce site.

While this may seem like a daunting prospect, it can be approached methodically and made easier through the use of tools like Google Analytics. The time and effort invested in this process can also unlock a host of benefits, the most notable of which is the prospect of increasing conversions by reducing friction and plugging funnel leaks.

What is your customer looking for?

If you are able to understand what your customer is looking for at each stage of their visit to your site, you will be better able to provide them with relevant information. Are they looking for a product? Looking to compare prices? Do they need help making a decision or are they researching for a future purpose?

Your funnel should filter customers at every stage of that journey – being able to identify which stage the visitor is at means you’ll be better placed to deliver the content they need to progress through the funnel and closer to the purchase.

How to facilitate the journey of your customers?

If you’ve set up Google Analytics on the site (and you should), you’ll have access to a wealth of customer behavior data. Load the behavior flow report under the Behavior tab. This shows the progress of visitors on your site, from the pages they enter, the path they take, their rewind and their exit. You can use it to determine what keeps users engaged and where potential issues exist.

A heat map is also useful here – it will show where the majority of interest is concentrated on a page. If it shows action intensity towards the bottom of the page, simply moving this element to the top could make your visitor’s journey through the site easier.

Tracking and Monitoring Visitor Behavior

Keeping tabs on new versus returning visitors is a useful exercise, but you also need to couple this with the source of those visits. What type of device do visitors use to access your site? Knowing this, in conjunction with the other points mentioned above, can help you tailor your offer to better suit your visitor behavior. If you have a large proportion of visitors who connect from a mobile device, for example, you can focus your efforts on creating a site optimized for mobile conversions with features that facilitate the customer journey on a smartphone (such as faster page load speeds, buttons, click to call, shorter forms and mobile payment options).

Knowing how your visitors behave means you can tailor your site accordingly, making it much more likely that you’ll retain those customers and get more conversions.

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