Perhaps you’ve just entered the digital sales domain. Maybe you’ve long been a part of it but feel your sales process needs rejuvenating.
Whatever your reason for reading this blog post, we hear you. Mastering the digital customer journey isn’t easy – nor is it something that can be tamed overnight.
Whether you’re selling a SaaS product or physical item, mapping the digital customer journey is vital if you’re to pop up at just the right time and remain positively in their minds.
Here are three things to consider while evaluating your digital customer journey.
1. Get a handle on your market
We’ll split this into the two most common areas: B2B and B2C transactions. Your company probably operates solely within one of those sectors (or you might stray into both if you have a particularly wide product portfolio).
Whichever market you operate within, you need to think about the preferences of the people who occupy it before designing the digital customer journey.
Let’s consider how they differ.
- B2B. These people are more likely to start their search online, but research suggests that 90% of them will loop back and forth between different stages of the sales funnel, thus repeating one or more tasks while undertaking the journey.
- B2C. If you sell to consumers, you can expect them to increasingly be engaged by channels such as online chat, but they’re also far more likely to look for reviews and social proof about your products and services (remember – 95% of consumers will read a review before making a purchase). They typically tread a linear path, too.
B2C customers also expect a faster response from the brands they contact, while B2B transactions are more likely to take time to mature as confidence between brand and buyer grows.
Before you design the buyer journey, make sure you understand exactly how your audience is likely to interact with your digital presence and where they’re most likely to be found online.
2. Check the accessibility of your website
In 2019, mobile traffic accounted for approximately half of all web traffic across the globe.
This is largely why Google now operates a mobile-first index. This means it favours the mobile versions (or compatibility) of websites over their desktop counterparts. And it’s why the ease with which people can navigate your website will relate directly to the conversion rate of your digital sales funnel.
The same goes for other forms of accessibility. For instance, if your website isn’t set up to be readable for those with impaired vision, or ignores the W3C standards, it will drop down the Google rankings and make it harder for people to undertake the buyer journey.
People will still visit your website on desktop computers, but understanding mobile versus desktop retention and the way your website should present itself to both audiences is vital in establishing a healthy number of conversions.
3. Learn inbound vs outbound
If you want to gain more sales in the digital domain, you need to understand the differences between inbound and outbound acquisition.
- Inbound acquisition: this is when a lead or sale comes to you naturally. For instance, Kate decides to undertake a Google search for a product, finds yours and decides to fill out the contact form.
- Outbound acquisition: this is when you encourage someone to get in touch with you by strategically placing an advert, message or piece of content in front of them at just the right time.
Inbound acquisition is great, because it requires little to no effort on your part, but outbound takes time, a little investment and some assistance with strategies such as ad retargeting.
Arguably, neither of the above forms of acquisition can exist without the other if you want to build a sustainable, profitable source of online sales.
There are plenty of people out there who will find you on their own accord, but plenty more who will need a little nudge to further them along the buying journey (for instance, a pop-up chat window asking if they need assistance while on your website).
If you’ve long dreamed of waking up to new sales or leads that happened while you were sleeping, the digital customer journey is something you should spend a great deal of time on.
We’ve only scratched the surface above, but this should provide an ideal base from which to improve your online sales.
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