Understanding the Customer Journey” – more than a hollow buzz phrase

May 15,2015  //

The purchase decision process

Knowing as much as possible about your customers’ reasons for purchasing has long been a priority for businesses. Obviously giving people what they want or (even better) what they need has been central to successful business since forever.

This graphic illustrates the widely agreed upon stages of any purchasing decision:


These 4 generic stages of a purchasing decision are well established and have remained unchanged for decades.

So what has changed?

Thanks to the ever expanding influence of the internet, our ability to collect reliable information on what consumers do before they purchase has exploded. This process has become known as: ‘Understanding the Customer Journey’.

The opportunities and insights offered by ‘Understanding the Customer Journey’ for your business has made it a hot topic in 2015.


What is ‘Understanding the Customer Journey’ all about?

1) Understanding that customers will likely come into contact with your business multiple times and through multiple channels before they purchase from you

2) Understanding that the mountains of information and choice available to consumers on the internet means they are able to be incredibly picky. So businesses must continually strive to deliver more personal communication and better customer experience to stay competitive

3) It’s about taking advantage of the opportunities that the internet provides business to collect data on your customer’s behaviour

4) It’s about using the opportunities presented by the data available to understand more about your customers and their purchasing behaviour

5) This = an enhanced ability to give customers what they want, when they want it, where they want it and how they want it

6) Which = higher conversion rates and increased ROI for your business


A report, based on a survey of nearly 2,000 digital experts by Econsultancy in 2015, on understanding your customer’s journey found:

1) The vast majority (86%) of companies said that profitability and increased revenue were a ‘major benefit’.

2) A similar proportion (83%) said that identifying pain points and reducing customer struggle were a significant benefit

3) Of those surveyed 80% cited improved marketing effectiveness as the upside.

The benefit of understanding your customers journey are universally agreed upon, it has become the priority for all forward thinking business.

The tricky stuff

1st Question: How do you build a clear picture of your own customers’ journey to a purchase decision?

To quote Google: These days, the customer journey has grown more complex, touching many different marketing channels”. This is compounded by the fact that the number of digital channels/touchpoints is increasing by around 20% annually.

2nd Question: Once you have all that great data what do you do with it?

The Answers:

Part 1) Operate a data tracking and analysis program tailored to your own business and it’s goals across all your channels/touch points

Part 2) Turn that information into actionable changes within your business and how you communicate to your target markets.

Put Simply:

1) Work out what it is you want to find out

2) Set up the necessary data collection

3) Produce some relevant conclusions from the data

4) Then work out how to turn that information into increased conversions/$$$

For our guide on how to plan an effective data tracking and analysis program for you business click here