Understand the customer journey map and how it applies to your online business.

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4 min read

On a simplistic level, it’s the roadmap you intend your customer to follow when they come to your website. The main difference between a map vs not a map is the visual representation of the journey.

Before you get started building your journey map, you need to build customer journeys.

Lets work with an example for a lighting store

You have a brand new lighting online store and you need to make as many sales as possible. First of all, you will need to build your conversion rate optimization (CRO), which basically means that the website has an embedded intention of what your customers should do when they visit your site. 

The next step is to journey-ify your visitors is to create one or more journeys that they could take on your website

Let’s say from the home page there are 5 links or Call to Actions . This is 5 journey starting points. Each journey can have its own goal, whether it be to leave contact information or to make a sale, and everything in between.

Write it out in hypotheses format:

“I believe that if customer 1 clicks on CTA “a” they will then click on action “1a” on the second page. 

Build out the whole flow using this idea

It gets a lot more complicated than this, where journeys can and should break off to more branches such as what if customer 1 clicks on “1b” on the second page and so forth.

The goal is to keep it as simple and user friendly for your customers as possible while making it as precise and easy to track as possible for you to manage your users as possible. 

Let’s draw out a map for this customer 1

Customer 1 lands on home page

Clicks on Link 1

Clicks on Link 1a

Clicks on Link 2a

Adds to cart

Checks out

This is a simple flow but a very relevant one. Lets add another flow for our dear customer 1

Customer 1 lands on home page

Clicks on Link 1

Clicks on Link 1b

Clicks on Link 2b

Leaves an email address

As we can see, the customer took different journeys on the website. No journey is wrong per se, but we can learn from multiple visitors which journeys they are most often taking, if they are reaching a page but not taking the desired action and everything in between. From here we can identify those weak spots and change the page, colour, setup, etc. to help future customers complete the goals we want them to.

For example, if customer 1 comes to the home page and leaves the website after 4 seconds, we have to look at the home page to figure out what is not making them stick around. Same goes for every page along each funnel. 

The customer journey map

Once you have worked out each possible journey, you can build the map. This can either be in text form or done with visuals with screenshots of the pages and items clicked. 

With each mapped journey, place in a weighting system of which journey is more important to you, for example, a sale can be worth more than someone leaving contact information. This will help you calculate your success score.

When to cut a journey short

Backing on the success score, ultimately your website has a goal (most are to make money, but leaving it open just in case), this means that every journey eventually has to turn into the goal. This means that if your 3-5 journeys on your website only have the potential to make a sale on 4 of them, you may want to reconsider the 5th journey if its worth it.

For example, if one of the journeys you plan looks to get the customer’s contact information, its reasonable you should be able to eventually convert them to a sale by means of email or otherwise. If a journey’s goal is to get someone to subscribe to your blog, as long as the blog’s goal is to eventually bring people to buy, then that can as well be a valid option.

If a journey path doesn’t have a foreseeable, or more specifically, after a period of time has shown that it does not convert into sales, you may want to consider either revising or removing this journey path. For example, if the journey raises awareness for a cause not directly related to buying your product, while its all good and well, it may detract away from your goal of making a conversion

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Conversely, not all leads convert the same, and this is why it’s important to have these multiple journeys and as long as they are converting at some point, it may be worth it to keep them alive and functioning.

Email Marketing 

Email Marketing is your best friend when it comes to not just converting those delayed leads, but to encourage repurchases as well. You will want to set up automation flows based on your customer types.

For example: Someone who has already bought your product should get emails thanking them for their purchase and showing them related products that may go well with their original purchase. 

On the other hand, someone who has yet to purchase can get an automated series of emails encouraging them to try the products and to take the leap to their very first purchase from your website.

Email marketing technology is very advanced and can track your customer’s activities to send them emails perfectly aligned with where they are up to in their customer journey, down to the product they viewed on your website. 

Similar to the main customer journey aspects, optimisation is key to making it truly successful. You can take many of the same steps as you took previously, which emails were clicked, which ones made a sale and which ones led the customer to the wrong path and away from a purchase.


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