We can all agree that COVID-19 has changed the way we shop. Many consumers have been forced to adopt digital channels to shop online for everything from essentials to luxury items. Even though for some of us, the digital shopping affair started much earlier, the absence of the physical retail space during the pandemic has accelerated online retail.
Research suggests that a whopping 63% of shopping occasions begin online and nearly 50% of consumers shop on mobile more often than in-store.
These trends are largely a result of companies using eCommerce as a way to create delightful customer experiences (CX) rather than just treating it as a transaction. With customers only engaging with brands in the digital space, companies want to make the retail journey enjoyable, personalized, and memorable. And one of the most effective ways to achieve this is through Customer Journey Analytics and an understanding of individual customer behavior.
Customer analytics is at the foundation of creating experiences that resonate with customers. It’s the art of using customer data to extract actionable insights about the customers and improve their retail experience. Uses of customer analytics typically fall in three buckets –
I believe there’s no better way to understand your customer than to put yourself in his/her shoes. One way to do this is by assuming the role of a mystery shopper and assessing your experience at each touchpoint. Identify what you liked or disliked through the purchase journey. Now, do a similar exercise with a competitor brand to see where you stand against them. In a way, what you would have done is to create a customer journey map for a single journey. However, this activity tends to get more complex as you try to map out journeys through multiple channels and touchpoints over a long period. It gets even more complex when you try to orchestrate these customer journey maps. That’s where Customer Journey Analytics (CJA) comes into play.
Customer Journey Analytics is the process of analyzing customer behavior over time and across multiple touchpoints, measuring the impact customer behavior has on business outcomes. In simpler terms, CJA is an assessment of how a customer engages with your brand during their customer journey. It offers a comprehensive understanding of customer interaction across channels, providing detailed insights about the customer’s engagement, movement, and how much time they spent at each touchpoint; helping you determine pain points from the customer’s perspective.
A 2018 Gartner survey found that nearly half of IT and business leaders who invest in customer analytics see customer journey analysis as their top priority. It’s even more important in times of the pandemic, where customers begin their journeys again in altered contexts and existing customer journey maps will have to be re-drawn based on their changed behavior. Customer journey mapping and orchestration is a continuous process with both short-term and long-term benefits. It’s almost a strategic decision to change the way a company operates.
Because it’s a continuous process, I like to think of customer journey analysis as “a journey of journeys”.
Even though they may sound similar, the two processes are very different from one another and work towards different goals. The most notable difference between the two lies with the customers themselves.
Customer Journey Maps are designed by business teams even before a customer has been onboarded, and are a positive mapping of how the customer’s journey might pan out. This is completely subjective as it is never based on the customer’s real journey, and hence the mapping cannot accurately predict customer behavior or pain points during his or her engagement with the brand.
Customer Journey Analytics on the other hand offers a comprehensive view of the customer’s actual journey with your brand, in real-time. Marketing teams can not only access millions of these interactions but leverage the true engagement data in real-time and optimize business operations accordingly.
Customer Journey Mapping can simply serve as a visual depiction of what the customer experience may be, it is not dependable as the actual engagement can be very different. Analytics provides a more comprehensive understanding of customer engagement, areas of improvement along the journey, and how your brand can leverage these insights to improve CX.
For a better understanding of Customer Journey Analytics, you need a conceptual understanding of its three stages: Acquisition, Activation, and Adoption.
In today’s digital ecosystem, customer experience is of paramount importance. Enhancing CX and offering a seamless journey not only makes it easier to retain existing customers but also simplifies approaching potential customers, increasing your sales, and optimizing ROI.
Analyzing the customers’ journey across touchpoints is the answer to brands finding blindspots within the journey. Only when you know what to fix can it be addressed and only then can your business truly offer a seamless experience over time and across touchpoints. CJA can help your business leverage detailed insights to better serve existing customers, offer them products and services based on their retail history and interests, attract new customers and stop losing potential customers mid-journey. Customer Journey Analytics is important to best understand your customer base, offer a seamless experience, and serve them to the best of your brand’s capabilities.
Customer Journey Analytics should be a continual component of any business operation wishing to offer premium customer experiences and some of the benefits of a robust CJA solution are as follows:
Analyzing and understanding behavioral patterns of customers can help predict not just customer satisfaction but customer churn, and gauge when a customer might be inclined to drop off. Your business can monitor the churn rate using CJA and then optimize offerings to keep customers satisfied and engaged with your brand.
Customer Journey Analytics is a continuous aggregation of customer data from every touchpoint that a customer engages with. These data from the varied sources help to create a unique customer persona based on their interactions with your brand over time. The automated analytics processes retrieve the historical data every time the customer engages with your business and enhances the experience based on the customer’s preferences and habits. CJA can help you optimize the customer’s experience in real-time, without human intervention, and effect a positive change in the ROI.
Every brand wants to convert as many prospects into customers as possible, and analytics is the answer to figuring out where the potential lies. Once the potential customers are identified and their intent to purchase can be recognized, your business can focus its efforts more effectively. CJA can also help your brand with information about existing customers who can be convinced to purchase products related to what they are looking for.
A customer purchasing a mobile phone will be shown a range of phone covers that they might need, and this is where CJA assists in cross-selling, promoting offers, and developing brand loyalty in customers both new and old.
Customer Journey Analytics can help identify the viability of a journey for customers. Based on the inefficiencies that are pinpointed by the analytics solution, you can optimize your business processes to best suit your customer’s needs and see to their satisfaction while engaging with your brand. With analytics providing insights for both the micro and macro-interactions, bottlenecks can be removed, operations can be smoothened out, efficiency can be maximized and seamless CX can be offered. CJA can help your brand identify the customer’s needs before they do, optimize operations accordingly, and deliver premium retail experiences.
We, at Course5 Intelligence, would love to help your brand enhance customer experiences and maximize customer satisfaction, through an understanding of what matters most to your customers. Our Customer Journey Analytics solution offers a truly integrated view of the customer. One that considers customer behavior at every touchpoint along with their engagement with your brand.
Creating this 360° view of the journey will allow you to enhance customer experience at each step of the purchase journey from awareness to post-purchase. It can help deliver the right service at the right time and improve the chances of sales. It can enable your brand to personalize the approach towards customers based on their past preferences and improve customer retention. Delivering compelling marketing content or predicting future customer behavior will allow you to uncover up-selling and cross-selling opportunities as well. The possibilities are endless!
Get in touch with us for a consultation, and a Customer Journey Analytics solution that can revolutionize your business operations.
Sign up to get the latest perspectives on analytics, insights, and AI.