Customers are the lifeblood of eCommerce. The more you understand about who they are, what they want, and how they shop, the more of a competitive advantage your business will have. Customer journey analytics is the pursuit of this understanding — the process of collecting and assessing customer data to gain deeper knowledge of their relationship with your brand.
According to Google, nearly 90 percent of successful businesses maintain that anticipating and proactively responding to customer needs is critical to growth. Customer journey analytics provides you with the insights to do so. It helps you identify bottlenecks, uncover new opportunities, and ultimately improve the customer experience from beginning to end.
Customer journey analytics and customer journey mapping are frequently mentioned in the same breath, and with good reason. One naturally feeds into the other. While customer journey analytics provides information and insights about customer interactions, customer journey mapping creates a visual representation of those interactions.
Either one is a viable starting point, but in the long term, they are ultimately two sides of the same coin.
Caption: Customer Lifetime Value is arguably one of the most important retention metrics under the umbrella of customer journey analytics
Each stage of the customer journey has its own set of key performance indicators, detailed below — it's also important to note that specific eCommerce niches may have their own KPIs to consider, as well.
Customers know they have a specific problem, desire, or need, and have begun researching a possible solution. Either through paid media or as a result of their search, they've discovered your website.
KPIs at this stage include:
Customers at the consideration stage can essentially be considered prospective buyers. They know their options, but they haven't yet reached a decision. KPIs at this stage include:
As the customer nears the bottom of the sales funnel, they start looking for any information to help them finalize their decision — case studies, reviews, etc. KPIs at this stage include:
Once you've secured a customer, it's time to start thinking about how to keep them coming back. This is the retention stage, and it's arguably the most important of all. KPIs include:
Core use cases for customer journey analytics include:
Caption: The ability to visualize and assess
Customer journey analytics can be incredibly complex, doubly so without the right software. Your organization needs a means of collecting and consolidating customer data, breaking down data silos between marketing, sales, and customer success. It also needs a tool that allows them to track, monitor, and assess key metrics at each stage of the customer journey.
Unfortunately, even within the eCommerce space, there's no one-size-fits-all solution here. Every seller's business needs are a little different, and every eCommerce niche faces a different set of problems and challenges. Your best bet is to seek out a software vendor specialized in your specific products and services — in the meantime, you can leverage a more generalized analytics solution to at least help you keep track of things.