The Customer Journey To Online Purchase

Nowadays, the customer journey to making an online purchase has become more complex. Before the customer makes an online purchase decision, he or she may engage with your brand or business through a variety of media channels over several days and for high value items the journey can be a bit more longer. This blog post will help you understand and explore the customer journey to improve your marketing programs.

How do different marketing channels affect customer purchase decisions?

Various marketing channels influence the customer at different points in the path to purchase. These are:

  • Email
  • Banner Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Search Ads
  • Social Media
  • Direct Visits To Website
  • Email Marketing

Customer Journey To Purchase

ASSIST channels build awareness, consideration, and intent earlier in the customer journey or ‘purchase funnel’.

LAST INTERACTION channels act as the last point of contact prior to a purchase.

In my experience of paid advertising, very few understand the above. With so much competition in every market or niche, it is extremely important to understand these channels to help get the ‘Conversions’. To give you a little analogy, in a football match, every one credits the striker or the player who scores the goal, but very few credit the player/s who assist or pass the ball to the player to score the goal. In our case, the Last Interaction is when the ‘conversion’ happens. That’s why the football team doesn’t consist of 11 players who are all strikers.

You need the playmakers to help the strikers score (in our case, create the conversions). Quite often a team will pass 15-20 times before a goal is scored, also pass the ball back to the defender or the goal keeper to look at other options to go forward. It is a case of being patient and building the pressure on the other team. Consider Google Adwords to a football match, very rarely this happens; a goalie kicks the ball up and the striker up front scores with a single touch or a header. You as an advertiser, need to set your goals, create your sales funnel, assist channels and the conversions will follow. So don’t try and score or get a conversion with just one interaction, you will waste money, get frustrated and eventually fail! Put the complete system in place and see the results come in and achieve a positive ROI on your paid advertising.

How does the length of the customer journey impact purchase value?

The length of the customer journey, in both number of days & number of interactions, varies widely depending on the type of purchase. Low value purchases require less research, while higher value purchases require substantial research. Hence, it is important to be in front of the customer at every opportunity to showcase your message & brand.

I hope this gives you an insight to a customer’s journey to an online purchase. If you need some help putting your online ‘football’ team in place, get in touch and we’ll help you build you a strong team! Get started with your Free Online Google Adwords Report now.

Uzair Kharawala
Google Adwords Strategist

Graphic: © Google

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