A Look at E-Commerce

A 5-step Customer Journey

An individual is a shopper before they become a customer. They browse for products and the means to acquire them. E-Commerce drives that process electronically from start to finish. We at Tenthpin look at it as a 5-step process of shopper to customer journey. This article focuses on the e-commerce cycle for Direct-to-Customer (D2C) business for any product company.

The first two steps focus on Marketing.

MARKETING

1. Customer awareness: It’s important that potential customers know about the products that are available through direct e-commerce channels like D2C website. Shoppers learn about the product and conduct extensive research online before deciding to buy. Right marketing strategy and push through various e-commerce marketing channels lead potential customers to direct websites.

2. Customer acquisition: When a potential customer is already in the buying cycle and searching for the product, aim should be to have the D2C website appear at the top of the search. This leads to customer acquisition as the purchase will most likely be made from D2C site. E-commerce pulls in customers by collaborating with marketing sites and search companies to position their websites to appear at the top of a potential customer’s internet search results.

The next two steps focus on Analytics.

ANALYTICS

3. Customer Experience: This is the most important step and leads to quick revenue uplift. This step is further divided into 5 sub-steps:

  1. Search capability:
    How easy it is to search the relevant product on the website? Is the website intuitive? Does it support spelling errors and still give relevant product options to customers? How can I avoid endless-aisle challenges?
  2. Product range:
    Are range of different packaged (different size/ volume) options of a product available on the site?
  3. Website speed:
    How quickly does the site load? What is the refresh rate? What is the mobile site speed?
  4. Ease of transaction:
    How easy is it to convert a cart into a purchase? Is it easy to login via Google, Facebook, etc for a quick mobile based purchase? Are guest logins supported for one of purchase? Are payment providers configured properly to support seamless transactions?
  5. Product recommendations:
    Are additional product recommendations being presented based on advanced analytics? Are there options available to up-sell and cross-sell?

4. Customer loyalty: Once customers successfully and easily create user accounts, a loyalty program is designed to keep them engaged. The customer relationship management system data is analyzed and used to target re-marketing efforts and site personalization.

Finally, the e-commerce process evolves to a personalized buying experience.

MACHINE LEARNING

5. Customer Personalization:
All data gleaned from the consumer’s online footprint is used to personalize and tailor their shopping experience. This leads to repeat buying, upselling & cross-selling based on lifetime value of a customer. These results are mostly ML and AI driven, and lead to maximum revenue uplift.

With more and more companies moving into Direct-to-Customer business, it’s time they re-look at their overall E-Commerce strategy and understand how to best leverage technology to accelerate the overall process & drive value, ensuring a wow customer experience leading to customer retention and satisfaction.

Contact our industry experts at Tenthpin Management Consultants if you would like to learn more.

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About the Author

Arpita Singhal

Managing Partner - United Kingdom

Arpita is a leader in our Digital Transformation and ERP Practice.