How to tap into the digital customer journey

tap into the digital customer journey

How does the digital customer journey differ from the traditional one? Our guide outlines how to tap into the digital customer journey.

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Today, modern consumers are always confronted with products everywhere. Not only via TV advertising, but also through more active media consumption on the Internet, in the shopping street or when talking to family and friends.

But: What does that mean for products such as furniture, televisions, kitchens and other goods that are not so easily ordered, such as a new USB cable or a pizza? 

Strategy to tap into the digital customer journey

We examine how the modern customer journey differs from the traditional one and how you can strategize to tap into the digital customer journey.

Purchase motives and touchpoints

Let’s imagine three scenarios.

Scenario 1:

The sofa is showing its age and needs to be replaced. Customer A has no time to go to the store and sits down at the PC. She goes to more out of habit than purposefully and starts a search query. In fact, she gets over 700,000 results , most of which fit. After comparing her favorites for prices and ratings a few times and inspecting the website of the retailer who made the selection, she simply buys the item online. Finally, the seller grants her a right of return …

Scenario 2:

Sure, he once liked the dining room chairs, but somehow it’s time for something new again. So customer B goes to his favorite furniture store. The old set was recommended to him there and he was very satisfied with it for years. In general, customer B would never buy online !!! He would like to convince himself of the quality, try it out, examine the colors … But suddenly his thoughts are interrupted while he strolls through the world of goods in the direction of the dining room department. The sofa can be seen out of the corner of his eye . Customer B immediately knows: I have to have that!

Scenario 3:

When moving, customer C first took care of the most important things: The internet contract has already been concluded and the PC has been set up. However, he is now sitting on the floor. “No problem”, he thinks and first looks at Google. There are two large furniture markets and three smaller shops nearby, his moving van is still in front of the door. He goes to the stores’ websites and at least looks around at the user-friendly ones. With one of them, he can even check which goods are available. He likes that and he goes straight there. At home he has already shortlisted one or two sofas. Whether one of them is the sofa ?

Upon arriving at the store, however, customer C is disappointed. “Nobody can find their way around here,” he thinks. “Don’t they have an app for that?” But a longer conversation with the staff helps him and he makes a decision! The less motivated seller causes him to leave the store annoyed. The online shop looked so promising …

New platforms bring more complex purchase scenarios

All of these scenarios are probable and there are many more of them: After all, TV advertising, magazines and posters are not going to go away with digitization. They are only supplemented by countless other touchpoints that customers can have with products. Between the long research and the spontaneous purchase, there are many conceivable scenarios of how people become buyers. And as seen with customer A and customer C, there are also imponderables.

Customer A illustrates : Buyers today find their products on routes that retailers could ignore for a long time. Amazon, Google & Co are third-party platforms whose “rules” you should follow if you want to be found. So today you are forced to offer on many more channels than in the past.

In contrast, customer C shows: Not only do you have to be present on many channels – none of them should be neglected. Because not everyone is as loyal as customer B. Internet users in particular drop out if they cannot find their way around an online shop. But customers also leave stores when the service isn’t right.

The digital customer journey: maze or highway?

The challenge when shopping today is: Customers no longer use a linear path from the initial purchase request to payment. A KPMG study even shows that over half of customers use both online and offline channels to make purchases on their journey.

For furniture dealers, this means that all channels must be used. And all channels must be played with high quality. Especially with many innovations in commerce – think of beacons, chatbots, non-contact payment, apps, personalized online shops, VR and augmented reality, as well as “old” hats such as responsive websites, newsletter automation and shop systems, search engine optimization, social media , new branch concepts and the many classic variants of marketing – then that’s a huge opportunity for business. Because all of these channels should also be an expression of the company’s identity.