For ecommerce businesses looking to better understand and engage their customers, nothing holds more promise than customer journey analytics.
Rather than viewing the customer experience as a random string of touchpoints, customer journey analytics brings together data from all those individual interactions to create a comprehensive story of how shoppers become (or fail to become) customers. It’s based on the realization that we live in an omnichannel world, where multiple channels and exchanges work together to attract and influence buying behavior.
That includes marketing, sales and customer service data. Look at only one piece of the puzzle in isolation, and you run the risk of missing insights that could enable you to win and hold onto customers over the long term.
Because that’s really the point of the whole process. Not closing one sale, but nurturing a relationship that endures for years.
3 Ways Ecommerce Retailers Win With Customer Journey Analytics
With customer journey analytics, you can see all the paths that customers take before making a purchase, providing valuable, data-backed intelligence for optimizing your marketing. If most of your customers convert after opening at least one of your emails and seeing a sponsored post in their social feed, that’s a clear sign that you should continue to invest in both channels. Maybe you notice that it takes at least three emails before someone converts, so you plan for that as part of your campaigns.
Increased Sales and Engagement
Customer journey analytics also helps you detect when and where people are most likely to drop out before making a purchase. Maybe there’s an issue with your shopping cart — too many fields or too many steps in the checkout process — and that friction is causing visitors to leave your site without completing their purchase. With customer journey analytics, you have the knowledge necessary to make adjustments quickly, before your bottom line starts to suffer.
Enhanced Customer Loyalty and Lifetime Value
And you can use customer journey analytics to strengthen and protect the customer relationship beyond the point of purchase. You’ll have the knowledge to identify the precise moment an existing customer is most apt to try a competitor, so you can intervene with personalized offers and messages that are more likely to re-engage them and reduce the risk of churn. Because you understand the patterns underlying your customers’ behavior, you have an increased ability to upsell or cross-sell products most likely to appeal to them.
Obstacles for Customer Journey Analytics
While interest is high, many companies face significant barriers to actually practicing this discipline.
For starters, there’s the sheer amount of involved data, encompassing email opens, website sessions, tracking links, shipping records, display impressions, call-center logs and more — for every single person who encounters your marketing and sales operation.
Much of that data tends to be siloed, kept in separate platforms and managed by different teams, which makes it difficult and time-consuming to access. Even when all the data comes together in a single location, it usually doesn’t “speak the same language.” The datasets use different dimensions or taxonomies, forcing analysts to manually reconcile fields and create a consistent naming strategy.
The skills required to produce customer journey analytics are also rare. Not every company has the people on staff to put it all together.
And customer journey analytics is difficult to practice because, to do it well, all of the analysis needs to be created quickly, so retailers can react in the moment to changes in customer behavior.
Take the Next Step on Your Journey
Customer journey analytics is a core discipline for Alight Analytics, and our ChannelMix platform is uniquely suited to the challenge of managing the multiple data sources required for these kinds of insights, at the speed and scale you need. Our services team also can supply the expertise in data science and strategy necessary, freeing you from the need to hire full-time staff.