Understanding customer journeys is a critical component of web design. It’s vital for ecommerce sites attempting to guide visitors to a sale.
A customer journey can be straightforward or complex. Remember that every page counts, and every page should have a goal.
In this post, I’ll address how customer journeys and desired outcomes impact the design of an ecommerce site.
Consider where visitors first land on your website and focus on steering them to the next desired action.
Take it a step further and recognize where visitors start their journey. Are most coming from social media? Organic search? Perhaps it’s from email campaigns, affiliate referrals, or even advertising.
Regardless, what are the landing pages for each of those sources?
Knowing where your website sits in the journey (and mindset) of target consumers will help decide its design and content. Approach every page as a mini-journey — a chapter in a book — guiding visitors to the ultimate outcome.
Focus on what you want a page to achieve — its call to action or next step. Some pages, such as products and categories, have similar outcomes.
Even post-purchase pages should lead visitors to the next yes. Merchants frequently overlook confirmation pages resulting in dead-ends for visitors.
But purchasing a product is not the end of the journey.
Ditto for a newsletter confirmation page. If she is willing to provide her email address, what else would a visitor say yes to after subscribing? Perhaps a product discount?
At a minimum, confirmation pages are excellent opportunities to invite those visitors to follow you on social media, join your loyalty program, or submit a rating and review.
Even a contact page can have a call-to-action beyond your company info. Social media and newsletter invitations are examples.
Importantly, avoid having multiple outcomes on a single page. It adds noise and confusion.
List the Goals
List the goals of your website beyond making a sale, such as:
- Increase subscribers to email or SMS communications,
- Boost social media followers,
- Prompt live chats,
- Gather testimonials or reviews,
- Refer a friend,
- Ask a question,
- Request info.
Next, list all your public pages and define a goal for each. Make sure the outcome aligns with where visitors are in their journey. For example, asking a first-time visitor to leave a review makes little sense. Similarly, a visitor from an email newsletter doesn’t need an invite to subscribe.
This type of exercise helps evaluate your overall site, purpose, and thus its design.