The customer journey refers to the life cycle, or stages a customer travels through in their relationship with a specific brand. From awareness to consideration, intent, purchase, and even loyalty, each consumer decision journey differs per person and encompasses a variety of potential touchpoints and experiences a customer can share with a brand.
One customer journey example may look like this:
- Notices an advertisement on the subway with a 15% off discount code and searches the brand directly to do some initial research on their mobile phone.
- Later, browses product pages on their mobile desktop and adds an item or two to their cart but after calculating the cost to purchase, decides to hold off.
- While web browsing, receives a specialized offer for an additional 5% off through a Google AdWords campaign after and revisits their open cart.
- Proceeds to checkout, updates discount code, and makes a purchase.
While another customer journey example may look like this:
- On desktop, keys in a specific long-tail keyword in a search engine and after assessing numerous results, clicks on the top, sponsored result.
- Compares a few products on a category page and narrows results down to one item, adding it to cart.
- Proceeds to checkout, and makes a purchase.
Both journeys represent very different stages in the life cycle, both including no previous exposure to the brand. One, initiated at the awareness phase, requires more touchpoints and experiences to purchase while the other, already exhibiting intent, moves more quickly through the lifecycle on their path to conversion.
As customer acquisition costs continue to rise, it’s become common practice for brands to practice customer experience management in an effort to deliver on desired outcomes at a more accelerated pace. Additionally, brands have begun to focus heavily on the loyalty phase in the journey, establishing retention programs to capitalize on higher LTVs of repeat customers.