How The Customer Shopping Journey Affects Your eCommerce Sales

Yoav Maor / July 3, 2017

 

One of the basic elements to creating a successful online eCommerce business is understanding the online customer shopping journey.
From keyword search to checkout, how a shopper searches for the products they want to buy has a huge impact on the difference between eCommerce success or failure.
Let’s take a look at how the customer shopping journey starts and what it means for your business.

Online Customer Shopping Journey: The Statistics
According to a report by eMarketer, two-thirds of digital shoppers in the U.S. start their customer shopping journey with a search on various marketplaces, such as Amazon or eBay. Nearly half also begin their journey at their favorite E-retailers.

customer shopping journey

Before you freak out and assume there’s no hope for your business, especially if you’re small, here’s a third statistic:
Organic search is the largest single driver of traffic to U.S. retail eCommerce sites ,
with 40% of survey respondents starting their search, at least sometimes, by searching for the product they wanted to buy.
The research shows that in Q2 2015, 40.0% of tablet traffic, 38.5% of desktop and laptop traffic, and 33.3% of smartphone traffic went to retail sites from organic search. Paid search accounted for another 12.6% of traffic overall.
This means that there is always room for you, the seller, to grab new customers via search.
Finally, social media, although the least popular starting point for digital buyers, is still a meaningful search medium, with 29% of shoppers starting their search on a social media site. (Interestingly enough, research shows that more than half of U.S. small businesses use social media as a key online marketing tool, preferring it to websites or online ads.)

3 Takeaways for eCommerce Retailers:

If you want to maximize the chances of shoppers finding your product listings, here are 3 things you can do today.

1. Widen your eCommerce reach
If you’re not already selling on at least one of the big marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, why not give it a try? Listing on a marketplace will expose you up to an enormous pool of people who would never have found you otherwise.
Having an omnichannel presence in today’s eCommerce world is critical for long-term success. Think of the customer shopping journey as a dating site. If you want to cast the widest net of potential dates possible, you must have a profile presence across multiple mediums. eCommerce sales are no different.
Ensure that your products are listed in as many places as possible for maximum exposure, no matter how the customer shopping journey starts.

2. Be SEO-sharp.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the name of the game for organic search.
The “only way to feature high up on organic search is through SEO. One of the main elements of SEO is keywords—making sure you include the most searched-for terms in your URLs, anchor text, product titles and descriptions.
Guessing what these terms are isn’t enough—you must do your homework in exploring the exact words shoppers are searching for.
A great tool to optimize your product listings for SEO is the Sigmento platform.
To give you a leg up on the competition, Sigmento optimizes titles, categories, and product descriptions for each one of your products so shoppers see you first.

3. Get your listings tip-top perfect
In addition to keywords, there are 4 other overarching “rules” to follow in order to direct the right traffic to your website and marketplace listings.
Click here to read our post on 4 Sure-Fire Ways for Multi-Channel Sellers to Attain Perfect Product Listings

Conclusion

Gone are the days of retailers controlling the shopping journey for customers.
In today’s world, it’s the customers that are in complete control of their experience from start to finish. They decide what to search for, compare, and ultimately purchase.
By understanding your target audience’s traits, habits, and personalities, you’re able to anticipate the journey and proactively turn shoppers into loyal, life-long customers!