A customer’s journey is much like a real-life journey you have the first phase of the quest, the course of it, and then the end destination. However, the customer journey for a consumer to engage with a brand may not be exactly straightforward, as there are many problems to overcome along the way.
The journey starts with building awareness, in which the consumers familiarize themselves with brands through different channels, such as advertisements, word-of-mouth, personal online research, etc.
The second stage is consideration. Consumers now reflect on and compare products or services that best meet to their demands.
The third stage, purchase, is a very powerful step of the customer journey, in which consumers now decide on purchasing the product or service. However, we cannot overlook the fact that consumers may change their minds in the last minute if the purchasing process is inconvenient or does not match with their lifestyles.
The fourth stage is retention. In this phase, it should be taken into consideration that a brand will not survive upon just one purchase. It is important that consumers are satisfied and come back for more.
The last stage is advocacy. It is important that your customers become fans of your brand, as genuine satisfaction will promote word of mouth or positive reviews on social media without any cost involved. However, if your customers are not pleased with their purchases, it could possibly hurt the brand.
In the past, a customer’s journey may not be as complex as it is now. The digital era has certainly made this a more complicated map, wherein the stages don’t necessarily need to be arranged according to the mentioned orders anymore. Consumers can now make purchases anytime, anywhere.
Adobe recently shared that 58% of consumers now use their smartphones or other mobile gadgets to find out more about products during the consideration process.
IKEA, a large furniture retailer from Sweden, is a great example of a brand that truly understands the concept of the customer journey; therefore, they can successfully generate brand loyalty.
An interesting example is how they have introduced a unique shopping experience using augmented reality (AR), seamlessly bringing together real-life environments with virtual objects. By accessing the application installed on their smartphones, consumers can virtually place IKEA furniture in their houses to see how they look like in those spaces. Doing so helps guarantee that consumers are spending money on the right items for their homes.
If brands truly understand the customer journey from start to finish, it will contribute to greater brand loyalty