E-commerce has revolutionized the way we shop. Innovative digital technologies and the smart use of data have made it easier for consumers to find and buy products online.

The standard customer journey consists of 4 different phases. However, the specific type of customer journey that is used can vary greatly depending on the type of product, the needs of the customer, and the e-commerce platform that is used. In this blog, we will show five examples of different types of customer journeys in e-commerce. In addition, we will give concrete examples of each type.

This customer journey is for customers who know exactly what they want to buy and have no further questions or problems. This is often called the convenience or low-involvement customer journey for convenience goods. They search for a specific product, add it to their shopping cart, and complete the checkout process. This type of customer journey is usually the shortest and simplest.

An example where many low-involvement purchase journeys take place is in supermarkets, but also the e-commerce giant Amazon. Due to the enormous range, many consumers visit the Amazon web shop directly to buy a specific product. Amazon stores valuable customer information, such as purchase history, delivery addresses, and payment details, to make repeat purchases even easier.

This customer journey is for customers who are not sure what they want to buy exactly and need more information. Also known as the high-involvement journey. They consult product reviews, compare prices, and product features before making a purchase decision. This journey can take longer because the buyer needs more time to gather information.

The Dutch real estate platform Funda has specialized in this type of buyer journey. When someone wants to move, Funda is the platform with a wide range of different types of properties to choose from. Customers can filter and compare prices, energy labels, and features of different properties and neighborhoods.

Some consumers have a specific problem that they would like to solve. They start their customer journey with gathering information and researching which products and services can offer a solution. For example, a customer has a laptop that is defective and needs to be replaced. This customer can research different options and compare features to find the best laptop for them.

The Dutch e-commerce company Coolblue goes a step further to help customers find the right product for them. By offering customers a choice assistant, Coolblue ensures that the recommended products meet the specific needs of the customer. Coolblue also employs product reviewers and posts video reviews and other information about products to make the purchase journey easier for customers.

This journey is for customers who have already made a purchase in your e-commerce store and are returning for another purchase. They are already familiar with your platform and have an account, which makes the checkout process faster and easier. They may even have items saved in their shopping cart or wish list, making it easier for them to find and buy these specific items.

Netflix is a master at effectively retaining and returning customers. As soon as a customer subscribes and starts watching, Netflix collects data about the preferences and viewing behaviour of a user. With this information, Netflix recommends various similar films and series that match the personal preferences. They do this through in-app notifications, personalized emails, and content recommendations.

As the role of social media becomes increasingly important, many media platforms are transitioning to partially operate as e-commerce platforms. Companies can now sell their products directly through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, in addition to promoting them. Influencers are also paid to promote products or brands.

The social media journey begins when a customer visits a social media platform and is directed to a web shop where they complete their purchase. This journey is often visually oriented and uses social proof and authority as a marketing and persuasion tactic.

Glossier is a perfect example of a company that sees social media as the starting point of their customer journey and has effectively implemented it in their marketing strategy. They are heavily dependent on influencer marketing and use multiple social media channels to promote their products. They also offer the ability to purchase their products directly from a social media platform, making the checkout process more efficient and customer focused.

Finding the customer journey that works for you

We have described different types of customer journeys and provided concrete examples of how companies integrate them into their marketing strategies. In practice, successful companies often use a mix of different types of customer journeys in their strategies. If you only implement one specific type of customer journey, you will be limited in the many ways to attract customers.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your main business? Do most of your sales come from repeat customers?
  • What is your best lead-generation channel? Is it your website, Instagram, TikTok, or Google?
  • Are you focused on providing high-quality service and information to your customers? Or do you target budget-conscious customers who know what they want?

By answering these questions, you will get a better understanding of what works for your business. You can then start creating customer journeys that are tailored to your specific needs.

One simple way to build personalized customer journeys is to use a customer data platform (CDP). A CDP collects and unifies all of your customer data in one place. This data can then be used to create personalized experiences for each individual customer.

Spotler Activate is a CDP that can help you create personalized customer journeys. Spotler Activate automatically creates individual customer profiles and segments them into different types. You can then use this data to create personalized campaigns that target your customers’ specific needs and interests.

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