How to Map Behavioral Patterns - Creating an Ecommerce Customer Journey

March 11, 2022

Through cohort analysis and others, it's possible to get an overview on browsing and purchasing behaviors of customers. Understanding these data allows you to use them to improve business metrics and increase performance of marketing campaigns.

For example, finding a group of customers which has visited a specific product many times, in a relatively short time, we can assume an interest in the product. But what are the obstacles for others to complete the purchase process? Answering these questions means increasing e-commerce performance and decreasing pitfalls.

It's common practice to use a timeline scheme that allows you to map aggregate behavioral patterns from acquisition to checkout, focussing on touchpoints, on what the customers think, objectives and actions.

This type of analysis allows to map the most common behaviors in general and evaluate the impact of strategies or tactics at each stage, through KPIs that will enable you to quickly see which areas are most problematic and hone in on the specific touchpoints that require much attention.

Once customer segments have been identified (RFM analysis) and through the quantitative analysis understand their browsing behavior, we're able to group them by almost same metrics (Purchase and Browse); these are used to create maps of their Journeys.

There are even simpler Customer Journeys than this one, like that suggested by the Nielson Norman Group which you can find by following this link.

Micro analysis

Behavioral micro analysis make enable another level of understanding intercepting a specific and repeated pattern time over time, that concerns resolution of a user's task, which is part of a "subsection" of his journey, such as: request for detailed information to customer care, or create a configurable product, etc.

Example: 2 or more sessions on a product page where you spend at least 10 seconds more than the average + X seconds spent in the cart.

Using data for creating a Customer Journey

Below you will find a detailed guide on how to complete the Customer Journey.

Customer Goals

Define goals for each funnel stage

At our discretion, we define the objectives for each advancement step in the Customer Journey funnel, in order to analyze with objective metrics the success or otherwise of the tactics that are applied to achieve them.

Below I listed some examples with a different scope depending on client cluster being considered.

Awareness

When a customer due to searching a specific need he comes in touch through organic or sponsored positioning of the company, for the first time.

  • They click on the Ads (example: banner, programmatic, etc.)
  • Click on link at the end or in description of spot video

Metrics

The definition of success values can be determined using a previous campaigns carried out or using market metrics available by ads partners.

  • It's successful if the CTR is higher than X%.
  • The values are communicated in the new collection (via video) if the view time is above then 50% of the total video length + CTR > Y%

Consideration

When a person actively evaluates the products that a company offers and they are willing to buy the proposed solution.

  • The user follow the link to evaluate a PRODUCT
  • The user follow the link to a promotion and fill out a form to leave his email
  • The user follow the link, sent by mail, and went on a landing page

Metrics

  • The navigation time (after the awareness phase) has a value higher then 30% of average;
  • Bounce Rate lower on average by 20% and number of pages per session + 20% higher.

Acquisition

They decide to buy and enter in the purchase process which starts with cart page and ends with the Thank You page.

  • Purchase of one or more products
  • Higher average cart thanks to the X promotion

Metrics

  • Enrollment rate X%
  • Conversion Rate of promo products of Y%
  • Average cart value higher than +25%

Service

Beyond the merchandising composition which it can be viewed as something to intercept customer's needs, nowadays the game is played in these phase. Making a perfect and excellent service, makes the customers happier gaining them more trust in the company.

  • Leave feedback
  • Request more information using live chat
  • Find coupon in the package and request more information

Metrics

  • Feedback must be above of the average, within 5 days from deliver it
  • Request more information using live chat

Retention

Retention is a fundamental link to be able to increase online sales and maintain a position on the market.

  • He believes that the products purchased are interesting and buy back thanks to a promotion sent by email after X days;
  • Shares a promotion through social channels.

Metrics

  • Retention Rate;
  • Promotions sharing is higher than X%.

Customer Actions

Action they need to take to move on to the next stage

The actions are determined by the behavior that a user assumes in the funnel phases when watch a communication, or a page or a product that is able to facilitate his path to the checkout.

Examples of actions:

  • Awareness: click on sponsored ad;
  • Consideration: view and stay on the product page for X seconds;
  • Acquisition: add product to the cart and proceeds to checkout;
  • Service: leave feedback;
  • Retention: buy back specific product or others (depends on the journey being mapped).

Below there is a larger list that may be helpful:

  • Wants to buy shoes
  • Clicks ad to landing page
  • Browses in e-Shop
  • Goes through Checkout
  • Lands on the Thank You page
  • Waiting for the Package
  • Receives the Package
  • Tries on PRODUCT – Do not fit
  • Tries on PRODUCT – It does fit
  • Wants to send the PRODUCT back – But does not understand the process
  • Wants to send the PRODUCT back – All went fine
  • Call Customer Care for asking questions about return or shipping problems
  • Carries out return process
  • Waiting for returns confirmation
  • Waiting for credit
  • Receives newsletter evaluation campaign
  • Gives rating
  • Gives feedback
  • Uses a coupon for first purchase
  • Uses a coupon for the second purchase
  • Uses discount X to purchase again

Touchpoints & Channels

Opportunities we can use to communicate with users

I created below a list that I usually use to fill out the cells of the different phases. The list is used to better understand the areas in which a customer or potential one comes into contact with the company.

  • E-Commerce: homepage, category, product, etc.
  • Ads: banner, video, gif, ecc.
  • Blog post
  • Mail: newsletter, automations, ecc.
  • Landing Page: offers, promo product, coupons, etc.
  • Mobile application
  • Thank You page
  • Shipping updates
  • Login
  • Packaging
  • Bill
  • FAQs
  • Customer Care: phone call, mail, live chat.  

Customer Thoughts, Overall Customer Experience

Using surveys on specific pages to get unknown data

Continuously collect feedback from your customers because only in this way it can be possible to map several areas of his journey and not make the usual mistake of hypothesizing / assuming what they think or what their experiencing when using your service you build.

The three types of customers whom the surveys are usually sent:

  • who find the offer but do not buy
  • who buys only once
  • who buys back often

Using appropriate survey tools, it's possible to analyze customer answers by segmenting them into clusters of our RFM analysis and therefore being able to include them in the Customer Journeys that represent them.

Pain Points

Identify problems or unclear aspects

Through live chat or a call center, it can be acquired important information to understand the unclear aspects into data. For example, it's possible to understand why a customer is unable to purchase from the product page, due to his browser old version or device that they doesn't allow him to view the Add to Cart button because is not shown in the "above the fold".

The important thing is to map all incoming "tickets", provided by all customer care channels, labeled in a way that make able to group problems into categories such as:

  • UX issues (ex: I can't buy because...);
  • Shipping process issues (pick & pack, warehouse, carrier, etc.)
  • Product issues (ex: I cannot understand if the size is the right one)
  • etc.

Opportunities to Improve

Task list to be tested for improvements

By identifying what is not working thanks to the KPIs of each phases and to the Pain Points acquired, we have a list of "Backlogs" or activities that can be carried out in the short, medium and long term – The activities should be prioritized (eg: PIE framework) according to the potential revenues can be generated and timing for their resolution.

If you are a Business Model Canvas fan, you can use the Testing Cards to keep track of the experiments and bring more and more information about Personas. Also you can update the Value Proposition Map according to the type of test you are going to carry out.

This step represents the transition from abstract to practical business continuous improvement tool.