Updated: Oct 11
Shopper journeys are becoming increasingly complex as customers have more options to spend their money than ever. With the rise of e-commerce, brands must compete with many retailers on the same playing field. To win customers’ business, brands must understand how they move through the four phases of the shopper’s journey. Understanding each step will help you create a cohesive strategy for your brand and drive sales. Let’s take a closer look at the phases of a shopper’s journey and how you can use them to grow your brand and boost sales.
The 4 Stages of the Shopper Journey
The consumer journey is a well-known concept in marketing. It refers to the journey that customers go through to make purchasing decisions. This journey can happen online and offline and occurs in a particular order. The four stages of the shopper journey are the research phase, the awareness phase, the consideration phase, and the purchase phase. Knowing these stages helps you structure your marketing and sales strategies to ensure you deliver the appropriate messaging at each stage. Let’s take a closer look at each stage.
1. Research Phase
The research phase happens when someone is not sure they need the product or service you offer. During this phase, customers will look for information about their problems and possible solutions, including your product. The best way to reach these people is by creating helpful content they can easily find using Google or another search engine. This content includes blog posts, product reviews, videos, podcasts, images, and more. Your content should provide shoppers with the information they need to solve their problems. It should also be both engaging and easy to understand.
When you know what problems shoppers are trying to solve, you can create content tailored to answer their questions. Using tools like Google Trends, Google Search Console, and Google Autocomplete, you can discover exactly what information shoppers are looking for online.
2. Awareness phase
The awareness phase happens when customers know they have a problem you solve. They may have already researched and know what product they want or may be looking for a new solution. During this phase, you want to build your reputation and become a trusted source of information. You can continue to create helpful content and work with influencers and ambassadors to promote your brand and expand your reach. You can also reach out to people who have commented on your content to build your relationship with them and show that you value their feedback. You can also reach out to people who have given you negative feedback to address their concerns and improve. Building your brand’s awareness is an integral part of your strategy. You want people to know who you are and what you do so they can decide whether your brand is a good fit for them.
3. Consideration phase
The consideration phase happens when a customer seeks a product to purchase. During this phase, you want to ensure your product is easy to find. You can do this by using paid ads (i.e., Facebook ads or Google Adwords) to show your product to people searching for it. You can also optimize your product page and make it easy to find on your website. You can also reach out to the people you’ve already interacted with during the awareness phase to get them to buy from your website. This can include reaching out to the people you’ve commented on, ambassadors and influencers, and anybody who has engaged with your content.
4. Purchase phase
The purchase phase happens when a customer decides to buy your product. During this phase, you want to make sure you’re capturing their information and making the purchase process as seamless as possible. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a purchasing popup when somebody is looking at your product or visiting your website. You can also implement a one-click ordering system to ensure your customers don’t have to fumble around to make their purchases. You can also ensure you have an easy-to-use returns policy to address any customer concerns and make them feel safe about their purchase. The purchase phase is the last step in the journey, but it can also be a great time to start the process over again with people who have already bought from your brand.
How to use Shopper Journey Stages to Improve Marketing and Sales
The shopper journey stages are a practical way to segment your audience and deliver the correct type of content at the right times. They can help you identify what stage of the process your customer is in and what they’re looking for at that moment, so you can best engage with them. For instance, if you notice that many people are commenting on your product videos, you can respond to those comments with helpful tips or information. Or, if visitors are clicking on your pricing page and viewing your product, you can send them a popup offering a coupon code. You’ll be able to engage with customers at the right time and place, which can help you improve your marketing results and sales.
When you understand each stage of the shopper journey, you can improve your overall marketing strategy. By focusing on your customer’s needs and providing the correct information at each stage of the journey, you can reap the benefits of first-time sales and earn your customers repeat business.