Soccer referee showing penalty card, focus on foreground
Soccer referee showing penalty card, focus on foreground

Marketers are putting in a lot of effort to be present across a myriad of channels — paid search, social, website, and more. They know they have to exist where their potential customers are but are marketers truly understanding the goals and preferences of consumers when they are designing the omnichannel customer journey?

The reality is, thanks to ever-expanding marketing channels and devices, the customer journey is not so straightforward anymore. Consumers have more power than ever in their purchase journey, and it’s up to marketers to adapt — not the other way around.

It’s time to take a step back and think about what consumers want from a purchase journey. To help you get started, here are three key things every consumer expects:

One-to-One Personalization

Marketers can no longer get away with treating each customer like another record in some CRM or email platform. Consumers expect to be treated like a real person, and marketers need to adopt this personalized mindset.

This may come as a surprise, but customers are willing to share data in the name of personalization. In fact, they pretty much expect marketers to use their data to provide more personalized experience. But marketers have so much data to work with, it can be totally overwhelming.

Marketers need to focus on the data that directly impacts the customer journey so they can create the ideal experience based on individual consumer preferences. For example, if a mobile user visits your website from the search results page and makes a call, you can feed the online and offline data into your real-time personalization platform to design a returning web visitor experience that makes it easy for that potential customer to call again.

Unified Experience Across Channels and Devices

We officially live in a multiscreen world. And it has become second nature for the majority of consumers to effortlessly move between various screens throughout the day. Let’s not forget about the emergence of the “second screen” phenomenon where 84% of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices as a second screen while they watch television.

Most consumers don’t even think twice about moving between devices throughout their purchase journey. However, they do expect to have a consistent and relevant experience throughout the complex, multi-channel/multi-device experience. And this can be very challenging for marketers.

It all comes down to having the right technology stack, and attribution strategy that allows you to have an end-to-end view of the entire path to purchase, and the ability give credit to all of the marketing efforts driving revenue. This way you can optimize the entire customer experience across devices and channels to ensure the best experience for your customers.

A Stress-Free Experience

The key is to keep it simple. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, the biggest driver of consumers sticking around and making a purchase is “decision simplicity” — the ease with which a consumer can navigate through the purchase journey. There are an almost infinite number of ways to make the purchase process easier for consumers. But it’s important to focus on these main points:

  • Efficient navigation: Make it straightforward and easy for consumers to navigate where they need to go in order to make a confident purchase.
  • Build trust: Focus on customer testimonials and reviews so consumers can easily see the value of your business.
  • Educate instead of preach: Consumers want to be able to weigh their choices, so it’s important for businesses to focus on educating consumers on the value they will gain rather than the product or service they are offering.

A stress-free experience doesn’t end once the consumer has made their purchase. Truly customer-centric marketing follows through the lifetime value of the customer. This includes ongoing customer service, upsells, cross-sells, and more. Every part of the experience beyond the purchase should be as stress-free and simple as the initial purchase process.

With these three principles in mind, marketers can refocus their omnichannel efforts to meet the needs and wants of their potential customers.