Many marketers think of a customer journey as something that shoppers go through over a long period of time. They outline this process on a map that lasts weeks or months.
But, a customer journey doesn’t always have to be lengthy process. You can apply the principles of customer journey mapping to create a mini buyer’s funnel that happens right in your store.
Here are some tips and strategies for how you can guide customers through each phase of their buyer’s journey starting from the minute they walk into your brick-and-mortar business.
For The Awareness Phase
The awareness phase starts when a customer realizes they have a problem they need to solve, a question they need to answer, or an item they would like to purchase. The customer becomes aware of their need and looks for a solution to fill it.
Customers who come into your store have already entered the awareness phase. They believe there is something inside of your store that can offer what they want or need. Use in-store marketing to help guide them through this stage.
- Highlight your top products and services through oversized, engaging ads on video walls.
- Catch attention by promoting offerings, deals, and specials though overhead messaging.
- Upgrade static menus to digital menu boards that feature eye-catching multimedia and videos.
- Use your in-store digital signage to promote your social media platforms and encourage shoppers to engage with your brand in the future.
The Engagement Phase
The engagement phase of the customer journey starts when a prospect shows interest in your brand. They engage with a touchpoint in your store or build a connection to your business. It may be that they speak to a sales associate, sign up for your in-store WiFi, or engage with content on a digital touchscreen.
At this point, you know the customer is a warm lead or a hot prospect who is likely to do business with you. So look for ways to further engage and inform them.
- Engage in WiFi marketing by sending coupons to customers who connect to your complimentary online access while in your store.
- Set up digital screens with guides and information resources near big ticket items so customers can learn about products on their own.
- Change content based on user activity. Personalize it based on the options they choose to give them the information they want and need.
- Arm your team with digital touchpads that include useful sales materials, inventory, informational videos, and product demos.
In the consideration phase, a customer has decided they are ready to buy. But, they haven’t decided if they want to buy from you. They are weighing their options and researching to see if your offering is the best for them.
At this point, help customers see that you are the right option for them. Give them the support and information they need to feel confident in their decision to buy a product or service from your company.
- Add comparisons data and highlight selling features and benefits through your digital menu signage.
- When shoppers log onto your free customer WiFi make it easy for them to find information that helps them compare your services to competitors (while highlighting your key differentiators and unique selling propositions).
- Create and promote limited-time offers and coupons that make shoppers see the value in buying now.
When shoppers enter the purchase phase, they turn from prospect to buyers. They have made up their mind, and they are ready to make a purchase.
You need to make it as easy as possible for customers to make their purchase in this phase. The last thing you want to do is lose a customer with buyer intent because your check out process took too long or was too confusing. Implement strategies to make it incredibly easy for customers to buy.
- Make the wait in line feel faster by installing engaging digital content near checkout counters and lines.
- Allow customers to place orders via digital touchscreen kiosks and sale portals.
- If customers have to wait for a salesperson, make the process painless. Set up a digital system that allows them to request staff assistance.
The customer journey isn’t complete once the buyer makes their purchase. The transaction is just the beginning of the consumer/business relationship. At this point, the customer may need follow-up service or assistance. They may also be one step closer to buying from your brand again as existing customers are more likely to purchase from you than new customers.
Don’t miss your chance to connect with customers in this phase. Focus on providing excellent follow-up customer service, and look for ways to create re-engagement and remarketing opportunities.
- Ask customers for their email address at check-out so you can add them to your remarketing campaigns.
- Collect customer contact information when users sign up for your free in-store WiFi so you can connect with them at a later time.
- Encourage shoppers to join your customer loyalty program so they can get discounts or benefits with their next purchase.
Create a Better In-Store Customer Journey
While it’s true that many customer journey maps outline a process that takes weeks or even months, you don’t always have to stick to this plan.
You can use purchase funnel principles to create a mini buyer’s journey that happens right within the walls of your physical storefront. Focus on supporting each stage of the purchase funnel using in-store marketing strategies and tools that guide casual shoppers to become buyers and long-term customers.
For even more tips on how to use in-store marketing to provide better customer experiences while increasing your sales, check out our free ebook.
“How to Impress Your Customers and Provide Exceptional Customer Experiences” teaches you how to wow customers while leading them toward your check-out counter. Download it now for free.