DISCUSS: The Onsite Customer Journey Index – Integration Into Company Processes

Guest Post Author: Akanoo

Since Akanoo was founded in 2013, they became the technology leader in onsite marketing and developed their expertise in the area of conversion optimization and onsite-based retargeting. In 2016, the company won the Rising Star Award by bevh and was ranked 2nd fastest growing digital SaaS company in the Gründerszene Ranking 2017. Today, Benjamin Ferreau is leading the 20-people-sized startup and boosts the transition from startup to established brand in the eCommerce industry.


In our recent blog posts, we’ve presented the general idea of the Onsite Customer Journey Index and gave you some details on the underlying calculation model. With this third article, we would like to dive deeper into the question of how to integrate the Onsite Customer Journey Index into your company processes.

Therefore, we divide the following post into three parts:

  1. Strategic stakeholders
  2. Operational stakeholders
  3. Outlook

Integrating the Onsite Customer Journey Index Into Strategic Processes

In regard to strategic stakeholders (e.g. team leads or department heads), we’d like to give you an example of how the Onsite Customer Journey Index can support decision-making within strategic processes. As strategic stakeholders generally aim for keeping an eye on the organization’s long-term objectives and challenges, monitoring the overall development of customer journey processes and benchmarking the company’s performance against industry standards is most likely the key benefit of our model from a strategic point of view. You can easily identify problem areas and take action, because not only does the Onsite Customer Journey Index provide you with a way of analyzing your individual journey performance, but also does it help you to benchmark your performance against the industry average. With these insights, it’s possible for you to set strategic goals and identify must-have actions to be taken as well as areas in which you have the opportunity to set yourself apart from competition.

So let’s say your team has analyzed your customers’ onsite journey and the results show that you have a major problem in the second phase: Basket to Order. In this phase, customers have already added stuff to their baskets, but still, a lot of conversions can get lost here, because they don’t complete the process. Discussing the results of the analysis, you and your team might get to the hypothesis that customers use the basket as a wish list. In order to verify this assumption, you could have your team implement an actual wish list functionality within your online shop (at best: a quick and agile test setup to enable to efficient testing). After successful implementation and an adequate testing period, you let your team run the analysis again and realize that now a lot less conversions get lost. What you have achieved with that, is a strategic improvement for your online shop: You’re offering your customers a way to save the products they would like to order one day (but not yet today) and thus keep your conversion figures clean and transparent. With the Onsite Customer Journey Index, you do now have an easy-to-use tool at your hands that gives you the possibility to measure this kind of non-monetary improvements and their effects on your customers’ onsite journeys.

Integrating the Onsite Customer Journey Index Into Operational Processes

For operational stakeholders, we’ll focus on the way the Onsite Customer Journey Index supports day-to-day activities and routines. First of all, with the monitoring capabilities of the Onsite Customer Journey Index, it is very easy to identify the various stages of your customer journey that should become your operational focus and to drill-down into specific problems. Do you know the feeling that you’re losing conversions, but you cannot actually tell why or where in the process this is happening? Not any more: Now you can use the Onsite Customer Journey Index in order to inform optimization. With the Index at hand, optimizing your customers’ journeys will no longer be that much of a challenge.

For example, you’ve identified a specific problem – let’s say you have a major challenge in the last phase of your Onsite Customer Journey (Order to Check-Out) and you’re losing a lot of conversions. After some analysis and testing, you’ve included a bunch of changes in layout and copy into your check-out pages that you believe will solve the challenge. After having gathered new data, you can see instant feedback in the numbers: Did the changes actually improve journey performance? With that given, you can easily implement sequences of analyze – act – learn that will help you implement a goal-driven, efficient way of onsite optimization. On top of that, you can also see, if these changes made you stand with the market benchmark or if you still need to make changes in order to get over the top of the market’s average performance during the check-out process.

Outlook

Apart from the strategic and operational integration into your company processes, one might ask oneself the following question: “What complementary methods can I leverage to make the drill-down from problem indication to problem specification and, ultimately, the translation into problem solving even easier when using the Onsite Customer Journey Index?”

What we learned from our experience is that most problems are easily solved, once you are following two main rules: (1) Always think in terms of your customer and (2) go for the bigger picture. What we mean with this is that for (1), people usually tend to stay in their comfort zone and think in the same ways they already thought in when the according problems have been created in the first place. In order to solve a problem, however, you do often need to see things from a different perspective and challenge the status quo. For (2), what we mean with the bigger picture is that people usually tend to focus on small problems and forget the bigger challenge behind these problems. This is why we have introduced the concept of microversions: When you are aiming to improve your conversion rate, you can no longer use the same formulas that have been working for the last two years. Customers change their expectations quickly and you have to adapt as quickly as possible. This is why instead of focusing on the singular and very undifferentiated question of “Why are people not buying?”, you should rather create a little distance between you and the problem and try to see “the conversion rate” as a chain of a lot of small steps – microversions. Once you have adopted this point of view, it is way easier to improve each tiny microversion step by step in order to achieve your goal in the bigger picture: improve the overall conversion rate of your online shop.

Another main issue we are working on right now is that we are aware that the customer journey is not only an onsite topic, but rather starting outside of your online shop. Just recently, Instagram opened the section “Instagram Shopping” for Germany – in our opinion, this is a good example of where journeys are usually started nowadays: Social Media. Social Media is an ever-growing touchpoint type in today’s customer journeys and we are working hard to include it into our (next) Index model. So with that, we have the vision to create the Digital Customer Journey Index soon after the Onsite Customer Journey Index – and ulimately end up with a complete Customer Journey Index which will include customers’ digital journeys as well as their offline journeys.

Do you have ideas on how this could be done, feel like we should start talking about a strategic partnership or meet for coffee in order to chat about how we can help each other prosper? Then you should definitely join our upcoming workshop in cooperation with the Commerce Reporting Standard initiative.

If you cannot make it at June 21st, feel free to contact us at cji(@)akanoo.com and we’ll find a way to communicate. Also, you can always find help from our team (e.g. in the form of coaching and training) and we love to share our insights and ways of optimizing your individual journey. Just send us an email!

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