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What is WooCommerce customer journey and how to use it for growth

Some believe the most important factor for an online store is not the product quality, the marketing or even the website design – but the WooCommerce customer journey experience. 

How do visitors find out about your product? How do they find you? What is their first impression on your website? What content are they served to motivate them to sign up as a lead and what convinces them to buy and turn them into a customer? And eventually what motivates them to return, buy more and engage more with your products?

It has happened to me many times that I come across an attractive ad somewhere on the internet that matched what I was considering to buy. Then I clicked on the ad and that’s the moment when it’s the beginning of a journey that was either great or broken somewhere and never repaired. If it was the latter, then I never returned to that store.

Even if I have been very happy with the quality of my purchase, I might not have reconsidered that brand or store due to a negative experience somewhere in my journey. For example, ineffective landing page, Jordan Belfort style sales techniques, pushy sales funnels, manipulative pricing, bad customer support, irrelevant email marketing, spammy follow-ups and – worst of all – a generic customer experience.

This shows how important it is to have a well-thought-out customer journey designed and implemented on your WooCommerce website. In this article, we’ll explore the investigation process throughout your website funnels and suggest possible ways to improve them using automated personalization by Growmatik.

Customer journey or sales funnel?

It’s important to stop here to clearly define the meaning of the customer journey and how it is different from a sales funnel. 

A customer’s journey starts from the moment they get to know your brand or website until they become a loyal customer. It may start and end somewhere or it may start and never end.

But a sales funnel is only the process of turning a considering customer into a buying customer and it usually ends when a user makes their purchase.

So obviously a sales funnel is part of a larger funnel called the customer journey. The scope of a sales funnel optimization is to increase the average order value (AOV) while the goal of customer journey optimization is to increase the lifetime value (LTV).

Customer journey optimization and sales funnel optimization may have a lot in common, but the former is more short-sighted and serves to make immediate revenue out of a customer. The other promotes a long-term relationship with the customer. And that is what you should aim to do too!

What’s the goal of a customer journey?

The customer journey can be divided into 4 major stages:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Preference
  • Purchase

The goal here is to connect with customers at any part of the journey and help them move forward in their journey with the best possible experience. Such can be achieved within two following steps:

  1. Investigate and unveil your website funnels and mark the important ones (both working and failing) and create different segments to target.
  2. With the knowledge, we extracted from investigating the funnels, we need to fix the problems and improve and amplify the strengths. Your aim should be to make every funnel as effective and pleasant to the visitors as possible. In other words, we should make sure to personalize the experience for every funnel’s visitor as much as possible.

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How to investigate and unveil your website funnels

There are 5 main points your visitors use to start a journey on your website.

Location → Traffic Source → Landing Page → Subscription Channel → Purchased Products

You should keep an eye on these gateways and see what each segment does after arriving in your website.

Track customer journey using Google Analytics behavior flow

Behavior Flow in Google Analytics allows you to see what different groups of users do after they arrive on your landing page, which pages they visit and from which page they exit. In Google Analytics:

  • In the sidebar, find Behavior > Behavior Flow
  • Define a starting page and see what the users from that segment do in their first, second, third, … interaction with your website
 WooCommerce customer journey - Behavior - Behavior Flow
Google Analytics Behavior Flow

The limit with this feature is that you can see the user interactions only within one dimension: the page visit. The journey view only reports the pages visited starting by the landing page in each session and then the other pages visited. The other types of interactions such as subscription or purchased product are not covered. Also, you cannot define a location or specific traffic source as a dimension to see through.

Track the customer journey using Growmatik

With Growmatik, you can see the customer journey through any of the main 5 dimensions. You can first see a list of top items in each dimension such as top traffic countries, top traffic source website, top channels where people subscribed and top purchased items, and then select it as a filter to see the journey people took to and from those factors.

On some occasions, you should also be able to check the funnels’ performance within different timeframes such as last week, month or quarter. Let’s define the last 90 days in Growmatik and explore the funnel for our jeans e-commerce website for the past quarter. Based on each finding, I’ll recommend possible personalization to improve that funnel.

Geolocational journeys

You can select a country and reveal the WooCommerce customer journeys starting from a certain location.

 WooCommerce customer journey - Growmatik customer joureny

Austrian visitors

→ 67% (3500 sessions) of your traffic  came from Austria
→ 32% (1,120 sessions) of them were mostly referred by Amazon.com
→ 59% of them landed on homepage.html and 26% on alt-landing.html
→ majority of them subscribed to our newsletter via the popup
→ 39% of them ended up buying gloves and caps (total of 340 purchases)

Takeaways

  1. 67% of your entire traffic came from Austria in the past 6 months, so it will be very rewarding if you redirect them to a German landing page or at least personalize your greeting messages.
  2. Austrians are referred mostly from Amazon.com. Buying ads and sponsored listings on Austria Amazon sounds about a good investment.
  3. 39% of Austrian visitors bought gloves and caps. How about providing an exclusive deal or one-time offer via email related to caps and gloves to all Austrian customers?

Traffic source journeys

You can select a specific traffic source and reveal the related journeys. A source type can be:

  • Direct visit
  • Email campaign
  • External website
  • Search engines
  • Social networks
  • UTM values

Here are some practical examples.

Those who were referred by UTM_Source=EasterCampaign

 WooCommerce customer journey - traffic source journey

→ Top 5 traffic locations are: Netherlands (23%), Germany (12%), France (11%), Czech (6%) and Serbia (4%)
→ 2065 visitors landed on easter.html and 300 visitors on homepage.html
→ 100% of those who subscribed (69 people), subscribed via the Easter popup
→ Ended up buying trousers and skirts (total of 190 purchases)

Takeaways

  1. Among all the countries you ran marketing for your EasterCampaign, the Netherlands and Germany sent the most traffic. Check each of their funnels separately to see what they did and how many items they purchased.
  2. Your campaign was successful in turning visitors into subscribers. Time to start sending nurturing emails!
  3. 71% of those who were referred by your EasterCampaign have bought trousers and skirts – why is that? Does this mean your audience liked these product categories more? Was the discount you provided for this campaign only good for these categories? What lessons has it left for your future campaigns?

Those who were referred by the Anniversary email campaign

WooCommerce customer journey - email source journey

→ Your email campaign’s top 3 traffic engagement sources: Spain (43%), UAE (30%), Cyprus (20%)
→ 100% of the referred traffic by this campaign landed on anniversary-landing.html
→ 19 coats, 11 backpacks and 10 watch bands were purchased.

Takeaways

  1. Find out why your campaign went popular in these three countries. Was it the range of products you put for sale? Maybe you should consider more campaigns in these countries for these products in the future?

Journeys involving a landing page

You can set a specific landing page and reveal the related WooCommerce customer journeys.

 WooCommerce customer journey - journey involving landing

Those who visited far-east-landing.html

→ Those who have landed on far-east-landing.html are 51% from Malaysia, 36% Vietnam and 13% Bhutan
→ All of them were referred by Baidu.com
→ 0 of them subscribed to our website
→ 0 of them purchased anything

Takeaways

The landing page you designed for your far-east campaign does not seem to be working, because none of its visitors subscribed or bought anything. You should consider improving it by revising your Google Ad targeting or maybe localizing your landing page more significantly to target the far-eastern audience. You can filter these countries in the customer journey to see what they mostly end up buying and promote those products in this landing page.

Journeys involving a subscription channel

You can choose a specific subscription channel to see the related journeys. For example:

Those who subscribed via the Subscription popup

→ are mostly from the US (37%), Canada (13%), Germany (9%), Turkey (8%) and Armenia (5%).
→ were mainly referred by direct visit (21%), abid.com (9%) and rangro.com (4%)
→ mainly landed on home.html (22%), services.html (10%) about z.html (7%)
→ mostly ended up buying shoes (33), shorts (23) and wallets (5)

Takeaways

The number of people who subscribed with this popup is very low. Find out what the problem is.  Should you change its placement or include a tempting deal or freebie in it?

Journeys involving a specific product

You can choose a specific product and unveil the journeys that led to the purchase of that product

Those who bought Female Jeans

 WooCommerce customer journey - involving a specific product

→ were mostly bought by Belgians (79% of all buyers)
→ were mainly referred by instagram.com (30 sales) and ebay.com (19 sales) 
→ Its customers mainly landed on home.html (69 visitors), landing1.html (20 visitors) landing2.html (17 visitors)
→ 43 people subscribed via normal sign up

Takeaways

  1. Belgian women love your jeans! Find ways to expand your share there by running ads, localizing your website and providing regional deals.
  2. You can send a cross-selling email to Belgian customers and suggest your high-heel collection, which may look perfect with their new white denims.
  3. Instagram and eBay are where your jeans became popular. Try expanding your reach there by running ads or personalizing your page for mobile.
  4. Your share of search traffic to your female jeans is very low. Try optimizing your website SEO.

Journeys involving two dimensions

You can also reveal more complex WooCommerce customer journeys with two or more factors. For example, reveal the journey taken by the country A + landing B + product C (which means those who visit from country A and land on page B and end up buying product C). Here are some practical examples:

Users from Croatia who were referred by Instagram and landed on homepage.htm

→ have mostly bought hoodies (49% total of 16 jeans) and then leggings (16% total of 11 items)
→ 100% of them have subscribed to our website via guest checkout

Takeaways

Instagram and your default homepage make a good funnel for Croatia but should you consider making some funnels for other social media as well?

Customers who are from the US and engaged with email campaigns

→ mostly bought white denims and jerseys but very low engagement with any other product

Takeaways

Find ways to engage Americans with other product categories as well. How about showing a discount popup on your homepage?

Wrap up

In this article, we walked you through an overview of what a WooCommere customer journey is and the ideal ways to enhance that experience for your customers. But that does not end here. In fact, it continues forever! A while after we run this round of changes or additions, we should then review the same funnels to see if there have been any changes, as well as spotting all other funnels and consider improvements or learning from them if possible.

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