Mastering The Shopper Journey: How to Optimize the Shopping Experience

Shantanu Harkut,
VP of Engineering
March 30, 2023
| 6 min read

From impulsive shoppers to shoppers that research endlessly before making a purchase, understanding the types of customers you sell to can help tailor shopping experiences and engage them better. In this blog, we'll explore the various types of shoppers, factors that influence their decision-making process, and the shopping journey. By mapping out the customer journey and optimizing each stage, retailers can create an easy, convenient, and enjoyable shopping experience for their customers, leading to increased customer loyalty and sales. So, let's dive in and learn how to master journey design and optimize the shopping experience!

What the modern shopper is really like

Let's face it, we're all shoppers to some degree. Whether we're on the hunt for the latest fashion trends or just looking to stock up on groceries, we all fall under the category of a shopper. But what do the different types of shoppers look like today? From the impulsive buyer who can't resist a good deal to the loyal customer who swears by a specific brand, understanding the different types of shoppers can help retailers tailor their shopping experience to better serve their customers.

Types of shoppers with completely different buying journeys

The Impulsive Shopper: These shoppers can't resist a good deal or a flashy display. They make purchases on a whim, often without much consideration.

The Bargain Hunter: These shoppers are always on the lookout for a good deal. They'll spend hours scouring the clearance racks and clipping coupons to save a few bucks.

The Loyal Customer: These shoppers are devoted to a particular brand or store. They're willing to pay a premium for quality products and excellent customer service.

The Researched Shopper: These shoppers do their homework before making a purchase. They read reviews, compare prices, and gather as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

The Indecisive Shopper: These shoppers can't make up their minds. They might spend hours browsing a store, trying on clothes, and debating whether or not to make a purchase.

As shoppers, we're constantly bombarded with information and options that can make it hard to decide what to buy. That's why understanding the factors that influence a shopper's behavior and decision-making process is crucial for retailers. Factors like personal preferences, social influence, and product information all play a role in how a shopper makes their purchasing decisions.

By understanding the different types of shoppers and the factors that influence their behavior, retailers can create a shopping experience that caters to their customers' needs and preferences. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and higher sales.

What does the shopping journey look like

The shopping journey refers to the process a shopper goes through from the moment they become aware of a product or service to the point of purchase and post-purchase evaluation. It's a journey that can be complex and multi-faceted, which is why it's important for retailers to understand the different stages involved.

The different stages of the shopping journey include awareness, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation, purchase, and post-purchase evaluation. Each stage is important and requires a different approach from retailers. For example, during the awareness stage, retailers need to focus on creating brand awareness and getting their products in front of potential customers. During the consideration stage, retailers need to provide detailed product information and incentives to encourage customers to make a purchase.

Mapping the Shopping Journey

Mapping the shopping journey allows retailers to identify pain points and opportunities for improvement in the shopping experience. By understanding where customers are dropping off or getting stuck in the journey, retailers can make necessary changes to improve the overall experience and increase sales.

Creating a customer journey map for online shopping involves identifying the different stages of the shopping journey and the touchpoints that customers interact with during each stage. This can be done by gathering data and feedback from customers, conducting user testing, and analyzing website analytics. Once the journey has been mapped out, retailers can make adjustments to improve the experience at each stage.

Optimizing the Shopping Experience

Shopping can be a hassle - as much for the shopper, as for the retailer designing their experience on web or in-store. But with online shopping becoming increasingly popular, it's more important than ever for retailers to provide an easy, convenient, and enjoyable shopping journey. This not only keeps customers happy, but also encourages them to come back for more. Plus, happy customers are more likely to recommend your store to their friends and family. It's a win-win situation!

Tips for Driving Shopper Experience at Each Stage

So, how can online retailers optimize the shopping experience? Let's break it down by each stage of the shopping journey:

  • Awareness: This is when the shopper becomes aware of your store or product. To achieve high levels of shopper engagement at this stage, some vital focus needs to be placed on search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising, and social media marketing. By making sure your store is easily searchable and visible on different platforms, you can increase awareness and attract more potential customers.

  • Interest: Once shoppers become aware of your brand and products, they move on to the interest stage. At this stage, shoppers are beginning to explore their options and aren't yet committed to making a purchase. To enhance the shopper experience at this stage, retailers should focus on grabbing the shopper's attention and piquing their interest. This can be done through eye-catching displays, social media campaigns, and targeted advertising.

  • Consideration: This is when the shopper is actively considering your product or comparing it to other options. To optimize this stage, online retailers should focus on providing detailed product information, high-quality images and videos, and customer reviews. This helps the shopper make an informed decision and can increase the likelihood of a purchase.

  • Intent: This is where your potential shopper is just starting to think about making a purchase. It's important to make a good first impression here, so that they are more likely to stick with you throughout the rest of their retail customer journey. You want to make sure that your website or marketplace is easy to find and navigate. This means having a clear and concise structure that makes it easy for shoppers to find what they're looking for. You also want to make sure that your website or marketplace is optimized for search engines, so that shoppers can find you when they're searching for products or services that you offer. You also want to make sure that your site is easy to use, and that it provides a seamless experience for shoppers. This means optimizing your site for mobile devices, and making sure that your site is fast and responsive.

  • Evaluation: This is where your shopper is actively evaluating their options, and trying to decide whether or not to make a purchase. This is a critical stage, and you want to make sure that your shopper has all the information they need to make an informed decision. Your product pages should be clear and informative. This means providing high-quality images, detailed descriptions, and customer reviews. You also want to make sure that your prices are competitive, and that you offer any promotions or discounts that may help sway the decision in your favor. Another key factor in the evaluation stage is customer service. Make sure that you have a responsive and helpful customer service team that is available to answer any questions or concerns that shoppers may have. This can help build trust and confidence in your brand, and may

  • Purchase: This is where the shopper makes the final decision and completes the transaction. To achieve maximum conversions in this stage, retailers should focus on providing a seamless checkout process, offering multiple payment options, and providing timely delivery updates. A smooth and hassle-free purchase experience can increase customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business.

  • Post-purchase: This is when the customer receives the product and provides feedback. To win customers in this stage, and keep them coming back, retailers can focus on providing excellent customer service, offering easy returns and exchanges, and soliciting feedback and reviews from customers. This not only helps improve the shopping experience for future customers but also increases the chances of repeat business from satisfied customers.

Measuring Success of Shopper Experience Design

Importance of measuring the success of experience optimization

Measuring the success of your optimized shopping experience is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it helps you understand the effectiveness of your design efforts. Is your website or physical store layout resonating with shoppers? Are they finding it easy to navigate and make purchases? Measuring the success of your design efforts can help you identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize the shopper experience.

Secondly, measuring the effectiveness of your shopping experience design can help you track customer satisfaction and loyalty. Satisfied customers are more likely to return and recommend your store to others. Measuring customer satisfaction can help you identify areas where you're excelling and areas where you need to improve.

Lastly, it can also help you identify trends and make predictions about future shopper behavior. Understanding how shoppers are engaging with your store can help you anticipate their needs and preferences and adapt your strategy accordingly.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) to track and measure

To measure the success of your optimized shopping experience, you need to track and measure specific KPIs. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Conversion rate: This measures the percentage of visitors who make a purchase on your website or in-store.
  • Customer retention rate: This measures the percentage of customers who return to your store to make another purchase.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): This measures how likely customers are to recommend your store to others.
  • Average order value (AOV): This measures the average amount customers spend per transaction.
  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT): This measures how satisfied customers are with their shopping experience.

Tools and techniques for measuring success

There are several tools and techniques you can use to measure the success of your optimized shopping experience. Here are some of the most effective ones:

  • Surveys: Surveys can help you collect feedback from customers about their shopping experience. You can use tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to create and distribute surveys.
  • Heatmaps: Heatmaps can help you understand how shoppers are engaging with your website. Tools like Hotjar or Crazy Egg can generate heat maps based on visitor behavior.
  • A/B testing: A/B testing involves creating two versions of a webpage or physical store layout and testing them against each other. This can help you identify which design elements are more effective.
  • Web analytics: Web analytics tools like Google Analytics can help you track and measure KPIs like conversion rate, AOV, and customer retention rate.

To sum up, mastering the user journey is crucial for online retailers and marketplaces who want to optimize the shopping experience for their customers. By understanding the different types of shoppers, their behaviors, and decision-making processes, retailers can create a shopping experience that caters to their customers' needs and preferences. Mapping the shopping journey and optimizing each stage can also help retailers identify pain points and opportunities for improvement. By providing an easy, convenient, and enjoyable shopping journey, online retailers can increase customer loyalty and drive significantly higher sales.

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