It’s no surprise that the path between the desire to buy something (a product or service) and actually making the purchase is not a direct line.

Instead, the sales journey has many twists, turns and stops along the way.

Take Amy, whose planned trip to Disney World was documented by Luth Research to discover that over the course of two months, she had 419 digital moments consisting of 34 online searches, five video views and 380 web page visits.

Not only that, but 87 percent of these “micro moments” were made on mobile.

Social media platforms and review sites have become virtual consultants for consumers looking to make a purchase—whether it’s a vacation or a new car or a fancy dinner out to celebrate an anniversary.

The power of peer influence has shaped the sales journey into something entirely different from what it was just 15 years ago. With hundreds of millions of peer reviews that exist today to billions of pieces of other content, today’s consumers have everything they need in order to make a decision, right at their fingertips.

So, what does the new customer journey look like today? Here are some things to keep in mind as you develop your own customer journey map.

Know Your Customers (and Prospects)

  • Who are your customers? What do they look like? You likely already have built personas around these valuable groups. Look back at their habits and psychographics to uncover hidden clues about their shopping behavior.
  • Use your current customers to develop “look-alike” profiles or personas for your prospects.

 

Go Online

  • One of the most powerful tools at your disposal is website analytics. You can hone in on where these people came from, what pages on your website they spent more time on and even where they abandoned. Look at search trends to see what your customers and prospects are searching for so that you can be found.
  • Social media mentions and online reviews can be a great insight into what people are thinking, searching for or even frustrated with as it relates to your brand and industry.

 

Involve Your Team

  • Many times, the people who know your customers best are those who are dealing with them each and every day. Talk to your customer-facing team members to get anecdotal information about your customers’ conversations, habits and even their concerns.

 

After you’ve done the research, these valuable learnings should be coupled with current trends to develop your own customer journey map. Remember Amy, who spent most of her time (87 percent) researching her Disney World vacation on her mobile device? She’s not alone. These mobile “micro moments” are changing the way people search and make decisions. How can you be successful? According to the Google report, you must:

  1. Be there
  2. Be useful
  3. Be quick
  4. Connect the dots

 

Remember, it’s what the customer wants and how he or she shops—not what you want. Give them what they’re looking for, and the rewards will come.