The real use of a customer journey map is to identify your customer’s touchpoints with your business during their purchasing journey. Then, you can improve these points to create a frictionless path leading to a sale.

What is customer journey mapping

Customer journey mapping is a systematical way to identify, analyze, and debug friction points of your customer’s purchasing journey with you. There is no guesswork! It is a solid approach to optimize your customer’s purchasing experience. So, your customers will not leave your website due to bad user experiences.

We’ll take a simple example. One of the critical touchpoints of your customers with your online business is when they first visit your site. So, when creating a customer journey map, you analyze this point to identify any frictions to their user experience.

So, while doing this analysis, let’s assume that you found a higher bounce rate for your landing pages. That means, your website visitors leave your site without making any purchases. So, you dig deeper to see the real cause for this higher bounce rate. The reason could be the higher page loading time, inaccurate ad targeting, bad UI design, and more. Then, you can solve this issue to improve your customer journey at this touchpoint making it easier for them to buy from you.

How to create a customer journey map

There are many free customer journey map templates available online. However, the elements of a customer journey map are unique for each business. So, here is a concrete way to create your very own customer journey map without having to fit your business into some template.

  1. Create a list of customer’s touchpoints with your business
  2. List down their expectations and pain points at these stages
  3. Analyze if your business/website has any friction points at these stages
  4. Start resolving them one by one

Customer journey map template

Below you can find a sample customer journey map that I have made for my online t-shirt business. I have included a download link to the excel file below. You can use that template as an example, and edit to create your very own customer journey map template.

Customer journey map sample – Click to enlarge

Practical examples for customer journey mapping from start to end

Below you can find some of the customer journey mapping examples that I have encountered for my online stores. Here you can learn how to find data for your customer journey map, which tools to use, and possible solutions for the most frequent friction points.

Friction points when running ad campaigns

If you are running an online business, most probably the highest amount of your leads might be generated through paid ads. So, let’s assume that you are running a Facebook ad campaign for your product.

Then, the first touchpoint of a potential journey is your ad creative. So, what could be the friction points at this stage? Is your ad creative attractive enough? Does it give enough information for someone to click on that ad? Finally, are you redirecting them to the correct landing page?

Sometimes, people just comment on Facebook ads asking for more information. So, if you took forever to answer them, they might lose interest. Some people visit the page and DM questions. Then, you have to answer them as well.

Higher page loading time

Higher page loading times are one of the most common friction points for a smooth customer journey. Earlier this year I did a customer journey mapping for my online pet toy store. Then, I found a higher bounce rate for the ad landing pages on the google analytics account (Around 78%).

If you are getting a higher bounce rate across the site (which you can verify through benchmarking on Google analytics) the most common culprits are higher page loading times and bad UI designs.

Unfortunately, google analytics bounce rate is not the actual bounce rate! If your visitors spent time on your page without clicking anything and left, still it is counted as a bounce in GA. That means you cannot simply decide if it is the page loading time or the UI issues causing a higher bounce rate.

One workaround is that you can use analytics event measurements to add a scroll-depth trigger. The “Scroll Depth” trigger allows you to create custom events based on how far a visitor scrolls down a page. So, you can use that data to see after which point they leave the site. So, if this data confirms the bounce rate due to site loading time, you have to address that.

For my pet toy business, it was the page loading time. Finally, I have figured out the reason for the higher page loading time was one of the popup plugins that I have been using for cross-selling.

Complicating the customer journey by bad UI/UX design

If you have followed the best UI/UX practices when creating your online store, your customers will find it is easy to search or browse for what they are looking for. Optimizing your site with right UI elements takes time. However, if done right, it pays off in so many ways.

If it is easy to find products in your store, your customers can get what you want, and they will love the purchasing experience. So, definitely they will be happy to create a user account on your site, which will increase your chances of getting future sales. Also, they will recommend your site to friends giving you free advertising. You can achieve all these benefits by fine-tuning your UI design.

Read more: The best Shopify store examples with UI/UX analysis

Here is a simple trick to analyze the effectiveness of your UI design. There is a chrome extension called page analytics, which let you see the CTR for navigation points. So, you can see which elements are giving you the most out of it.

Customer journey mapping is not something too technical

As we have discussed, having a customer journey map for your business is a systematic way to analyze where you are potentially losing sales. It is not something too theoretical or technical. Simply take a piece of paper and a pen to draft your customer journey map. Try to think like a customer and see which elements are creating frictions for your purchasing journey. Then, take simple steps to avoid them. This way you can optimize the purchasing journey of your customers to create a better experience for them. So, they will love your business and come back.

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