Marketing in e-commerce: recognize touchpoints and use them properly

Although more and more people shop online and e-commerce is becoming increasingly popular, customers often miss one thing in particular: the personalized shopping experience. This is of course never given to the same extent as is the case in stationary trade. Nevertheless, customers can be reached via certain “touchpoints” in order to bring them closer to the brand or products and to make the relationship to those more personal. Finally, a customer journey, as a holistic, systematic online marketing strategy, describes the exact stages a customer goes through before deciding to buy from the online store. How to identify the most important touchpoints, which are often and how they are used correctly, we explain in this post.

The analysis of touchpoints

There are a number of touchpoints, ie points of contact of potential customers with the brand, the product, the website or the online shop. Some of them are directly controllable by the company, others only indirectly or not at all. Not all worthwhile to concentrate. Some can be neglected, completely painted or recombined. Others may still be missing or require more intensive care. It should therefore be done for better marketing in e-commerce, first a touchpoint analysis. Because even if touchpoints were never produced in a targeted manner, they still exist in every provider with an online shop. Of course, they must first be recognized.

In the case of the touchpoint analysis, e-commerce must first take stock of all customer-relevant touchpoints. In addition, the current situation is documented. This can help a chronological listing of all contact points have customers in the course of the purchase process in the online store, or could have. It is always important to look from the perspective of the customer and to concentrate on individual customer segments or target groups this turn.

A refinement of the analysis succeeds by bundling the touchpoints into groups. These can vary from industry to industry and situation to situation. A touchpoint bundling in three simple groups or steps is useful for e-commerce:

  1. Before an online order
  2. During an online order
  3. After an online order

Above all, before the pre-emergence phase, the “Influencing Touchpoints”, which are becoming increasingly important in times of social media, influencers and constant networking, are also to be settled. They describe the influence of third parties on potential customers, which is based on word-of-mouth and referrals and which can only be controlled indirectly as a provider. However, every satisfied customer, of course, after the post-purchase phase also represents a potential influencer who advertises free of charge for the online offer in the best case.

Important touchpoints in e-commerce

The analysis of the current situation of the own onlineangebote and the offering Touchpoints naturally falls from provider to offerer and target group to target group very differently and individually from. Nevertheless, of course, there are touchpoints that are of interest to any company that wants to work in ecommerce marketing. Because they offer a lot of potential for personalization:

  • The online store

Of course, the online store is one of the key touchpoints for ecommerce marketing. If one convinces a customer by goods, prices and recommendations of others so far that he selects the on-line shop purposefully, naturally things, such as the product portfolio, the user-friendliness and an attractive design count. Especially the latter is today enormously important and target group specific. It should also be consistent with the corporate design ofthe brand or company. If there is no corporate design yet, one can, well thought out, be created in a few simple steps . But it does not really become personal for the customer until the customer / buyer finds exactly what he is really looking for or what he likes.

In addition to targeted product recommendations, individual content, ie texts, images and videos, can help to maintain and increase the interest of existing customers as well. Of course, personalization can only be done here if you know the interests of the buyers. Again, there are two things to look out for:

1. Come to dates

There are explicit and implicit data that you can get from users. Explicit data is provided by users when registering in the online shop. However, it must be remembered that such registration processes can complicate the buying process and sometimes increase the rate of abandonment of the purchase. Implicit data, on the other hand, can be obtained through real-time tracking of user surfing behavior. Due to the surfing behavior of users, the corresponding software can evaluate the data and thus provide the operator with concrete suggestions for improvement.

2. Place content in the right place at the right time

By analyzing the click behavior of online shop visitors, it is possible to decide at which points on the website, for example, bestsellers and individual product recommendations are placed. It is important not to lose sight of the user-friendliness. Too much personalization can deter users, which is why static content (such as Beststeller or the like) in addition to dynamic content their important place.

  • The time until delivery arrives

Customers who have ordered something, of course, would like their products immediately after payment. But when buying online just a little patience must be brought. A disadvantage compared to the stationary purchase, under which online sellers suffer. However, the waiting time for the customer can of course be made more pleasant. Here’s another important touchpoint: customer contact until the delivery arrives.

Decisive here is, of course, the most important questions for the customer to answer: When was the order sent? Where is she currently? When will she most likely arrive at the customer?

In the best case, the customer can accurately track via GPS and Google Maps what the status of his shipment is. Since smartphones have become almost a matter of course today, it is also wonderful to work with apps that areespecially popular with existing customers.

  • The receipt of the delivery

The moment when the package arrives at the customer is also a touchpoint with the customer, who plays a decisive role in e-commerce. Here sometimes can be communicated in the most direct way with the customer. Because it is the package reception to an emotional moment, comparable to Christmas.

Of course, customers are particularly pleased when their goods are packed according to the high expectations. The feel and smell of the outer packaging, etc. play a bigger role than many would think. Here, too, can be neatly personalized. The package itself can be designed in the mentioned corporate design of the brand and the online shop. This fuels the anticipation of the content, as the customer already knows what is waiting for him.

On the inside, personalization can take place in two ways: on the one hand, the customer can be addressed directly with a short personal message. He feels so taken seriously and not as a customer who sinks among many. On the other hand, by means of package inserts, which are based again on the evaluation of the data collected via the website, personal advertising for other products or individual vouchers etc. can be transmitted.

The customer journey

Let us dedicate ourselves in the third and last section of the already mentioned customer journey. This can be experienced by every potential customer. However, no customer trip is exactly the same even if the main stations are the same. But let’s start from scratch: What exactly is the customer journey or customer journey?

Basically, the customer journey depicts the customer ‘s path via the touchpoints, and that until after the purchase. You can imagine them as a kind of map on which the customer runs various stations, where he always comes into contact with the brand or a product.

To properly use touchpoints, it may be helpful to create prototypes of customers. On the basis of these, the different travel routes that migrate those prototypes can then be displayed. This can help to better visualize the phases of a decision-making process in order to work with it. Once these routes have been created, it becomes easier to determine the relevance of specific touchpoints from the customer’s point of view. The quality of what happens at these touchpoints is also to be determined.

The development of customer journeys takes time and improves after first experiences with customers and their behavior around the online shop. Thus, the customer travel should also be revised again and again to optimize selected touchpoints targeted. Not only to satisfy customers with it, but to use and consolidate their value as a touchpoint itself, for example in the context of reviews of the shop, which again potential new customers read.