If you’ve ever shopped for anything online, chances are you interacted with the brand you purchased from at more than one touchpoint. Ecommerce business owners, take note: More than 60% of eCommerce customers interact with brands through multiple channels, and they expect the experience to be consistent throughout.
Furthermore, you’ll need to ensure all these different points of contact add value to the customer experience. Great customer touchpoints can increase leads and sales, so it’s important to consider them in your marketing strategy.
This guide will help you find ways to improve important opportunities for interactions with customers across different stages of the customer journey.
Pre-purchase brand touchpoints
No matter what type of products you sell, it’s highly likely that your customers will encounter multiple touchpoints with your brand before they even consider buying from you. Since everyone knows how important first impressions are, marketers need to get them right for potential customers.
Let’s take a look at some pre-purchase touchpoints for your new customers and how you can improve them.
Word of mouth
Before technology became dominant in our lives, people found out about stores and products through literal word of mouth (i.e., talking in person). In its most basic form, word of mouth is when you or someone else enjoys a product or store then tells their friends and family about it. After that, the effect snowballs.
To this day, word of mouth remains one of the most powerful methods of building brand awareness, and now it happens online (eWOM) as well as in real life.
If you want to build organic awareness around your brand, you’ll need to create enough buzz to generate those conversations. To do this, you can create content designed to either entertain or educate that has the specific goal of being shareable. Take a look at what is currently “generating buzz” in your product category (i.e., trending on Twitter or the Explore page in Instagram) to generate some ideas.
One of the major marketing channels that provide pre-purchase touchpoints is social media. Social media marketing is so integral to businesses these days that in 2021 91.9% of marketers in companies with 100 or more employees expect to use it for promotional purposes.
One of the best social media platforms for eCommerce is Instagram. With over 1 billion users, it helps expose your brand to a massive audience. Then you can use Instagram Automation by ManyChat to take your pre-purchase touchpoints to the next level as Roma by Rochi did:
The retailer decided to create a giveaway campaign using ManyChat bot automation to lift brand awareness and engagement. The campaign was a resounding success, resulting in a 741% lift in engagement and 2,600 emails captured.
Despite what you may have heard, email marketing is far from dead. Believe it or not, more than half the world’s population currently uses it.. Having an email marketing strategy allows you to offer an omnichannel experience for your customers, which is especially critical for brick-and-mortar retailers and eCommerce businesses.
Email is often considered a pre-purchase touchpoint since it’s a lot easier to persuade someone to give you their email than their money. Naturally, there are a few ways you can up your email game.
One of the best ways to use email is to set up automated abandoned cart emails as American Giant has done:
You can also entice people to give you their email by offering a discount as an incentive, as Tattly has done below:
The key to capturing (and keeping) customer email subscribers is to consistently deliver high-value content so your emails are less likely to be relegated to the spam folder.
You’re likely (or at least thinking about) using ads to help your business build brand awareness. One of the most effective ways to reach your target audience is to run Facebook ads, especially the click-to-Messenger type.
Click-to-Messenger ads enable you to start conversations with potential customers, offering them deals and asking them to opt in to marketing lists. Responding to all those leads manually can be a daunting task, but ManyChat allows you to create a chatbot flow to automate these conversations.
Beddy’s is one brand that uses click-to-Messenger ads effectively:
Beddy’s created a Memorial Day sale ad that offered discounts to those who clicked through to Messenger. As a follow-up, the company asked the potential customers if they wanted to join a VIP list for future promotions.
Instead of running a static ad that just clicks through to your website, think about what you can offer customers to help them enjoy their initial engagement.
The last pre-purchase touchpoint we’ll talk about in this guide is influencer marketing. According to the Influencer Marketing Hub, 90% of their survey respondents said they believe influencer marketing is effective.
Working with influencers provides your business the opportunity to expand your reach to their audience. Their followers are also more likely to trust the influencer’s (authentic) recommendations and product reviews.
Take Val Lin (@theaestheticminimalist), for example:
His posts cater to a niche audience interested in minimalist fashion and lifestyle. In each of his fashion-based posts, he tags the brands he is wearing (even when they aren’t necessarily one of his official partners).
If you consider your brand “simple,” “elegant,” or “minimalist,” then reaching out to an influencer like Val could prove to be a lucrative opportunity.
The purchase process may come to mind when you think about customer touchpoints. Interactions with product pages, customer support, and checkout play into whether or not a customer will finish a purchase.
Each of these steps in the purchasing stage of the customer journey can make or break a sale, so it’s important to get them right.
At this point, your potential customers have probably either heard of you or your content marketing SEO is on point, and you’ve acquired them from the search engine results page. Either way, your product page touchpoint is where you can implement serious conversion rate optimization.
A great product page will capture interest right away, address customer needs, and have a clear call to action. In addition to those basic elements, it should also include multimedia (i.e., videos, gifs, images) and customer reviews (which acts as social proof to convince people to buy).
One example of a brand that has created engaging product pages is Master & Dynamic:
For its MA770 Wireless Speaker product, it included several product images highlighting the design and specs. However, it also had a video of the designer talking about his ideas behind the design and reviews to help provide social proof.
Customer service (chat widget)
Another purchasing touchpoint is customer support chats. Offering to chat with customers during their consideration stage is a powerful tool you can use to persuade them to purchase. This is especially true if your product has a high price point or has some level of complexity.
In general, offering chat services is great. But if you don’t have an “on-call” customer service team, you’ll run into problems with response times and losing leads.
ManyChat Messenger bots can help you create a customer support chatbot to automate these initial interactions (the chatbots also have the option of switching to chatting in real time).
Take Oui, Chérie for example:
The Messenger bubble appears in the bottom right corner of the screen and has a welcoming message encouraging site visitors to use the chat widget. Oui, Cheriecan use this chatbot to curate products for the customer, answer shipping questions, and more.
Shopping cart or checkout page
The last purchasing touchpoint we’ll talk about is the shopping cart and checkout pages, both of which are ripe for conversion rate optimization. They are the last chance for your potential customers to leave without purchasing.
In March 2020, shoppers abandoned 88.09% of online shopping orders; having a smooth and inviting checkout process is vital for pushing customers into hitting that final “order now” button. A great example of an effortless checkout process comes from Culture Kings:
Its shopping cart allows customers to check out with ShopPay, PayPal, Google Pay, AfterPay, as well as debit or credit cards.
What makes Culture Kings’ shopping cart extra special, however, is both the recommendation carousel and the incentive to spend more money to receive an exclusive not-for-sale item. These little plugins work together to offer the customer a deal they almost can’t refuse.
The customer journey doesn’t end at the sale. Your customer will also very likely interact with your brand through post-purchase touchpoints.
From the most basic order confirmation email to tracking shipping to offering feedback, post-purchase touchpoints offer a business a ton of value–if they’re done right. Let’s take a deeper dive into them now.
When you order something online, you expect an order confirmation email of some kind. If you don’t receive one, you may become concerned that your order wasn’t successful, or worse, you’ve been scammed. An email confirmation, therefore, acts as your first line of defense for mitigating any worries or answering FAQs.
At a minimum, an order confirmation email should state the order status, order items, delivery address, subtotals, tax, order reference, and the final total. It should also include contact details in case any part of the order is incorrect or the customer wants to cancel it.
However, better order confirmation emails go beyond the basics—check out this example from The Heart Department Co on Etsy:
Its email has all of the above basics but also includes a lengthy thank you message, FAQs, and recommendations for other products the shopper might enjoy based on the purchase. If you want to improve customer satisfaction, try going above and beyond in your confirmation emails.
Another important touchpoint customers are likely to interact with more than once is tracking. Offering shipment tracking is a great way to show your customers your business is trustworthy and dependable. It also helps your business by reducing incoming support tickets about order status.
Amazon provides one of the most obvious examples of a stellar tracking service (for items fulfilled by Amazon).
You can track your order delivery status online and in-app, and once the item is out for delivery, you can see how many stops away the driver is. Businesses can achieve the same closely monitored tracking with other courier services like DPD—it’s worth shopping around for couriers that offer this level of service.
The final touchpoint we’re going to look at is post-purchase feedback. Getting feedback on a product is a little easier than it used to be; in 2019, the Global Web Index found that about half of internet users post online reviews each month.
Ecommerce businesses can add a personal touch to their customers’ journeys by implementing a post-purchase follow-up sequence through chat. Of course, you could do this through email by creating an automated follow-up, but these kinds of emails are likely to be ignored.
If you use ManyChat (which has a Shopify integration, by the way) in your purchase flow, you can automate a follow-up chat sequence:
Creating a chatbot sequence instead of a standalone email makes the interaction far more engaging but also gives you a chance to boost customer retention. For example, if your customer provides positive feedback, you can offer them a coupon to shop with you again. If they give negative feedback, you can jump into Live Chat to help them with their issue and hopefully win them back.
Improve your eCommerce customer journey
With ManyChat’s help, you can supercharge your eCommerce customer journey with automated bot sequences that work to take your customer from awareness to purchase and beyond.
As a small business owner, creating a great experience for your customers means being able to wow them at each one of your eCommerce touchpoints. Sometimes all you need is to tweak a single point in the journey; other times, you’ll find yourself overhauling your whole process. Try some of the tips in this guide and see which ones work best for your business!