May 7

The 5 Customer Journey Phases: How to effortlessly get your customers to the last phase

E-Commerce Marketing


Sometimes customers fall in love with products: maybe in sneakers, in a smartphone, in a necklace. You see your offer, find it great to buy and … are happy. Life is beautiful. 

But this spontaneous love is the exception. Most of the time, your customers go through several phases before purchasing. For example, you offer fitness smoothies. Klara sees your advertisement on Facebook and immediately signs up for your newsletter to get the seasonal recipes regularly.  

In the meantime, she still sees various offers from your competitors. But since she has already received some helpful newsletters from you and has seen your advertisement again and again through a targeted retargeting campaign, she finally makes the first order. At last. 

These steps of your customers are similar to a trip, which is why they are called “customer journey phases”. And it’s your job to accompany your (potential) customers on this journey until they have successfully reached the final stage. 

Customer Journey: (first) at the end is the success

The Customer Journey, often called buyers-journey or users-journey, is often explained by models. These models help you understand the different customer journey phases. 

A well-implemented customer journey brings you more sales, more orders, more revenue. In addition, it strengthens customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. But to do this, you need to understand the different needs and motivations of your customers in different customer journey phases. 

It is your job to accompany your (potential) customers on their customer journey until they have successfully reached the final stage.

At first, a touching advertisement awakens the deeply hidden dreams. Later, a real desire and willingness to buy comes into focus. 

This is important to understand, because if you oversee someone who is only looking for new solutions, with an early purchase offer, you lose them. If he is about to make a purchase and does not receive a concrete offer, he is also gone.

Stand by people. Offer them your help and support. And make them an unbeatable offer at the right time. Thus, you often reach even more than the first purchase. You win satisfied existing customers who are happy to recommend you. 

The Customer Journey – an example

You sell modern heating systems. To draw new customers’ attention to you, you can turn ads on social media, perhaps in newspapers and on topic-relevant websites. Karl notices your advertisement. 

He is already thinking about a new heating system, but is not yet ready to buy it. For the first time, he wants to inquire and compare offers. He downloads an online brochure on “Saving heating costs” that you have put online as a content marketing measure. 

Later, Karl discusses a possible heating exchange with his wife Lena. She is enthusiastic and very convinced. Karl and Lena are now planning to buy. A latent interest becomes a demand. 

Use the power of overarching marketing automation tools and send your (potential) customers personalized messages through various channels such as email, Facebook, websites or WhatsApp.

Karl comes across yours again when searching for offers, which he has kept in positive memory. He and Lena decide on your performance and you install the heating. After the purchase, both of you would like to thank you on your Facebook page. 

Of course, this is not the only possible customer journey. Similar examples are conceivable for every product and service. 

The 5 Customer Journey Phases

AIDA is considered one of the oldest models for the customer journey in the history of marketing. Its roots are said to date back to an article by Elmo Lewis in 1898. AIDA stands for the following phases of a customer trip: 

  • Attention: The customer becomes aware of the product. 
  • Interest: The customer is interested in the product. 
  • Desire: The customer wants to buy the product. 
  • Action: The customer buys the product. 

A lot has changed since 1898. Modern models are more complex and include the time after purchase. One of the best is the five-stage model that we’ll introduce you to in a moment. 

However, it must always be borne in mind that each customer journey is an individual and depends on both the customer and the product. Some of them only take hours. Another is not finished after weeks. Not everyone achieves the goal. Not everyone goes through every phase and some go through phases twice. 

Despite the huge differences, you can often influence the individual customer journey of potential customers in your favor. You can see this with a detailed look at the following five-step model of customer travel. 

Phase 1: Latency

In the latency phase, the potential customer has a maximum general interest in your offer. As a provider of modern heating systems, you will draw attention to your newsletter in the first of the customer journey phases, for example. There you give tips for more efficient heating. This allows you to get in touch with your potential customers. 

Phase 2: Exploration phase

At this stage, the prospective buyer already has a need for your offer. Newsletter contributions that amplify the buying impulse can now make sense. With modern marketing technologies and tools, you send customized newsletters automatically. 

Many interested parties compare different offers at this stage. The better connected you to them, the better you have a chance of being shortlisted and overshadowing the competition. 

Phase 3: the weighing phase (Consideration)

In the third of the customer journey phases, only a few providers remain shortlisted. A prospective buyer may even skip this phase due to a temporary offer in your newsletter and buy immediately from you. 

If not, you can use overarching marketing automation tools, such as Mautic, personalized messages via various channels such as email, Facebook, websites, WhatsApp, etc. Send. Lead the interested party to a sales-optimized landing page, where his needs/problems and the solution you have for him are clearly addressed, or offer a free consultation. 

Phase 4: The Purchase Phase (Purchase)

In the fourth of the Customer Journey phases, your potential customer is about to decide on a quote: best for yours. However, even at this stage, the purchase can still fail. Prevent that! For example, you can do this. re-place your strongest selling point or bonus offer on the order button.  

Phase 5: the after-sales phase

The interested party has chosen your offer? Congratulations. However, this is not the last of the customer journey phases. Stay active. After the purchase, ask your customer if they are satisfied with your offer. 

If so, you can ask him for a positive review on your website or on social media. This is also possible through automated email marketing. 

Is it likely that a further purchase will be made in the foreseeable future (e.g. clothing) you can use the built-up good image for further individualized offers.    

Use the Customer Journey Phases for Your Success

Consider the phase of the customer journey your customers are in and what they really need at this point. A strategy based on this increases the chances of getting your customers to make a successful purchase by many times. The 5-phase customer journey model is your way to more satisfied customers and higher profits in your business. Go it with your customers.  

Learn in our newsletter how To accompany your new customers and leads through all phases of the customer journey with Mautic.

Über den Author

Natalia Dziadus-Hammerschmied

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