Intention is key to understanding your customer's journey
There’s a marketing strategy called Jobs to be Done that goes beyond personas. A quick understanding of Jobs to be Done is that the same person may have different needs depending on what job they are trying to get done. An example is a person who chooses a fancy pizza restaurant for a date night with a spouse but chooses a quick-serve pizza restaurant when they need to get a meal for their kid’s team. Though in both instances they chose pizza, they didn’t buy it from the same place.
Personas are a general idea of the person most likely to buy your product. Usually, the more niche your product is, the better personas will work. Except… yeah, all those exceptions. Starting with personas is just good marketing, but understanding your customers’ intentions will get you much closer to creating an experience they will return for.
Why did they come to your site?
It’s easy to fall into the mindset of “I sell shirts. They wanted a shirt. That’s why they came to my site.” While true, it doesn’t get to any nuance that will reinforce branding or encourage a return visit. Why customers come to your site is a profound question. Did they experience your brand previously and are looking forward to continuing the relationship? Are they new and just taking a peek? Are they killing time, but would make a purchase if something caught their eye? Do they have something special in mind? Did a friend send them? Did an ad send them? Are they looking for a gift? Are they shopping for themselves?
Does Your Site Do This?
It can with Stylaquin! Stylaquin is the easy to add Shopify app that transforms your website. Stylaquin makes shopping faster, more engaging, and more fun. Stylaquin shoppers stay longer, view over 85% more products, come back more often, and buy more when they do. Find us in the Shopify App Store.
How do you determine intention?
When I first came up with the idea for Stylaquin, I saw it as a way to improve the online shopping experience, which was perfect for customers who already knew what they wanted, but not for customers who were interested in browsing and discovery. That basic structure hasn’t changed in 20 years. As I reviewed the data from shoppers engaging with Stylaquin, I realized that browsing and exploring were super helpful in unlocking intention. The insights panel in Stylaquin shows the most purchased items and the most abandoned items for all purchases, but for shoppers who use Stylaquin, it also shows the most viewed items and the most saved items. That’s where you start to see a more nuanced look at intention. Are your customers browsing or buying? Are they looking at two items, or twenty? Did they add something to the cart and keep shopping, or did they leave?
Back when I worked for L.L. Bean, the catalog started the purchase journey. Now it could also be a Facebook ad, Instagram post, TikTok challenge, YouTube video, Pinterest board, or a slew of online mentions and touch points. Online shopping has transformed from an online order-taking experience to part of a much larger ecosystem of online experiences and offerings. The question we should be asking is: if a customer sees something that they like enough to explore, why do websites focus on navigation, but never on browsing and exploration? When we see the delight and discovery social media brings to online shopping, why aren’t we working to incorporate it into the structure of our websites?
Customer journeys of discovery
How many times have you gone to a website with the intention of buying a specific item, say a gift, and ended up finding something for yourself? Happens all the time. The more items customers look at, the more likely they are to make a purchase. One of the reasons Stylaquin gets such great results is shoppers view 180% more items than non-Stylaquin shoppers. Discovery leads to sales. Engagement leads to sales. Browsing leads to sales. Companies are spending staggering amounts of money on creating fun and engaging experiences outside their websites. It’s time to start looking at the actual shopping experience as a source of engagement. A customer’s intention might be to buy a specific item when they arrive, but they’ll come back if they have a good experience. Stylaquin shoppers come back 25% more often, and buy more when they do because they had a fun experience shopping.