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Understanding the Digital Customer Journey (to Improve Sales)

What do you know about the digital customer journey? If you're a local business, then this is something you need to plan for.

5 min read

Do you understand the journey your customers go through before making a purchase with your business?

If you think there's a one-two step from a customer learning of your business and then making a purchase, then you have a lot to learn.

On the other hand, you may already be aware that there are five or so steps most customers go through before making a final decision. But you'll find that it's slightly different for the digital customer journey.

Let's take a closer look.

The Evolution to the Digital Customer Journey

Since the beginning of commerce, consumers have gone through what's known as a customer journey. In the past, companies had to use available means to advertise and market to their locale.

It all started in 1450 with print mediums, such as newspapers and flyers. Leave this in the right places (or even deliver them house to house) to get more foot traffic to your store.

Then this transitioned to larger print ads -- billboards -- in the 1800s.

Finally, in 1922, recordings and airwaves were put to commercial use via the radio. This really cut down on the footwork and made it easier to build awareness and desire for a product or service.

When television came along in 1942, it really hit the advertising spot -- there's nothing like adding visual appeal to entice a consumer to visit your store.

But it wasn't until the internet advertising came along in 1995 that made the customer journey more independent. In the past, consumers relied on ads, word-of-mouth and trial, and error to learn which brands to trust.

With access to the web, you can use word-of-mouth (online reviews), as well as your own research.

Let's review the digital customer journey more closely.

The Five Phases of the Digital Customer Journey

As a local business, you may be wondering why you should even care about the digital customer journey. But when you take into account that most mobile searches are local, you'll see that it has everything to do with your business.

Folks are looking online for products and businesses to shop with. If they find your listing or website, then the odds of them choosing you increase.

But before they decide, they're going to go through the following five phases:

  • Awareness: At this stage, the consumer is having an issue they'd like to resolve but don't know their options for the solution.
  • Findability (or Discovery): The consumer begins searching on Google for information about their problem and businesses that offer these solutions.
  • Research (Consideration): This is when the consumer starts researching different businesses to see who they want to purchase from.
  • Purchase: Once they find the business they prefer, they purchase the product or service.
  • Advocacy: Depending on the experience the consumer had with the business, they'll either post good or bad reviews about your product/service and brand.

With the digital customer journey steps in mind, you'll need to ensure your business has optimized content and touchpoints for each. Let's take a look at how you can do this.

digital customer journey

Tips for Building a Strategy Around the Digital Customer Journey

Since you're a local business owner, your digital customer journey strategy will focus on key areas of the web.

Make your business easy to find

In the awareness stage, you have the choice of either using PPC ads or business directories to boost your visibility. Both are at the top of search results -- with business listings above them all.

What makes business citations a good bet is that they're free to post. Then you can use tools like increase your web presence to list your business in over 70 directories quickly.

Manage your online reputation

After people discover your business, they're going to compare it to other local businesses. If they have a higher rating and more positive reviews, they'll win every time.

So to counter this, you need to ensure you're doing two things:

1) Asking customers for reviews

2) Responding positively to negative reviews

By doing these steps, you can grow your review count and negate the impact of bad reviews. If you need a way to manage your online reputation, you can use get reviews.

Offer customers a great experience

There are several things a business can do to give customers a satisfactory experience:

  • Offer a quality product or service
  • Sell at a competitive price
  • Make communication convenient
  • Make the transaction simple

Your business model will take care of the first two. Your digital customer journey strategy should include methods that make communication and payments a breeze.

contactless payment and GoSite Messenger make this possible. These enable your prospects and customers to communicate with your brand via text and online chat and make payments online.

Taking advantage of CRM software will also make it possible to keep track of both your leads and customers.

You get to see everything from your dashboard so you can manage everything on the fly.

customer journey


Creating a Digital Customer Journey that Converts

Why be at the mercy of your customers when you can take control of their digital customer journey? Developing a strategy around your unique buyer journey will ensure there's a seamless and pleasant experience at all touchpoints.

With these steps (and tools), you can improve your visibility, as well as your conversions. Just continue to optimize it with the help of GoSite.

Sign up for a free account today to start using GoSite's tools. 


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