The Customer Journey Deconstructed: During
Key trends of the during stage
The during stage of the customer journey pivots on the purchase of the product/service conducted online or offline. This transactional stage encompasses the in-store experience as well as consumer interactions with the brand upon delivery or while using the product/service. Key elements of the ‘during’ stage include living it – where the consumer experiences the brand directly – curation through personalisation or customisation to the individuals’ tastes and preferences, along with delivering a seamless brand experience, including the payment process.
Source: Euromonitor International
Living it: for the ultimate experience
The brand-consumer relationship is pivotal during the purchase stage of the customer journey, as the act of transaction is where consumer dreams – or nightmares – are made. The potential for disappointment looms large as consumers’ expectations are raised as they move towards the end goal of acquiring their desired product/service. Todays’ brands are opting for full-on immersive brand experiences through showrooms, guiderooms, pop-ups and mash-ups. This trend is particularly prevalent in today’s retailing industry, thanks to the merging of the online and offline worlds.
Curation: closing the expectation gap
A key part of curation is the idea of ‘self’, and that a brand will curate and tailor the brand experience to the individual customer – it doesn’t have to be fully personalised, but it must be targeted and in keeping with the customer’s preferences and needs.It is very important for brands to build strong customer profiles, moving away from traditional segmentation on income/age to become more focused on attitudes and lifestyles. A wealth of data can be collated on consumers from brand interactions through social media and spending habits, to leverage data to provide much more personalised messaging, offers, deals and even pricing.
Seamless: payment integration is on its way
While payment is the least enjoyable part of the purchasing process, modern technology allows brands to minimise or even completely remove the negative aspects of the purchasing stage to reduce friction and consumer friction. Modern technologies, such as mobile wallets and electronic cards, allow consumers to escape from cash-counting or wallet-handling altogether. E-commerce leaders have taken seamless payment integration to the next level. Players such as Amazon are introducing one-click check-out options to make the payment process completely seamless.
Starbucks: leads on integrated mobile and loyalty
Starbucks is a global pioneer in the space of integrated mobile payments and loyalty. It has also entered into partnerships with lifestyle brands such as Spotify and Lyft to further its loyalty offer to its customers. It also is starting to bring AI into its app to power a more personalised experience, and in turn make consumers that much more loyal.
Check out the last post in the series to see how after the customer journey can be broken down.