In a crowded marketplace, anything you can do to make your multi-vendor marketplace stand out will help turn your browsers into buyers. According to one study1, it’s not price or even product that is a key brand differentiator but customer experience.
With no less than 86% of buyers willing to pay more for a great customer experience2 and 33% of customers considering switching brands after one poor experience3, it’s never been more important to:
- Get inside the mind of your customers to provide an engaging and effective buyer journey
- Focus your attention on how to improve their experience using your multi-vendor website
This article will reveal a) what a buyer journey is, b) how aligning your website with the buyer journey can produce more conversions and sales, and c) the ways in which you can make your site more attractive to customers at different stages of the buyer journey.
- What is the buyer journey
- Stages of the buyer journey
- Web design and the buyer journey
- Importance of buyer journey in leading to
- The role web design plays in improving the buyer’s journey
What is the buyer journey?
The buyer’s journey is the pathway they follow while interacting with your brand en route to completing a task. For a multi-vendor marketplace, this typically means the stages they pass through before making a purchase. Unless it’s an impulse buy, of course, then all bets are off!
Having an understanding of the buyer journey allows you to tweak the architecture, design, copy, and content on your site to reflect their needs. Creating a connection between the visitor and your brand makes it easier for you to guide and nurture them through each stage of the buyer funnel as you persuade them to make a purchase.
There are three key stages to the buyer journey: Awareness, Decision, and Consideration. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Stages of the buyer journey
Meet Freddie. He is frustrated with his wireless headphones which have poor battery life and are uncomfortable to wear. He knows he has a problem and has decided to do something about it by searching online for an answer. Freddie is in the awareness stage of the buyer journey.
Think of this as the research stage. Freddie isn’t looking for a particular brand or vendor at this stage. He simply wants to know if a solution exists by searching for a webpage or piece of content that directly addresses his pain points. This isn’t the time for a sales pitch, but a customer-centric approach that lets buyers know you understand the problem and that there is a solution.
As a vendor, you can help the Freddies in your life find what they’re looking for by considering the questions and pain points they might want answering, and then loading your site with the keywords related to those queries, including customer reviews, or creating blogs that directly address their most common FAQs. Doing so will help them associate your brand with the answers to their needs.
Freddie is now officially interested. He knows that comfy wireless headphones with a long battery life exist. This is the stage at which Freddie is weighing up his options by comparing and contrasting similar solutions to find the best one for him.
At this point of the buyer journey, your Freddies know you exist. Your next trick is to persuade them why you are the best choice for them, explain why other customers chose you, and show how you will make their life easier. This includes highlighting the benefits – and value – of your solution (via blogs, videos, testimonials and case studies, or user guides) on the product landing page and across your site.
Freddie is now at the final stage of the buyer journey and ready to part with his cash. He knows a solution to his problem exists, he simply needs some final persuasion to decide who is the best vendor for him. At this point, a live demo, product comparison, free trial, or money-off discount code can make all the difference.
Your job at this stage of the process is to persuade your Freddies that you’re the number one choice and also highlight why now is the best time to buy. Creating a subtle sense of urgency, such as ‘This offer must end soon,’ or ‘When it’s gone it’s gone…’ can sometimes provide the tipping point.
The key thing to remember throughout all stages of the buyer journey is to keep everything customer-centric and make your site and content more about them than you. Focus on the value your products or services provide and they are more likely to see you as the best option.
Oh, and by the way, Freddie did get a new set of headphones.
Web design and the buyer journey
There’s no denying that web design influences the buyer’s journey and is an integral part of the user experience. 75% of internet users judge a business’s credibility solely on how their website looks.4
Your buyer journey stages should be the foundation for your web design. The three stages of awareness, consideration, and decision making should be mapped on your site to ensure your visitors can easily find what they need at each stage of the process, no matter how they arrive on your site.
It should be optimised with simple and clear navigation and packed with the correct funnel marketing content designed to persuade your Freddies to progress to the next stage. You should also consider the common touchpoints where visitors will be looking for answers to their questions, and consider what content would influence them the most at that point in time.
Before you do anything with a build though, you need to get your research, brand, marketing, and business model in place.
Importance of buyer journey
These little improvements to the design of your buyer journey can make a big difference to your conversion rate, sales targets, and customer loyalty:
- Pop-ups: While you must tread carefully with pop-ups so they do not become a nuisance, research has shown that they can convert visitors. The average conversion rate for all pop-ups is 3.09% with the top 10% of pop ups averaging 9.28%5
- Testimonials: 92% of consumers read online testimonials and reviews when considering whether or not to make a purchase.6 So make sure the consideration stage of your buyer journey is loaded with reviews, case studies, and testimonials
- Easy login: Your visitors want an easy journey through your site. That’s why including third-party sign-up services are so popular as they let users sign up using other accounts (such as Facebook or Google) without having to fill out a laborious form
- Keep it simple: A ‘busy’ site with too much content can be overwhelming and be hard to navigate. Although it may be tempting to try and seduce visitors with all of your wares, remember that less is more and quality trumps quantity every time
- Add videos: Our brains are hardwired to process visual information quicker than text. Hence the term ‘a picture paints a thousand words.’ Mashable reported that adding videos to your most-visited landing pages can increase conversions by 86%7
- A need for speed: Your multi-vendor marketplace platform can be packed with the best content designed to influence the customer decision journey but if it’s slow to load it’s all for nothing. 25% of visitors leave a site that takes 4 seconds or more to load8
- Loyalty pays: 79% of consumers want a brand to establish a trusting relationship with them before they’ll consider making a purchase.9 86% of customers who feel loyalty to a brand will recommend that company to family and friends10
- Mistrust costs: One study found that 94% of respondents who distrusted a website based their mistrust on the site’s design elements.11 Hence the importance of creating a site that is easy to navigate and with content that adds value
- We rest our case: Nothing inspires loyalty more than a juicy case study. 72% of customers report that positive testimonials and reviews encourage them to trust a business more, which can increase the likelihood of conversion
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