It is becoming increasingly important for companies to adopt advanced platforms and tools to help consumers in the customer journey.
Il Customer Journey of Italians is increasingly articulated and reveals a decisive importance of digital touchpoints, with the growing need for companies to adopt advanced platforms and tools that allow them to reach and retain their customers in the context of a omnichannel strategy: this, in summary, is one of the main evidences that emerged from the survey “The Customer Journey revolution in Italy: Italians’ phygital purchasing paths and the implications for businesses“conducted by Netcomm in collaboration with magnews and presented during the last Netcomm Forum.
The research was aimed atobjective of analyzing the purchasing paths of Italian consumers within four widely distributed product categories – Fashion, Beauty, Home e Food – in a historical moment of return to post-pandemic normality, or rather in a phase of consolidation of a new normal which in terms of marketing presents brands with new challenges and new ambitious goals.
Customer Journey increasingly digital
How do consumers buy today? Although varying considerably in the various product categories, all Customer Journey considered now show a mixture of channels and contact points online and offline, which companies are called upon to enhance, harmonize and use to the fullest.
Many people today buy through their own digital devices different types of products, and this applies to all areas considered by the research, with an evident peak in Fashion (for which over 76% of purchases are made online) and important results as regards the Supplies (75.4%), Furniture (70.8%) e Beauty (68,2%).
Lo smartphone it is, in particular, the most used tool for purchases Food (especially for ready meals and food and wine products), as well as for Fashion products, while the PC remains the preferred channel for the Home category, especially when it comes to furnishings and accessories. The first challenge for companies, therefore, is that of prepare increasingly optimized digital paths for different devices, fluid, simple and fast, from first contact to payment.
Relevant touchpoints and post-purchase phase
Every brand offers the customer numerous contact possibilities, but only a few touchpoints are then decisive for finalizing the purchase: it is therefore essential to identify the most relevant moments of the Customer Journey, those able to make a difference in terms of customer experience and to push decisions of purchase.
Research data shows how the number of activated touchpoints and those relevant to the purchase decision increase with the increase of the expenditure destined to the category purchase. An increasingly crucial phase is that of post-purchase: today more than ever it is necessary to ask ourselves, in retrospect, which is the consumer perception regarding the purchase made, what has been successful in his experience. These are fundamental questions and attitudes to be measured in order to establish a relationship of long-term value with customers, favoring repurchase and brand loyalty.
The centrality of the relationship with the merchant
Equally noteworthy is the relationship with the merchantan element considered of great value by many consumers in every category: the relationship of habit, trust and attachment towards those who sell the product is increasingly crucial, and represents a factor that the company must now be able to maintain and feed with targeted communication and direct marketing.
Feed the customer loyalty today it is fundamental not only in the Food sector (a category that sees the relationship identified as significant by almost 40% of buyers) but also in the other sectors considered.
The importance of customer satisfaction and personalization
In general, the strategy of companies must be increasingly customer-centric, personalized, able to make the individual customer make a unique and memorable journey. It is very important to work on these issues and design complex, interconnected and tailor made Customer Journeys, as well as knowing how to measure and improve customer satisfaction with the right tools.
The research shows that hybrid Customer Journeys are those that report very high levels of satisfaction on average, more than in traditional and offline purchasing paths. It is time to take strategic actions to further increase satisfaction, focusing on a multiplicity of elements: if price is still the main factor in this perspective, consumers also consider the assortment, speed and comfort of the experience increasingly important. of purchase, the relationship of trust with the merchant (as we have seen), membership in loyalty programs, the possibility of receiving personalized discounts or promotions, the free shipping / return / exchange service. The variety and complexity of shopping experiences, increasingly flexible and phygital, opens up new perspectives and sets new and challenging objectives for brands, all to be explored.