From search to sale: the modern online customer journey (Whitepaper)

From search to sale: the modern online customer journey (Whitepaper)


A significant challenge marketers face is truly getting into the minds of their customers. Learning the sentiments, intentions, opinions and personalities of those who engage, and who you want to with your business online, can help you to create a digital marketing strategy that improves customer acquisition, loyalty and conversions.

Depending on where a potential lead is in the customer journey, the different factors that influence their decision to move through the buying funnel can vary significantly. This process is further confused by the development of technology. The customer buyer journey is no longer linear, and a user may move up, down and sideways before making a purchase.

What are the challenges brands face in the changing world of customer journeys? How do brands define their own? By downloading our in-depth whitepaper you can understand how to map out the modern journey customers take.

Download your free copy of our whitepaper here

Technology and the customer journey


Since the first online shopping transaction in 1994, the influence technology has had on each stage of the customer journey has grown greatly. Improvements in network connectivity and the rise of smart devices means our lives are now dominated by mobile technology. Having such easy and instant access to the internet allows consumers to better inform themselves on products before making a purchase. For brands, it highlights the importance of a mobile-first customer journey.

Brands must adapt, ensuring their site is fully optimized for mobile purchases, if they are to maintain their online visibility. Another example, this time from further up the funnel, is online reviews. For businesses, the difference between pushing a customer through the “consideration” phase and into “intent” can depend on the existence and strength of online reviews, highlighting the power technology has in social proofing.

How to define your customer journey


Depending on the product, service, and industry, each business’ customer journey will differ in a variety of ways. However, the process of defining it requires the same three steps:

  • Personas
  • Touchpoints
  • Mapping

Customer personas are fictional representations of a business’ customers. Using qualitative and quantitative data, personas outline certain characteristics and situational realities of customers. How much money do they earn? Are they a parent? Do they own their own home? What are their hobbies and interests?

Mix your personas with touchpoints to meet your customers where they like to interact with your product. A touchpoint is a place online where you interact with customers; paid ads, SERPs, social media, review sites are all potential touchpoints. Once you have identified exactly who your customer is, and what touchpoints they interact with, you’ll be better equipped to influence them on their purchasing journey. Using data-driven attribution helps you identify these touchpoints, and assign how much power they have in the customer journey.

Combine the two stages above and then begin mapping your online customer journey. Creating a journey for each customer persona, the map takes each stage of the conversion funnel and asks a series of questions:

  • What are their goals at this stage of the purchasing cycle?
  • What emotions will they be feeling?
  • What touchpoints will they be using?

Customer journey mapping can help to unblock customer pain points. If your tone and medium of engagement doesn’t fit with the needs of the customer at that phase of the journey, you’ve outlined an area for improvement.

The importance of data


While it’s always been a valuable asset, the ease at which businesses can now access and gain insights from data is staggering. Rather than relying on gut instinct, data now informs our marketing decisions. When dealing with a subject as complex as the customer journey, data really is a necessity.

Thanks to advanced analytics platforms such as Google Analytics 4, data-driven attribution models are becoming more sophisticated. Identifying the true value of each channel (rather than just the last channel each customer encountered before purchase) allows us to make informed marketing decisions that will push prospects through the customer journey.

Read our whitepaper


In this whitepaper we cover the modern online customer journey. Laying out the influence of emerging technologies and using infographics, our guide outlines how your typical customer will progress from research to purchase.

Download your free copy here today


Are you investing in the right marketing channels?


This blog is part of our wider B2B Playbook that is designed to help B2B businesses with all aspects of their digital marketing from leveraging data, acquiring more traffic, creating assets that resonate and succeeding internationally.

In the traffic section. we take a look at your paid search and organic methods to grow your reach to get the right traffic to turn into more conversions.

Need help expanding your reach?