Compared to A/B and multivariate tests, customer journey analysis is the new kid on the conversion rate optimization (CRO) block. The power of customer journey analysis is that it looks beyond an individual landing page, headline, or call-to-action. Instead, it takes into consideration the entire conversion path — from website visit to purchase.
In this article, we’ll walk through how to decode visitor behavior and use site search to improve the customer journey. So, if you’ve already got the basics of CRO figured out, get ready to take your optimization efforts to the next level.
Understanding pre-purchase behavior
There are three primary conversion paths that customers follow pre-purchase:
- Use filters and categories to find a specific product
- Search for a specific product
- Browse categories until they find a product to investigate and buy
When you think about it, this isn’t really much different from the experience one would have at a brick-and-mortar store. Imagine that you drop by a convenience store to purchase toothpaste. Likely, the first thing you’ll do is scan the signage to find the location where it would be (filter and categories). If that doesn’t work, you’ll ask a store associate (search). Or, if you walk into the store not knowing what you’re after, you’ll casually browse the store.
While asking the store associate is a clear buying signal offline, most online stores don’t treat this signal the same. This is a mistake. Site search indicates that customers are on a high-intent journey, but just how high-intent? Take a look at the data below: