The Customer Journey: Purchase

As we’ve mentioned, the beauty of mobile messaging, what makes it so potent as a marketing strategy, is how easy and seamless it renders the sales funnel. In a conversation on SMS or Facebook Messenger, going from consideration to purchase, for example, is as easy as a single click from a messaging window to a checkout page. That means a shorter, more unified funnel.

But, according to McKinsey, 40% of consumers change their minds right before they make a purchase because of something they see, learn, or do. This something might be a subpar interaction with a salesperson, or cheaper pricing from a competitor, or missing or misleading product information. And it’s amplified in e-commerce: 95%+ of customers leave a given ecommerce site without making a purchase, or they abandon their cart.

So how can mobile messaging enable companies to retain those 40% of customers who change their minds as well as the 95% who abandon their carts?

This is where mobile messaging has the edge over any other medium. Since it enables brands to have automatedreal-time, two-way conversations with customers, your can send customers the right information at the right time—say, a well-timed discount—that will stop them from changing their minds.

In fact, ongoing conversation shifts the whole funnel; since you are engaging directly with the customer, you stay top of mind throughout their journey. That means those concerns that change customers’ minds at the last minute may be addressed at any point before purchase.

Furthermore, mobile messaging is the best way to retarget online window shoppers and cart abandoners. As we discussed in the awareness and consideration stages, with an intelligent messaging strategy, you don’t need to trail someone around the Internet throwing up banner ads, hoping they take notice, and praying they don’t get annoyed. Mobile messaging doesn’t operate on a wing and a prayer. Instead, it utilizes data and strategy to figure out why a customer didn’t buy, and it incentivizes them to come back and make that purchase.

Mobile messaging doesn’t operate on a wing and a prayer.

Say you’re a cosmetics brand and a customer visited your site three times, added two of your lip kits and a mascara to their cart, then abandoned that cart. In the past, you might have emailed that person — if you could locate their email address — reminding them about their abandoned cart, and you might have tried, in that email, to figure out why they didn’t buy.

The only problem is that, while you could ask the customer what stopped them from pressing purchase, they had no way to respond. Sure you could link them to your website, but jumping over to the site is clunky and certain to lose a large number of customers. And this is assuming your customer even sees your email or reads through it: the majority of emails go straight to the trash, and the few that are read are mostly abandoned halfway.

Messaging, on the other hand, boasts 85%+ open rates — 4.25x that of email. That means if you send an automated mobile message retargeting a cart abandoner, that customer is 4.25x more likely to read through your message and respond than they are to an email. And when you send someone a message reminding them of an abandoned cart, you can ask directly why they didn’t buy — maybe the price was too high, in which case you might offer them a coupon code. Or perhaps they couldn’t find shipping info or a delivery date — which you can then provide right in the message flow on their phone.

Then, when they’re ready to buy, you can lead the customer directly from the messaging app into their cart — with their abandoned items ready to be checked out. That’s why mobile messaging is the easiest, most frictionless way to recover abandoned carts and reengage online window shoppers.

In fact, the entire purchase itself can be made inside the messaging conversation. AI-powered messaging technology can use customer-specific, first-party data (from their volunteered product preferences to their online buying patterns)  to recommend a product, or to offer a quick purchase on an item a customer has previously viewed. It can also offer pre-programmed choices for delivery times, or even take a credit card, finalize, and confirm an order — all within the messaging app.

Thus, mobile messaging drives a customer towards purchase faster and more efficiently than any other medium. In the digital ecommerce sphere, where people conduct a huge amount of research and assessment themselves, they still crave guidance. Your mobile messaging sequence is the guide that drives them towards purchase.

However, it’s important to remember the funnel doesn’t end at purchase. It’s still crucial to keep customers engaged post-purchase, and to follow up with incremental sales targeting. Remember: the customer journey is more of a cycle than a funnel. We’ll delve into that in our final installation in the customer journey stories: post purchase.

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