February 03, 2015 // Kristi Frisch

Understanding the Customer Journey to Increase Online Sales

Whether you are the marketing director for a national brand, the CEO of a B2B company or the founder of a small organization, it is extremely valuable to understand how your consumers buy and interact in your particular industry. Instead of placing all the emphasis on conversion, invest time and money throughout the entire customer journey to increase sales.

Recently, Google introduced The Customer Journey to Online Purchase, a new tool that displays how different marketing channels directly affect consumer online purchasing decisions. Millions of interactions were analyzed through Google Analytics and utilized to create an easy-to-use, interactive application to gain insight on user buying habits.

This tool allows for the ability to sort by business size, industry and region to see how different digital marketing channels influence a buyer from initial engagement to closing the sale. The marketing channels to the left on the timeline tend to play an early and assisting role, and those to the right are more likely to be the final interactions before a purchase is made.

Check out the three examples below for unique customer journey purchase paths. Each example includes one channel breakdown showing when those specific marketing campaigns typically impact a customer over the course of the purchase path.

National Home Furnishing Company

Online purchase path for a large¹ business in home & garden industry in the U.S.

Social campaigns contribute 36% of customer interactions at the beginning of the online purchasing process and another 46% during the middle stages.² Large businesses in this industry should focus on having a strong social media presence across various platforms to enhance brand awareness and generate more leads.

Trade Company Specializing in Medical Instruments

Online purchase path for a medium¹ business in business & industrial industry in the U.S.


Display click campaigns contribute 60% of customer interaction in the middle stages of the online purchasing process.² Since display click plays a major role in the middle of the purchase path by creating desire and boosting interest, medium size businesses in this industry should test new display ad campaigns on a regular basis.

Faith-based Research and Education Center

Online purchase path for a small¹ business in books & literature industry in the U.S.

Direct marketing campaigns contribute 45% interaction during the middle of the customer journey and another 37% at the end.² Small businesses in this industry should focus on delivering a clear a call to action to help seal the deal.

By improving every marketing channel on the purchase path, you will strengthen your customer experience while inevitably landing more sales.

¹ Large businesses > 10K ecommerce transactions in 45 days. Medium 500–10K. Small < 500.

² Beginning: Interactions in the first 25% of purchase path. Middle: Middle 50%. End: Final 25%.

Back to posts