Google’s Customer Journey To Online Purchase tool: The lowdown

Google has a useful tool that provides insights into where key marketing channels feature in the customer journey. In order to use it to help your business, here’s everything you need to know.

Google customer journey to online purchase: the lowdown

Discovering the customer journey

Over 100 billion searches are conducted on Google each month. This astounding number shouts of the huge opportunities for businesses to contextually get themselves in front of consumers and entice them into the sales funnel.

But in order to do this we need to know whereabouts a customer is on the journey. Messages need to be carefully tailored to each path-to-purchase, depending on where it occurs. If you get it wrong, sales could slip through your fingers.

With this in mind, Google has drawn on its unrivalled wealth of data to create a helpful tool that assesses where digital marketing channels factor in the customer journey for your industry, location and business size.

By looking at the Google customer journey to online purchase, we can identify the points at which businesses should throw more weight and resources behind key marketing channels.

The importance of channel location

The tool pulls in data from the following digital marketing channels; direct, brand paid search, generic paid search, display click, email, organic search, referral and social. Select from the variables (industry, location and business size) and the channels will appear plotted on the customer journey at the points where they play the biggest role.

Google customer journey to online purchase: the lowdown

Where these marketing channels are located in the customer journey is crucial. If they feature at the beginning, they play an early role – raising awareness of your product or service. In the middle and they serve the purpose of creating and boosting interest. And at the end they drive the final step towards purchase. The question then is simple: is your business providing users with the information that they need at each stage of the journey?

How to use Google’s customer journey insights

Now you have the valuable insights into your industry’s customers, you may need to shake up your digital marketing efforts.

First, assess whether the messages that you are currently putting out on these channels complement that stage of the journey. For example, if social features at the start – signifying that it is a key way of consumers discovering your brand and its products – you may need to dial down posts about product offers and instead focus on educating audiences about your business.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a digital marketing platform that works by helping you to create a single view of the customer and deliver 1:1 messages across all the main channels. The platform analyses your business’s content, the individual’s profile and the behaviour of your entire customer base to help you to send the right message at the right time.

Measuring success

The insights will help you to prioritise channels. Focus on adjusting one at a time in order to measure the effectiveness of recrafting the messages in line with where it features in your customers’ journey.

Examine the metrics before and after the content is repositioned. For example, with an email newsletter, track engagement, click throughs and conversion over a two or three month period, to allow time for changes to take effect.

Further reading

Thomas Quillfeldt

Thomas Quillfeldt

Editor, eCommerce Insights

March 3, 2016

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