How to Optimize the Four Pillars of the Modern Shopping Journey

The modern shopping journey Is a cyclical experience broken into four pillars. At each of these pillars, your shopper has a new set of goals and unique challenges. By dissecting each stage, you can put yourself in your customer’s shoes, begin to understand their intent in that moment, and evaluate whether you’ve put the tools in place to enable them to complete their goals.

Attract, convince, convert, and re-engage steps of the shoppers' journey

Let’s start by walking through an example of a customer shopping journey. Meet Lilly.


The modern shopping journey begins by attracting a new customer. Your objective is to increase brand awareness and customer acquisition.

A strong customer acquisition strategy will have high click- through rates and low bounce rates. To get the most out of your SEO, SEM, and email investment, retailers need to deliver a fast experience. Technologies like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) ensure that mobile web pages load instantaneously, reducing the pre-bounce rate and bounce rate.

[What’s pre-bounce rate? These are shoppers who leave your site before they even get to your first page. Analytic systems don’t capture this, so your bounce rate may be higher than you know!]

Resources to improve customer acquisition:

What you can learn from bounce rate and how to improve it
All you need to know about pre-bounce rate
10 SEO best practices for site migration
How to improve channel attribution


Now that the shopper has arrived on your site, they expect to be able to browse easily and find what they need quickly. Your objective is to keep the shopper engaged. The best way to do so is by increasing performance and delivering a great user experience.

Retailers with a Progressive Web App (PWA) are able to keep their customers engaged with a website that looks and feels like an immersive native app experience. PWA features are designed to minimize distraction and keep the customer focused on their task. An example is offline mode, which allows users to continue browsing in areas with low connectivity.

Improving performance is also key. A PWA increases speeds by 2-4x, ensuring the customer can browse seamlessly and quickly across the website.

An engaging shopping experience will translate into larger basket sizes, higher page views, increased time on site, and more repeat visitors. On the converse of this, a bad experience will change a shopper’s perception of a brand. 46% of people say they would not purchase from a brand again if they had an interruptive experience. (source)

Resources to engage your customer:

How to leverage the performance metrics that most affect user experience
How to reduce page load between PLPs and PDPs
How to design a better experience for shoppers


Your shopper has added items to their cart and is ready to checkout. They’ve shown intent to buy but your work isn’t done yet – 69.2% of users abandon their cart. Your objective is to convert the shopper and grow revenue by removing any friction in the purchase process. A key way to remove friction is shortening the time it takes for your shopper to complete their purchase.

Retailers can reduce their checkout time by making forms as short as possible or by skipping checkout forms altogether with Payment Request API and Apple Pay. Every new form increases the level of friction in an experience and creates a potential drop-off point.

Retailers most often look at conversion rate to measure the success of their checkout. Conversion rate is important for understanding the quality of your traffic, but it can be misleading when looking at revenue growth (learn how here). To get a better understanding of your checkout, evaluate revenue per session, conversion rate, and cart abandonment.

Resources to convert your customer:

Google Webinar: RIP Checkout Forms
Designing the perfect checkout: the mystery of cart abandonment
How to increase conversions with UX best practices
How to better understand your conversion rate


Your customer has completed their purchase and now there’s an opportunity to deepen your relationship with them. Your objective for this last pillar is to increase customer loyalty and customer lifetime value.

A great brand experience is crucial to customer loyalty – 9 in 10 smartphone owners who describe a mobile experience as helpful or relevant would purchase from that brand again. Delivering a fast, app-like experience will enable customers to browse and purchase seamlessly on your site, and in turn, increase repeat visits.

Retailers can compliment their email marketing campaigns with web push notifications, notifying their customers of upcoming promotions or reminding them of abandoned carts. The “Add to Homescreen” feature of a Progressive Web App is another great tool. It gives a retailer full-time real estate on their shoppers device, just like a native app.

Successful re-engagement will result in more repeat visits, revenue per visitor and brick & mortar visits.

Additional reading to re-engage your customer

VIDEO: How to Increase Conversions with Web Push Notifications
Designing for “add-to-homescreen”

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