In an ideal world, a buyer would come to you and convert, and that would be that.

In reality, of course, this is not the case, which is why conversion rate optimisation is so important to businesses.

The buyer’s journey is not some obstacle we need to “get over.” Instead, it is a journey of engagement — a path of getting to know our customers, nurturing them, and increasing their long-term value in the process.

So, the buyer’s journey is something to be celebrated, but how long should this journey be?

To decide on the journey and the user experience your website design offers to your buyers, you need to consider what you offer to your buyers, who these buyers are, and what they want from you.

Let’s take a look at some examples of potential customer journeys.

1. The “I love your products” buyer

A buyer has seen your product advertised somewhere. They like what they see and they want to buy. Whether they have come to you via a landing page or a direct message, it doesn’t matter — you only need to apply a little bit of pressure to achieve a conversion. In this case, there is only a short journey to purchase.

However, this buyer sits neatly in one of your key buyer persona groups. You know that you have a range of other products available to them that they might like. Now, the buyer journey continues, and you attempt to nurture a long-term customer.

2. The uncertain buyer

Someone comes to you with a project in mind, but they’re not quite sure what they need. They’re just getting to know your company, and they might come back later to make a purchase.

You’re going to need to play a far longer game here. You will need to nurture them slowly and remind them of what you offer and how it can help them and their specific situation. It might be a long process, but do it right and you will achieve a sale and maybe a returning customer.

3. The “I’m in a hurry” buyer

Someone comes to you with an urgent need. They’ve got something they need to do, and they need your help to get it done. This is not their field; they won’t be doing anything like this again; they just need a solution quickly.

This customer does not really fit into your buyer persona and is not likely to come back. You can take them on a short buyer’s journey through to conversion and offer them all the after-sales care and support they deserve as a paying customer, but you may want to save resources and avoid trying to nurture them beyond conversion.

There is no “one-size fits all” solution.

There are other situations, of course, and the optimal buyer’s journey in each instance will depend on your business, your customer, and their motivation.

Get to know your audience, build your personas, and make sure that your website design offers the perfect buyer journey.

Remember that this journey is an evolving one, so you will need to assess and reassess your design over time.

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