Stages of the customer lifecycle in ecommerce

- Priyank Sharma

June 27, 2022

Understanding the customer's journey as they learn about your brand or organization, develops fondness for your products and services, and become an advocate for your brand is an important part of expanding your business.

Knowledge of the customer life cycle improves your ability to acquire new and retain existing consumers. It helps you to learn about the stages of the consumer life cycle and what to do at each stage.

By understanding the journey from the customer's point of view, you carry out marketing activities that move customers through the stages of the customer life cycle. This allows you to expand your business.

What is the customer life cycle?


The customer life cycle describes the various stages that a consumer goes through before becoming a loyal customer. From the first time they hear about you to the ongoing relationship with your customer. It involves all the touch points the consumer will have with your Brand.

By understanding the different stages of customer lifecycle, you are able to identify the best way to reach out to new customers and learn what works & what not to retain and grow customer’s relationship with your E-commerce brand.

As a brand builder, it's your job to figure out how to educate potential customers about the value you offer.

You shouldn't expect someone who has never heard of your company to quickly pass over money to a company they have no reason to trust. Take control of your customer lifecycle by connecting with them at every stage of Lifecycle, by gently guiding them to next stages with automated customer journeys.


Stages of Customers in E-commerce Store Lifecycle

1. Awareness

The goal of the awareness stage is to make new people aware of your brand and product. This is the very first interaction a potential customer has with your brand. When a visitor clicks on a shopping ad, views a social media post, or visits your website, they have entered the awareness stage. Your early-stage leads are made up of people like this.

Every customer begins at the stage of awareness. It is considered as the most crucial stage in the customer’s life cycle because they must learn about your company before they can interact with you.


2. Interaction

This stage is very important & considered as one of the most expensive for your business in terms of cost per acquisition, especially if you run advertisements to raise consumer awareness among your target audience.

This is the stage where you encourage a potential customer to subscribe to your brand and provide you with their email, phone number or subscribe to social media channels. To obtain a customer's contact information, you must first provide them with something of value like special offers, exclusive discount.

Awareness and acquisition stages are the first two most important lifecycle points. This is where effective marketing and advertisement comes into the play. Return on advertisement spend (ROAS) determines the sustainability and profitability of your business in the long run.  


3. Purchase

In E-commerce businesses your website content & experience are crucial to convert visitors in to buyers. On-site product recommendation or personalization is the main activity that retailers follow to ensure high conversion rate & engagement. First objective of an intelligent store is to find out what every visitor is most likely interesting in buying. Once this is done visitor is presented attractively with products, they are interested in. Solving the choice overload problem increases conversion factor significantly.

During the conversion stage, you should educate your subscribers about the benefits of your product until they decide to make a purchase. Discounts, free shipping, and early access to products or offers are common additional incentives at this point to attract customers over their initial hesitation.


4. Engagement

We have now reached the moment where a prospect turns into a customer. They considered your offerings and made the decision to purchase from you.

However, just because a customer gets to this point does not indicate the sale is guaranteed. A consumer may leave their choice in the virtual shopping cart on your website if you run an e-commerce business.

The customer is more likely to give up if your website doesn't make it clear how to make a purchase or if there are too many steps involved in the purchase process.

Examine your purchase workflow and keep track of how many customers abandon the purchase before it is completed. This knowledge enables you to identify and address the points where customers become stuck.



5. Advocacy (Retention & Loyalty)

The advocacy phase is all about strengthening the customer relationship after the purchase so that they are more likely to buy from you again. This is achieved by sending customer’s follow-ups, reminders, and promotions, special offers via email and SMS primarily. An in- depth knowledge of important KPIs like Conversion Rate, Repeat Purchase Rate, Customer retention rate and segmentation based on purchase, browsing, email and cart behaviors on these KPIs enables a retailer to automate customer journeys to optimize retention of customers.

With the help of powerful recommendation tool consider what related products a customer might be interested in and recommend those to them after they make a purchase.

Maintain customer engagement by providing regular updates, such as offering promotional discounts for additional purchases or sharing information about your company's latest happenings, new product launch etc. It is all about keeping the customer connected to your business.

It is six times less costly to sell to existing customers than acquiring a new customer. Your costs are lower and your conversion rate is often higher than those of consumers in the awareness or acquisition phases because you are marketing to customers who have previously made a purchase from you.

The loyalty stage is where your store interacts with Customers who have made multiple purchases in order to drive additional purchases and create brand advocates.

You want these customers to support your brand overall once the retention stage of the lifecycle is reached. They probably won't hesitate to share their friends and family about your products if they are actually satisfied. Once a consumer is devoted to a business, spreading knowledge throughout social circles is simple, and if they consistently pass along positive reviews, their wider network is more likely to convert as well.

A marketing automation App or platform which is able to identify a segment of loyal customers allows a brand to make the customer experience personalized and rewarding.

Segment of customers out of loyal customers which you are about to lose should be paid special attention to ensure they continue to be your customers. Such customers can be engaged by sending periodic win back campaigns with discount offers or by creating flash sales opportunities on the online store.

The direct-to-consumer brand or an online store should pay maximum attention on retaining existing customers & at the same time create a great personalized experience for new visitors.

Building an online store is easy in today’s age but building a strong direct to consumer brand is a like running a marathon. Merchants should strive to create long lasting brand with absolute focus on product, customer experience, customer engagement by taking a long-term view for their business to become a successful business.