What the customer journey is?
The customer journey is the path that consumers cover from the first meeting with the brand to the purchase and subsequent stages. It is therefore a journey that can be more or less conscious and more or less linear. This journey is characterized by several stages called “touchpoints”, ie the points of contact between the brand and the customer. Touchpoints are divided into:
- digital, such as the website, blogs, social networks, internet reviews, etc.
- physical, such as the store.
Furthermore, the different points of contact between the company and consumers are defined as:
- managed, if managed by the company
- unmanaged or earned, if they are touchpoints over which the company has no control.
Why analyze the customer journey?
It is important to know and analyze the customer journey of your customers, as this allows you to better manage all the phases that anticipate the purchase and allows you to improve the customer experience. Understanding the customer journey and customer experience has become increasingly complex for companies due to the increase in touchpoints and the reduction in experience control. Due to these changes, companies are forced to integrate various business functions such as information technology, customer service, logistics, marketing, human resources and even external partners.
Customer journey in the jewelry industry
The jewelry industry initially hoped to be immune to these changes brought about by the digital world, in fact, it considered the Internet an unsuitable medium for exclusive and high-priced products such as jewelry. But, in recent years, it has had changed its mind and re-evaluate the possibility of integrating physical touchpoints with online touchpoints such as the website and social networks.
Even in the jewelery sector, which tends to be conservative, there has been talk for some time now of integration between traditional sales channels and the digital world, as a balanced synergy between on-line and off-line presence is able to encourage greater traffic even in the physical store, which is not destined to disappear due to the online, but, on the contrary, will evolve leading to a change in the ways of relating with customers.
Furthermore, the birth and development of the Internet have made customers more demanding, as they are able to search and find a large amount of product information. The same expectations of customers have therefore evolved, leading consumers to seek increasingly engaging, personalized and satisfying experiences that companies must be able to offer by building a customer journey characterized by online and offline touchpoints.
The role of photography in the customer journey
Following the rise of digital touchpoints, product photography has taken on an increasingly important role as the photo has become the means of evaluating the product and attracting the interest of the potential customer.
In the past, photography in the jewelry industry was of two types:
- the photo of the jewel worn, used for the creation of posters and adv in magazines
- the still life photo of the jewel for the creation of catalogs to show to potential customers.
In the case of using the photo for posters or magazines, the purpose was to make the brand or product known, so the photo had to be beautiful and emotional. For this reason, people usually opted for worn photos that required choosing a model, creating a setting and relying on a professional jewelry photographer. The photographs used in the catalogs were completely different because they were not meant to attract attention and arouse emotion but to give information. In fact, the catalogs were shown in the phase preceding the purchase, but following the knowledge and interest in the specific brand or product. In the absence of digital touchpoints, the customer visited the store, saw the products with his eyes and spoke with the seller, immediately creating a relationship. Only when a clear interest was shown the seller showed the catalog that included product photos and models not present in the store. The photos in the catalogs in the past were not, therefore, aesthetically beautiful, but had more of a practical function.
With the advent of the Internet, the importance of still life photographs of the jewel began to be understood, especially because they were shown on the website which, in the past, was used as a showcase to show the brand and its products. For this reason, just like in the shop window, only a few products were shown: the most beautiful and particular. As the number of photographs was low and the quality required was high, professional jewelry photographers were almost always used.
Today the photographs on the website and, more generally, on digital touchpoints, have increased as these means are no longer perceived as the showcase in which only some products are shown, but as the entire store in which all the collections with related information must be shown and, almost always, offering the visitor to the Internet page the opportunity to complete the purchase online thanks to the presence of an e-commerce. For this reason, the number of photos to be taken has increased considerably and, very often, small goldsmiths have had to contend with the need to take professional jewelry photos but the impossibility of outsourcing this operation with professional photographers.
Self-photographing jewels is a very laborious operation if you do not have the correct technology, as you need to buy lights, one or more backdrops, a good camera and supports and glues to fix the jewels as they are worn. In addition to the hardware part, you need to buy an editing program and learn how to use it to transform the raw photo into a finished photo with a white background, without shadows, disturbing subjects such as glues or supports and without unwanted reflections on the products. Obtaining a professional jewelry photo takes from 30 minutes to about two hours of work. By equipping, on the other hand, with a photographic box designed to create still life of jewels, such as the Studio4 Jewels Pro, you can obtain the entire automated photographic process as it includes a lightbox and a software to photograph jewels and get the photo for e-commerce in seconds to promote and sell jewelry online. Therefore, using the right technology allows you to internalize the photographic process and obtain professional photos of your products to be published on the website or on your social networks.
Jewelry Marketing Expert