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 linear. This journey is characterized by several stages called “touchpoints”, i.e. 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 should we analyse the customer journey?
It is important to know and analyse the journey of your customers, as this allows you to manage all the phases that anticipate the purchase in a better way and it 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. Because of these changes, companies are forced to integrate various business functions such as information technology, customer service, logistics, marketing, human resources and even external partners.
The customer journey in the jewelry industry
The jewelry industry initially hoped to be immune to these changes carried by the digital world. Indeed, it considered the Internet as an unsuitable medium for exclusive and high-priced products such as jewelry. But, in recent years, it has changed its mind and re-evaluated the possibility of integrating physical touchpoints with online touchpoints such as the website and social networks.
Even in the jewelery industry, which tends to be conservative, there have been many discussions lately about how the 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 stores, which are 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, customized and satisfying experiences that companies must be able to offer by building a customer journey characterized by both online and offline touchpoints.
The role of photography in the customer journey
Following the rise of digital touchpoints, product’s 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 be shown to potential customers.
In the case of using the photo for posters or magazines, the purpose was to make the brand or the 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 photos used in the catalogues were completely different because they were not meant to attract attention and arouse emotion, but to give information. Indeed, the catalogues were shown in the phase preceding the purchase, but after the awareness and interest in the specific brand or product. In the absence of digital touchpoints, the customer would visit the store, see the products with his eyes and speak to the seller, creating an immediate relationship. Only when the interest was clear, the seller showed the catalogue that included product’s pictures and models not present in the store. In the past, the photos in the catalogues were not, therefore, aesthetically beautiful, but they had more of a practical function.
With the advent of the Internet, the importance of the jewel’s still life photos began to be understood, especially because they were shown on websites that, in the past, were 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 ones. As the number of photos was low, but the quality required was high, professional jewelry photographers were almost always used.
Today the photos on websites and, more generally, on digital touchpoints, have increased as these means are no longer perceived as showcases in which only some products are shown, but as the entire store: in this way, all the collections with the related information must be shown, by offering to the visitor of 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 considerably increased and, very often, small goldsmiths have had to contend with the need to take professional jewelry photos but still 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, since you need to buy lights, one or more backdrops, a good camera and supports and glues to fix the jewels as they are were 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 professional photo with a white background, without shadows or disturbing objects 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. However, with a photographic box designed to create still life photos of jewels, such as Studio4 Jewels Pro, you can obtain the entire automated photographic process, because it includes a lightbox and a software to take photos of jewels and get the photo for e-commerce in a few seconds to promote and sell jewelry online. Therefore, the use of the right technology allows you to internalize the photographic process and obtain professional photos of your products to be published on your website or social networks.
Jewelry Marketing Expert