Case study: Rethinking the online path to purchase

It is no longer enough to have the highest quality products, own the most advanced equipment and employ the best professionals in the field. Customers need to be able to find businesses that they can trust. 

In the beauty industry, for example, while their initial search might start online, the deal breaker is the ability to speak to someone about the treatment they are looking to book and gain reassurance that they are not only in safe hands but that they are also getting the best value for money, especially when trying out innovative new procedures.

Enter Mats Stigzelius, co-founder of ProSkin Clinics, a beauty clinic that specialise in laser treatments. Stigzelius noticed that online was their core customer acquisition channel and led his team to start investing into growing online campaigns and marketing.

“People were spending more and more time researching online, as what we offer is not really an impulse purchase. We knew that if we were good at it, we?d stand out ? we improved our website and started focusing on online advertising.”

Using a simple model of driving online customer enquiries straight into a centralised reception, the ProSkin team discovered that over 50 per cent of its business was coming from the customer interaction from its call centre. While this was key in learning about the way its customers prefer to communicate with them and how it could increase the level of trust, it wasn?t enough of a push for ProSkin to grow its business.

In order to be able to expand, ProSkin needed better ad targeting and understanding of customer journeys online. Although it had full visibility of the path to conversion for half of its bookings – the ones completed online – it had no visibility into the user journeys for the bookings taking place via the call centre, which represented the majority of their revenues. In order to scale up, they needed to gain access to this data and make it an integrated part of its targeting decisions.

After analysing the digital footprints of the visitors like search phrases, location, time of day, call duration, first time caller and recurring caller are feed into their Google Adwords account in real time, their CPA has decreased by 30 per cent and ProSkin is now accelerating its growth, all at the same online marketing spending as before.

So remember, knowledge is power, and the power to provide trust to the customer is the key to successful ad placement, paving the way to trust, understanding and sales.

Carl Holmquist is founder and CEO of Freespee.

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