The marketing strategy of doing business online: the See-Think-Do-Care

Many people involved in online advertising know the name of Avinash Kaushik. He is a world-known web analyst, evangelist in Google, author of the best-seller “Web Analytics: An Hour A Day” and a later edition “Web Analytics 2.0”. Let's take a look at his strategy of running an online business, which is based on four principles: see, think, do, and care.

Four stages of communication with the client

The see-think-do-care strategy is focused on potential clients who are at different stages of making a purchase:

1. See — stage when the client first sees the product.

2. Think — the client is acquainted with the product and is about to purchase it.

3. Do — the stage when the purchase is made.

4. Care — communication with the buyer after the deal.

This strategy allows the covering of all categories of clients including both those who entered the online marketplace page by accident or for the first time and those who use the web platform all the time.

The See-Think-Do-Care framework

Stages of the See-Think-Do-Care strategy in the marketing sales funnel

The wide part of the sales funnel contains “see”, the narrow one contains “care”. Take into account that clients do not always have to go through all the stages of the online marketplace — they can go directly to the “think” or “do” stage, having read a topical blog on another site or having seen a product advert in social nets.

customer journey See-Think-Do-Care

Website elements for driving a customer to a certain stage can be different depending on the theme of the web marketplace, the product niche or type of platform (website or a mobile application).

See-Think-Do-Care strategy on pages of the world marketplaces

As examples, let's take a look at how the strategy is applied by world online marketplaces.

! Keep in mind. Some texts on screenshots were translated by Google Chrome translator in English. Translation, as you know, is not perfect. This was done in order to help understand what was written on the site if it is not in English.

  • AliExpress

Pay attention to the home page of the Russian-language site AliExpress (28.45% of the traffic are provided by users from Russia, other countries make up less than 6%).

aliexspress framework see think do care main

aliexspress framework see think do care buyers say

aliexspress framework see think do care delivery

  • At the “see” stage, AliExpress presents a wide variety of different categories to choose from to buy a product. Bright photos draw attention to new arriving products. At this moment, customers don't look for a certain item, they look through structured catalogs, categories and content as well as reading product reviews. They understand what the service is. The important blocks at this stage are “How do I place an order”, “How do I pay for an order”, “Shipping cost/time, etc.
  • At the “think” stage, the customer is informed about discounts and special offers to influence the customer's desire to make a purchase. He is looking at how to make the right decision and “What are other buyers saying ” block generated by other customers may help him with this. In the “Buyer protection” and “Guarantees” all the doubts concerning the returns, full or partial refunds are eliminated. AliExpress Mall confirms that the parcel will arrive shortly and you don't have to wait for a long time.
  • The “do” stage. The “Shop now” button makes it more likely for the customer to make a purchase as it opens a topic catalog with the product cards. And the call for action can be seen: buy or add to cart.
  • DocPlanner

Another example of implementing the See-Think-Do-Card strategy in the Polish version of the Europe-known medical marketplace DocPlanner:

  • See — the information about the number of doctors profiles with their specification and the possibility to make an appointment within 3 minutes;
  • Think —  the “Ask the doctor” block, patient feedback, doctors ratings, prices, time of availability, i.e when is it possible to make an appointment;
  • Do — the search field for searching for a doctor of a specific qualification in your city; the “Make an appointment” button.

docplanner framework see think do care main

docplanner framework see think do care list

  • Ebay

An American online marketplace. It has a high worldwide recognition, customers visit the website to find certain goods, so the focus is on the “think” and “do” categories.

ebay framework see think do care mainebay framework see think do care main list

  • BlaBlaCar — changing the strategy as the marketplace is being developed

While the online marketplace is being developed, it is critical to create a sales funnel correctly —  place the content from the “see” stage. Pictures, reviews, videos, recommendations — all of them are the base for attracting customers to the web platform and make them think —  compare solutions with the alternatives, be sure about their reliability, and after all, buy them.

As the project grows and becomes recognizable in the country, the focus moves from one stage to another. No need to tell customers about the service if it is wide-known, it's better to inform about advantages and hot propositions.

Let's compare the first screen of BlaBlaCar, the French online marketplace, in different countries (old design until 2017): in England where the service is known for a long time, in Ukraine and India (where the company entered the market in 2014).

Visually, the sites have no differences, but pay attention to the content. The low row of blocks:

  • In the Indian version, a video about the service (see) is on the left, the information about prices and security (think) is in the center and on the right respectively. The target audience is only being acquainted and getting used to the service.

blablacar framework see think do care main india

  • In the Russian version, the video about how the service BlaBlaCar works is on the left (see), then there are the prices (think), and on the right — a link to download a mobile application (do). In comparison with the Indian version, the Ukrainian version makes it easier to take action and arrange your ride.

blablacar framework see think do care main Russia

  • In the English global version, the information about the ride insurance (think) is on the left, at the center, there are the prices (think), and in the right hand lower corner —  a link to download the application (do). Information about the service from the “see” block is not relevant for England — it's been monetized in the country a long time ago and is not new for the customers.

blablacar framework see think do care main England

Taking the example of the BlaBlaCar web marketplace, we can see how the strategy changes when the site is being promoted to newer markets.

Email marketing and sms mailing list at the “care” stage

When the customer makes a purchase, it's important to show that you care about him —  provide a delivery, request feedback, offer to evaluate the service quality.

Effective tools for communication with customers after the purchase include email and sms mailing lists. Here is an example: when it was raining for several days in Dublin, one company sent out messages with an offer to buy a raincoat with a discount. It definitely worked.

And here is an example of care from AliExpress: an item that you added to the wish list on the website, is now cheaper. Do you want to buy it with a discount?

aliexpress framework see think do care mail

A mailing list of the Uber marketplace: your friend is about to have a free ride that you presented him, and due to this you get 70 UAH (3 USD) for your ride. Share and earn more free rides.

uber framework see think do care mail

Applying the See-Think-Do-Care framework, it's crucial to keep in mind the following nuances:

1. Analyze the market to define the needs of the target audience and adopt a user empathy map.

2. The online marketplace should be simple and understandable so that the customer can not get lost there. Optimize the website for a mobile version as well. Learn the UX/UI design specifics.

3. Customers of different categories visit the site at the same time and can move from one stage to another, so the information should be balanced and equally available. Ask yourself three questions:

  • What kind of audience is the strategy targeted at?
  • Does your current strategy correspond with the target audience?
  • Are you focused more on one type of customer than another?

A web platform should interact with audiences of different types and accompany the customers from the meeting stage till the moment of making a purchase. Not only does it increase the traffic of the marketplace, but also to increase the website's conversion rate.

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