The Four Agreements of E-Commerce


Those who have read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz know that the principles expressed—be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best—are advice for a life well-lived. In marketing, however, we don’t have the benefit of such a succinct philosophy.

Marketers are challenged with what seems to be continuous change. How can we grasp the unpredictable nature of the consumer’s journey as he or she buys via e-commerce? The struggle lies in defining marketing technology and integrating the data captured. Along with this is the need to interpret the information in real time and make decisions for retargeting or remarketing that result in increased revenue.

According to KPMG, there are four stages to the consumer journey in an e-commerce purchase decision: awareness, consideration, conversion, and evaluation. At THOR, we have our own “four agreements” of branding: an excellent consumer journey that builds brand loyalty, measuring impact/attribution, segmentation and retargeting, and building a funnel for purchase.

In order to capitalize upon online shopping trends, marketers need to recognize that e-commerce sites are the most valuable tool to educate, sell, and generate revenue. Although e-commerce is constantly changing, there are requirements for building web-driven sales. Critical are a smooth checkout process and trust; also important are site optimization, good navigation, and search options. Ongoing needs include customer service and reputation management—and free shipping never hurts.

According to ChannelAdvisor, mobile is now growing three times as fast as other e-commerce channels, and 59 percent of e-commerce buyers use mobile for research and purchase, representing 38 percent of revenues. In the online funnel, whether desktop, mobile, or cross-device, the consumer follows his or her own path, requiring marketing teams to decipher where the consumer looked, where they bought, and what they did following purchase.

If only it was as easy as The Four Agreements. Perhaps the answer lies in the marriage of the journey’s stages to the four branding necessities listed above. In every awareness moment, there is an opportunity for brand-building. When a consumer reaches consideration, marketing teams must be able to attribute. Conversion only happens with the proper segmentation, and retargeting captures missed revenue. And, finally, evaluation allows marketers to improve, test, and deliver clear patterns in the path to purchase.

By mastering this road map, marketers can “own” the consumer journey and mitigate the disruption that all forms of online shopping are bringing to commerce.