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Why Product Journey Mapping is Your New Secret Weapon
Last Updated:  
December 5, 2022

Why Product Journey Mapping is Your New Secret Weapon

In this post, we are giving away the keys to the kingdom. People pay agencies and consulting firms a whole lot of money to perform the 4 step product journey analysis below.

Now with an App (Triple Whale), some screenshots and Notion, you can build insanely robust product journey maps in minutes.

Here's how to map critical product journey maps to see what your customers are purchasing and why.

🕵🏻 Step 1: Identify Top Products

Answer the question: What are the top selling products?

Identify the best selling products using Triple Whale.

Dive into Triple Whale and go to 🐳 Analytics→Products

Usually there will be a clear distinction between your A and B team. An easy way to identify the products worth analyzing are: order thresholds or sales minimums i.e. only look at products with at least Y amount of orders YTD or X amount of sales.

Once you identify the products, grab screenshot for your report.

For this business there are 5 products worth analysis:

  • Top Knot Ponytail
  • Lulu Two Strand
  • Lulu Two Strand Bundle
  • Halo
  • Arisa Fishtail
Products listed by sales
Products listed by sales

🤑 Step 2: Review LTV

Cool! Now that you know what the best selling products are; go see how they net out in terms of LTV versus the whole shop.

🐳 Head over to Analytics→LTV 60/90 Days

Check LTV of top selling products and benchmark against Shop averages. Ok lets take another screenshot here.

All our top sellers are in our top 10 LTV. This is good.

LTV by Top Ten Products

LTV by Top Ten Products

A few things to note here:

Why isn’t the The Naomi Ponytail in top 5 of sales with such a strong AOV?

Lulu Two Strand Bundle has healthy economics, why not in top 5 of sales?

Not a lot of variation in AOV and 60/90 day LTV. Why?

**Side note: AOV is a function of purchase frequency (Total sales/Total purchases) & LTV is a function of unique customers (Total sales/Unique customers).

**Side note: There are a few different ways to calculate LTV. We prefer Total Sales/Unique Customers. You will also see it represented outside of Triple Whale as Avg Order Profit * Order Frequency and other variations.

♻️ Step 3: Sales Cycle

Next thing we want to check is the length of the sales cycle.

How many days between a customer’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th order?

Looking at the sales cycle will allow you to see the whole customer journey and identify the optimal times to message or RT your users.

High level stuff!

Hop over to 🐳 Analytics → Time Between Orders.

Grab a screenie of the benchmarks.

Time between orders for Shop

Time between orders for Shop

Evaluate the order distribution by day and look for the biggest clusters with the highest orders. I know; super scientific. #science

This will be the most opportune time to message your customers.

**Side note: I only included the top product for brevity. I did analyze all five. They are included in the final report.

🥇 Top Knot Ponytail Sales Cycle

Time between orders for Top Knot Ponytail Holder

Time between orders for Top Knot Ponytail Holder

Ideal Messaging window for 2nd Order

Day 0 (think post purchase upsell or cross sell) and Day 5 to Day 15.

Time Between First Order and Second Order

Time Between First Order and Second Order

Ideal Messaging window for 3rd Order

Day 0 to Day 1 and Day 6 to Day 14.

Time Between Second Order and Third Order

Time Between Second Order and Third Order

Ideal Messaging window for 4th Order

Day 0, Day 2 and Day 6 to Day 14.

Time Between Third and Fourth Order

Time Between Third and Fourth Order

🗺️ Step 4: Product Journey Map

I love metaphors. So let me give you a metaphor:

🍺 1st Purchase = Date

🥂 2nd Purchase = Engagement

💍 3rd Purchase = Marriage

You want people to marry one or more of your products.

A product journey is a visual representation of loyalty and preference. Don’t ask me what I think. Look at what I do.

Three Main Questions you want to answer:

Is the product acting as a gateway to my top products or a gatekeeper?

Can I bundle with other products to improve economics?

Should I offer a subscription to shorten sales cycle?

Two more things you want to derive from the product journey: the most prominent journey and the golden path of that product. We refer to these as:

  • The Golden Path (most prominent)
  • The Product Golden Path (path to third order of product)

This will make more sense when you see the graph and analysis below. Let’s go through three different products.

Jump over to 🐳 Analytics ->Product Journey

Grab screenshots of every product you analyzed.

**Side note: I included three here for brevity. All are in final report.

**Side note: How did I obtain the percentages? They show on the chart when you hover over the path in Triple Whale.

📊 Top Knot Ponytail Product Journey Map

This is a top seller and has incredible loyalty. First Purchase of Top Knot Ponytail leads to a second purchase of:

45% Top Knot Ponytail

8% Lulu Two Strand

6% Naomi Ponytail

Product Journey for Top Knot Ponytail Holder

Product Journey for Top Knot Ponytail Holder

🏆Product Golden Path Analysis

People who purchased the Top Knot Ponytail first, 45% came back and purchased a Top Knot Ponytail a second time and 74% (of the previous 45%) came back to purchase a Top Knot Ponytail a third time. This is fantastic.

🏆Product Golden Path

Same as Golden Path. This is ideal. A sign of a great/popular product is that the subsequent cohorts grow. In this case, the second to third order cohort improved almost 30 points (45% →74%). Super strong.

On top of that, people try different products (The Naomi & Lulu Two Strand) and a majority come back to the Top Knot.

✅ Conclusion

This is THE pillar product for the business and generates high value repeat customers and brand loyalty. This product should be at the tip of the spear in paid media and organic. A significant amount of spend and organic resources should be allocated to promoting this product.

📊 Lulu Two Strand Product Journey Map

This is another top selling product, but immediately you see it has a completely different anatomy. This product looks like it’s doing well by the numbers. In reality, it’s generating low value suboptimal customers.

This is the exact reason why customer journeys are so important.

The majority of first purchasers purchase a different product on their second order. More to the point, they don’t purchase a top selling product that generates lock in, LTV and brand loyalty i.e. Top Knot or The Naomi Ponytail. No bueno.

First Purchase of Lulu Two Strand leads to a second purchase of:

17% Top Knot Ponytail Holder

11% Lulu Two Strand

7% Halo

Lulu Two Strand Product Journey

Lulu Two Strand Product Journey

🏆Golden Path Analysis

People who purchased the Lulu Two Strand first, 65% came back and purchased Other for their second order.

🏆Product Golden Path

People who purchased the Lulu Two Strand first, 17% came back and purchased a Lulu Two Strand a second time and 43% (of the previous 17%) came back to purchase a Lulu Two Strand a third time.

Conclusion

The Lulu Two Strand is acting as a gatekeeper to the best products. This in turn leads to subsequent suboptimal product experiences and a degradation of brand value. Not great.

There is a small, but decently loyal (17%→43% not super awesome) set of consumers who enjoy this product. I wouldn’t kill this product. With that being said, I wouldn’t put paid media or big organic initiatives behind it.

📊 The Naomi Ponytail Product Journey Map

Ok remember when we checked the LTV charts and the Naomi Ponytail popped up? Well when you check out the product journey, turns out it’s a great product to promote.

First Purchase of The Naomi Ponytail leads to a second purchase of:

34% Top Knot Ponytail Holder

8% Lulu Two Strand

7% Lulu Two Strand Bundle

The Naomi Ponytail Product Journey

The Naomi Ponytail Product Journey

🏆Golden Path Analysis

People who purchased The Naomi Ponytail first, 52% came back and purchased Other for their second order.

🏆Product Golden Path

People who purchased the The Naomi Ponytail first, 0% came back and purchased a The Naomi Ponytail a second time and 0% (of the previous 0%) came back to purchase a The Naomi Ponytail a third time.

**Side note: The Naomi Ponytail was the most purchased item for order number three.

Conclusion

This is the definition of a gateway product. Not purchased a second time, but purchased a ton a third time. In addition, over a third of buyers are purchasing the best selling product on the second order. Perf.

✍🏻 Step 5: Fill in this report

Now try performing this analysis with one of your clients.

And be amazed by their response :)

1️⃣ Duplicate this Notion doc.

2️⃣ Add Screenshots, change product names & #‘s.

3️⃣ Send client report.

4️⃣ Print Money 🙌🏼.

Want us to spot check your report before you send it to a client? Slide into our Twitter DMs @TryTripleWhale with a link to the report.

⏳Visualize the Product Journey with Triple Whale

Awesome! You did it 👏🏼.

Now you understand how to leverage Triple Whale to:

  • Identify Top Products
  • Calculate Top Product LTV
  • Derive Optimal Messaging/Ads Cadence
  • Understand Golden Paths of Top Products

Pretty dope. One last thing, this is a great analysis to perform for a prospective client. First, it builds an insane amount of client capital through the perception of competency & expertise.

Second, you can see what the business looks like under the hood. To mix metaphors, open the kimono.

Understanding the REAL economics of the business versus going off what the owner tells you will alleviate a lot of friction and misalignment down the road.

Have a whale of a day everyone!

About the Author

Rabah Rahil

Live in Austin. Ride a @BoostedBoards. CMO at @TryTripleWhale. Marketing, Tech, Outdoors, Photography, Webdev and Stoicism.

Rabah Rahil

Live in Austin. Ride a @BoostedBoards. CMO at @TryTripleWhale. Marketing, Tech, Outdoors, Photography, Webdev and Stoicism.

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