It’s English Tourism Week so we’re looking at customer journeys.

Traditionally, a customer journey means how a customer got to your physical shop on the high street. In the digital world, a customer journey is the path they take to and around your website.  At FoodE, we believe both types of customer journey are intrinsically linked and tourism plays a very important role.

Rural tourism is big business

In 2018 Defra reported that the gross value added from rural tourism alone was £11.5billion in the UK. Whilst that was five years ago, the pandemic has only fuelled rural tourism, resulting in some seriously large numbers.

Tourism isn’t limited to holidaymakers – it’s really anyone who visits you during their leisure time. So many people choose to head to spots around the UK for staycations, mini-breaks or even just for a few hours’ break. 

How do you make sure your business gets a piece of that thoroughfare pie? By making sure you have a digital presence to back up your physical one. Without a website, tourists and visitors won’t be able to hunt down that ‘lovely bottle of red by that local winery’ or that ‘incredible bakery down by the sea’.

Tourists seek experience

Speciality Food explains that – ‘Rural tourism is linked to the search for authenticity, which is also about sourcing and finding local, typical food production. Food is at the heart of rural tourism’s identity.’ The article continues, ‘Consumers look at rural production as safer and strongly linked with traditions, meanings and possibly tastier than other products available in town.’ 

Tourists have travelled far and wide to get to your shop, farm or, vineyard – they are seeking an experience where they can learn more about you and your products.  Offering tastings, glimpses of behind the scenes action and unique set ups all help to build an experience. An experience they will actively share with friends and family via social media.,

The products they purchase are often souvenirs of their experience, so they can re-live it at home and share with others. 

Turn tourists into ‘regulars’

Long after tourists have gone home, there is an opportunity for them to continue their experience with you.  Try to capture their email address in-store so you can invite them to shop online with you to relive that experience. Encourage them to buy gifts, entice them with seasonal products and to learn even more about you once they’ve gone home. 

Nudge them to follow your socials and to keep in touch with latest news or new product launches and respond to any videos or posts they made about you when they visited.

Make the customer journey to and on your website as seamless and smooth as possible.  Nurturing the tourism market for online sales can make an incredible return, so clean those windows, sweep the aisles and get your products shining for the upcoming season.