The path to purchase: Tracking the Customer journey


The relationship between consumers, brands and shoppers has shifted. The internet, together with the growth in the number of channels, apparatus and means in which the average consumer shops and believes purchases, has made the route to buy a very different process.

Although the five steps, purchase, consideration, discussion, consciousness and advocacy are unchanged, the means by is quite different.

Google have called the process as the path arguing that customers are 42% more likely to purchase from manufacturers which engage on interests and their passions with them rather than encouraging someone to obtain a product.

The view of the search engine comes in the belief that the expansion in content and media buys that are driving has made involvement based on purpose for brands.

Purchasing handled by retailers

The route has been something handled by individual retailers, or at the FMCG world the supermarket giants, as it is those that have traditionally held all of the shopper data. Tesco’s Clubcard, Sainsbury’s Nectar along with the job being done by companies supporting these schemes such as dunnhumby and Aimia, are definite examples of highly successful loyalty strategies.

Nevertheless, these schemes have focused their advertising on getting people throughout a range, rather than specific brand loyalty, with generic supplies of ‘low prices’ through the doorway. We are yet to see brands able to utilise their shoppers data on the same scale because the supermarkets.

From our data, we know at Shopitize that the ordinary customer stores at almost four different supermarket chains. This usually means unless you’ve got the ability to monitor each shopper across retailers that a big gap is therefore in shopper understanding.

The brands which can do this will have a competitive advantage, and have the ability to participate with their shoppers, raising brand loyalty. There’s not much to stop brands engaging this manner, and the technologies is providing the chance for them to have the dialogue, rather than the supermarkets.

Discovering data in their own likes, dislikes and critically and building that relationship with a client, their location is likely to make engagement through the path to get much more successful.

As a TNS report ‘Winners and losers along the digital route to purchase’ points out, the many successful brands will participate along the road to purchase with information about “the products a shopper needs, the offers they desire and [with] the right tone and timing of communication.”

Significance and personalisation are key. Customers may want to hear about offers miles away from their houses for example.

The mobile opportunity

The success of pure brand marketing, until more recently, has been very difficult to trace. Brands promote, but without a trackable call to actions, little is understood about successful that advert was in its own specific location. As it becomes more critical to tie in a call to action with new advertising may encourage consumers to engage via cellular.

By way of instance, including a call to action or incentive to obtain a mobile discount within an advert, or increasingly within a pertinent bit of media articles, enables a brand to track an individual consumers journey up until the minute they make the purchase with the discount.

The manufacturer will be able to see which piece or ad of content pushed against that consumer to create a purchase, no matter retailer or which shop a customer chooses to purchase from.

The expansion in retailing in cellular, has also made measuring effectiveness more easy than before. Organisations can trace precisely where an individual first engages with a new, allowing to buy, from awareness and consideration through to buy and beyond.

Technological advancement

With all of the progress in technology, organisations can monitor the path to buy across multiple channels, with roughly 67% of shopper journeys beginning online, 65 percent of these on cellular. According to Pew, almost 60 percent of shoppers use their smartphones whether that be to get discounts that are mobile, call a friend for advice, or try to discover.

This power that cellular has over consumers is getting more important, and so is helping drive shoppers to make purchases. A Google and Nielsen study demonstrated that 93 will go on to complete a buy, with most of those taking place in-store.

Therefore understanding and engaging throughout the path to purchase, or purpose, couldn’t be more important for brands in a market with rising competition amongst retailers. This competition is creating a variety of chances, with brands progressively capable boost their shoppers earnings, instead of relying upon retailers’ whims and to themselves protected loyalty.

Looking forward to 2015, as is convention at the time of year, I would expect to see brands communicating with their clients rather than through third party merchants. Thereby raising their bottom line by utilising effective shopper engagement strategies and the power of direct one-to-one shopper marketing.

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