Navigating the Complex Path to Purchase in 2018

The need for brands to adopt an omnichannel marketing approach is essential in a world where shoppers are increasingly living in the digital space and constantly on the go. The variety of channels and media used by these shoppers makes it challenging to map a shopper’s journey, as the starting point could be unintentional and/or solely based on convenience to the shopper at the time. Though the path to purchase is more complex today, there are a few tips to consider that may help marketersbetter understand how and where to connect with shoppers.

Tip 1: Experience the journey yourself

Conducting research and speaking with shoppers allows marketers to better understand the shopping journey, but don’t stop there! Put yourself in the shopper’s shoes by actually experiencing the journey yourself. Think about what would trigger the shopper’s need and how you might respond. Where would you start?

Take note and reflect on every part of your experience, including roadblocks, areas for improvement and your emotional reactions. Perhaps most importantly, pay attention to how easily you were able to fulfill your need.

Tip 2: Take advantage of location intelligence

Location data is allowing brands and retailers to uncover more areas of the shopper journey and better understand consumer behaviors. While shoppers have become more comfortable with location sharing, they have also become more knowledgeable and choosy about when and how to use it. Therefore, brands and retailers need to determine communication intent and relevancy before deciding which type of location data to use.

Tip 3: Embrace in-store

Digital has opened endless opportunities to connect with shoppers, with more possibilities emerging constantly. Nevertheless, brands and retailers should not ignore offline touch points: According to data from Market Force Information, 37% of shoppers do not interact with their favorite fashion retailers digitally—at all (eMarketer, 2018). Additionally, data also shows that shoppers continue to go to stores: 87% of shoppers said they’ve visited a retail store within the past month, and Millennials are even more likely than Baby Boomers to have visited a physical store within the previous week (Salesforce, 2017).

The path to purchase is no longer linear, but shoppers still cross paths on the same channels, though maybe at different times. New technology such as location intelligence, combined with traditional research and offline observations will help identify these stages and explore possible touch points.

Contributed By: NinaBressau, Integer Dallas

Image Source: Gratisography