Path to purchase is nothing new for researchers. In fact, it is a process that researchers have relied on for decades in order to better understand how consumers shop – from the moment a consumer becomes aware of a product to the point of purchase. However, as we make the shift from offline (brick and mortar) to online (e- and m-commerce), we are seeing the traditional path to purchase funnel – awareness, engagement, discovery, investigation, selection, purchase – shift, as well. So what’s driving this shift? A digital age in which consumers are increasingly empowered.
In today’s digital age, it has become easier than ever to shop, share, or search anywhere, anytime, thanks to the preponderance of web and mobile devices. Consumers now have access to infinite amounts of information – some that brands control, some that they don’t – anytime, anywhere. Consequently, the shopper journey has grown increasingly multifaceted, as consumers are investing time and energy into researching options before they make a purchase, debating product benefits and value, and looking for recommendations on those options.
According to a recent Path to Purchase blog post, “with the coming of the digital era and the Internet becoming an engine for commerce, promotion, and social interaction, the modern path to purchase has become dynamic and fluid with multiple touch points, shopper decisions, and interactions. And while brand influence still plays the biggest role in the path to purchase, the shopper’s voice is becoming stronger and stronger each day.”
The ability of consumers to not only engage in e- and m-commerce but have a voice is making it increasingly important for brands to be present at every stage of the shopper journey. As the path to purchase has evolved and become more complex, now consisting of three key phases – pre-purchase, which consists of awareness and research; purchase, which is the moment of purchase; and post-purchase, which consists of sharing and conversing – businesses need a digital research solution that empowers them to capture consumers on their digital journey.
With a digital solution like asynchronous mobile video, researchers can capture consumers throughout their shopper journey, developing a 360 degree view of consumers and what drives their purchasing decisions. While brands can’t control what happens between stimulus and point of purchase, understanding what happens at the Zero Moment of Truth and how those events affect purchasing decisions can help ensure brands are present in consumers’ minds and that they’re sending out the most effective message. With a digital solution that lets you capture consumers in the moment – all while shopping, researching, or sharing – you can gain invaluable insight into your consumers’ lives at every stage of their digital path to purchase, driving richer insights and ultimately better business decisions.