Best Practices

Understanding the Holistic Customer Journey in the On-Demand Shopping World

 2021/10/vlogger-245.jpg Young pretty vlogger recording her daily videoblog
Young pretty vlogger recording her daily videoblog

Keys to Getting Path to Purchase Right in a Complex World

The expansive and ever-growing variety of e-commerce purchasing outlets has given people more control and confidence in their purchase decisions, often making for a rewarding buying experience.

However, for brands and businesses that want to proactively influence purchase decisions, the fact that people can buy anytime, anywhere, anyplace, at any hour, and across a widening range of online and physical channels, makes it challenging to craft an effective brand, sales, and marketing strategy.

Regardless of product category or target audience, one unifying theme we hear from clients across the spectrum is that they are uncertain about how best to allocate resources or stretch budgets to deal with this complex landscape.

This leads us to the need for taking a holistic look at the customer journey and exploring all the ways people experience and engage with brands on their path to making a purchase.  It’s only from this holistic look that you can determine how best to allocate your efforts and prioritize resources.

This holistic customer journey addresses the full range of issues that will inform your strategy:

  • How do we achieve an accurate picture of where people go to learn about products before they buy? How much research do they do? When do they start? How much time do they spend?
  •  Which channels (physical or online) are likely to be most influential to the final decision?
  • How much will the physical store influence an online purchase (either in store, or after store visit)?
  • Which touchpoints (across traditional and digital forms) are noticed? Which one(s) influence brand impressions? Which one(s) influence purchase decisions?
  • What is that right micro-moment when a person will be ready to purchase?
  • What pain points along the purchase journey should be solved for?
  • Which tactics and touchpoints across the spectrum of search, content, product, price and offers, provide the highest ROI?

It can be tempting to invest mainly in behavior or big data to address the complexity of these business questions. Unfortunately, we see all too often that this approach is limiting and only uncovers the “what” related to the process. The holistic approach ensures we have both the “what” and, critically, the “why” behind the journey, ensuring that you can plan for the complexities and nuances of the decision process.

Getting to a holistic picture requires leveraging the most advanced and tech enabled research methods available. It also means identifying and matching the right solution to your situation to gain greater accuracy across the full range of behaviors, attitudes and needs that need to be understood.

The result is a savings of time, money, and frustration because the approach will:

  1.  Build upon and integrate your existing knowledge (including sales, behavioral and brand performance data)
  2.  Curate the right solutions to the right business questions that need to be addressed (because it fully vets the myriad of research and tech enabled tools and solutions to know which ones are best for your research needs)
  3.  Capture the full spectrum of behaviors to ensure you achieve an accurate understanding of where you must put your marketing and sales efforts.

Examples of a more holistic approach:

If the goal is to understand unconscious or in-the-moment decisions: Include Social Listening, Digital Diaries, Mobile Ethnographies or Digital Metering

If the goal is to see not only how people make choices, but to learn why they do what they do: Include Video-shopping or Live-Video Blogging Tools

If you need to learn where people focus their attention when purchasing: Use In-Store or Online Eye-Tracking

Leveraging a combination of these steps and approaches allows you to holistically quantify the motivations, barriers, underlying decisions patterns, touchpoints, activities, and sources that matter during the customer decision process. The result is a robust quantitative assessment tool using passive tracking, advanced analytics, and predictive analytics.

Looking to implement a more robust look at your customer journey? Contact us.

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