The disruptive path to purchase
Updated: Oct 28
The consumer journey is a complex maze with the consumer in need of engagement and a multi-platform experience. Ensuring marketers have their audiences attention requires a clear understanding of the path to purchase. To help demystify this process, Deloitte has produced a study entitled “2020 Deloitte consumer review-the growing power of consumers”, which presents the complexities of today’s customer journey and concludes that the power of choice lies in the hands of the consumer.
Marketers are faced with the challenge of presenting their business’s USPs in a way that consumers will choose their brand and purchase their product despite the many possible distractions along the way. To help businesses navigate this complex process, they have produced a model (shown below) which aims to simplify the complex journeys consumers go on.
The model reveals the different ways consumers can now engage with brands, with the authors summarising that “Consumers can choose how engaged they want to be across the different touchpoints of their path to purchase”. The “new phases” in the path to purchase will continue to provide additions to the model for years to come, with the everchanging development of disruptive technologies.
The study outlines the following themes that are worth noting:
Inspiration is everywhere
With “today’s technology” replacing “yesterday’s technology”, creative ideas have become realities through freedom of expression, especially on social platforms. This development means that inspiration is also everywhere, which allows marketers to broaden campaign ideas.
People are influenced by people
The impact of offline marketing through word of mouth has surged in recent years. As previously discussed in “ The changing B2B consumer” and also a key theme in our review of “Contagious”, recommendations play an essential role in the path to purchase. Consumers can also access reviews online through multiple platforms that will influence their trust in the brand they are considering purchasing from.
Although the model provides an evolved framework, it also presents the complexity of decision making in this day and age, with the amount of choice often creating confusion and frustration. If the consumer is not provided with the right solution to progress their customer journey, navigating them to irrelevant content could lead to abandoning their journey altogether or spreading misinformation.
Optimising the consumer’s experience does not necessarily mean all touchpoints are relevant for every demographic in every business. Consideration for the value of the product will determine how the model can be applied; more engagement would be required for an expensive item for example, in which the consumer will not follow a linear path to purchase and revisit touchpoints. However, this emphasises the importance of delivering great customer experience marketing, showing the right content to the right person at every point in their journey.
To conclude, the disruptive path to purchase reveals the importance of having a deep understanding of consumers and their behaviours. New and emerging forms of technology can help in gaining this level of understanding, but in order to achieve the best results a test and learn approach should be adopted to prevent the consumer from being overloaded with choices before they decide to purchase.