Traditional Meets Tech: How the Customer Journey Has Changed

Welcome to 2017, where online shopping is the norm. The way purchases are made has changed, which means marketers need to consider the effects that put on the customer journey.

The Customer Journey

The ‘path to purchase’ is a traditional shopping concept that has evolved significantly over the past decade due to the Internet, digital innovation and the subsequent rise of e-commerce. Although the digital revolution hasn’t altered the fact that consumers still experience the same stages of awareness, consideration, conversion and evaluation, the journey itself has changed. Instead of a path to purchase that is traditionally linear, it has become more of a cycle or even a web. Consumers move through, back and forth between the stages, influenced by a myriad of both offline and online factors at every stage.

The traditional brick-and-mortar store is no longer the only thing a brand needs or has to offer to a customer. Today’s consumers want a lifestyle to go with the service or product they purchase. They want a community and to feel as if they’re apart of something. Digital media is the bridge that connects the wants and needs of a customer with a business.

Digital marketing helps a brand expand its presence and identity past its doors and onto the web. Every store you enter has an ambiance; a look; a feel; a message they’re giving through the experience of the senses.

The Consumer Sidekick

A major reality of today’s purchasing journey is the smartphone. We all know word of mouth is the best advertisement a brand can get and brings the majority of customers to the purchasing point. But when was the last time you heard of a product without grabbing your smartphone and doing research on the brand? I doubt you can remember.

Smartphones are considered a personal shopping assistant. They are used in every phase of the customer journey: awareness, consideration, conversion and evaluation.

  1. Awareness: The triggers and influence of noticing an item and the intrigue of potentially buying it. 59 percent of consumers claim their initial awareness was through one or more online channels.
  2. Consideration: the company research and background knowledge on the brand and item itself. The top two channels for customer research are the brand’s online website and peer reviews.
  3. Conversion: knowing when and where to buy the item and/or where it is located. A major point for consumers in the conversion stage is where they’re able to purchase the item for the best price.
  4. Evaluation: the experience and feedback of the item/brand. Around 30 percent of customers post a review on a product or experience after purchasing an item.

The Future of Shopping

With the increased correlation between smartphones and a customer’s purchasing journey, it’s safe to say a presence in the digital world is a necessity for brands and businesses looking to sell their products. The more awareness a brand builds on social media channels, the more traffic is driven to a purchasing point.

Digital content supports a brand’s story and the overall message it’s trying to send customers. Not only is a digital presence more engaging for customers, it affects the bottom line and experience in the end. The online experience for customers isn’t about where the purchase is going to happen, but how the customer purchase happens along every point of the customer journey.

References:

Path to Purchase

Path or Purchase Journey 

By | 2017-09-14T16:24:12+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Articles, Featured|0 Comments

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