Rethinking the shopper’s journey (Part 1 / 3)
The old purchase funnel as we recall it is now irrelevant. Consumers use multiple devices, with connected immersive experiences across many different touch-points. They jump from one device to another, and today most experiences (or apps) stay beautifully connected.
Every engagement is now a conversation, be it with friends or businesses, people you know or people you don’t know, watching videos or reading articles, liking an experience or expressing frustration about a bad one.
We start, stop, rejoin, and change engagement levels in the conversation throughout, and it influences our decisions. Consumers now create their own paths to purchase using a variety of online and offline channels. Now this inherently makes it tough for marketers to reach the right user at the right place, right time — because there is no *one* right place or right time now.
In this series of three articles, I chalk out a framework to think about shopper’s journey. I identify the steps that consumers take to find information before they make a purchase, and how they interact with the various media touch points along the way. Hopefully, I will end the series discussing few opportunity areas.
Summary of multiple touch-points and the diversity of it across purchase journeys of 800+ customers across multiple verticals (apparel, auto, electronics, restaurants, etc.)
Now with all these purchase paths, few themes of pain points were highlighted in these surveys and focus groups
- Access to structured, relevant information
- Informational disconnect during online-to-offline transition, or for good shipped online
- Logistical hassles of shopping (online and offline)
Let me unpack these
Access to structured, relevant information
- Not knowing where to start looking
- Model/feature information overload
- Keeping track of peer recommendations
- No easy way to get peers’ opinions remotely
- Finding reviews by people whose opinions matter most
- Finding and keeping track of coupons/deals/gift cards
- Hassle to find and establish relationship with the right seller
- Comparing features and specs across different brands
Information disconnect (online — offline, online — shipped)
- Discrepancy between product description online and in store
- What is bought is not what is shipped (esp. in apparel)
- Expired/misleading products and deals online
- Having to call store to check inventory
Hassles of shopping
- Long queues at check-out
- Product unavailable when shopper visits store
- No personalization even for frequent shoppers, every engagement starts from scratch.
- Forgetting/losing loyalty card, even online. Sometimes does not work for online.
- Forgetting/losing/expiring coupons
In the next blog post on this series, I will talk about how to think of these pain points on the dimensions of feasibility and market attractiveness (and hopefully pick up couple of deep dive on).