Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from MarketingCharts, a Watershed Publishing publication providing up-to-to-minute data and research to marketers.
Seventy-three percent of online shoppers agree that their path to purchase is more complex and less direct than it used to be, according to an About.com study. As the traditional purchase funnel has been upended and turned into more of a "loop," per the study, shoppers indicate that shopping has taken on a more personal nature. That is, 79 percent agree that their relationship with brands is much more personal than ever before, and 68 percent agree that shopping today is less about the brands/products themselves and more about them (what they're feeling or needing).
The survey was limited to 1,600 American respondents who own smartphones, seek information online and on mobile at least once a week, and are frequent shoppers (including browsing) in at least 2 of 8 categories (food, home, health, personal finance, tech, fashion/beauty/style, autos, travel).
The evolution of the shopping experience means that for 87 percent of respondents, there's more to it than simply "identifying a need, exploring options and purchasing." Instead, consumers identify six common behaviors along the path to purchase:
Consumers move in "spider webs" from one behavior to the next, influenced by different media and devices along the way. For example, social media and TV are more important for ideas and inspiration than learning/education, but the opposite is true for store visits.
Which of the six common behaviors along the path to purchase identified in the About.com study is the biggest influencer?