Identifying the path to purchase is our way to anticipate the various steps the consumer takes leading up to purchase to interact with them and influence their decision in our brand’s favour.
If you understand how your customers get to buy your product, you’ll be able to know how they journey along the path to purchase until they’ve been converted into actual paying customers.
Some brands litter their customers journey with a random dump of messaging touchpoints intended to lead potential customers down a one-size-fits-all path, ultimately confusing and often redirection down a competitor’s off-ramp.
Where do I start with Path to purchase mapping?
Consumers require different types of information as they move through each phase of the journey, understanding these different types of buyer personas you deal with and what information is meaningful to them at any given time.
Giving consumers the right message ultimately results in increased conversion rates and more sales.
Take into consideration location and convenience.
Consider targeting your path to purchase by location to reach people not only while they’re on the go but also based on where they are at a specific time. You can then highlight your different delivery options in your messaging at relevant junctures and show your product inventory online so that customers can easily see what’s in stock and where they can get it.
Understand that you are dealing with an informed consumer
Ads don’t always have to centre on a transaction. Be helpful throughout the research process your customers have undertaken to get to this point and lock in your brand as a trusted resource for them early on.
If your consumers are searching for something, help them discover it
As you refine your understanding of your customers’ journey along the path to purchase, consider the exact moments and touchpoints you want to capture at every step of the way.
Look sideways from your category.
Think about your customers’ journey holistically and know that one seemingly unrelated search into a complementary category could trigger interest in your brand. Consider partnering with related brands in different (but connected) verticals to reach a similar but broader audience. Keep an eye on the customer journey and maximise your presence in those places where people may change course and consider related products.
What is the best way to start Path to purchase mapping?
As a consumer embarks along the path to purchase, you need to educate them to progress through each phase. Your path to purchase consists of six steps: awareness, consideration, preference, action, retention and finally, advocacy.
At this stage, a potential buyer is just realising a want or need for a product and/or service. They are Googling to understand more about what they are looking for clearly. Most potential buyers in the Awareness stage seek information to answer questions or resolve pain points they may have.
With a clearly defined goal or challenge and a commitment to address it, the Consideration phase is about a buyer’s evaluation of different methods that are available to them. At this stage, you are still delivering critical, informative information to help your buyer make the best possible decision.
At this point in the journey, a buyer has decided on a solution category. They have a strategy to address their pain point but are still deciding on a specific tool or vendor.
A customer is converting in the action stage, purchasing or ordering an item or booking service.
It’s five times cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one. It’s hard to a prospect into a first-time buyer, so that’s why it’s imperative to have a strategy in place to keep them.
The perfect customer is one who not only buys your product or service but goes out and actively recommends it to others. This word of mouth recommendation isn’t the last stage of your path to purchase. Instead, this shorts the journey into consideration or even a preference for other future customers’ journeys. Use sites like Facebook business, True local and google places and embrace the importance of ratings and consumer perception online. Consider building these into your ads and messaging.
What are the benefits of Path to purchase mapping?
The benefits of the path to purchase mapping include:
• Helping you see exactly where customers interact with your business
• Focusing the business on particular customer needs at different stages in the buying funnel
• Identifying whether your customer journey is in a logical order and if not, reorder it accordingly
• Giving a wider perspective on your brand engagement process
• Showing the gaps between the desired customer experience and the one actually received
• Highlighting development priorities and the lowest hanging fruit for building your brand
• Allowing you to concentrate efforts and expenditure on what matters most to maximise your brand