Identifying the path to purchase is our way to anticipate the various steps the consumer takes leading up to purchase so that we might interact with them along the way 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 understand how they journey along the path to purchase until they’ve been converted into an actual paying customer.
Some brands litter their customers journey with a random dump of messaging touch points intended to lead potential customers down a one-size-fits-all path, ultimately resulting in confusion and often redirection down a competitor’s off-ramp.
Where do I start with Path to purchase mapping?
Because consumers require different types of information as they move through each phase of the journey, understanding the different types of buyer personas you deal with as well as what information is meaningful to them at any given time is vital to the success of your business. Giving consumers the right time to the right persona ultimately resulting in increased conversion rates and more sales.
Take into consider 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 certain 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 that 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 discovery it
As you refine your understanding of your customers journey along the path to purchase, consider the exact moments and touch points 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 similar but wider 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 so that they progress through each phase. Your path to purchase consists of six phases: 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 clearly understand more about what it is they are looking for. Most potential buyers in the Awareness stage are seeking 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 in place to address their pain point, but are still deciding on a specific tool or vendor.
A customer is converting in the action stage, making a purchase or ordering an item or booking service.
It’s five times cheaper to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one. It’s hard to a prospect into a first-time buyer so that’s why its 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 the consideration or even preference for other future customer’s journey. 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