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Key Consumer Trends for Path to Purchase

A customer’s decision to buy a product isn’t a spontaneous action — it’s the end result of a complex path to purchase.

To gain traction with consumers, businesses must understand how their customers behave online, across multiple devices. Today, 64% of consumers want a personalized experience from the brands they follow; this significantly impacts the path they take to find your business, browse your offerings, and ultimately decide whether to make a purchase.

To help businesses better understand the path to purchase, Luth Research is pleased to release its latest e-book: Which Touchpoints Matter: Decoding the Path to Purchase.

Filled with original data on digital behavior gathered using our revolutionary ZQ Intelligence software, this e-book is an essential read for any business looking to track and analyze its path to purchase. Our insights highlight key consumer trends when it comes to shopping in this omnichannel world, which can guide you in delivering a personalized experience to your own customers.

Here are just a few of the things we learned.

Brand Loyalty Varies By Sector

Customers engage with brand loyalty differently, depending on industry. For instance, our research found that brand loyalty matters less when consumers are online grocery shopping than when they’re shopping for a new car.

In the online grocery space, just one quarter of all searches are for brand-name products, with the rest dedicated to generic product searches for items such as potatoes, half-and-half cream, or frozen meals. In the automotive industry, our research showed much different behavior. Along the path to purchase, more than half of consumers will search a specific manufacturer page during the research and review phase, with 47% of consumers visiting a model page.

As a retailer, this information may impact whether you highlight brands on your website and mobile app, or whether you put product categories front and center. As an individual brand, understanding how brand loyalty plays into the path to purchase can guide you in where to direct your marketing and advertising efforts online.

Most Browsing Begins Online

When it comes to buying a major appliance, retailers may think their showrooms would logically be the first stop on the search for information, but our research found otherwise. In fact, 70% of consumers start their path to purchase by searching online — and two-thirds of these searches include the name of a major retailer such as Home Depot or Best Buy.

While the large retailers dominate search volume, our research reveals there’s ample space for other retailers to snag a third of online search traffic with effective digital marketing strategies.

Knowing where your consumer’s path to purchase begins is crucial to capturing and holding their attention. After examining path to purchase data for various industries, our e-book confirms that an online presence is not a “nice-to-have” feature for a business; it’s a must have.

If you’re not discoverable online, you risk losing nearly three quarters of all customers before their path to purchase even begins.

PCs Still Dominate Online Shopping

While 80% of all internet consumers use a smartphone in their online searches, the insights in our e-book show that retailers should still be focused on consumers browsing on their PCs — for now.

Mobile usage is popular, but the majority of customers still prefer online shopping on their computer, particularly in the fast-growing online grocery sector. With major retailers such as Walmart and Amazon battling it out for customers, and smaller retailers striving to earn their slice of the market, it’s important to understand the ratio of customers making a purchase on a PC versus a mobile device.

For example, 20% of customers browsing AmazonFresh on their PC made an online purchase, compared to just 2% of shoppers using their mobile device. Instacart, on the other hand, has a much higher search rate and success rate than AmazonFresh when it comes to mobile shopping — providing a model for other retailers, especially as mobile continues to rise in popularity.

Overall, computer-based touchpoints still convert the most customers, but mobile is gaining momentum and the two work in tandem along the path to purchase.

Video Marketing Makes a Difference

Our research showed the use of video marketing was successful for all sectors we studied, but particularly for online grocers, including AmazonFresh. Visitors who were drawn to the AmazonFresh website to view video content were more likely to visit an increased number of pages, spend greater time on the website, and as a result, purchase more. This insight shows that retailers in general should ensure video content is an integral part of any digital marketing plan.

Are you ready to read more and unlock the essential information you need for your marketing strategy? Download our e-book Which Touchpoints Matter: Decoding the Path to Purchase and discover the latest trends driving path to purchase.

Category: Market Research
Tags: Path to Purchase, consumer trends

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