The 4 Keys To Mastering Path to Purchase

By Matt Nitzberg | September 10, 2018

Key #1 – True Omnichannel Understanding

As digital’s presence grew over the past two decades as both a marketing medium and a sales platform, many businesses created digital incubators which later hardened into silos. Meanwhile, physical channels of the same businesses – often representing 90%+ of enterprise sales – powered on with barely a nod to the cross-channel impacts.

This bifurcated view means that the richness of real-world shopping behaviors – which are almost universally omnichannel behaviors – often remain under-appreciated and under-measured. Our research confirms that understanding the interaction between online and offline experiences is critical to mastering the path to purchase, even in businesses that skew heavily to physical points-of-purchase.

To master the omnichannel path to purchase, integrate all online and offline influences and buying points in your analysis.

Key #2 – Touchpoint Conversion Power on the Path to Purchase

There’s no shortage of methodologies and metrics for evaluating marketing and promotional effectiveness. Over time, three factors have driven new variations: (1) Pressure on growth, (2) prove-it-or-lose-it budgeting, and (3) new touchpoints, largely driven by digital channels and the expansion of shopper marketing.

Experts know there’s no perfect analytical approach, just the question of fitness for use. Today, given fitness for use increasingly calls for understanding the conversion power of each touchpoint on the omnichannel path to purchase. Our research across multiple CPG categories has identified that shoppers are exposed to up to 40 different touchpoints as they initiate, research, purchase, use, and review categories, brands, and products.

Today’s business pressures make it essential to understand the conversion power of every touchpoint along the omnichannel path to purchase.

Key #3 – Shoppers, Missions, and the Path to Purchase

Mastering the path to purchase is critical for brands seeking efficient growth from shopper retention and acquisition. Previous posts have touched on two key success criteria:

(1) An omnichannel approach, including all offline and online touchpoints, and (2) Understanding the conversion power of each touchpoint along the path to purchase.

To ensure the insights will result in efficient and business-building outcomes, it’s essential to understand them in the context of specific shopper segments and shopping missions. Our research has identified important variations in how different shopper segments engage with touchpoints, and the impact of those touchpoints on conversion. Similarly, different shopping missions drive different patterns of engagement and impact.

Each shopper segment and mission has its own unique considerations and reactions to touchpoints on the path to purchase

Key #4 – Brand, Retailers, and the Path to Purchase

Many of the touchpoints on the omnichannel path to purchase are shaped by brands, some are shaped by retailers, and some are shaped through collaboration between brands and retailers. (Others are shaped communally, for example, through reviews on social media.)

To optimize touchpoints shaped collaboratively by brands and retailers, use insights which offer the following benefits:

  1. Objectivity
  2. An omnichannel approach
  3. Touchpoint conversion power ratings
  4. Shopper segment- and mission-specific results
  5. Retailer-level insights

With these benefits, you’ll improve planning and results.

Apply objective insights from omnichannel path to purchase analyses to strengthen collaboration, joint business plans, and growth with key retail partners.

This concludes Nepa’s series of posts on the four key points to mastering omnichannel Path to Purchase created for the P2PX Expo in Minneapolis. Our team will be at the event Oct 2-4 and looks forward to connecting (and reconnecting) with you.

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