When was the last time you purchased a product without researching it elsewhere? Do you often buy products through a single touch-point, or do you scan the market first? The way consumers shop is constantly evolving – each year presenting a new retail trend. And, with the rise of omni-channel retail, the customer shopping journey no longer follows a predefined path. Because of this, it’s vital for brands to understand consumer shopping behaviour, and amend their marketing strategies accordingly.
The Consumer Shopping Journey and Its Many Touch-Points
Consumers are now savvier than ever, often visiting multiple touch-points (a brand’s website, in-store, other online retailers or social media channels) to find the information they’re looking for, or strike the best deal. According to a recent report by Forrester Research, while every touch-point has its pros and cons (see diagram* below), each remains incomplete. In today’s retail climate, there is no single source of truth or credibility for all aspects of a product.
Diagram from Forrester report: Six Things Brands Must Do Online To improve Sales
Before purchasing, consumers require a range of information (e.g. specs, prices, availability, reviews, ETA), but the details on each vary across retailers, which can be frustrating for consumers, lengthening their path to purchase.
Research from Google suggests that 88% of consumers favour brands that provide information along every stage of their journey and over 60% of people expect brands to provide customers with the information they need when they need it, yet less than half of people feel that brands are delivering. These stats highlight that brands need to do more to help their customers throughout their buying journeys, providing more detailed, comprehensive product information.
In the age of omni-channel retail, brands who don’t step up to the mark risk losing customers to competitor brands. Stats show that over 50% of smartphone users have purchased from a brand other than the one they intended to because the information provided was useful.
Very little customer loyalty exists today, so brands need to win customers over by offering the best information, best deals and best purchase options.
The Role of Where To Buy Technology in the Customer Shopping Journey
Finding product details or stock availability doesn’t need to be a tiresome process. With Where to Buy technology, brands can provide customers with all the information they need in one place, aiding every step of their journey and influencing their path to purchase – be it online or offline. With details including product availability, store location, and retailer price comparison all included in one widget (that’s placed on product pages), brands can facilitate customer purchases across many digital touch-points.
Where to Buy Online
A study by Episerver found that 92% of consumers visit a brand’s website for the first time to do something other than purchase. So what are these consumers doing? They’re looking for information – so why not give it to them? With Hatch’s Where to Buy Online solution, brands can connect all digital touch-points, displaying all online stockist information in one place. Whether shoppers want to know if they can buy your product for a lower price elsewhere, or if they can purchase at their favourite retailer and gain loyalty points, with Where to Buy Online technology, your e-commerce site can provide them with this information. By implementing Where to Buy technology, consumers will be less likely to browse elsewhere and purchase from a competitor brand. Plus, with Hatch’s reporting dashboard, you can get insights into each touch-point throughout the customer journey, from the initial ad to the final purchase.
Where to Buy Local
The rise of online shopping has not led to the demise of brick and mortar stores but instead changed the way consumers shop. The choice that consumers now have when shopping means they can research products online and collect in-store at their convenience. Data from Google indicates that almost 80% of shoppers will visit a store to purchase when they require an item immediately, and 61% of shoppers would rather shop with brands that have a physical location, as well as an online store. With Where to Buy Local technology, brands can connect their digital customers to local retailers, displaying opening hours, contact details and click and collect options. And the best part? Hatch’s Where to Buy Local live reporting dashboard provides brands with live insights, including which brick and mortar stores customers searched for, what products they searched for online to buy locally, and lots more.
By connecting each of your digital and offline touch-points and providing consumers with all the details they require to make an informed purchase, you will be able to facilitate the customer shopping journey and turn browsers into buyers. Consumers no longer shop via just one channel, so we need to help them along the way.
How does your e-commerce look like? Contact us and we will help you audit it!