Redefining shopper purchase behavior
Forget what you thought you knew about the path to purchase. Digital technology and the challenging economy have redefined the way we shop. The path to purchase has transformed from a simple, linear model to a highly complex web of shopping behaviors through which shoppers may bounce around in seemingly random fashion. Take for example:
The bad news for manufacturers and retailers: this path is much more complex and less controllable than ever before. The good news: it offers significantly expanded touchpoints through which shopper relationships can be built in new ways. This includes an emerging focus on the pre-purchase phase and post purchase experience.
What’s fascinating is that this new shopping mindset is not defined by the young, nor by the wealthy. This new shopping behavior cuts across demographic groups, regardless of age, ethnicity, education or income. It is borne out of a new mindset—what GfK describes as the XTreme shopper—which is rapidly redefining how retailers and manufacturers go to market.
Global Phenomenon With Local Flavor
Xtreme shopping behavior is by no means a U.S.-only trend—it is emerging as a truly world-wide phenomenon. Globally shoppers recognize the power of having more technology, resources, and information than ever before. They are determined to stay in control and win at the game of finding the best value. Their best friend is the internet; it is their go-to tool in the search for information and value. Beyond the actual online buy, they are aggressively using the web to collect information from a broad range of sources including shopping and retailer/manufacturer sites as well as blogs, mobile phones and social networks.
While many of these emerging shopping behaviors are proving consistent across countries, some interesting local variations are important for industry practitioners to consider in their programming development. For example:
Without question, we have entered a new shopping era with much greater complexity and so much more to learn. As retailers and manufacturers alike learn to navigate this new path to purchase, it will be fascinating to see the new opportunities they can unlock.
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