We know that ever-increasing numbers of consumers are going online to help their shopping,
Winners & losers along the digital path to purchase
whether it’s to speed up a transaction, research best prices or seek reassurance that they are making the right choice. However, it is not the same across all categories and brand owners need to think carefully about the right approach to take to ensure that their digital strategy doesn’t distract from sales.Don’t believe everything you read
The world is changing. If you believe all you read, nobody makes a purchase decision nowadays without going through an elaborate process that might involve visiting a store to find a few options they like, using their smartphone to check on prices and independent reviews, going on Facebook to canvass their friends’ opinions, and completing the purchase on-line. But what is the story for the weekly grocery shop? Shopping would truly be a full time occupation if detergents, pet food and bread were all purchased in this manner. The weekly shop would likely take all week.
There is a huge amount of misinformation or misunderstanding concerning the ‘digital shopper’ as he or she relates to FMCG purchasing. If FMCG brand manufacturers and retailers are to succeed, then they must dispense with these myths, and think about what their shoppers actually demand from the digital path to purchase.The basic rules stay the same
The answer is surprisingly simple! Although the explosion of digitaltouch points has made the world more complex, the basic rules stay the same. As Herb Sorensen put it in ‘Inside the Mind of the Shopper’ (2009), the relationship between the shopper and the retailer consists of three shopper inputs and two retailer outputs in return. Shoppers give time, money and angst, and in return they receive items and satisfaction. When it comes to meeting shopper needs – any application that saves time, money or angst (or even better all three) will have a good chance of success. Any application that does not deliver against one of these basic needs will likely fail. What is the ‘digital’ path to purchase and how is it different?
Before we ask how the digital path to purchase can deliver against these three shopper needs, let’s pause to ask what we actually mean by the ‘digital’ path to purchase. The reality is that there are no alternative digital and analogue routes to completing grocery shopping; there is just one path to purchase, and it may or may not include some digital influences. The various stages of the path to purchase remain the same: there are various different models for FMCG products but usually they include pre-trip planning and research, locating categories, searching for products, selecting a product, buying, and finally usage or consumption. The key development is that now any or all of these stages might be conducted using a variety of digital touchpoints or influences. I stress the word might because the reality is that the vast majority of today’s grocery shoppers continue to follow a determinedly analogue path to purchase! A recent TNS study in the US showed that approximately 90 percent of trips were ‘analogue only’, with most digital activity occurring pre-store rather than in-store.
, (TNS Global)