There may have been a time — shortly following the dawn of the Internet — when most people treated online shopping as a simple matter of pointing and clicking. Those days, however, have long since passed. Today, Internet consumers are usually methodical and meticulous. In fact, according to Google, about 65 percent of all the revenue from Internet purchases comes after consumers have completed a multi-step deliberation. Typically, a shopper will scrutinize a company via several Internet platforms before deciding whether or not to order a product or service from it.
Let’s examine this decision-making process in detail. Generally speaking, it has four stages. During the first stage, a consumer becomes aware of a company’s existence; this discovery is usually the result of advertising or word of mouth. Second, the potential buyer examines some of the information about the company that’s readily available online. Third, this person realizes that he or she has developed a favorable impression of that merchant. Finally, he or she makes the decision to buy and then completes the transaction.
Now, a person could go through this entire process in a matter of minutes. But if he or she wished to conduct more thorough research — as is often the case when someone is about to spend a significant amount of money — these activities could take a much longer period of time. They might continue for days or weeks. Google has ascertained that approximately 47 percent of Internet shopping revenue derives from purchases that people ruminated on for longer than a day.
In addition, Google divided various kinds of marketing channels into two categories: “assist” and “last interaction.” Internet consumers more often turn to the assist group when they have yet to develop a positive or negative hunch about a particular brand. Conversely, they rely more on the last interaction group when they’re on the cusp of making the decision to buy from a company. Channels that belong to the former group include display click, social, and email. Examples of last interaction marketing channels, meanwhile, are direct and referral.
How about your consumers journey?