Research Identifies the New Consumer Path To Purchase

Blis, a provider of advanced location data technology, launched the findings of an in-depth study exploring consumer behaviors leading up to and during the point of purchase. Detailed in a new report entitled Locating Decisions: A Marketer’s Guide to Re-Navigating the Consumer Path to Purchase, the research shows consumers have begun to adopt a non-linear path to purchase that encompasses multiple start points dotted across channels and platforms.

Just five years ago, the majority of shoppers placed TV ads as the primary source of knowledge for new product discovery, closely followed by friends and family. Blis’ research suggests that this has flipped almost entirely: fewer than one in four respondents indicated they rely on TV for new product discovery, instead favoring the store as a source of inspiration. Almost one-third of consumers reported that in-store browsing remains their primary product discovery channel, followed by targeted online/mobile advertising. And, while most of a consumer’s research still happens online via a laptop/desktop or mobile phone from 6 p.m. onwards, data shows more than half of shoppers will visit a store at least two to three times before making a sizable purchase.

While, at first glance, in-store browsers look to pose a problem for brands trying to market to and influence them using technology, a significant percentage (36%) browse both mobile and physical stores at the same time to check for prices and product availability presenting a huge opening for retailer messaging. One out of four respondents indicated an offer from another retailer offering a bonus gift or “buy one get one” type offer would change their mind, and 20% would be swayed by a targeting online/mobile ad offering a price reduction on a similar product elsewhere.

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