The Significance of the Path to Purchase

Female holding shopping bags at shopping mall

The Significance of the Path to Purchase

For manufacturers and retailers of consumer goods, shopper marketing is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. Not only does this unique segment of marketing seek to understand how and why customers buy, but it also looks to disrupt those customers on an active path to purchase and push them toward one product or another.

Shopper marketing represents a growing opportunity to increase client revenue. According to a study by Booz & Co., manufacturer investment in shopper marketing has just about doubled in the past 5 years, reaching a total market value of $35 billion. Most manufacturers plan to increase their spending on shopper marketing over the next 3 years – even more so than spending on social media efforts, online advertising and mobile marketing – and annual spend on shopper marketing is expected to grow another 15 percent every year.

In fact, 55 percent of manufacturing executives ranked shopper marketing as their No. 1 investment for the coming year.

Shifting Our Ideas About the Path to Purchase

Although traditional thought is that most purchasing decisions are made within store aisles, this trend seems to be changing. The shift in shopper behavior has expanded opportunities for advertising, including traditional out of home media like billboards and phone kiosks, place-based digital ads at the point of purchase or in the shopping venue, social and mobile strategies, and finally, in-store tactics like shelf talkers, store promotion boards, floor graphics, and more.

Before you can choose which type of shopper media will be most effective for your client, it is important to think about the buyer’s journey outside of the retail establishment. This journey is rarely linear, and it may not even begin at the retailer’s door. Many times, a customer has begun making his or her purchasing decision long before arriving at the store, influenced by strategically-placed media. For example, coupons and samples given at daycares can begin the path to purchase for family-friendly products..

When looking to reach a customer on an active path to purchasing, you have to consider four factors: the location (is it within a short radius of a purchase opportunity?); the recency (is the message being delivered at just the right time?); the context (does the message relate to what the customer is doing at this very moment?); and the environment (does the message tie in to the customer’s impending need in their current surroundings?)

Once you understand and evaluate the entire customer journey, you can start to identify proper shopper media and marketing strategies for the product in question. A great example would be if you’re trying to sell cold medicine at New York drug stores. While an in-store ad may point someone toward the right product, intercepting that path to purchase before they enter the store doors is likely a more effective route. So, with that in mind, ads in subways, taxis and other forms of transit (while they’re en route somewhere) could be a great idea – especially if placed during cold and flu season.

Your Out of Home Expert on Shopper Media

Working with an out of home specialist like OOHA Wilkins Media can help you identify strategic opportunities for shopper media. We can help you evaluate your client’s market and choose the best vendors and placement to drive customers to a purchase.

Contact us today to learn more about working with shopper media.