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Mobile apps, social media and chatbots are digital touch points which are part of a consumer’s everyday life. What does this mean for brands? Nothing else but thousands of opportunities to reach the consumer.

Consumer decision journey: What effect do digital touch points have? - iPROM - Blog - Miloš Suša

The 4P, 7P and even 10P models have made huge contributions to the establishment of marketing foundations, although they do not carry an applicative value for the 21st century marketing. They were focused on the production of products, while the consumer was not placed in the centre. With the development of technology and many digital touch points, the consumers, who control and guide the marketing processes themselves, have become important.

The consumer decision journey model offers a good perspective for understanding the consumer and digital technology. It enables marketing experts to understand how consumers use technology in their shopping journey, while it helps brands with incorporating digital technology into their marketing. The following blog offers you a guide on how to efficiently include new technologies into every phase of the shopping journey.

Consideration phase - iPROM - Blog - Miloš Suša

Consideration phase

The consideration phase represents the mental process of selecting brands, which the consumer regards as reasonable for consideration. At this stage one thing is crucial – awareness. So, how do we raise the consumer’s awareness, so that they will think of our brand in the awareness phase?

One possible and convincing answer is achieved via display advertising which banners and includes a number of forms of useful interactive technology. Display adverts can include everything from gamification, 360 degrees advertisements to other technologies that function as inclusive.

It makes sense to also include content marketing and social media in this stage. Chatbots that offer personalised content to users are becoming more popular in social media. Based on the data, chatbots evaluate which content is suitable for which consumer and thus ensure that the relevant content is provided to the consumers. The data allows chatbots of a famous cooking platform to evaluate to whom they should offer a vegan recipe and who would prefer a meal with meat for dinner.

Evaluation phase - iPROM - Blog - Miloš Suša

Evaluation phase

During the evaluation phase consumers assess the choices they have taken into account in the previous process. In this phase, it is vital for brands to offer information which will help consumers to assess their choices.

Consumers used to turn to sales assistants in physical stores for help, but nowadays a large proportion of sales are completed online. Brands can help consumers in their choice via a live chat, while chatbots are also cost-effective, available to the consumers 24/7 and they have a faster response time than customer support.

Presentational videos on products and services that illustrate their functionality to the consumer also play a major role in the assessment phase. Consumers therefore do not need to enter a physical store, while this offers an even greater advantage to brands since the consumer thus moves forward in their shopping journey and approaches a purchase. In order to illustrate functionality, advertisements with gaming elements, which show the usability in a more interactive way are also suitable.

Recently the opinions of other consumers are more influential than the opinions of experts. Different consumers leave a product review online and it is the brand’s task to find the “fragmented reviews”, collect them and evaluate them in a sensible manner. This is the only way for brands to truly learn the consumer’s opinions. How do we gather all information that is fragmented throughout numerous platforms? The answer is simple – with tools operated by artificial intelligence.

purchase phase - iPROM - Blog - Miloš Suša

Purchase phase

The purchase phase occurs when the consumer finally decides on a certain brand. As mentioned, the point of purchasing is moving to the internet. Although this does not mean that consumers shop only in online stores. More shopping is done via the brands’ apps. The average American user supposedly has more than 30 apps on their smart phone and consumers actually spend more time browsing apps than the mobile internet browser.

The newest point that creates purchases are chatbots that allow direct shopping via a chat. An example is Sephora, whose chatbot designed for booking store appointments helped them achieve a 11 per cent higher conversion degree in comparison to other booking channels.

A similar trend is detectable on social networks. Facebook and Instagram are no longer used only for developing brand awareness. The mentioned channels offer the option to sell on social media and the trend is starting to appear in Slovenia as well. Forecasts show that this year, 86.8 percent of sellers in the United States will use Facebook and 73.2 percent will use Instagram for selling their products.

post purchase phase - iPROM - Blog - Miloš Suša

Post-purchase phase

Obsolete models assumed that the shopping journey ends with the purchase. But they were wrong. Digital brands are very aware of this. The post-purchase behaviour is namely the point which determines the brand’s future.

Everyone can voice their opinion in the digital ecosystem. This can have a positive effect on brands, but it can also be fatal. Negative reviews can have a negative effect on sales since reviews based on other user’s experiences can affect the decisions of potential consumers. Nevertheless, negative comments are an unavoidable part of the brand’s presence on social media. In such cases, it is crucial to respond to displeased consumers, to offer them assistance and turn a threat into an opportunity.

An excellent opportunity to gain insight into the consumer’s opinions are not only social media, but also apps and chatbots, which enable the rating of experiences. It is recommended that brands offer consumers the opportunity to voice their opinions, as they will get a sense of empowerment, and the brand will obtain precious data, which will help to improve the experience or even innovate the products. It is after all the consumers who need to be listened to, since it is them who choose products on the market on a daily basis and thus determine the winners. Some brands lose, while others win the race and gain a larger piece of the cake.

The digital points of contact on the consumer decision journey not only represent an additional communication channel for the brand, but also a channel that provides a more in-depth contact with the consumer. With the technology based on data, it is easier to understand the consumer’s needs and desires. Only through understanding it is possible to create a communication message that the consumer actually wants.

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