Growing your business means knowing your customer’s purchase path. Mapping each micro-step towards buying is critical for effective lead nurturing.
“Who” vs. “How”
You probably know exactly who your customers are – their demographics and the competitors they consider. You might also know some “psychographics” about them – e.g., they have 1,000+ employees (B2B) or they watch 10 hours of ESPN per week (B2C).
But do you know the path your customers take towards purchasing your product?
What’s a purchase path?
A purchase path describes all the little steps your customers take before they finally decide to put their money down on your product. It includes everything from how they first realize a need and ends with their decision-making process to purchase. Depending on your business, the purchase path can extend after the sale to map cross-sales.
A winding road
Don’t let the word “path” fool you. A customer’s journey to purchase is not necessarily a straight line. They may circle back or skip across points on the path and step in at different levels of readiness to purchase.
For example, an airline customer’s path to purchase might include some of these touchpoints:
- travel websites
- inflight magazines
- in-airport advertising
- radio and television ads,
- taxi ads
- billboards on motorways near the airport
- talking with friends about their airline experiences
Why is purchase path important?
Simply put, the touchpoints along the purchase path are your opportunities to influence your customer.
Knowing this path is critical to success, particularly for online businesses where it’s fairly easy to track and analyse behavior. Once you know the purchase path you can start strategising about the best ways to create and nurture leads.
Using the airline example above, advertising on travel websites is a no-brainer. But what if your research that indicated in-airport billboards are key to getting into a customer’s consideration for their next flight? It’s easy to imagine a frustrated passenger swearing never to use their current airline again – and your billboard would be right there to suggest a great alternative.
How to map your customer’s purchase path
Think with Google did some research about customer purchase paths that might give you a jumpstart. Here are some highlights:
- Location and convenience – do they buy local or opt for free shipping?
- How customers research their purchase – on Google? Trade magazines? Amazon reviews?
- Think holistically about verticals that connect to your category
- Mobile touchpoints come first
If mapping out your customer’s purchase path sounds intimidating, no worries! Gizza ring and we’ll help you out!