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Between computers, tablets and mobile phones, brands now have the opportunity to reach shoppers no matter where they are and what they are doing. But how does this affect what individuals actually purchase and how they come to make that decision?

Digital technology is one of the main reasons we have seen the shopper journey evolve over the years. What started as a linear model, has grown to be a much more complex web of interactions. Previously, the shopper journey was marked by two moments of truth. The first moment of truth was when the shopper was in front of the store shelf, deciding what to buy in that moment and the second moment of truth was the experience the person had with the brand and the product they purchased in their homes.

Clearly, the shopper journey is a bit more intricate than this with the consumer more in control of what they do, see or hear. As consumers, we are constantly getting bombarded with advertisements, coupons, promotions and more, and the reach of these items has only expanded with the prevalence of digital. A new-age journey should take this into account and put the shopper front and center.

A 360 degree approach utilizes a variety of tools to understand all aspects of the shopper, the shopping journey and the decision making. There are five different phases in the shopping process that should be taken into account that give a clear understanding of the new, 360 degree shopping experience:

360 Degree Shopping Experience

1. Context - Identifying what exactly shoppers are doing across channels: who they are, household influences, what they're buying, how they're using it, why they're using it, etc.

2. Pre-Planning - Preparing for shopping: how they are becoming aware of products, list-making, etc.

3. Shopping - The actual shopping experience: can be in-store or on-line

4. Point of Purchase - The moment when and where the product is purchased

5. Post Purchase - The evaluation and loyalty period

An Omni-channel marketing strategy is being used by brands and retailers to influence shoppers at each stage of their journey. This means a multi-mode research approach needs to be employed as well to gain insights into each part of the shopper experience and the moments that matter most to them.

A multi-mode research approach can be utilized to gain a deep and holistic understanding of the shopper journey. At C+R Research, we've utilized two or more phases:

  • Shopper Communities: creating these communities help to connect with shoppers on many different levels and provide open-ended richness for the development and formation of hypothesis.
  • Shop Alongs: In-person interaction that captures the nuances of behaviors as it is happening in store.
  • In-the-Moment Mobile Surveys: these mobile surveys measure the impact of the point of purchase material. This data can also be connected to the online quantitative survey data to give a more holistic view.
  • Online Quantitative Survey: These surveys quantify and dimensionalize the qualitative results and provide analysis around different segments.

This multi-mode approach that our ShopperEyes division utilizes is successful because it sheds light on moments that matter to your brand to develop actionable marketing and retail strategies.

Shopper Journey Infographic