As consumers gear up for Christmas spending, GfK shares five of the insights uncovered by PurchaseJourney.dx, a unique solution that tracks consumers’ complete purchase journeys across any product, using its LEOtrace® metering technology.
Norbert Wirth, Global Head of Innovation and Digital at GfK, explains,
“We have been following consumers across their online and offline purchase journeys, from the initial trigger right through to the final purchase for a vast variety of products. This distinctly comprehensive picture has delivered significant insights that help our clients ensure they are focusing their marketing activities on the most relevant touchpoints for their target audiences. Almost more importantly, it helps brands as well as retailers deliver exactly the right message at each particular touchpoint.”
The top 5 insights and associated learnings uncovered by GfK across different countries are:
1.A third of people now spend time researching low involvement items online
We all know that people spend time researching product specifications, user reviews and price comparisons when they’re buying ‘high involvement’ items, such as mobile phones, holidays or cars. But we’re now seeing almost a third of people doing the same for ‘low involvement’ items such as hair and beauty products or nappies.
Learning: Whatever your market, your products need to be readily discoverable online and presented in a way that makes comparison against your audience’s key purchase criteria easy.
2.Surprisingly, significant numbers of consumers are not finding the product or brand information that they wanted, anywhere in the web. Brands are missing opportunities!
GfK’s multi-country studies – from the beauty to the automotive sectors - revealed a significant number of consumers searching for, but not able to find specific information on the web. Brands are missing out on opportunities to capture new customers with the right information on their own and partnering websites.
Learning: Businesses can win customers by regularly reviewing what content is being demanded at each stage of the purchase journey and ensuring it is available and discoverable.
3.Everyone’s talking about online – but don’t lose sight of your offline-only customers; there’s more of them than you might think.
In a high-tech sector, like tablets, you’d expect that potential buyers would be digitally minded types, who would research their product options online. But GfK’s findings showed a significant 27% who used only offline touchpoints - to research and buy a tablet. This phenomenon can occur in any sector where the “richer” experience of personal, direct interaction with the product or brand is the priority for the consumer.
Learning: Markets which have strong brand followings, such as technology, luxury products, fashion and beauty will benefit from understanding and catering for “offline” followers. And potentially bringing this effect into their online offering too, with ideas such as more experience-focused online content.
4.There is no one path to purchase. But types of consumers do follow certain purchase patterns.
GfK’s comprehensive tracking has identified several types of consumers. These include ‘online search dependents’, for whom online discoverability is everything, and ‘online proved by offliners’, who value the convenience of online to research options, but only really trust this information if it is backed up by offline endorsement.
Learning: know which type of consumer your target audiences are, so that you can focus on the touchpoints that have most influence with them.
5.High reach touchpoints can potentially have a significant negative impact on consumers choosing your brand, even if the information displayed is neutral.
High reach touchpoints, such as comparison websites or large department stores, may be displaying your product information attractively, correctly and consistently – but may still have a negative impact on brand selection. This could be due to materials failing to clearly present the brand or product’s USPs, technical details or other factors that the audience find key to their decision making process.
Learning: Understand not just which touchpoints your target audience is using, but also how these touchpoints are impacting brand selection - and how you can influence this impact.
GfK’s PurchaseJourney.dx is a highly sophisticated, single-source approach for analyzing online and offline purchase activities together. It combines fully authorized tracking of consumers’ online activities, including all browser search queries and websites visited, with event-triggered surveys that pop up in the browser directly after or before visiting pre-defined websites, or at events like browser start or browser end.
By using their proprietary LEOtrace® software, GfK does away with the need to go through website owners for the event-triggered surveys, as these are directly driven by the software – allowing brands to gather feedback directly at the time of the experience.
This 360-degree view of attitudes, opinions, and influences lets brands evaluate and revise their current marketing plans, as well as identify touchpoints that the brand may not have been aware of or focusing on. Additionally, it gives retailers insights into influential and not so influential touchpoints.
About The GfK Group
For further information, visit our website: www.gfk.com
Nuremberg - 4 December 2012