Consumer journey is one thing which every marketer chases. This has undergone tremendous change over a period of time and keeps challenging the marketers to identify better strategies.
Let’s walk through a typical consumer journey of a newly married couple Rahul & Swetha, who are planning to buy a refrigerator.
If they were married in 2000, they would check the newspapers and television advertisements for new models of refrigerators. Reading through the leaflets of product, they would learn about the product features and then walk into retail stores to experiment the product. They would ask their friends and relatives for any recommendations to arrive at a decision based on the various factors. They would eventually buy a product recommended by whom they trust, which met their requirement in terms of features, specifications, price and one that impressed them with design, color etc.
They do a Google search to identify one or more products to meet their requirement. They click through organic search results or paid advertisements, which will take them to product site or an ecommerce website. They browse through various features or product specifications. Then they probably check into a comparison site to do a comparison. This process may help to shortlist their brands in consideration to a few. After that they look for a brands review in search engine, which may fetch them few results like brands Facebook page or review sites like mouthshut.com etc.
While browsing through the Facebook page they come across a positive comment from one of their close friends (the new word of mouth communication) or they may check the profile of people commented. A few positive comments from genuine profiles (with photograph, what they do, decent set of friends list) will boost their confidence. Then probably they walk into a retail store to have a real look and experience. After that they realize that the brand they are looking for has got a better price and offer in online store and finally they buy the product online.
Let’s suppose the consumer journey of Rahul & Swetha is happening in 2018, they probably go through all or some processes they followed in 2014 and additionally there could be some advanced cross channel facilities. Suppose Swetha identified 3 models and saved them to the wish list of a leading ecommerce site. Then they could have option to check the product physically by finding a nearest physical outlet or showroom with which website has partnered with. Also an integrated Google maps to get directions to the nearest physical store.
A transmitter installed at retailer’s entrance identifies them and sends a push message greeting them and providing them personalized offers and recommendation based on the history available. The online stores app installed in his/her smart phone, provides quick links to reach the product section and provides a call button to speak to an expert about the product.
It also provides ‘virtual designer’ option which helps them to take a picture of the product, which captures the measurements to check whether this will fit into the limited space available in their new kitchen. It also allows for a color match with the wall texture by providing a real time 3D image in their smart phone itself. Furthermore, it syncs with your other social media applications like Facebook, Twitter or Whatsapp to ask opinion from your friends and relatives, by sending the picture. In the mean time website pushes them to make the final decision by probably offering an additional exclusive discount of 5%. Given all inputs are favourable they will then buy the product by making a payment from mobile itself. Once the payment is done they get a message confirmation about the date and time of delivery. If they have some other engagement at the mentioned time, it will allow them to choose a convenient time for delivery.