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Thought Leadership & Enablement
November 7, 2022

How To Create a Clear Path to Purchase and Maximize Sales

Think about the last time you went on a scavenger hunt. You probably had a list of items to find, but the journey to finding them was anything but direct. You may have had to backtrack or take detours along the way.

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

The same is true for potential customers as they journey from awareness to purchase. They might start with a general search, like “shoes,” and then refine their query based on what they find or, sort through the endless filtering options on your website, unless they already had a specific product in mind from the start.

The customer journey through the buying process is rarely straightforward. Customers have several options and with short attention spans, end up not converting because they're overwhelmed and have decision fatigue. But what if you could shorten that path to purchase by simply asking them a few questions that guide them directly to the products they need?

What Is 'The Path to Purchase'?

The path to purchase is the journey a user takes across channels and campaigns to convert from a prospect into a paying customer. It can also be called the 'customer journey' and generally consists of 3 main stages: the awareness stage, the consideration stage and the decision making stage.

Let's break them down.

The Awareness Stage:

This is the first stage of the path to purchase, and it's when the customer becomes aware of their problem or need. For example, a customer might realize they need a new pair of shoes because their current pair is worn out.

At this stage, it's important for companies to deliver an educational style quiz that enlightens customers on their problem or need.

Presenting your customer with an educational style quiz is the best way to guide customers through this process and provide them with all the information they need.

The Consideration Stage:

This is the second stage of the path to purchase, and it's when the customer starts considering their options for solving their problem or need. For example, a customer might start looking at different types of shoes to see which one would be the best for them.

At this stage, it's important for brands to create content that helps users compare their options. This can be done through a Product Recommendation quiz, which will ultimately leave the customer with, in this case, a pair of running shoes that is just right for them based on their answers from the quiz.

The Decision Making Process:

This is the third and final stage of the path to purchase, and it's when the customer makes a decision on which product to purchase. For example, a customer might decide to buy a pair of Nike shoes because they're the best quality and price.

At this stage, it's important for brands to create content that helps users make their final decision.

The Buying Process

Typically the buying process involves the different ways in which businesses can convert leads into customers. It also provides a unique purchase route in a customer journey.

Visual content is very important in buying for some major reason. Firstly, the visuals make reading easy. Video or pictures can display your products in action much faster than blogs or emails. It will be positive news that attracts a new customer base. Secondly, the use of visuals in product descriptions has been shown to improve conversion rates.

There are a few things you can do to help create a clear path to purchase for your shoppers:

1. Use First Party data to understand customer behavior

First Party data is any information collected straight from your audience. Being as this data is what you collect, it is one of the most reliable and inexpensive options to efficiently gather customers information. It is collected directly through your audience, instead of being sent to you from a third party. First Party data is going to give you everything you need to know about a customer's interest.

First party data is key to understanding how customers interact with your brand. By tracking a customer's path from first click to purchase, you can identify patterns and commonalities. This insight can help you adjust your marketing strategy to better meet customer needs.

2. Use Quizzes to Fuel an Engaging Customer Experience

Now you're probably wondering where the heck you can start to gather this first party data on your customers. Luckily, we have the answer and provide the solution.

Quizzes are a fun and interactive way to engage shoppers. They help customers learn more about your products and services, and determine which ones are right for them.

By asking your customers a couple of questions to find out their interests, motivations, preferences, etc., you are then able to provide them with a personalized recommendation which then they are likely to make a purchase.

3. Use Targeted Content to Reach Specific Customer Segments

Not all customers are created equal. Different segments have different needs, wants, and motivations. By creating targeted content for each segment, you can ensure that your message is relevant and helpful. 

And if you’re starting with a more broad audience, then use this tip from Emarsys, An SAP Company: “Ask questions that will give you the insights you need to become a more effective guide, thus reducing their effort and streamlining their experience. This way, you can guide your shoppers to conversion.” Simple yet effective! Find more tips from Emarsys in their 2022 Power Up Your Black Friday playbook:

For example, if you sell both men’s and women’s clothing, you would create separate content for each gender. This way, you can avoid confusing or frustrating customers with irrelevant information.

By providing targeted content, you can create a clear path to purchase that leads customers straight to your product.

Once They Buy, Now What?

So, now that you have created a clear path to purchase for your customers by providing them an engaging experience, and providing them with relevant products; their purchase decision was a piece of cake. Now it’s time to take it a step further. 

The Post Purchase Phase

In this sequential model, the post purchase stage is regarded as the final stage of the customer journey. This is when the customer evaluates their satisfaction with the purchase and decides whether or not to stay loyal to the brand in the future.

These days, it’s not enough to sell your product, brands need to have a clear understanding of satisfaction and usage to manage their brands. It's great they bought your product, but do they like it?

“Hello, may I help you”? 

Ah, the good old days. 

You were greeted by a human being. You were asked a few questions; maybe even given the chance to sample a product. 

(For those that shop at Costco, you know that the food samples are the real draw!) 

And next question – “So how do you like it? Do you want to try another flavor”? 

The joy of immediate consumer feedback. 

For brands who deal in digital marketing and digital selling, getting consumer feedback is feasible. Though most would agree that getting robust and actionable feedback is tough. 

Enter your opportunity to understand the post-purchase experience. 

The team at Jebbit works with brands to help them understand what consumers think of their brands. The Jebbit team also helps brands to leverage this feedback in order to segment their audiences, to tailor messaging and to drive improved ROI for their businesses.

With that in mind, here is a list of tips that can drive maximum ROI and efficacy from these experiences.

Tip #1: 

Learn more. Break down the consumer journey and the purchasing process. 

Be specific and get consumers to break down the buying process. Seek to uncover answers to questions that are specific and measurable and that you and your team can replicate.

For example, if they learned about your brand on social media, find out which platform (Instagram vs. TikTok vs. Organic Search), the source of the message (official site or news site or influencer and the tactic used (paid ad, organic listing, specific community forum).

Tip #2:

Collect granular demographic information.

18-49 is not a real demographic. An 18 year old has very little in common with a 49 year old. So, if you can, ask gender, age, income, location (city, zip code). People are more forthcoming than you think. When there is a mutual exchange of value – save time, improved personalization, early access to sales – consumers will volunteer loads of information.

With this information, brands can drive improved ROI, improved ROAS and build more profitable businesses. If you’re worried about people being dishonest, you can randomize questions. 

HERE is a great example from E.L.F. Cosmetics.

Tip #3:

Your consumers can help fix your product – so ask for help and reviews!

Your consumers are the best source of feedback and you can use this feedback to build and market better products in store and/or your online eCommerce website.

Curious about sizing? Ask your audience. Curious about packaging? Ask your audience. There are many storied brands that have incorporated consumer feedback into their product development, and even modified their product based on consumer feedback.

Reviews Are IMPORTANT!

You should always encourage your customers to write reviews. Reviews are one of the most important sources of information for first-time purchasers and they can directly impact whether or not a person buys your product.

Make it easy for people to review your products by including links on your website and social media channels.

As brands grow, brands get farther from their consumers thus making it harder to understand their needs and preferences. Businesses need to not distance themselves from consumers, asking them for help is one way to stay close to them. 

Tip #4:

Ask for information on the order page.  

You can ask questions that are based on elastic qualities – for example, price, quantity, and convenience. Imagine asking a consumer “What made you almost NOT want to buy”? or “If the price was 10% lower, would you have bought 10% more”? Consumers can provide critical insights into running your business. And post-purchase is the ideal time to gather these insights.

The best way to structure this “Ask” about a buying/shopping experience is on the order confirmation page. Following this original survey, you can send a 2nd survey 3-4 days after the product has been delivered.

Getting consumers to buy your product is tough. Getting them to make repeat purchases over again is even harder. The path to building a great business and a valued brand is to stay close to your consumer, and to communicate with them in a reciprocal manner.  

Curious to learn more? Chat with us today and see just how easy Jebbit makes it to create a clear path to purchase for your customers!

CO AUTHORS: Jed Schneiderman and Brendan Aker

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

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Jebbit Grid Decorative
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