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Thought Leadership & Enablement
June 13, 2023

How to Create a Clear Path to Purchase and Maximize Sales

How you make sales is as important as what you sell. Make sure you're providing a path to purchase that has customers ready to buy instead of ready to say bye!

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

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.

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 have a specific product in mind from the start.

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

In this article, we're discussing everything you need to know about the path to purchase. What is it? What are the key customer journey stages? Why do you need to track your path to purchase? And most importantly, how do you use the path to purchase to optimize your marketing?

Keep reading — we’ve got you covered!

What Is the 'Path to Purchase'?

Path to purchase: customer paying using a credit card

The path to purchase represents the series of steps and touchpoints that customers go through before making a purchase. It encompasses their interactions across various channels and campaigns and is often referred to as the customer journey. This journey typically consists of three primary stages: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision-making stage.

The Awareness Stage

This is the first stage of the path to purchase: 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 helpful for customers to encounter an educational quiz that enlightens them on their problem or need. By using quizzes, brands can gather zero-party data and better understand customer behavior and preferences. This data can help tailor marketing strategies to provide personalized recommendations that guide customers towards the right products or services.

The Consideration Stage

The second stage of the path to purchase is 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.

The Decision-Making Process

At this final stage, customers make a decision and proceed to purchase. They evaluate factors such as price, quality, and brand reputation to choose the product or service that best meets their needs. Brands should focus on creating content that helps customers finalize their decision and provides a seamless buying experience.

Why You Need to Track Your Path to Purchase

Path to purchase: miniature cart on an open laptop

Tracking the path to purchase is essential for several reasons:

Understanding Customer Behavior 

By tracking customer journeys, you can gain valuable insights into their preferences, behaviors, and pain points. This information enables you to tailor your marketing strategies to better meet customer needs and expectations. Leveraging market research and metrics can help identify patterns and optimize your marketing efforts for maximum impact.

Identifying Bottlenecks 

Tracking the path to purchase helps you identify any obstacles or bottlenecks that may hinder the conversion process. By pinpointing these areas, you can make necessary improvements and optimize your marketing efforts to drive higher conversion rates. This can involve analyzing customer decision points, identifying areas where they drop off, and refining the user experience to address any pain points.

Enhancing ROI 

By understanding the customer journey and optimizing your marketing activities accordingly, you can increase the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing campaigns. Allocating resources effectively based on customer behavior and preferences ensures that your marketing efforts yield the best possible results. Leveraging data from various sources, including purchase history and customer loyalty programs, allows you to target specific customer segments and tailor your messaging for maximum impact.

Utilizing Omnichannel Strategies

To optimize your marketing along the path to purchase, it's crucial to embrace omnichannel marketing. Customers today interact with brands through multiple channels, such as social media, search engines, review sites, and even offline experiences. When you bring together your marketing activities on different platforms, you can create a smooth and consistent experience for your customers at every interaction.

Leveraging LinkedIn and Social Media 

LinkedIn is a powerful platform for B2B marketing and building professional networks. Leveraging LinkedIn's targeting capabilities and network of professionals, you can reach your target audience effectively and position your brand as an industry leader. Additionally, encouraging advocacy and user-generated content on social media platforms can amplify your brand's reach and influence, as satisfied customers share their positive experiences with others.

Drawing Insights From Case Studies 

Case studies are valuable resources for understanding how others have successfully optimized their marketing along the path to purchase. Analyzing case studies specific to your industry or similar businesses can provide insights into effective strategies, tactics, and best practices. By learning from the successes and failures of others, you can refine your own marketing approach and maximize your chances of success.

Leveraging User Data and Personalization

Personalization is key to optimizing the path to purchase. By collecting and analyzing personal data from customers, such as their preferences, purchase history, and demographic information, you can create tailored marketing messages and offers that resonate with individual customers. This level of personalization enhances the customer experience, increases engagement, and ultimately drives conversions.

Incorporating Shopper Marketing Strategies

Shopper marketing focuses on understanding the consumer path and tailoring marketing efforts to influence purchasing decisions at the point of sale. By analyzing consumer behavior and decision-making patterns, you can develop targeted shopper marketing campaigns that leverage promotions, product displays, and in-store experiences to drive conversions. This approach is particularly relevant for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies operating in retail environments.

Continuously Evaluating and Optimizing

Optimizing your marketing along the path to purchase is an ongoing process. It requires continuous monitoring of metrics, analyzing data, and making data-driven decisions. Regularly review and refine your marketing strategies based on market research, customer feedback, and performance metrics. Stay agile and adapt your approach to meet changing consumer needs and market dynamics.

How to Build a Clear Path to Purchase

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

1. Use Zero-Party Data to Understand Customer Behavior

Zero-party data is any information collected straight from your audience. Being that this data is collected by you instead of being sent to you from a third party, this makes it the most reliable and inexpensive form of data you can get your hands on. Zero-party data will give you everything you need to know about a customer's interests, needs, and preferences, like what they are shopping for, who they are shopping for, what their style is, and more. 

Zero-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 how the heck you can start to gather this zero-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 are right for them.

By asking your customers a couple of questions to find out their interests, motivations, preferences, and so on, you can then provide them with a personalized recommendation. This makes them more likely to make a purchase and continue engaging with your brand.

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: “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! 

You can 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, 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.

Create a Clear Path to Purchase Today

Understanding and optimizing the path to purchase is crucial for maximizing sales and driving business growth. By leveraging market research, metrics, user data, omnichannel strategies, and personalized marketing, you can guide customers along a clear path to purchase. Incorporating insights from case studies, leveraging shopper marketing tactics, and continuously evaluating and optimizing your efforts will further enhance your marketing effectiveness. By following these strategies, you can optimize your marketing to meet customers' needs, increase conversions, and drive long-term customer loyalty. 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!

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

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Jebbit Grid Decorative
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