The Shopper Journey is Transforming, Category by Category

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The Shopper Journey is Transforming, Category by Category

The shopper journey has transformed over the past several years as category disruptions move through industries and customers change the way they think about their purchases. That’s the premise with which we launched our Shopper Influence program. The study behind it surveyed over 6,000 recent purchasers across six categories, and we found that the shopper journey looks really different between them. Alter Agents CEO Rebecca Brooks previewed some of those findings in her recent article for Independent Retailer, headlined “Shopper Journeys Transforming Category By Category.” 


Shoppers conduct a lot of research

The research found that the majority of shoppers always research a product online before shopping. But it isn’t even across categories. For example, home fitness equipment shoppers carefully consider their purchases, and are more than likely to say they always research purchases online than buyers in other categories. Those looking for products like packaged coffee were less likely to do so.


Purchase timelines vary

Shoppers in some categories have short purchase timelines. Those looking for dog treats or supplements or packaged coffee often make their decision within a day, and good chunks of them are more likely to turn to shopper promiscuity than brand loyalty. Compare that with our shoppers looking for home fitness equipment, who will consult an average of 24 different sources across weeks before making a call.


Brands need to meet shoppers where they are

To position your offering for success, you need to meet shoppers where they are. Here are Rebecca’s top tips from the article:


  • Messaging: Understand what information your shoppers are looking for, and make sure it’s positioned where they search for it. That might mean repeating a simple message across media, or get more in-depth info out across the journey.
  • Sharing: If your shoppers are making decisions based on word-of-mouth and personal recommendations, sharing the purchase and product experiences online has to be made easy. Engage on social media channels and put out a positive vibe. 
  • Availability: Every brand has got to focus on removing barriers to purchase. Do your research to understand what gets in the way when shoppers consider your product so you can make it as easy as possible to buy.


Our Shopper Influence research studies work across category, geography, and target audience. Want to understand how to connect with your potential customers?


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