There is a direct relationship between the complexity of a buyer’s behavior, as they travel through the sales funnel, and the number of online shopping options that currently exist for each product category. In this environment, buyers make decisions in a rather messy and increasingly complex way.
We know, for example, that what happens between the end point of the process (purchase trigger) and the process of deciding to purchase is not linear. Also that there is a complex network of contact points with possible options that vary from person to person. However, what is less clear to us is how buyers process all the investigated information and the criteria that ultimately validate the final purchase.
Consumer access to media and information has led to the growth of important influences that do not fit within the traditional approach to brand marketing. This has great implications for brands large and small, since it is possible that because they do not understand the change that is taking place in consumption patterns, their marketing initiatives do not have the ROI that they could potentially have.
Of course, figuring out what consumers think and how they behave is not a new Idea. It is an aspiration that has always been at the heart of marketing. But, as we are about to discover, the context in which marketers try to achieve this goal has changed dramatically.