Taking Control of Your Digital Shelf Space, Part 2
In part one of this series, I discussed digital shopper marketing in the rapidly changing retail environment and what it means for marketers. Today in part two, I discuss the digital path to purchase and how to take control of your digital shelf space.
Retailer websites are the first place consumers start researching or shopping, which makes digital shelf space on the retail site valuable real estate for brands that want to be seen where it matters most. The path to the digital point of purchase is longer than just the checkout screen at the end of a customer's transaction. The opportunities for brands and retailers to reach consumers along that path, while the consumer is in “buying mode,” are almost endless.
The Digital Path to Purchase
The steps along the digital path to purchase can be categorized simply by exploration, decision and reflection.
Exploration is when shoppers start researching a product or service. In the digital realm, this isn't a new phase by any means when compared to the in-store path to purchase. But it does present new opportunities for retailers and brands alike in the digital environment. In the modern economy, there are many ways for prospects to gain awareness, including email marketing, social networking, mobile ads, online coupons, in-store promotions and QR codes, to name just a few.
As a result, businesses in the e-commerce era need to invest a significant amount of time and resources on this critical phase, or consumers will never advance to the actual purchase of a product. It's an absolute necessary point for brands and retailers to ensure that products get noticed.
However, retailers and their consumer brand partners often fall short in executing effective merchandising presence and product placement strategies online. With the growing number of shoppers buying online, and the fact that more than half of consumers also research products online before going to an actual store, digital shelf space is where it all begins.