Quantcast, a global leader in applying the power of live audiences to digital and mobile advertising, has today released an independently commissioned global research study measuring the role that brands, advertising and other touchpoints play in shaping consumer purchase decisions. The research, presented at the annual European Quantcast Supernova conference shows how the consumer purchase decision journey has evolved and the importance for brands to be available and front of mind throughout the entire journey, both online and offline.
The research titled: The Road Less Travelled – New Insights on the Consumer Decision Journey, was commissioned by Quantcast and conducted by Basis Research with 2257 consumers in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, UK and USA recording digital diaries during a four-week period before a purchase. This longitudinal methodology was utilised during July 2016 in order to capture in-the-moment interactions, brand touchpoints, consumer behaviour and sentiment before, during and after a purchase.
Key findings from the research:
- Though aware of many brands, consumers enter the journey with a very limited shortlist of brands they are considering. This is largely driven by brand visibility or previous experience.
- Only 4 in 10 consumers go on to buy one of the brands they shortlisted.
- Those who do go on to buy a brand on their shortlist are nearly 3 times more likely to see advertising for that brand during the final phase.
- Value, sales and promotions are the strongest drivers for those consumers who switch and buy a brand not on their shortlist.
Analysing the consumer decision journey, the research reveals consumers enter the journey with a limited brand shortlist, aware on average of nine brands but only seriously considering up to two. This rapid reduction to a narrow shortlist is driven by brand visibility and previous usage. This highlights the need for advertisers to engage with consumers before they even start the sales cycle, in order to be placed on a consideration list when they do.
Amongst the 81% of consumers who enter the journey with a narrow shortlist, those who go on purchase a brand on their shortlist are 2.7 times more likely to see advertising in the final phase.
“Advertisers are missing crucial sales opportunities by not engaging with consumers across their entire purchase journey,” said Laurie Naspe, Global Director of Strategic Insights at Quantcast. “The research shows that 7 in 10 consumers use the internet to research their purchases throughout the journey, starting at very early stages. This presents a significant opportunity for brands to utilise these early signals and engage with consumers further up the funnel, rather than focusing their digital media spend solely on driving direct response action.”
The research reveals that when consumers switch and purchase a brand not on their shortlist, price, value and promotions have the strongest influence on this switching behaviour. Just over 1 in 5 decision journeys involve a ‘Change of heart’, whereby a consumer purchases a brand that they didn’t originally shortlist and just under half of consumers stated their decision was swayed by sales and special offers for a brand they had not originally considered – the top reason cited by far. A strategy that relies solely on direct response tactics can deliver results in the short term but at a cost to the business.
“Advertisers have a number of digital tools to successfully influence consumers, such as deep insights into live audience behaviour and interests. As a result, they can deliver relevant and timely messaging while increasing efficacy and reducing media wastage,” concludes Naspe.
Senior Communications Manager, Quantcast
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