Emerging Behaviors Drive Purchase Path; Amazon Always In Mix

Jesse-Wolfersberger-BAmazon built its dominance on versatility. Now a study on purchase paths describing six distinct buying habits explains how the retailer became a research site and the way it fits into changing consumer behaviors. The report analyzes six distinct buying behaviors.

The Digital Consumer Journey study from GroupM Next and Compete, a Kantar company, found that 17% of all purchase pathways -- online and off -- contain Amazon.com. The site comprises one-third of the market. It has become a retail and research site for consumers. Of the purchase pathways containing Amazon, consumers start or end their path to purchase from this site. About 22% of the time it is in the middle of a path, and about 6% of the time Amazon is the only destination.

The report analyzes the digital path for more than 168,000 consumers purchasing electronics both online and in-store to reach a deeper understanding of the technology and digital touchpoints they rely on.

In the course of the research, six distinct buying behaviors emerged to describe consumers who rely on digital technology at least once on the way to make a purchase: Digitally Driven, Calculated Shoppers, Basic Digital Consumers, Retail Scouts, Brand Scouts and Eternal Shoppers.

Demographics do not distinguish one from the other, meaning that you cannot say one cluster is mainly female or another cluster is mainly young people. Behavior differentiates the clusters, not the demographics, according to Jesse Wolfersberger, director of Consumer Insights at GroupM Next.

Consumers who fit into the segment Digitally Driven use nearly every digital tool available such as search, retail and brand Web sites, portals, mobile, social and local. This segment only makes up 16% of digital shoppers, but it will continue to grow as adoption of mobile devices increases, Wolfersberger said.

When asked why they use all these tools, participants pointed to avoiding salespeople and crowds. Convenience came first. This key insight motivates these customers to make purchases. "It's what the future of consumer behavior will look like," Wolfersberger said. "They also were the most likely to value advertising, so this is an encouraging opportunity for marketers."

Consumers in the Digitally Driven segment are 30% more likely to find ads valuable than someone in another segment, according to the report. Don't try to reach them with video. Unlike the Brand Scout segment, these consumers do not watch many video ads and they don't find video advertising valuable, but they are the most likely to become a brand advocate on social media, with about 14% going to a branded social media site after purchase. So, give them a "share" button on the product page and after checkout, suggests the report.

Brand Scouts are the spiritual partner to the Retail Scouts, except instead of having a favorite retailer, they have a favorite brand. When asked, 72% said they start their journey with a brand in mind. They already know the ones they love.

1 comment about "Emerging Behaviors Drive Purchase Path; Amazon Always In Mix".
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  1. William James from Journal Media Group, May 31, 2013 at 10:38 a.m.

    If anything this should tell AMAZON.com everyone is looking for information on the products they are buying. I purchase from AMAZON however I go to CNET.com or TigerDirect.com first to get detailed information before purchasing.

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