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Leveraging mobile technology to guide the consumer decision-making process

The consumer decision-making process is a series of steps that guides consumers from discovering a need to fulfilling it and evaluating their purchase. Along the path to purchase there are several vital junctures where brands can connect with consumers, but often, they’re limited in their ability to reach shoppers in time. The best way for brands to capture consumer attention in pivotal shopping moments is to use mobile marketing that travels with them.

Mobile marketing strategies can influence the consumer decision-making process as they encourage consumers to take specific actions that push them further down the purchase funnel. Such programs incentivize engagement and highlight specific brands and products to build positive consumer experiences and to aid consumers as they shop. The shopping aisle is highly competitive for CPG brands, but mobile offers an opportunity to stand out by recognizing and capitalizing on certain purchase behaviors.  

The Consumer Decision-Making Process Broken Down in Five Steps

While the way consumers purchase products has changed significantly over the past few decades, how they go about making purchase decisions has stayed relatively the same. Consumers may not move through these steps in any exact order, but the main factors influencing purchase are:

  • Problem discovery: All products, whether it’s a tube of lipstick or a bottle of aspirin, are designed to solve a problem for the consumer. This “problem discovery” isn’t always the first step in the process. Sometimes, consumers may not discover the problem until they’ve begun to examine the product. They might, for example, see a frozen pizza in the grocery store and realize they don’t feel up to cooking dinner that night. Seeing the product is very often what leads consumers to discover a problem.
  • Information gathering: At this stage, consumers will check out the price, product description, ingredients, and other details to determine whether or not they are acceptable to them. Sometimes, they may even turn to their smartphone for more information. Nearly 60% of consumers report using a phone in the store to gather more product information.
  • Alternative discovery: This stage is where many CPG brands lose sales, as the consumer reviews the original product and compares it to another, often lower cost option. Discounts and white label brands can easily swipe sales at this point as the consumer discovers these alternatives while originally considering a more expensive option.
  • Purchase: In this stage, the consumer goes through with the purchase of a product and the sale is achieved for the brand. As a result, many brands stop marketing at this point and lose the opportunity to control the next step in the purchase journey.
  • Review: The consumer may leave a review for the product online, but others will merely remember the interaction and shopping experience and decide if they want to purchase again. This is a valuable stage to cultivate loyalty that many brands miss out on.

understanding the consumer decision-making processIt’s important to remember that none of these stages are static or absolute. A loyal consumer may never consider alternative products. Someone who’s about to make a purchase might abandon their cart at the last minute. These steps can be unpredictable, but through mobile marketing, brands get a step closer to guaranteeing an outcome.

How Mobile Helps Brands Reach Consumers in Critical Purchase-Making Moments

Mobile marketing strategies can help brands reach consumers in the shopping aisle due to their ability to work in proximity to products. As the route from discovery to purchase is very short in CPG sales, brands must find a way to influence consumers in every part of the decision-making process. Mobile apps work because they can:

  • Anticipate needs and offer information through ads: As many consumers don’t realize they need a product until after they see it, ads delivered via a mobile device can help to remind them while also providing an opportunity to reach consumers in the purchase mindset.   
  • Encourage interaction with digital scavenger hunts: Shopkick drives consumers to products in the shopping aisle by inviting them to participate in a fun, interactive digital scavenger hunt where they seek out products in the aisle. This is a great way to get consumers to focus on a single product while avoiding distractions from competitors. This incentivized interaction is one of the main reasons brands that wish to boost their advertising contact Shopkick.
  • Drive purchase through product priming: When consumers use Shopkick, they pick up the product to scan it with their phone’s camera. The act of simply handling the product creates a sense of ownership that makes them more likely to purchase the product.
  • Encourage reviews with receipt-based rewards: The final way to encourage brand retention comes after purchase. Rewards programs provide consumers with the ability to collect points for their purchases. This goes a long way towards encouraging continued use as consumers feel validated for their purchase decisions.

Mobile marketing strategies can help brands reach consumers in the shopping aisle due to their ability to work in proximity to products.

The consumer decision-making process hasn’t changed significantly over time, but the strategies brands use to reach target consumers have. By using mobile marketing options like shopping apps, brands can reach consumers in critical moments before purchase and drive trial and consideration. Such a strategy improves sales and helps brands grow their market share, even in the highly competitive CPG market.

Shopkick assists our partners in connecting with consumers during the decision-making process by providing a shopping app that drives product interaction. To see how other brands have benefited from our program, take a look at some of our success stories.

Image courtesy of Pathdoc