why is customer engagement important

Secrets of the path to purchase that drive consumer behavior—and sales

How does a consumer move from complete unawareness to the recognition of need, choice of product, and decision of a particular brand? Marketers have pondered this question since the dawn of advertising. The classic sales funnel was once a useful model for understanding the process, breaking it all down to: Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action. Each marketing activity was then created to specifically focus on moving prospects from one stage to the next in a linear fashion. 

However, this oversimplified pathway doesn’t take into account all the times modern shoppers act swiftly on a proximity text that comes through in fortuitous time, consider two different brands in-aisle, or put a purchase on the backburner for weeks until they can gather more information. 

What’s the catalyst for this new, complex path to purchase?—the widespread mobile device infiltration into our lives that has influenced the way we think, make decisions, and shop. As Google puts it, marketers must “be there, be helpful, and be quick.” Mobile marketing is the key to being everywhere consumers are, and can help brands and retailers successfully influence consumer behavior on the modern path to purchase. 

Path-to-Purchase Consumer Behavior Relies on Micro-Moments

Back in 2015, Google let us in on a little secret: “Micro-moments are the new path to purchase.” Data revealed that shoppers were using mobile devices more often, but in shorter bursts, to inspire purchase behavior. About 60% of shoppers were making decisions faster than ever once they were able to access information on-demand.

Statistics collected in the last few years show:

  • 91% of smartphone users look up info on their smartphones in the middle of a task.
  • 87% of shoppers consult their phones before deciding on a purchase in-store.
  • 82% of shoppers consult their phones while shopping in-store.
  • 73% of shoppers who bought a product in-store began with research online.
  • The average consumer has 150 micro-moments per day, 30 seconds at a time.

Micro-moments are rich with intent. They are largely facilitated by smartphones, which are always on and always available. Consumers turn to their devices to “know,” “go,” “buy,” or “do.” Brands who can identify these moments and reach out at the right time will find great success with mobile marketing:

  • The “I want to know” moment: These consumers are researching and looking for information. They may have had a passing thought, saw an ad, or had a conversation with someone, sparking their interest. 
  • The “I want to go” moment: These consumers are searching for a specific location, whether it’s a grocery store, clothing retailer, donut shop, toy seller, or gas station. Queries are often phrased “near me” and result in immediate action.  
  • The “I want to buy” moment: These consumers want to buy, but they may not have a specific solution, brand, or retailer in mind. This moment may arise when a consumer runs out of a household supply, sees an inspiring ad, or runs into a frustrating problem.
  • The “I want to do” moment: These consumers are looking for guidance, demos, or instructions. They search “how to” and may need to fix a leaky pipe, reformat a computer, or whip up the best batch of chocolate cookies. Video marketing is a particularly helpful way of reaching out.  

Recognizing that these moments exist is the first step to connecting with consumers who are on the verge of making a decision. But actually implementing a micro-moment marketing plan involves an omnichannel approach. 

Achieve Omnichannel Micro-Moment Marketing With Shopkick

Whether you’re in the beginning stages of developing your own app or you’re taking the fast-track with a partnership, mobile marketing should be your focus if you want to connect with shoppers during these crucial micro-moments.

Shopkick, a mobile shopping rewards app, is a partner with the infrastructure for mobile marketing already established. Brands and retailers simply create a campaign on the platform to reach new and existing audiences during various micro-moments, like at home during trip-planning, on-the-go as the mood to shop strikes, upon entering the store when a shopper is conducive to suggestion, or in-aisle while difficult decisions are being made. 

Shopkickers log into our app on their smartphones to learn which brands and retailers are offering “kicks” (rewards points). Kicks can be earned by stepping into a partner store, watching a branded video, browsing through a curated lookbook, locating items in-aisle to scan their barcodes, or scanning purchase receipts. The kicks can then be redeemed for gift cards of their choosing. This interactive shopping system rewards consumers for not just purchases, but engagement-based actions as well. So Shopkick partners, in essence, are creating their own series of micro-moments with consumers. 

See how Shopkick can be a vital tool in every type of situation:

  • “I want to know” – The “Discover” tab satiates a Shopkicker’s desire for helpful information. Marshalls tells a shopper how to “Spend Less, Gift Better” just in time for the holidays. Best Buy shows off their best “Tech Stocking Stuffers.” Overstock offers ideas for “Fall Tablescapes,” while Macy’s inspires with a lookbook titled “Pass the Festive Plate.”   
  • “I want to go” – Shopkickers want to know where they can find deals and earn kicks. The “Nearby” tab makes it easy to find local retail partners. Clicking on each retailer will show a list of brand partners at that location, so shoppers can double up on their kicks.
  • “I want to buy” – Shopkickers who need something immediately can click the “Online” tab to make an eCommerce purchase from their smartphone. A digital Sam’s Club shopper might get 2 kicks for every dollar spent, while a shopper at Adidas.com might earn 11 kicks for every dollar spent. 
  • “I want to do” – Shopkickers can use the “Discover” tab to learn how to define their eyebrows with L’Oreal, how to choose winter flowers with Home Depot, or how to make Thanksgiving hosting fun and easy with Shopkick partner deals.   

Shopkickers use our mobile app at home, on-the-go, and in-store to plan which shopping purchases and retailers will provide them with maximal benefits. No matter where they are in the path to purchase, there is something in the app for every micro-moment. 

Want to learn the secret to influencing path-to-purchase consumer behavior that drives sales? Read our success stories and contact us to learn how to become one of our partners and start integrating micro-moments into your omnichannel micro-moment marketing strategy.



Shopkick is the fun and easy way to earn free gift cards for the shopping you already do. Download the app now!

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Dima Volovik

EVP of Product and Engineering

Dima Volovik is the EVP of Product and Engineering at Trax Retail — Shopkick.

Dima Volovik is the accomplished product and engineering leader who led teams to deliver innovative and commercially successful e-commerce products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions for Amazon, Comcast, Fandango, and Universal Music. Before joining Trax, Dima was the Director at Amazon, where he led product development and Engineering for Amazon Appstore and Amazon Prime Video, CTO at Fandango, and Paciolan, head of technology at Golf Channel/Golf Now, and Global VP of Direct to Consumer Technology at Universal Music Group. Dima’s expertise includes developing consumer products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions.

Dima grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Azerbaijan Oil Academy, and he currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his family.