Navigating through Path to Purchase Purchase

Navigating through Path to Purchase


Table of Contents

Customers have become tech-savvy, they communicate using different channels. This results in marketers trying every type of channel popular among customers for advertising and marketing effort hoping that one of those will bring successful conversion. 

There are more touchpoints to track which makes “Path to Purchase” a treasure hunt. It has become unrecognizable in this digital world with its web-like interaction. One search leads to an entirely new search history or customer desire. A customer’s decision-making is more complex and this makes optimizing Path to Purchase even more crucial for a brand. 

Step by Step guide to Descriptive Research

Get ready to uncover the how, when, what, and where questions in a research problem

Understanding Path to Purchase

Path to purchase involves multiple channels and touchpoints, each of which plays a role in influencing a customer’s decision to purchase. These channels that customers are exposed to can vary from search engines to emails, social media, forums, review sites, brand websites, etc. 

The journey customers go through in Path to Purchase is often not controlled by brands, i.e. brands have no direct influence in these touchpoints. The path to purchase is made up of numerous individual touchpoints or micro-moments that convert a prospect into a customer. 

Don’t confuse Path to Purchase with Customer Journey

Path to purchase occurs outside of a brand’s control. It refers to the channels that customers are exposed to prior to making their purchase decision. 

Customer Journey, on the other hand, refers to the experience a customer goes through during the process of purchasing a product or using a service of a particular brand. In a customer journey, the brand can measure the brand’s effort, track interaction, or conversion rate to improve the overall customer experience. 

Navigating through Path to Purchase Purchase

What are the stages in Path to Purchase?

There are three main stages in Path to Purchase – Awareness, Consideration, and Decision stage. Some marketers also include Evaluation. Marketers need to utilize all these stages by educating customers and helping them make informed decisions. 


This is at the beginning of the path where prospects realize what product/ service they want or need to buy. At this stage, they are searching about the product to have a better understanding of it. Customers are trying to find solutions that will resolve their issues. 


Customers at this stage know what they want they have a goal to fulfill. In the consideration stage, customers evaluate all the sources available to them. At this stage, they are comparing products across the internet and considering the best option. 

According to Google’s clickstream research, 70% of customers who purchase products online perform search during the observation period. Marketers can deliver information to help buyers make the best purchase decision and steer them gently to the company’s offerings. 


This stage refers to the conversion of a potential customer into a buying customer. The customer has made his purchase decision – when and where to purchase their required product. Brands need to ensure that the sales journey is simple and seamless for the customer. It should be easy for the customer to book a service, order any product, or make payment through a secured gateway. 

Evaluation/ Advocacy: 

A happy customer does not only buy your product but also recommends and advocates for it to others. This stage is crucial to boost repeat purchases and improve customer loyalty. Evaluation or advocacy helps to shorten the journey into consideration for other prospects. Marketers should embrace ratings and reviews left by customers online to build their marketing strategies. 

Navigating through Path to Purchase Purchase

Exploratory Research Guide

Conducting exploratory research seems tricky but an effective guide can help.

Why should you track Path to Purchase?

There are many channels and touchpoints at play in a customer’s path to purchase. Tracking it will help a brand understand the role the channels play and how it drives to sales or leads. You know that a customer does not convert the very moment or day it lands on your website. 

  • Tracking the path to purchase can show you the web of interaction that customers go through before they make the purchase.
  • Monitoring every possible way customers explore across multiple channels to make their decision can help you identify a pattern of these things. 
  • Marketers can gain a clear understanding of what touchpoint influences customers to pursue your products or leave them. 
  • As a brand begins to leverage multiple digital channels for marketing effort it is important to track them all. Monitoring the path to purchase offers a holistic view of an individual customer’s decision-making process. 
  • Customers are the same whether they are yours or competitors. Understanding how one search leads a customer’s path to purchase can help you optimize those touchpoints and drive them towards your brand to increase conversion. 

The path to purchase is not linear; it involves a combination of numerous micro-moments. Understanding the harmony between these moments you can optimize your marketing effort to reap benefits. 

How to leverage Path to Purchase to win over customers?

Thanks to digital evolution customers expect brands to deliver what they want when they want. Customers seek different information, both positive and negative reviews, as they move through each stage in the process. Marketers can take the opportunity of these multiple micro-moments to inform and educate the customers and generate interest in the brand’s products. 

Target by locations 

Google search for the qualifier “near me” has increased over the last few years. In the last two years, it has grown 200% along with the qualifier “where to buy”. 

To gain the best result you must optimize your brand to provide value to your customers whenever and wherever they need it. It is not only “near me” but the ability to bring your product to the local level can also put you in advantage among the customers. Highlighting your delivery options can show your customers how easy it will be to get your brand’s product whenever they want. 

Help customers with more information

There is a volume of information available for customers online. You have to embrace the fact that customers are well-informed and work on being useful to them. Help customers during their research process by providing them in-depth information on products and services. Guide your customers with true data and establish your brand as a trusted resource.

Think what else could trigger interest in your products

A single search never stays in a straight line. It often causes a domino effect and distracts people from what they initially began their search with. Brands can use this to their advantage. One unrelated search can trigger a customer’s interest in your brand and the services/ products it has to offer. 

Identify connections between your brand’s offerings and complementary categories that will lead customers to your brand in the right moment of their decision-making process. This will also help brands to reach a similar audience. 

Make use of customer review

Ratings and reviews left by customers help the prospects make decisions about their purchases. Every customer looks through different review websites and a brand’s website before they decide to continue with the purchase or leave it. 

Marketers should embrace ratings and reviews that reveal customers’ perceptions of your brand and products. Showcase these reviews on your website, ads, or messaging to garner trust from your audience. 

Navigating through Path to Purchase Purchase

Download Market Research Toolkit

Get market research trends guide, Online Surveys guide, Agile Market Research Guide & 5 Market research Template

Making the most of your B2B market research in 2021 PDF 3 s 1.png


Brands need to align their marketing efforts with the path to purchase. Optimize campaigns and channels of interaction that can accommodate the information required by the potential customer throughout their decision-making process.

Explore all the survey question types
possible on Voxco

Read more