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This content is taken from the RMIT University's online course, Online Business: Customer Profiling for Success. Join the course to learn more.
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Understanding insights in relation to the path to purchase

Apply insights to the path to purchase

Insights are a deep understanding of the customer’s motivations and drivers for selecting and using a product or service. They are obtained through the research you conduct into understanding what the customer buys and why they buy.

The insights needed in reviewing the path to purchase should be viewed from a number of aspects:

  • Store choice: how the customer or consumer finds and selects the site to purchase the product or service. Are they using a search engine, or are they using word of mouth by asking friends and family for a recommendation?
  • Product availability: consider the importance of availability of the product or service and how quickly the customer or consumer can obtain the product or service. Does your website offer fast and cost effective ways of getting the product or service to the customer?
  • Price: contemplate the importance of price to the customer’s decision to buy.
  • Involvement level: review the customer’s level of involvement in the purchase. Is it high involvement and therefore motivating them to seek out information prior to making the purchase decision? If so, how and where are they likely to seek this information? How can you best position your product or service in those places to expose them to your offering and to include your offering in their consideration and evaluation?
  • Social engagement: understand the influence social networks have in the customer’s product and site selection. Will they use social networks as a reference source? If so, what is your presence in this space?
  • Satisfaction drivers: contemplate the primary drivers and determinants of satisfaction. How will you make satisfaction clear to them so they consider you as a serious option for purchase? What is the primary motivator for them to seek to purchase your product or service?
  • Consumption patterns: think about the frequency of purchase and the need the customer is fulfilling. How often do you need to be in front of the customer to make them aware of your product or to remind them that your product is available?

The path to purchase is complex and unique for every customer or consumer. Understanding and constructing a good path to purchase can be challenging but rewarding. Being able to get that one step closer to their purchasing behaviours and motivations allows you to engage with your customer or consumer more effectively and profitably.


Read the Millward Brown report which discusses how five industries (technology and entertainment, automotive, travel, retail and financial services) have in recent years experienced a change in the way their customers and consumers make the path to purchase journey.

Take a photo of a product that you’ve purchased recently where you spent time researching for the right product before buying. Upload the photo to Twitter and tell us how long you researched that product prior to buying and why you felt conducting the research was necessary. Remember to use the hashtag #RMITpathtopurchase.

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This article is from the free online course:

Online Business: Customer Profiling for Success

RMIT University