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Friday, May 14, 2010

Adapting to the consumer's evolving purchasing process

A recent Lempert report gave a footnote-size mention to an article I was really glad to discover: It had to do with the multiple channels that consumers can now use in the process of investigating, selecting, paying for, and taking possession of products and services. The piece was authored by Brian Kilcourse of Retail Systems Research, and features an interview with Dean Sleeper, the CEO of AccessVia (click here to read it).

Implications: I found this story important on a couple of different levels. First, it acknowledges the myriad options consumers now have in researching a potential purchase, and how those options (the traditional Web, the mobile web, social networking, etc.) have served to disrupt the once-linear process of shopping and buying.

Implicitly, the article reinforces the importance of having a consistent message across all platforms, from traditional media to digital media, and from in-store signage to the “floor talk” of a sales staff or telephone receptionist.

As Mr. Sleeper suggests, you cannot know which device a consumer will be using when they become acquainted with you—or whether that acquaintance might be made over-the-phone or when the she/he randomly walks into your place of business. But an overall review might be a very good idea… to make sure your messaging is consistent throughout your organization and marketing efforts.

I had a couple of other small epiphanies while reading the story… but why don’t you read it for yourself, and see if you have some revelations of your own?

Mike Anderson

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