Mobile devices have never been more important in our daily lives than they are today, and looking good while keeping things trendy and affordable are some of the key prerequisites for the social media generation.
The future of marketing begins by recognizing the difference and connection between the path of purchase and the customer journey. With the advancement of mobile phones its importance is increasing day by day. People, generally the new generation is more into the social media than the previous ones. Pakistan’s future e-commerce landscape is going to radically change the commerce and business in the country. As the level of internet access is growing, the devices in our pockets, on our wrists or in the office have trained us to expect brands to deliver the results we crave within the time we crave them. It is in these micro-moments that marketers have the chance to be contextual, valuable and influential to customers and create more attention for their products. It’s not always about the sales, but it’s about helping the customers to come back over and over again. With all these internet access, the e-commerce will grow significantly. With the need for real time responsively and communication, mobile customers have set the bar higher than even for brands nearby.
With the change in e-commerce activity, it has become both the outcome and the influence on shifting the shopping habits in Pakistan. There are several digital platforms available like search engines, social media, e-commerce marketplaces, mobile apps and brand websites. Pakistanis use these platforms more often for different purposes mainly shopping, and they have a huge impact on how these shoppers navigate their path for purchasing products. Google partnered with the leading research firms, Ipsos and Quantum, to better understand the transformation of the shopping journey of everyday Pakistani consumer.
The category Google selected is skin care products, smart phones and women’s fashion wear. Research was done on around 2500 Pakistani shoppers aged between 18-55 years, in which 1/3 participants are from rural parts of Pakistan. The research showed that most of the transformation in the path to purchase was due to the influence of digital platforms which occurs at the pre-purchase phase. Some of the findings were:
|Skin Care||Smart Phones||Women’s Fashion wear|
|Go online to seek out more information about a product category prior to making their purchase||75%||82%||89%|
|Learn about a product online that they do in physicals||1.6x||2.1x||3x|
|Pakistanis who seek information about a product on digital platforms spend many more sessions online than shoppers who go into a physical store||30%||80%||30%|
|Many more Pakistani shoppers use Google Search in the pre-purchase phase than social media to gather information about a product||2.1x||2.6x||2.4x|
|There are many more times to influence a consumer on Google Search during their path to purchase||2x||2.8x||2.3x|
At the end when the actual point of sale occurred, the research shows that while there hasn’t been a very remarkable shift in shopping habits for Pakistanis, there are couple of growing trends. Web rooming is becoming a common practice in physical stores. As consumer makes a purchase there are still some consumers who go back to online platforms to further seek out information about that particular product. There are several chances for the brands to use the post purchase moments to up sell their complementary products, offer more customer services and in the end deliver retention and lifetime value for their brand.
To conclude this article, some of the major pointers are:
- Digital tools have changed the whole pre purchase shopping journey of Pakistani buyers.
- Many consumers learn about the products online before their purchases and not in the stores.
- Google search is the glue that holds the shopping journey together.