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Most consumer commerce transactions still take place offline, in physical stores, yet ecommerce makes deeper inroads every year. Similarly, the majority of online purchases still occur on the desktop, but smartphone and tablet commerce are assuming greater prominence.
The steady advance of digital, desktop and mobile, and the accompanying proliferation of touchpoints, have reshaped the purchase funnel into something that more closely resembles a pretzel shape, characterized by interwoven, interdependent activities. As a result, once-linear processes have become far more complicated, with multiple touchpoints (re)visited at multiple junctures within the purchase process, across a range of devices and platforms.
Ensuring consistent messaging and offering availability across every channel provides consumers with multiple options in terms of their entry point into the purchase process. On this note, US retailers got high marks in a survey conducted by CrossView.
To reach consumers in the midst of their purchase process, however, there is still a rationale for choosing certain channels that are better suited to achieving particular marketing objectives. A Q1 2012 survey of US internet users by the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) and Knowledge Networks, for example, found TV to be the medium with the greatest influence on purchase decisions in every age group, far outpacing every digital medium. That’s not an altogether surprising finding given the source, but other sources support the notion that traditional media ads are effective, particularly for top-of-funnel actions such as generating awareness.
In an Adobe study conducted by Edelman Berland, US consumers and marketers alike cited newspapers and TV as the best source of marketing and advertising. And in the same survey, 66% of online consumers said TV ads were more effective than their online counterparts.
The takeaway here is not that marketers should halt their growing online efforts. Rather, they should use each medium for what it does best. Remember that consumers regularly use digital devices (PCs, smartphones, tablets) while watching TV, meaning they have a direct-response mechanism literally at hand.
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Check out today’s other articles, “Online Content Exploration Varies by Demographic” and “Parents Worry About Teen Behavior Online.”
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