IT'S EMOTION THAT DRIVES THE CUSTOMER BUYING EXPERIENCE
Any brand or retail business needs to develop an understanding that the customer buying experience is a personal pathway and every buyer processes their customer journey differently. In today’s connected world, it's consumers that have the power, as they decide when, where and how to shop.
Emotions drive the consumer buying experience
Research has shown that each and every individual consumer processes the buying journey differently. Brands need to have consumer insight, particularly within the arena of high value products. Some of the factors influencing the buying decision include personal preferences, familiarisation and previous experiences with brands and retail outlets. However, many buying decisions are made after a good deal of thought. This is particularly the case for premium products, high-value goods, high emotional risk and reward or purchases that have a complex buying pathway. Ultimately, these potential customers have higher expectations when they consider purchases like these, which is where we coined the term ‘considered purchase’ back in 2001. As an agency we saw the need to develop an emotional connection in order to drive the buying decision for these considered purchases – and to do this, you need to have a deeper understanding of the motivations behind ‘why’ they buy. It's highly likely that a positive buying experience could drive forward the conversion into a loyal advocate, not just a customer.
Buying emotions can create positive memories
Brands and retailers with the customer insight to impact the buying journey in a positive manner, can create memorable shopper experiences that are similar to other unforgettable life experiences. A positive customer experience can create brand or product loyalty that's embedded deep into the pathways of the brain. However, it can be impossible to reverse bad customer buying experiences. (I know I go out of my way to talk about these.) So, marketing professionals need to have the ability to place the customer firmly at the centre of all activities and reach an understanding of their own unique buyer profiles in order to maximise the customer buying experience to the fullest extent.
Buying journeys are about people
We talk so much about data, technology, digital intelligent targeting, etc. these days that we forget about the human aspect. When it comes to the customer buying experience, it’s all about people. So, brands that can make human and real connections, have the ability to create the positive brain connections needed to build a loyal database of committed customers. Researchers into the science of consumer experience suggest that effectiveness, emotion and ease (the three E's) are central to the pathway and that emotion is the biggest driver of the way customers feel about brands. Building emotional connections with potential consumers can also be linked to impulse buying, or purchasing on a whim.
How Thoughtscape™ helps brands identify and quantify buyer profiles
Thoughtscape™ is a unique technique by our own in-house consumer research agency, HPS MM-Eye, that can help uncover real customer insight and buyer truths to help brands shape their buying experience strategies. It’s an approach that takes streamed speech or thoughts in an open questioned format to tap into the system 1, real thinking, at scale. This research approach helps scientifically narrow down the buyer thought process when it comes to making considered purchases and gives our communication strategies a new dimension.
If you would like to find out more about this and hear some stories from other brands, why not join us at the Groucho Club in Dean Street, Soho, London on 18 October for a free masterclass in which the latest insights into buyer journeys for considered purchases will be presented to delegates.
This free morning seminar runs from 9am to 1pm and will give you more insight into what ticks all the boxes for your customers. Register for this free morning session here.
ARTICLE BY EMMA FISHER
A passionate marketing prof, trend and innovation watcher, Associate Director @TheHPSGroup, oh and my best job, a Mum. Love life, fam, fitness and sausages (the dog variety)