July 14, 2024

Recent earnings announcements point to a decline overall in consumer purchases, including in-store and online. But, e-commerce is still strong. Global e-commerce sales are expected to exceed $5 trillion worldwide in 2022. And this number is anticipated to continue growing over the next few years, proving that e-commerce is becoming an increasingly essential option for businesses. 
Given these factors, now it’s more important than ever for retailers to be very focused to drive customer acquisition, particularly online. How can brands encourage conversions with their business versus competitors? Gaining visibility into the consumer online journey is critical. 
What types of areas should retailers be considering with regards to visibility?
Retailers need to obtain insights into what’s happening online with consumers, beyond their own data, to determine where opportunities lie. They can do this by leveraging solutions that reverse engineer consumer purchase journeys on competitors’ assets. It’s particularly valuable to understand the early stages of the consumer journey with competitors so retailers can determine where they can then influence them in their favor instead.
In addition to understanding consumers’ path-to-purchase with competitors, it’s key to be aware of where else consumers go when seeking information early in their shopping process. With certain data science models, retailers can discover hidden opportunity gaps by mapping out the entire landscape of customer journeys. 
For example, when consumers are shopping for home appliances, they visit different affiliate review websites, but not all of these actually impact their decision. Now imagine you were able to know which of these are worth investing in because they are attributed to the end-conversions with competitors, versus those that are part of the journey, but not worth your marketing dollars as they won’t generate ROI. 
It’s critical for retailers to identify vulnerability points in the journeys that have the highest impact on losing consumers with high purchase intent, understand which gaps are crucial, and remove ones that don’t have an impact on sales. It’s particularly important to gain a live analysis of purchase attribution gaps retailers have against their competitors, based on a variety of angles (journey stage, segments, purchase behaviors, topics, etc.). These kinds of insights can help retailers determine where their marketing efforts will drive customer acquisition and conversion.
What might this look like? Using a solution that reverse engineers consumers’ purchase journeys, it’s possible to identify a specific group of shoppers’ path-to-purchase for choosing IKEA for their furniture:
A common pattern for young couples (ages 25-35) who recently moved into a studio apartment in the city and were seeking inspiration for designing their new homes started their journey by searching Google for terms such as “studio apartment ideas.” These consumers arrived at Trendecors.com’s article “Studio Apartment Bathroom Design Ideas,” where they got ideas for their new apartment. These consumers then continued their journey on Pinterest.com, scrolling among posts by different users and pages, and finishing their journey by clicking on posts from IKEA, leading them to the IKEA home page, where they finally converted. 
For other furniture retailers, this presents an opportunity to increase brand awareness and user acquisition for this consumer segment before they purchase from IKEA at the places that will actually impact the conversion decision. They can do this with sponsored content, behavioral targeting via Google Audience, and targeted display ads, for example, but finally be able to focus on the areas where ROI is guaranteed.

With insights into consumers’ interactions with competitors and other websites, as well as purchase drivers, retailers can identify growth opportunities for their business. They can then best direct their marketing investments to drive conversions and loyalty while minimizing costs.
Danielle Michaely, CRO and Co-Founder, Konnecto


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