Adapting to new purchase pathway critical for marketers: BCG-Facebook

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Facebook have released a joint report called ‘Turn the Tide: Unlock the New Consumer Path to Purchase’ to analyze how the new normal has transformed the purchase pathway and its impact on business.

The report suggests the need to look at the Covid-19 crisis in India from a microeconomic point of view rather than a macroeconomic one. According to the report, ‘near term potential exists in pockets.’ While the entire country is affected by the epidemic one must note that 22 States account for only 20% of Covid-19 related cases. Only 11% of metro and Tier 1 cities are non-hotspots compared to 73% of rural and sub districts which are non-hotspots. There is a potential to target specific micro-markets further along recovery to 'normal'.

The spending sentiment during the pandemic reflects the changing needs of the consumer and marketers need to react accordingly. As the lockdown unfolds, certain consumer categories are seeing growth while others are shrinking.

The report also identifies 11 trends of consumer behaviour change. Reversal of past trends, acceleration of existing trends and new habit formation as consumer lifestyle changes are all part of the new normal.

An important trend is that consumers are focusing on origin of product and brand's response to the crisis; loyalty to trusted brands continue. This creates an ‘opportunity for brands to build deeper customer relationships by responding to the crisis and being their "lockdown and transition partner’ according to the report. This opportunity can be leveraged by both established, new and local players.

Brands are using online channels to attract and engage consumers. This includes service innovations like BMW’s immersive personalized online shopping experience or innovating digital marketing campaigns by Max Health Insurance which launched a vernacular video led campaign on OTT platforms.

The importance of research and smart shopping is expected to increase post the pandemic. 40% of survey respondents conduct online research before and during purchase. Since e-commerce is able to transparency on product details a lot of consumers are expected to purchase products via e-commerce funnel.

BCG-Facebook have devised a new purchase pathway framework to help agile marketers capture the consumer wallet. The key drivers for this purchase pathway will be proliferation of digital and changing choice drivers, delivering a targeted seamless shopping experience; and the ability to retain and develop brand advocates in the new normal. The framework defines how these capabilities can be developed at each touchpoint of the purchase funnel.

Read the full report here.


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