The path to purchase is no longer linear. In a multi-screen world, consumers experience multiple touch points, via a variety of online and offline channels and devices, before the final conversion takes place.
In this new retail environment, marketers need to consider an omnichannel approach to retail marketing, as consumers do not differentiate between online and offline channels and touch points in one channel are likely to impact purchases within another. Across all channels, online search plays an important role in the consumer journey.
Shoppers use search at the beginning, middle, and end of the sales funnel to inform their purchase decision, and an online shopper will browse an average of 2.7 websites before making a purchase. Webrooming is also common, with a large majority (88%) of consumers browsing and researching online – often via mobile – and then buying in store.