Traditionally we would confidently have said that there is usually a direct link between the importance and value of a purchase decision and the energy and commitment invested in making it. However that’s a dangerous assumption to make….take this example:
I recently committed to an investment of over £1000 to Vodafone for an i-phone 7. My decision journey to that purchase was simple linear and quick:
– Vodafone signal is the good in my house (others are not)
– A trusted advisor who knows about phones told me an i-phone 7 was what I needed
– A quick online price comparison confirmed that the Vodafone deal was competitive
Decision made. Admittedly it nearly all went wrong when I tried to complete the transaction online and failed. However, a quick visit to the local store the following morning and the deal was done – pain-free!
In contrast though the search for a case for this phone was an altogether more complex journey. In the store I saw some lovely Kate Spade cases but they were expensive. I deliberated but declined to buy. I browsed a couple of other stores, including the pop-up stall in the shopping centre, before transferring my search online. I couldn’t decide so I didn’t buy. Over a week later I revisited various on-line retailers before finally ordering a ‘temporary’ case on Ebay. I probably spent five times as long and explored far more potential retailers for the case than I did for the phone.
The case decision was all mine in the here and now, unlike the phone decision that was based purely on past experience and trusted advice.
The twist in the tail on this one though is that the phone case saga is not yet over. I will doubtless continue to passively browse cases, both online an in stores. I’ll probably take more notice of other people’s phone cases and at some point over the next year I will likely buy another case…probably a Kate Spade one.
So – what’s the take out on this?
– Don’t assume what the purchase journey might be – find out!
– Remember that the journey will draw on past and present experiences
– Trusted advisors and influencers may also impact the decision
– Never give up…if they don’t buy from you this time they may well do next time!