Consumers have access to more information real time about products and services that are driving a different “path to purchase.” While there is a debate in the industry as to whether the traditional “purchase funnel” is dead or not, it is fair to say that the consumer path to purchase has been permanently altered.
This newfound consumer power is based on the fact that, today, consumers have the ability to buy and give feedback without intermediaries. They can use technology to source buying-decision information independent of the information that manufacturers and retailers are providing. Today’s shopping experience is now an omnichannel experience.
Finally, consumers can now provide their opinions publicly about the quality of their buying experience. Net, consumers are interacting directly with companies and retailers forcing them to respond more rapidly across all dimensions of product assortment, pricing, shipping and servicing components in order to compete and grow.