What is Path to Purchase and How Can You Use it?

The path to purchase is an essential nugget of knowledge for businesses to make the most of their marketing efforts. However, this data tends to get lost in a data minefield.

For many marketing teams, there is little data to highlight the path by which consumers discover, learn about and purchase products. As such, marketing teams resort to trying every channel in the quest for growth. But, even if their work does result in an uplift, they still can’t distinguish what caused it. What this results in is burnout as marketing teams try to do everything to keep momentum.

At Ruler, we say work smarter, not harder.


What is the path to purchase?

The path to purchase is the journey a user takes across channels and campaigns to convert from a prospect into a customer.

The channels they interact with include email, search engines, social networks and more. Micro-conversions, coined by Google, continue to multiply. These mini moments are searches online which are being answered directly in the search engine. With features like ‘people also asked’ and snippets to highlight definitions, or short answers like ‘Tom Cruise height’ (it’s 1.7m by the way), users are interacting with your brand more and more.

All of these moments are opportunities for you to gain (and retain) customers. Understanding this path to purchase is essential to get the most out of your marketing.

Note: Want to get stuck in with finding your paths to purchase? Ruler Analytics can highlight the pages your leads and sales are engaging with. Alongside that, you can see which channels they’re engaging with and use that data to find micro-conversions that support revenue growth.

Book a demo to find out more about how you can identify paths to purchase and optimise your marketing.

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What is the customer journey?

The customer journey is somewhat similar to the path to purchase. Generally speaking the customer journey is where a user is directly engaging with your business and its content.

The customer journey is split into three stages: the awareness stage, the consideration stage and the decision stage.

At each stage, a user either moves along to the following stage, or drops off.

Similarly with customer journeys, marketers should use this knowledge to track patterns so they can improve the overall purchasing experience.

What does this mean for marketers?

Digital marketing has taught us, the consumer, to expect businesses to deliver what we want, the moment we want it. It is in these micro-moments that marketers have the opportunity to be contextual, valuable and influential.

Getting data on your customers’ path to purchases isn’t something you can do on your own. But it means your business can generate more revenue through new and repeat customers.

We already know that a user can have hundreds of touchpoints with your brand before converting. So how do we go about tracking each and every touchpoint for every single prospect?


Work smarter, not harder

Imagine if we told you that you could track each and every lead. And not only that, but you could continue to track them, and when they convert, you could see their revenue attributed against the marketing channel or campaign that influenced it?

That’s exactly what Ruler can do.

Once your tracking links are set up, Ruler can monitor each and every visitor to your website and collect data on their session data and referrals.


When that user becomes a lead, Ruler will pass all of the data held on that user over to your CRM, or whatever you’re using to monitor leads and customers.

Ruler will continue to work in the background, monitoring that user and their activity.

When that user then closes into a sale, Ruler will scrape the revenue data assigned to it and fire it back into your marketing dashboards.

This means you can start to identify your paths to purchase, and use that data to concentrate efforts on the marketing channels that are driving the most revenue.

So, forget working harder. Stop wasting time (and budget) on channels that aren’t impacting your bottom line. Instead, pool your resources into the channels and campaigns you can see are working. By understanding the path to purchase and how it impacts the buying decisions of your website visitors, you can get smart with your marketing.

Find out how to get smarter marketing by booking a demo of Ruler Analytics. Or, find out more about our ‘closed loop’ marketing framework. That’s looping your offline and online sales back to your marketing.

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Written by

Digital Marketing Manager at Ruler Analytics with experience in SEO, content marketing and social. After working both in-house for a travel firm and at an agency, I help people (who used to be me) attribute their revenue to their marketing efforts.