Every customer journey is unique. While retail purchasing pathways, like the one illustrated below, are a helpful benchmark for retail brands to consider, in order to truly serve your customers with relevant communications at every turn, an individualized approach to lifecycle messaging is a must.

Consumer buying behavior is changing. The change was slow at first, but now it’s accelerating. Fifteen years ago, out of 10 visitors — one or two of your prospects made a purchase the first time they heard about your brand. Today, consumers use an average of almost five touch-points before they purchase.

As Michael Allen, Vice President of Solutions as Dynatrace said, “Every customer journey is unique in today’s digital business economy. The rise of online and mobile commerce has fundamentally changed the way we shop, but it’s not as clear-cut for retailers as just identifying whether their customers shop online or in-store.”

This infographic from Raconteur plots the new retail purchasing pathway, taking the prospect from discovery to evaluation and on through the purchase. Within those retail purchase journey stages, consumers are bouncing between online and offline channels to research and price their purchases. The customer journey doesn’t end there, though — it continues with experience and loyalty.

Douglas Karr is the founder of Martech.Zone.