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It’s in the bag

2 minute read | September 2019

Black consumers’ path to purchase

The consumer journey, or path to purchase, finds a logical end at the purchase point. But where does the journey begin? Unlike in times past, the start was pretty easy to pinpoint. While it starts where consumers learn about products, the ways in which we learn about products are far more varied, ranging from advertising, the recommendations of friends, family and online communities, as well as our own research. 

For Black consumers, who command $1.3 trillion in annual buying power, much of that product discovery takes place on mobile devices. That doesn’t mean, however, that they tune out traditional channels. After all, Black consumers love all forms of media, and they spend more time than the total population with media on traditional platforms like TV and radio. The key to engaging with Black consumers is reaching them as they research and discover the products they need.

So how do Black consumers arrive at their purchase decisions? More than other consumers, family and culture are the primary purchase influencers among Black consumers. African Americans are also more likely than the total population to say that they would spend more on a product that aligns with the image they want to convey. But Black consumers aren’t just focused on themselves. They’re also conscious shoppers, as they seek brands that support causes they care about, and that develop advertising that features Black talent. To meet these consumers where they are and with products they’re looking for, companies must align their brands with Black consumer concerns.

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