Today’s consumer is more connected than ever. With increasing access to Internet at home and on the go, people are able to find the information they want whenever and wherever. With that shift comes a significant change in shopping behavior.
Consumers want to know more before they buyeven for relatively small purchasesbecause that information is easier than ever to get. In their quest for the best deals and the best information, shoppers are following an increasingly complex, multi-channel path to conversion. If marketers are tuned in to these changes, they can make the most out of the new consumer behavior. Here’s how:
Every Consumer Is an Informed Consumer
According to a recent Harris study, 56% of American say they pro-actively research companies before they buy, a 6% increase from 2012. With the ubiquity of the Internet, information about a company or a product has never been easier to find, and comparison shopping or background research can be completed in minutes.
Consumers are now holding off on purchases (even in-store purchases) until they’ve had the opportunity to explore their options. Marketers who want to win business from their competitors will have a leg up if they can capitalize on this extra time spent comparison shopping online. Make sure all your value propositions and differentiating features are immediately clear to your site visitors, who may not be willing to spend time hunting for the right information.
Retargeting, or serving ads to your previous site visitors, can help you capitalize on the process by keeping your brand in front of shoppers while they look at other options or research other brands. Staying top of mind is critical during the research process, and retargeting is one of the simplest and most effective ways to offer a gentle reminder to your potential customers that you’re the best option.
The path to purchase for the average consumer has gotten significantly more complex. Information is consumed via desktops, smart phones and tablets, and no two consumers follow exactly the same path. Mobile is increasing in importance, but your website is ultimately the most important place for consumers to find information.
A recent study from ForeSee found that 57% of comparison shoppers began researching a product or company at the company’s website, while only 6% began the search with a mobile device. Nearly three-quarters of shoppers visited the company website during at least one point over the course of the purchase journey, while only 21% visited an app or the mobile site. (It’s worth noting that the survey involved stores with both a brick and mortar and an ecommerce component to their businesssome shoppers never used the website via desktop or mobile and made purchases simply by walking into the store.)
Mobile is growing in importance every day, but if you could only focus on one channel, your website is still the central piece of most shoppers’ purchase journeys.
When it comes to taking action on these behaviors, building a retargeting pool based on your site visitors is still your best bet, as the majority of your visitors will probably be visiting your site at the beginning of their purchase process and even more of your visitors will end up visiting your site at some point during their process.
Technology is changing rapidly, and with it, consumer behavior. Stay on top of the trends in purchase habits and be sure to use tools like retargeting to stay in front of the connected consumer.