How Has the Internet Changed People’s Buying Behaviour?


The internet arguably has changed our behaviour as consumers, gone are the days people see a car ad and go down to the dealership. The internet is now the next stop before any contact is made.

How people make their buying decisions is essentially influenced by one of three things: their gut, heart, or mind. However, a customer’s buying decision can be guided, believe it or not; it will typically involve a combination of good customer service and the good sense of value. This can be achieved when a customer believes they’re getting more of the product/service you are offering than what they paid for.

Something to remember is that people will make an instant decision with their subconscious. It may take a bit of browsing or deliberating, but ultimately, the decision has already been made with help from one of the three aforementioned influences.

But, of course, you already knew that.

The way people make buying decisions has changed with the times. Many people will now be far more knowledgeable about a product or service they are interested in before they speak to someone; after all, we all have Google to do our research! It is now much easier for consumers to access information and understand more about what they are considering.

So, how will this affect your marketing strategy?

Normally, consumers will go through the following buying process, more so for considered purchases, such as a air of trainers, rather than candy floss at the circus.

Suppose an advert was shown on the TV prompting someone to go in-store or to the advertised place; it would then be the employee’s job to provide as much information about the product/service the consumer is interested in, as well as include a some sort of consideration content such as a discount which then would lead to a purchase.

Now, as consumers do more research into a product, they will expect the information of what they can get from your business, and why they should choose yours over another, readily available online. This is then your job to provide as much information alongside the product to push that sale.

Note that people are more likely to purchase from a reputable brand, or one they have used before. This is where the two-time buyer comes in; your two-time buyer is twice as likely to return and purchase again than a one-time buyer. But how do you get a one-time buyer to become a two-time buyer?

Again, we need to look back to the gut, heart and mind factors.

Those who make decision based on their gut intuitive are categorised as non-linear thinkers. They can be impulsive and won’t analyse purchases in a structured way. This target marketing could be influenced by a marketing campaign with a feature of FOMO (fear of missing out), such as a deal that has a time frame and is only available within that time frame.

People with more influence from their heart are driven by emotion. Consider your target market: is it driven by emotion? If so, you will need to establish a strong, meaningful brand and connect with your customers. Essentially, make your brand more personal.

Those that use their heads during a buying decision are logical, linear thinkers. For that target market, focus on a marketing campaign that highlights the benefits of purchasing your products/services.

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Although it may be obvious, your social media efforts allow a customer to feel connected to your brand. A vast majority of consumers will expect companies to have some sort of presence on social media. You also have the opportunity to promote your brand and business, in fact, a 2015 study* found that retailer online promotions are directly impacting the buying habits of 60% of UK consumers.

With so much riding on how social media can influence the buying decision, why not opt to have your social media marketing managed by us?

*Source: RapidCampaign, Feb 2015

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