Digital marketing is a relatively new and evolving field that draws on new ideas and concepts. As opposed to traditional marketing, it has gained prominence with the advent of social media and internet-based platforms that allow businesses to communicate directly with their customers.
It’s because of this that consumers are changing. They are increasingly turning to digital formats and channels for purchase decisions. Take online shopping for example, it has made it easier for people to shop as it takes away the hassle of commuting and carrying large loads of products. Businesses have taken advantage of this by using strategies that incentivise the consumer such as offering free shipping, discounts upon reaching a certain total or carrying exclusive products that are not in physical stores.
But the most common means of increasing conversion rates is through the use of email marketing. According to Constant Contact, 60% of consumers say that they’ve made a purchase as a result of a marketing email that they received.
Although this is a relatively new approach to consumer behaviour, digital marketers use digital media to market their brands, products and services. However, there are other factors that influence consumer behaviour. Take target marketing – its ability to market directly to a target audience increases its potential to become a well-known business within a particular community. For example, consumers who have gone through acne might be more likely to be influenced by advertisements that promise them a way to clear it off their faces.
Such advertising may not work all the time, but it can influence consumer behaviour in ways that result in a higher likelihood of purchase by encouraging solution-seeking decision-making.
According to Priyam Johry, here are other ways in which digital marketing has affected consumer behaviour:
Access to more information about product opinions
In the past, the only way you could find out more about a product is through the television – and even that passed on very little information as well. It steered away from the negative and focused on all the positives to ensure a sale.
Today, information is growing at an exponential rate – with opinions ranging from positive to negative. Should they wish, brands can control what reviews or opinions are shown on their website. Oftentimes, they show off the ones with a 4 or 5-star rating or the ones with more praise and little criticism.
This information plays a role in prospective consumers because they’re the ones actively looking for a solution to their problems and nothing is more assuring than getting someone’s opinion as they have tried it before.
Changing the paradigm of consumer loyalty
The sheer amount of information about products or brands online makes it easier for consumers to make smarter decisions about their purchases.
Hence why from a marketer’s perspective, it’s important to foster a relationship between a business and its customers through social media posts, email marketing and the website’s About Us page. All of these work together to create brand loyalty within your consumer base and avoid the possibility of them switching to another brand.
Another example could be the issue of Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics’ lipsticks. Their initial batch had sanitary defects and consumers who had these made sure to spread the news online which altered other people’s opinions about the brand and ultimately led them to seek other alternatives like MAC.
Habituation to personalisation
Because digital marketing intersects with the aspects of e-commerce, data analytics and artificial intelligence, brands are able to identify unique problems and use them to fine-tune their products and services and present them as viable solutions to their market. This personalised approach influences consumers to make not just better, but more efficient buying choices because they don’t have to look for so long for something that has everything they need. Consequently, this also nurtures loyalty towards particular brands because it allows people to feel connected and cared for.
In the shift towards unplanned buying
Due to the internet being capable to take note of people’s purchasing habits, digital marketers and brands have the opportunity to refine their strategies and present them to their target audience, leading to a shift towards unplanned buying because even if the consumer isn’t actively looking for something, marketing strategies that are based on purchasing habits make convincing easier than ever before as they foster recall of a particular problem, present a solution that’s too hard to pass up because it’s packaged in an irresistible discount or one-time offer.
The increased importance of (digital) word-of-mouth marketing
If honest opinions play an essential role in influencing purchase decisions, then it’s important to foster such opinions through word-of-mouth. It’s organic and realistic – two characteristics that bring down scepticism within consumers about whether or not a product or brand is genuinely good. That’s why it’s important for marketers and brands to invest in user-generated content and influencer marketing because these are avenues through which they can produce what they need in order to retain or even grow their customer base.
Digital marketing is a step up from the past because it utilises technology to discover what consumers want and how they can improve products and services for their benefit. The current buyer mindset dictates that truly benefitting from a product encourages people to buy more of the same or try other things within the same brand as opposed to glamorous promotions that only last for a very short while.
With this knowledge in mind, we are able to create personalised strategies for a business and utilise digital marketing to raise brand awareness and increase sales. If you’ve been meaning to see what digital marketing can do for you, then let us paint you a picture! Book a call HERE and find out how we can work together to build a sustainable business.